The Business: Thursday September 18 2014

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

INDEPENDENT SCOTS WOULD FACE ‘DECADE OF DECLINE’

Scotland would face a decade of economic decline if it votes for independence, according to a poll of leading City investors. In a survey of more than 200 fund managers, 63% of investors said Scotland’s economy would be weaker for at least 10 years if the country goes independent. But of those surveyed, 58% thought the rest of the UK would be stronger 10 years after a ‘yes’ vote.

SONY PROJECTS SHOCK £1.3BN LOSS

Sony is blaming fierce competition and weak sales for a projected loss of £1.3bn, reports The Guardian. The Japanese electronics giant will not pay a dividend for the first time in its 56-year history as a public company due to the loss. Sony’s fortunes in the intensely competitive smartphone market  have declined sharply in the face of the imperious Apple and Samsung.

NO US RATES RISE FOR ‘CONSIDERABLE TIME’

The US Federal Reserve has announced it will not raise interest rates for a “considerable time”, as it prepares to end its stimulus programme in October. Following a two-day meeting of the central bank's policy committee in Washington DC, chairwoman Janet Yellen disappointed some investors, saying there was no “calendar date” for a rate rise.

QUOTE OF THE DAY… ‘PINK FOAM SHRIMP’ CARNEY

“So, what’s Mark Carney, then? A jelly snake man? Or a pink foam shrimp aficionado? Or maybe he’s got a real taste for aniseed balls.” The Times’ Alistair Osborne is like a kid in a sweet shop as he argues that the Bank of England governor presides over a “pick ‘n’ mix economy”.

 

DIXONS CARPHONE’S PHONES 4U LIFELINE

The chances of a full rescue deal for Phones 4U are slim, says its administrator. PwC made the admission as Dixons Carphone threw a lifeline to more than 800 Phones 4U employees, offering them jobs at the mobile phone concessions within its electronics outlets. However, the remainder of Phones 4U’s 5,596 workforce continue to sweat as the future of firm hangs in the balance.

WAGE CRISIS CONTINUES DESPITE UNEMPLOYMENT FALL

UK unemployment is at its lowest level since the 2008 financial crisis, reports The Guardian. However, this fall has failed to reignite pay growth, effectively ruling out a rise in interest rates this year. Labour’s shadow employment minister Stephen Timms claimed that by 2015, “working people will have seen the biggest fall in wages of any parliament since 1874”.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0730 BST

FTSE-100: down -0.17 to 6780.90
Dow Jones: up +0.15to 17156.85
Dax: up +0.30 to 9661.50
Cac-40: up +0.50 to 4431.41
Nikkei: up +1.33 to 16099.82
Hang Seng: down -0.95 to 24143.90
US dollar: buys €0.77680 and £0.61370
Sterling: buys $1.62920 and €1.26570
Oil: $98.75 down -0.3