The Business: Thursday May 29 2014

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

WILL RATES RISE BY END OF 2014?

A key Bank of England policymaker says that interest rates should rise “sooner rather than later”, reports the Financial Times. Monetary policy committee member Martin Weale brought the prospect of an increase before the end 2014 a step closer when he said a longer delay would eventually lead to a sharper and more painful tightening of policy. "If you want to have baby steps you do have to start sooner," he said.

APPLE AGREES BEATS HEADPHONES DEAL

Apple has agreed to buy headphone maker and music-streaming service provider Beats Electronics. The deal for the firm, which was co-founded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, is worth a total of $3bn (£1.8bn), and is thought to be Apple's largest acquisition to date. Iovine and Dre will join Apple under the terms of the agreement. Apple chief Tim Cook says the deal will allow the firm to "continue to create the most innovative music products and services in the world".

RONALDO ‘MOST MARKETABLE PLAYER’

Portuguese ace Cristiano Ronaldo has been named the world's most marketable footballer by sports marketing experts Repucom. The Argentine wizard of Barcelona, Lionel Messi, is in second place, with his fellow Barca star, Spain's Gerard Piqué, completing the top three. The “trend-setting” Ronaldo won his second FIFA world player of the year in 2014 and also added a Champions League winners medal to his collection of honours.

RETAIL SALES GROW FOR SIXTH MONTH

Retail sales grew for the sixth consecutive month in May, says the CBI. The organisation’s survey found that 38% of retailers enjoyed an increase in sales during the last month, with 22% suffering a fall. This resulted in a balance of +16%, a slowdown from the +30% reading in April. However, analysts say the data still highlights that the British economy is enjoying a pick-up. The slowdown should be understood in the context of April sales being boosted by Easter.

QUOTE OF THE DAY… TIME TO ABOLISH PAPER MONEY?

“In arresting Mexican drugs lord Joaquín ‘El Chapo’ Guzmán, authorities found more than $200m in cash – and this was not a first.” Harvard professor Kenneth Rogoff argues for the abolition of physical currency. 

HOW THE WORLD CUP BOOSTS MARKETS

The World Cup will provide a surefire way of predicting stock markets, says Goldman Sachs. The bank says the winner of the football tournament can expect its country’s stock market to perform better than global equities by 3.5% in the month following the tournament. The researchers found that every winner since 1974 has outperformed the wider market, with the exception of the 2002 World Cup when Brazil’s victory was overshadowed by a deep recession.

 

THE NUMBERS... AT 0745 BST


FTSE-100: up +0.09 to 6851.22
Dow Jones: down -0.25 to 16633.18
Dax: down -0.02 to 9939.17
Cac-40: up +0.04 to 4531.63
Nikkei: up +0.01 to 14672.28
Hang Seng: up +0.08 to 23097.87
US dollar: buys €0.73550 and £0.59790
Sterling: buys $1.67240 and €1.23020
Oil: $109.98 down -0.0