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Mid Week NewsBack

Financial Times 


Chevron bucks trend with $37bn move
US oil company Chevron has bucked an industry trend of delayed and cancelled investments by agreeing a $36.8bn expansion of the Tengiz oilfield in Kazakhstan.


German car groups raided in steel probe

Six of Germany’s largest carmakers and parts groups – including VW, BMW, Daimler and Bosch – were raided by the cartel authority amid allegations of collusion in buying steel.


Hit to UK economy followed by rise brexit economy image
Britain’s economy was hit by the vote to leave the EU, with fewer visits to shops, a dearth of job ads and weaker confidence, followed by a modest improvement, an FT analysis has found.


Risks from exit start to crystallise, Carney warns

Mark Carney has warned that the financial risks of Brexit “have begun to crystalise”, adding that the Bank of England will do everything possible to ensure banks are able to continue offering loans to companies and households.


‘Challenges’ vulnerable to downturn says BoE 

Small banks and building societies in the UK are vulnerable to a downturn following the Brexit vote because they have made more risky loans, the Bank of England has warned. In a report on financial stability published yesterday, the BoE said Britain’s “challenger” banks had “relatively high” exposure to riskier lending, rendering them more exposed to an economic downturn than their larger established rivals.


Tax breaks urged to bolster economy braced for recession
Sajid Javid, business secretary, has called for emergency corporate and personal tax cuts to avert a Brexit slump, confirming that cutting the deficit is no longer the government’s priority. Admitting that a combination of a downturn and a new fiscal stimulus could boost the deficit from 3 per cent of gross domestic product to as high as 5 per cent, he said the prime focus shifted to “more economic growth”.


Review casts cloud over solar power drive
A green energy push that spurred businesses to turn roofs into a mini solar power stations faces what experts say is a tax “bombshell” that will stop it in its tracks. Thousands of rooftop solar panels have been installed om supermarkets, car parks and other business properties since the former coalition government launched measures to boost green power in out-of-sight, unused spaces.


Khan plans levy to choke off pollution by older vehicles
As many as 9,000 drivers will have to pay nearly twice as much to enter central London from next year in a bid to reduce the number of older, dirtier vehicles in the city.


Companies & Markets 


EU to end anti-cigarette smuggling deal
Brussels will not renew its “ineffective” arrangement with Philip Morris.

The EU is to end a controversial $1.25bn deal with Philip Morris International aimed at reducing trade in illicit cigarettes following criticism from lawmakers.


Dollar driven higher by referendum turbulence
Risk aversion stalked the currency market with fallout from Brexit sending the dollar higher against a swath of emerging market counterparts



The Guardian


Article 50: No need for parliamentary vote to trigger Brexit – lawyers
The prime minister can trigger the two-year process of negotiating the UK’s withdrawal from the EU without there being a vote in parliament, government lawyers have advised… article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty could be invoked under the royal prerogative, which does not require parliamentary approval.


The Daily Telegraph




Rates cut expected by the end of the week

The Bank of England will slash interest rates within weeks, analysts claim after data showed the UK economy ground to a near-halt at the end of the second quarter, even before the UK’s vote to leave the European Union.



The Times


Diesel car drivers hit with new ‘toxic’ fee diesel emission
Drivers of diesel cars face the world’s toughest air pollution penalties under plans for London that could be extended to other cities. A £10 daily “toxicity charge” will be imposed next year on petrol and diesel cars and van made before 2005 entering central London. This will be added to the £11.50 congestion charge, Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said.


Europe’s sceptics lose their appeal after British vote
Support for staying in the EU has surged in several Eurosceptic nations despite forecasts of a domino effect after Brexit (David Charter writes from Berlin).





Pound hits new low on Brexit nerves 


The pound has hit a fresh 31-year low against the dollar as worries over the UK’s exit from the European Union continued to rattle financial markets.

Sterling dropped to $1.2798 at one point in Asian trade, before recovering slightly to $1.2929.

The pound has now fallen by about 14% against the dollar since hitting $1.50 ahead of the referendum result.

On the UK stock market, the FTSE 100 index opened down 11.47 points, or 0.2%, at 6,533.90.

The FTSE 250 – which contains more UK-focused companies – fell 0.4% to 15,671.47.

Earlier, Asian stock markets had closed lower, with Japan’s Nikkei index down 1.9%.

Government bond yields have also fallen to record lows as investors rush to put money in perceived havens.

Yields on 10-year US, UK, Swiss and German bonds have been at or near their lowest on record. High demand pushes up bond prices, and when the price of bonds rises, their yield falls.

The latest wave of market nerves was partly triggered by the decision of three fund managers to stop investors withdrawing money from their UK property funds.

They said the high levels of uncertainty caused by the referendum had led to investors rushing to pull their money out.

Investor confidence was further undermined by the Bank of England’s warning on Tuesday that there was evidence some of the risks it had identified in connection with Brexit were already emerging.

Disappointing data on the UK services sector and a decline in US factory orders also fuelled pessimism.



Tory leadership: Theresa May tops first vote but Fox and Crabb out tory leadership battle 2016

Theresa May has won the first round of the contest to become the next Tory leader and PM and says she is the only candidate left who can unite the party.

The home secretary got 165 of 329 votes cast by Tory MPs. Andrea Leadsom came second with 66 and Michael Gove got 48.

Liam Fox was eliminated in fifth place. Stephen Crabb came fourth and dropped out. Both have since backed Mrs May.

Further voting will narrow the field to two. The eventual outcome, decided by party members, is due on 9 September.



Food prices in ‘biggest fall’ for a year in June


Food prices saw their biggest fall for over a year last month as prices continued to drop, a survey suggests.

Grocery prices fell 0.8% in June, extending May’s 0.3% fall and marking the deepest deflation in food for over a year, according to the British Retail Consortium-Nielsen Shop Price Index.

Shop prices overall, including non-food items, fell 2% year-on-year, marking the 38th consecutive month of decline.

The BRC said it was an “extraordinary run of deflation”.

However, the retail trade body said it eventually expected prices to rise again.

“The time it takes for any price increases to make a reappearance will depend on a combination of factors including the future value of the pound, commodity prices and any eventual impact of the Brexit vote on input costs,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.

The shop price index reflects the period ahead of the referendum vote from 6 to 10 June.

Posted by Paul Carpenter on 06/07/2016