The Business: Friday September 5 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
BP faces a bill that could run into billions after a US judge ruled it was "grossly negligent" in the lead-up to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The judge also found BP subcontractors Transocean and Halliburton "negligent". The 2010 oil spill was the worst in US history, and BP has set aside $43bn (£26bn) to cover fines, legal settlements, and clean-up costs.
Barclays will launch a vein scanner for customers as it escalates its use of biometric recognition technology to combat fraud. The lender has developed a biometric reader that scans a customer's finger to access accounts, instead of using a password or PIN. Vein recognition technology is used at ATM machines in Japan. "Biometrics is the way to go in the future,” said a Barclays spokesperson.
The Bank of England resisted making an interest rate rise at its monthly meeting as opinions diverged over when the rise should be made, reports Sky News. The Bank confirmed yesterday there will be no bank rate rise in September from the 0.5% record low first introduced in March 2009. However, two members of the Monetary Policy Committee had voted to raise the base rate from 0.5% to 0.75%.
Lego has become the world’s biggest toymaker based on sales in the six months to June 30, reports The Times. Operating profits at the plastic brick manufacturer, based in Billund, rose to DKr3.63 billion (£390m), a 12% rise on the same period last year. Sales jumped by 11% to DKr11.5 billion in the same period. With the critical Christmas period lies ahead, Lego will be hoping to consolidate its lead.
“I do think it’s pretty clear we have to get back to the core of our business in price, availability, and service. What it is that customers need from us so that they reward us with their loyalty.” New Tesco boss Dave Lewis at the end of his first week in charge of the retailer.
Mario Draghi stunned the markets on yesterday by cutting interest rates to a record low, reports the Financial Times. The ECB president pledged to buy hundreds of billions of euros of private sector bonds in an unexpected move to save the eurozone from economic stagnation. Although the moves met with opposition on the ECB’s governing council, Draghi said there was a “comfortable majority” in favour.
FTSE-100: up +0.06 to 6877.97
Dow Jones: down -0.05 to 17069.58
Dax: up +1.02 to 9724.26
Cac-40: up +1.65 to 4494.94
Nikkei: up +0.10 to 15691.53
Hang Seng: down -0.38 to 25200.57
US dollar: buys €0.77290 and £0.61270
Sterling: buys $1.63210 and €1.26150
Oil: $101.88 down -0.9