The Business: Monday June 2 2014

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

PHYSICAL CASH USE AT RECORD LOW

The rise of debit cards, apps and online shopping have sent the use of cash to new lows, reports The Times. The British Retail Consortium says the use of cash has declined by 14% over the past five years. During the same period, the average value for purchases made by debit card has fallen, which suggests shoppers are now using their cards to pay for cheaper items they would previously have settled for using cash.

TESCO RISKS NEW PROFIT WARNING

Britain’s biggest supermarket may be forced to issue another profit warning this year as its sales continue to collapse, reports the Sunday Times. Tesco is expected to post a quarterly decline of more than 4% on Wednesday. Analysts at JP Morgan say such a figure would be “the worst published by the company we can recall in 15 to 20 years”. The firm stunned the stock market with its first profit warning in two decades in 2012.

GROUP PENSION OPTION PLANNED

A Dutch-style group pension option is to be unveiled in the Queen’s Speech on Wednesday, reports the BBC. Under the proposed system funds would be run collectively rather than individually. Supporters argue this drives costs lower allowing pension incomes to be higher. However, while ministers say the move will give people "better value", critics argue the returns are not certain. Political consensus is growing behind the idea.

QUOTE OF THE DAY… HOW TO PLAY WORLD CUP SICKIES

“With a bit of a team talk you can keep your folk onside. After all, you don’t want the couple of left wingers in your squad turning your people into a team of strikers.” Robert Lea of The Times on how businesses can adapt to their workers losing focus during the World Cup.

UK BUSINESSES OWE EACH OTHER £75BN

British businesses owe each other £75bn, reveals the Daily Telegraph. Fears are growing that this record level of trade credit is threatening to damage the UK’s fragile economic recovery. Politicians and commentators have been focusing on consumer debt levels, ignoring the ever-growing trade credit gap. Debt levels are particularly problematic among small and mid-sized companies. The crisis could lead to a wave of company insolvencies.

MANC AIRPORT RETURNS TO PRE-CRISIS HIGH

Manchester airport has hit 21m passengers a year for the first time since 2008, reports the Financial Times. The news confirms the recovery of Britain’s third largest airport from the depths of the economic crisis. Manchester’s passenger numbers are rising by 5.5% year on year, compared with 3% for the UK as a whole, according to figures from the Civil Aviation Authority. Meanwhile, Liverpool’s John Lennon airport is suffering a decline in passengers.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0715 BST


FTSE-100: down -0.39 to 6844.51
Dow Jones: up +0.1 to 16717.17
Dax: up +0.04 to 9943.27
Cac-40: down -0.02 to 4530.51
Nikkei: up +1.99 to 14922.85
Hang Seng: up +0.31 to 23081.65
US dollar: buys €0.73370 and £0.59700
Sterling: buys $1.67470 and €1.22860
Oil: $109.56 down -0.4