The Business: Thursday July 24 2014

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

IS CARNEY COOLING ON RATES RISE?

Is Mark Carney changing his tune on an interest rates rise? The Bank of England governor hinted that an early rates rise has become less likely as he shifted the focus of the discussion on to pay growth, reports the Daily Mail. He said that policymakers will have to “update thinking” at next month’s quarterly Inflation Report on how to take into account the prospects for wages. Also warning of continuing dangers to recovery, the governor seemed in cautious mood.

PG TIPS IN ‘BREWSING’ BLOW TO TETLEY

PG Tips is celebrating victory over rivals Tetley after the advertising watchdog agreed that pyramid-shaped teabags make a better cup of tea. Tetley had complained to the ASA that its round teabags had been “denigrated” in a television ad from PG Tips. Tetley argued that the commercial was "misleading and exaggerated the capability and performance of the advertised product". However, the ASA ruled that the pyramid bag does allow tea to move more freely, releasing more taste.

FACEBOOK STOCK HITS RECORD HIGH

Facebook shares have hit a new record high after the company posted profits growth of 137% for its last quarter, says Sky News. Investors were thrilled as a series of key indicators of business health were met. Revenue from crucial mobile advertising continues to grow at a strong pace while more people are using the service and more often. The company's shares climbed nearly 5% in extended trading after it was revealed that Facebook earned $791m (£464m) in the April-June period.

QUOTE OF THE DAY… LAMONT ON TAX THRESHOLD

“It makes no sense that a rate that Nigel Lawson intended to be for the richest people in the country is now being paid by secretaries and middle management.” Former Tory chancellor Lord Lamont of Lerwick calls in the Daily Telegraph for a rise in the higher tax threshold.

US FAA LIFTS ISRAEL FLIGHT BAN

The US FAA has lifted its ban on US carriers flying to Israel’s Ben Gurion airport. However, the aviation regulator has warned that the situation with the conflict in Gaza remains "very fluid" and that the decision could be reviewed. The FAA first imposed the controversial ban on Tuesday and extended it further on Wednesday citing a "potentially hazardous situation" due to fighting between Israel and Hamas.

‘BENIGN’ RATES RISE COULD CAUSE DEBT CHAOS

Even a "relatively benign" rise in interest rates could double the number of households facing debt problems, reports the BBC. A report by the Resolution Foundation think-tank says that by 2018, 1.1m households could be in "debt peril", compared with 600,000 now. ‘Debt peril’ means more than half of their post-tax income goes on repaying debt. The Money Advice Service estimates that 8.8m adults have too much debt.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0720 BST


FTSE-100: up +0.04 to 6798.15
Dow Jones: down -0.16 to 17086.63
Dax: up +0.20 to 9753.56
Cac-40: up +0.16 to 4376.62
Nikkei: down -0.40 to 15267.00
Hang Seng: up +0.51 to 24093.21
US dollar: buys €0.74370 and £0.58720
Sterling: buys $1.70290 and €1.26650
Oil: $108.03 up +0.4