• Markets

    MARKETS LIVE: Markets tetchy after terror attack and rumours that Trump economic advisor Gary Cohn will quit the White House

    Shares have fallen after a terror attack struck the heart of Barcelona, killing 13, while there are also rumours that Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council and a critical influence on policy decisions in the White House, could resign.It comes shortly after Trump s business councils were disbanded amid rising pressure on CEOs to cut ties with the Presidentfollowing his response to violence at White Nationalist protests over the weekend.On the company news front Reckitt Benckiser has completed the sale of its food business to McCormick, including the French's, Frank's RedHot and Cattlemen's brands. Rumours that Gary Cohn, ...

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  • Markets

    Historic map maker Ordnance Survey plots course to record revenues

    Mapping agency Ordnance Survey is reeling in record revenues with businesses and authorities turning to its pinpoint-accurate data.The Government-owned firm reported revenue of 152.8million during the latest financial year, up 4 per cent on the previous year and above 150million for the first time ever, although profits of 42.5million fell from 46.9million.Founded in the 18th century to help fend off the French, Ordnance Survey has a vast digital mapping database updated 10,000 times a day. Non-executive chairman Kieran Murphy said: 'The geospatial data which OS collects, processes and distributes to its many users provides an essential underpinning for a vast ...

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  • Markets

    DAILY BRIEFING: Retail sales up 0.3% in July as British shoppers continue to splash out

    Retail therapy: Britons are continuing to shop despite rising pricesSPREE CONTINUES British shoppers continued to splash out last month confounding fears of a sharp slowdown in spending as prices rise.The Office for National Statistics said retail sales rose 0.3 per cent in July following a 1.5 per cent increase in the second quarter of the year.JOB CUTS Telecom operator Ericsson has refused to rule out job cuts in the UK. It may axe around 25,000 jobs outside Sweden, nearly a quarter of its 109,000 global staff. It has 11 sites in the UK.TECH PARTNERSHIP Technology firm Seeing Machines has ...

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  • Markets

    Windfall for Saracens rugby club boss as his stake in investment firm YOLO Leisure and Technology nearly doubles in value

    The owner and chairman of Saracens rugby club, Nigel Wray, saw his stake in investment firm YOLO Leaisure and Technology shoot up by 3.3million yesterday after the company soared in value.YOLO named after the phrase you only live once rose 65 per cent after one of its investments, music-streaming service Electric Jukebox, said it would list on the London Stock Exchange next year.Electric Jukebox, 41 per cent owned by YOLO and backed by celebrities including Sheryl Crow and Robbie Williams, was also boosted by the launch of its second entertainment device, a karaoke machine called Roxi. He scores: Nigel Wray, ...

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  • Markets

    French unemployment falls to five-year low of 9.5% - still more than twice as high as the UK

    Unemployment in France has fallen to a five-year lowUnemployment in France has fallen to a five-year low but is still more than twice as high as in the UK where dole queues are the shortest for 42 years.Official figures showed the jobless rate in France fell from 9.6 per cent to 9.5 per cent in the second quarter of the year, the lowest since 2012, but was still more than double the UK s jobless rate of 4.4 per cent. The last time it was lower was 1975. By contrast, the jobless rate across vast swathes of the single ...

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  • Markets

    MARKET REPORT: Bitter pill to swallow as Hikma Pharmaceuticals loses 335m after failing to say whether asthma drug will be sold in the US

    Investors found Hikma Pharmaceuticals' results a bitter pill to swallow after it failed to say whether its key asthma drug will be sold in the US following a delay earlier this year.The FTSE 250 firm and its partner Vectura were savaged in May after failing to gain US regulatory approval for a generic version of rival GlaxoSmithKline's asthma drug Advair.Despite 'constructive' talks with the US regulator, the firm did not say whether the drug is slated for a US release any time soon.As a result, Hikma downgraded full-year revenue estimates for its generics arm to 481.2million from 520million in May ...

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  • Markets

    Price cuts, refreshed stores and higher inflation help Asda return to sales growth after nearly three years of declines

    Asda s turnaround strategy of cutting prices and refreshing its stores is paying off as quarterly sales at Britain s third biggest supermarket rose for the first time in three years.The supermarket which is owned by US retail giant Walmart said like-for-like sales excluding petrol rose by 1.8 per cent in the three months to the end of June, also thanks to higher inflation.The figure is up from a 2.8 per cent fall in the previous quarter, its first increase after 11 consecutive quarters of declines and a neat improvement from its worst quarterly performance same time last year when ...

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  • Markets

    Casinos and bingo group Rank sees profits squeezed by restructuring and stricter money laundering checks

    Casinos and bingo halls operator Rank Group has posted falling full-year profits and revenues due to exceptional costs and as stricter money laundering checks on his casino customers contributed to a decline in visitors. Rank, which runs Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor casino, said strong performance at its digital arm from people gambling online failed to offset falls at its venues. Pre-tax profit in the year to June 30 fell 7 per cent to 79.7million, while revenues also fell slightly from 709million to 707million. 'Reduced visits': Mecca revenue fell by 4% and operating profit slipped 9%Chief executive Henry Birch said: 'With ...

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  • Markets

    B&Q owner Kingfisher blames bad summer weather for sales fall which has sent shares tumbling

    Home improvement chain Kingfisher posted another quarter of falling sales as strong performance at its trade tools retailer Screwfix was not enough this time to offset a decline at DIY chain B&Q.Kingfisher blamed a wet summer for a decline in sales of seasonal goods such as barbecues and garden furniture, with B&Q's like-for-like sales falling 4.7 per cent in the three months to the end of July - worse than analysts' expectations of a fall of about 3 per cent.B&Q's poor performance compares to a 10.8 per cent in rise Screwfix's like-for-like sales, which however was slower than previous quarters ...

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  • Markets

    MARKETS LIVE: UK shares dip at the open after US Federal Reserve minutes and Trump business council scrapping hit the dollar

    The FTSE100 was in the red early on Thursday, prompted in large part by events across the Atlantic.Overnight markets have taken fright at the Federal Reserve s mixed message in its latest meeting minutes, sending the dollar lower.The disbandment of President Donald Trump s business councils after they were hit by resignations further hit sentiment.

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  • Markets

    Ryanair brands German government's rescue plan for Air Berlin a 'conspiracy' to let Lufthansa acquire its assets but not its debt

    Budget airline Ryanair has accused Germany's government and airline Lufthansa of being in cahoots following a state rescue of rival Air Berlin.Ryanair called Germany's 150million ( 137million) loan to Air Berlin immediately after its insolvency request on Tuesday an 'obvious conspiracy' to allow Lufthansa to acquire the firm's assets.Air Berlin filed for insolvency after main shareholder, Abu Dhabi-based airline Etihad, withdrew financial support. Ryanair called Germany's 150m loan to Air Berlin an 'obvious conspiracy' to allow Lufthansa to acquire the firm's assets but none of its debtIt made a loss almost every year since 2008, including a record 714million in ...

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  • Markets

    MARKET REPORT: Choppy trading at Legoland owner Merlin on rumours it has US theme park Busch Gardens in its sights

    Whisperings of a possible bid for US theme park Busch Gardens led to choppy trading at Legoland owner Merlin Entertainments yesterday.Several US papers have reported that Poole-based theme park operator Merlin has Busch Gardens in its sights over the past week, and the rumour was once again highlighted by Investec analysts yesterday.The rumours were reportedly addressed directly in a conference call with analysts last week.Finance boss Anne-Francoise Nesmes is said to have claimed Merlin would be interested in looking at the theme park further if it was put up for sale by debt-laden owner SeaWorld.Despite the reports sending SeaWorld's shares ...

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  • Markets

    Sir Philip Green wields knife in cull at Topshop: Tycoon hires a new fashion guru

    Sir Philip Green, pictured with wife Tina, has hired a new creative director for TopshopRetail tycoon Sir Philip Green is masterminding an overhaul of Topshop while he parties on his yacht in the Mediterranean.Green spotted spraying champagne around in an exclusive island restaurant earlier this month has continued a clear-out of big names at the High Street chain in a bid to reverse flagging sales.Last night it was revealed he had appointed David Hagglund, a former art director at fashion magazine Vogue Paris, as creative director of Topman and Topshop.Hagglund will replace Topshop's creative director Kate Phelan, who has ...

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  • Markets

    DAILY BRIEFING: The Pru sells its network of US broker-dealers for an initial 252.4m

    PRU SALE Financial services giant Prudential has sold its network of US broker-dealers for an initial 252.4million, which could increase to as much as 357.9million, and will complete early next year.CLEANING CONTRACT British facilities company ABM UK has won a five-year contract to clean Transport for London s underground stations and trains, bus depots, office buildings and the London Transport Museum.ROBOT RISE Factory workers and drivers are most likely to be the first casualties of a robots jobs revolution, according to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, whose spokesman, Dr Antonio Espingardeiro, yesterday said more than 1.4million robots ...

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  • Markets

    Vulture US hedge fund calls a three-month truce in battle for Dulux owner Akzo Nobel

    UK jobs: Akzo Nobel has around 3,000 Dulux staff in BritainA truce has been called between the owner of Dulux and an activist investor following a long-running battle over the way the paint maker is run.Akzo Nobel, which has around 3,000 Dulux staff in Britain, has been at war with aggressive hedge fund Elliott for months. But the pair have now called off hostilities for now.The row stems from Akzo s rejection of a 23billion takeover bid from US rival PPG this year a move that infuriated Elliott which pushed for the deal.Elliott, which has a 9.5 per cent ...

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quotes

Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999