Companies, Markets and Finance
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Violence in the Middle East, anxiety over global growth and uncertainty over the forthcoming general election sent London shares sliding yesterday. The FTSE 100 fell almost 100 points, taking it ever further from the historic highs of 7037 it hit earlier in the week. “It’s been a bruising day for London’s blue-chip index,” market analyst Tony Cross at Trustnet Direct told the Daily Mail.
A global liquidity storm could throw the UK into chaos, warns the Bank of England. The BOE also warned that the threat of a Greek default poses “significant risks” to the UK. Governor Mark Carney said he would work with the Financial Conduct Authority to assess whether asset managers could cope with a rapid change in market conditions.
Fred Goodwin has been ordered to disclose private emails he sent in the run-up to Royal Bank of Scotland’s 2008 rights issue, reports the Daily Telegraph. As part of a £4bn court case, the bank’s former chief executive, who lost his knighthood over the bank’s collapse, is one of a string of ex-directors who will have to reveal the private email accounts used to discuss the contentious share sale.
George Osborne rejected diplomatic advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office when he decided to join China’s Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank, says the Financial Times. The chancellor rejected the concerns of British diplomats, who warned him the decision would alienate allies in Japan and the US. His decision was taken only days before the announcement.
“In other words, the UK economy is doing well and the BoE is doing a good job… Its greatest challenge is communication. Fewer ruminative speeches on the significance of deflation would help.” The Financial Times says there is “zero significance” in this week’s UK inflation milestone.
Pepsi outsold Diet Coke last year to become the second most popular carbonated drink in the US, according to new data in trade publication Beverage Digest. As shoppers increasing shun products with artificial sweeteners, Coca-Cola maintained the top-spot, but sales of its diet alternative fell by 6.6%. Energy drinks and cold coffees are increasing in popularity.
FTSE-100: down -1.37 to 6895.33
Dow Jones: down -0.23 to 17678.23
Dax: up down -0.18 to 11843.68
Cac-40: down -0.29 to 5006.35
Nikkei: down -0.95 to 19285.63
Hang Seng: down -0.18 to 24454.04
US dollar: buys €0.92030 and £0.67400
Sterling: buys $1.48460 and €1.36490
Oil: $58.92 up +4.3