The Business: Wednesday July 2 2014
Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday
UK house price growth remained strong last month, Nationwide has announced. The building society’s latest survey found that the annual rise in house prices jumped from 11.1% to 11.8% in June, with all regions across the UK enjoying a lift. Prices increased 1% in June, compared with a 0.7% rise the previous month. Nationwide said there were "significant variations" across the UK with the south of England continuing to see the strongest growth in house prices.
UK manufacturing is growing at the fastest rate for a generation, says the Daily Telegraph. Data from the sector for June suggests the recovery is broadening out and bedding-in, raising sterling to six-year high against the dollar. “With levels of production surging higher, and order books swollen by a further upswing in demand from both domestic and overseas clients, job creation accelerated to its highest for over three years,” said Rob Dobson, senior economist at survey compilers Markit.
Sports Direct has hit out at “anti-competitive” adidas and is understood to have reported German sportswear company to competition authorities ahead of potentially stormy shareholder meeting. Reports this morning indicate that Sports Direct chief executive Dave Forsey, the right hand man to founder Mike Ashley, believes that adidas it is preventing the company from pursuing a bid for footwear retailer Office.
UK regulators are investigating whether Facebook broke data protection laws when it allowed researchers to conduct a psychological experiment on users of the social network, reports the Financial Times. The Information Commissioner’s Office is examining Facebook’s week-long study of 689,000 Facebook users, to discover whether if they were shown fewer positive stories in their news feed, they were more likely to post negative updates, and vice versa.
Hundreds of jobs are at risk at the lingerie chain La Senza, reports The Times. The British retail chain has collapsed into administration for the second time following a spot of brinkmanship with its American brand parent over supply. PwC has been appointed to try to salvage La Senza’s 55 stores, which employ 752 people. The chain was owned for a while by Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis, who joked that he bought the business for “a quid and a few packets of Benson & Hedges”.
“UK banks can have absolutely no confidence in the current UK Government to protect their legitimate interests.” Investec analyst Ian Gordon has little hope that the coalition will protect Goldman Sachs from “discriminatory” punishment.
FTSE-100: up +0.87 to 6802.92
Dow Jones: up +0.77 to 16956.07
Dax: up +0.71 to 9902.41
Cac-40: up +0.87 to 4461.12
Nikkei: up +0.28 to 15368.72
Hang Seng: up +1.22 to 23473.92
US dollar: buys €0.73150 and £0.58310
Sterling: buys $1.71490 and €1.25440
Oil: $112.12 down -0.2