Companies, Markets and Finance

Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday

RBS SETS ASIDE FURTHER £780M

Royal Bank of Scotland has announced that it has set aside £400m to cover the cost of investigating possible manipulation of the foreign exchange market. In total, it has set aside a further £780m to cover the costs of conduct issues, including the PPI mis-selling scandal. The lender announced the provisions in its third quarter results. The news follows Barclays' decision yesterday to set aside £500m.

US ECONOMY GROWS 3.5%

The US economy expanded 3.5% in the third quarter of 2014, reports the FT. The development calls a halt on years of mediocre domestic growth and bucks recent weakness in other leading economies. The figure is comfortably ahead of analysts’ expectations of 3% growth – which will be seen as vindication of the Fed’s decision to end its third round of quantitative easing on Wednesday.

OSBORNE TO PAY PART OF WW1 DEBT

George Osborne says the government will pay off part of the UK's first world war debt, as part of a redemption of bonds stretching as far back as the 18th century. The treasury said it will repay £218m of the £2bn still owing from the 1914 to 1918 war. The payment, to be made in February next year, will be the first repayment of National War Bonds by a Chancellor for 67 years.

MOODY’S: MORRISONS WOULD BEAT TESCO

Morrisons would win in an all-out war with Tesco, claim analysts at Moody’s. The two retailers are enduring a decline in sales as changes in shopping habits change see shoppers flock to both discounters Aldi and Lidl, and the upmarket Waitrose. Moody’s concluded that Morrisons has a "slightly better risk profile than Tesco" and a "decisive strategy of narrowing the price gap with the discounters".

QUOTE OF THE DAY … BARCLAYS? RESPECT BRO!

“Respect, bro, as Antony Jenkins might say, though not quite like that. Still, it’s not hard to spot why the Barclays chief executive might distrust investment banking.” Alistair Osborne of The Times says that with nothing left to rig Barclays must avoid more fines.

INVESTORS DISAPPOINTED WITH STARBUCKS

Starbucks' shares fell almost 6% as investors expressed disappointment at the company's latest sales figures, reports the BBC. The 5% rise in sales in the three months to 28 September was below analysts' forecasts. The slump in the share price happened during after-hours trading on Wall Street. "We grew traffic, but it was at a bit of slower clip," said a spokesman of the quarter.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0730 BST

FTSE-100: up +0.15 to 6463.55
Dow Jones: up +1.30 to 17195.42
Dax: up +0.35 to 9114.84
Cac-40: up +0.74 to 4141.24
Nikkei: up +4.83 to 16413.76
Hang Seng: up +1.15 to 23974.14
US dollar: buys €0.79730 and £0.62630
Sterling: buys $1.59650 and €1.27290
Oil: $86.03 down -1.3