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Party leaders scramble to line up durable coalition deals
David Cameron and Ed Miliband have begun planning for a breakneck round of dealmaking in a hung parliament, amid polls suggesting that the Conservatives will narrowly emerge as the biggest party in tomorrow’s election.
Sharp rise in US trade deficit fuels growth concerns
The US recorded its biggest monthly trade deficit since the 2008 global financial crisis in March, fuelling concerns that the economy contracted in the first three months of the year. The politically sensitive goods and services deficit rose to $51.4bn in March, up 41 per cent from the $35.9bn recorded in February.
Companies and Markets
EOG set for return to crude output growth
EOG Resources, the largest shale oil producer in the US, yesterday raised the prospect of its crude production returning to growth before the end of the year. US shale oil companies have been detailing in first-quarter results how they are cutting costs and increasing productivity as they grapple with sharply lower crude prices.
Few in China will blink an eye at oil executive reshuffle
One day they were there, the next they were not. On Monday, China retired the heads of two of its three state-owned oil companies and shuffled the third into a new job, in a game of musical chairs supervised by the ruling Communist party.
Chinese marques’ shares halted amid talk of global merger drive
Shares in the listed arms of two of China’s “big four” automotive manufacturers were suspended yesterday amid reports of a possible merger to create a new top 10 global carmaker. Dongfeng and FAW halted trading heir listed subsidiaries after media reports said a change of the chairmen at the state-owned enterprises might preface a combination of the companies.
Sensors on driverless cars will read cyclists’ signals
Google’s self-driving cars will be able to detect cyclists’ signals and take action accordingly, a patent filing suggests. The car’s array of sensors will be able to pick out a cyclist amid other objects on the road and watch their arms and hands for gestures indicating that they are about to turn, the filing says.
Oil markets ‘going from one extreme to another’
Oil prices surged yesterday to a new high for 2015, heralding a new age of extremes for what was already a volatile market. Turmoil in the Middle East drove prices higher, in defiance of predictions that the price rally that has taken hold since mid-January is premature.
VW seeks to move on from leadership crisis
Volkswagen has said it will try to find a new chairman quickly and announced a long-planned tie-up of its truck brands, seeking to return the focus of business following the shock exit of Ferdinand Piech.
Oil prices and weak euro give Europe GDP boost
The European Commission expects GDP to rise 1.8 per cent across the European Union, and by 1.5 per cent across the euro area as a whole. The bloc expects to benefit from low oil prices, stronger exports as a result of the weak euro and loose monetary policy from the European Central Bank.
Top Gear faces ‘pikey’ investigation
Top Gear could be heading for more trouble after Ofcom, the communications watchdog, confirmed it was investigating a complaint about the use of the word “pikey”. A representative of the Traveller Movement complained after a scene in which the show’s then host, Jeremy Clarkson, was seen holding a placard with the words “Pikey’s Peak” while Richard Hammond drove a car up the mountain.
Oil price above $68 per barrel after Libyan exports are disrupted
Brent crude rose above $68 per barrel yesterday to its highest level this year, after oil exports from Libya were disrupted. The benchmark has gained 19pc in 2015 following a slide in prices, which began in June but gathered pace in November when the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) decided to leave its production quotas unchanged.
City & Finance
Lynch ‘used fast cars’ in £3bn fraud, says HP
The colourful tactics allegedly employed by the former boss of Autonomy to inflate the company’s value by have been set out in explosive court documents. Dr Mike Lynch used a deal with a Premiership football club to exaggerate growth of the Software group, and offered to buy a Porsche for one of his salesmen if he sold hardware that made the company appear more dynamic than it actually was, Hewlett Packard has claimed.