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Brexit is reshaping the corporate landscape, creating stark winners and losers, company results indicated yesterday, as consumer willingness to spend on necessities rubs up against wider uncertainty and pain for importers. The results added weight to signals from economic indicators that the UK has entered a general slowdown since the vote to leave the EU, but one that is punctured by success sectors and certain companies.
Brexit sows doubt among foreign students
More than a third of international students say they are likely to study at a UK university following last month’s vote to leave the EU, a survey has found. Of 1,014 students surveyed this month by Hobsons, a careers advisory service, 30 per cent said they were less likely to study in the UK, while 6 per cent said they would definitely study in the UK as a result of the vote.
Confidence slips after referendum but investments indicate optimism
Consumer confidence fell sharply after the UK referendum on EU membership, according to data published today, while business surveys point to a slowdown in growth, despite some high profile investments. In July the mood among shoppers declined more sharply than in any month since March 1990, according to figures from a long-running index by GfK, a pollster.
UK trade secretary faces queries over post
Liam Fox, Britain’s international trade secretary, returned from a three-day US visit yesterday facing questions about his new role and his ability to quickly strike post-Brexit trade deals. Dr Fox told his US audience that Britain wanted to break out of the EU’s customs union to develop a global trade policy, only to be told that the UK prime minister has yet to decide whether that should be the case.
Ford plants at risk of closure in $1bn Brexit hit
Ford is considering closing plants in the UK across Europe in response to Britain’s vote to leave the EU, as it forecast a $1bn hit to its business over the next two years. The US motor company, which is the biggest car brand in the UK will also raise the price of cars sold in Britain before the end of the year. Bob Shanks, chief financial officer, said a rise was needed to claw back money lost through foreign exchange movements. Sterling has fallen 11 per cent against the dollar since the vote, leaving companies that sell into the UK facing lower revenues in the months ahead. Ford warned of a difficult second half for carmarkers, with weakness in the US and Chinese markets adding to headwinds caused by Brexit and currency swings.
Shell profits tumble as crude retreats
Royal Dutch Shell appealed for investors’ patience after announcing 72 per cent drop in second-quarter earnings as continued weakness in oil and gas prices battered the Anglo-Dutch group.
Oil price volatility adds to jitters ahead of BoJ decision on stimulus
Global equity indices drifted lower as participants digested a welter of corporate earnings reports and watched with trepidation as oil prices sank to levels not seen for more than three months.
Auto trade steers platinum metals to year high
Platinum has eclipsed gold’s performance this year and palladium is close to doing so, after demand from the car industry and investor appetite sent the two previous metals on a blistering rally this month.
It’s Corbyn v Smith as court rejects challenge
Jeremy Corbyn has seen off a legal challenge that tried to force him off the Labour leadership ballot, but the party is facing fresh criticism over its decision to announce the winner on the same day as its main annual event for women.
Ukip party leadership frontrunner promises to review policy and stop the infighting
Ukip leadership favourite Steve Woolfe has called on his party to stop engaging in “politics of the sixth-form college” if it wants to win elections.
Carmakers launch investigations into child labour claims
Carmakers including Vauxhall, BMW, Volkswagen and Audi are launching investigations into their paint supply chains after the Guardian linked their suppliers to illegal mines in India where child labour and debt bondage are widespread.
Super fuel from artificial leaves ‘is ready to replace oil’
A technology that converts sunlight directly into fuel using “artificial leaves” could become a viable alternative to taking oil from the ground, scientists have said. In the past weeks huge leaps in the technique have led researchers to say that there are not no big technical obstacles to its arrival as a new form of renewable energy.