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Oil price jump quickens sell-off in international debt markets
Oil prices jumped to their highest level this year, nearing $70 a barrel and accelerating a sell-off in global markets. Crude is now at its highest level since Opec’s historic decision in November to let prices fall in a bid to protect its share of the market by squeezing higher-cost producers.
Companies and Markets
Shell aims to weld its expertise to BG’s agility
One is seen as behemoth, the other a buccaneer. For fans of “small is beautiful” in oil and gas exploration, there appears little to love in Royal Dutch Shell’s proposed £55bn takeover of BG Group.
Oil bulls take control as rebound tests limits
Oil hit a 2015 high yesterday and was fast approaching levels not seen since Opec’s decision in November to hold production steady and fight for market share. Brent, international benchmark, rose towards $70 a barrel, extending its rebound since January to more than 50 per cent.
Queen to take control of election aftermath
The Queen will be trhust centre stage if David Cameron tries to hang on to power after the election without the backing of enough MPs. The Times can reveal that Buckingham Palace has had a change of heart in recent days and decided that her majesty will deliver the Queen’s Speech which sets the agenda for her government – whatever the outcome of the election.
Polls put the Lib Dems back in crucial role of kingmaker
Labour and the Conservatives go into election day tied in the polls with a seat forecast that thrusts the Liberal Democrats back into a “kingmaker” position. A YouGov eve-of-election survey of 10,307 adults has Labour and the Conservatives tied on 34 per cent of the vote.
Oil fuels talk of rising interest rates
A surge in the price of crude oil to the highest in five months yesterday has reawakened concerns about inflation and sent bond values tumbling again. Brent crude soared to as high as $69.15 a barrel at one point, more than 50 per cent above its January low of $45, snuffing out residual worries about deflation and putting inflation and interest rate rises back on the agenda.
Balls: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’
Ed Balls accused the Scottish National Party of wanting a Conservative government and not being a “progressive” party as he appealed to voters to focus on the “real choice” in today’s general election.
Clegg: we offer stability and unity while Tories chase only English votes in the south
David Cameron has “given up pretending” to seek a mandate as the Prime Minister for the whole of the United Kingdom and has “morphed” the Conservatives into “an English party chasing UK votes in southern England”, Nick Clegg claimed as his campaign came to a close.
We want to say to our children: our generation did the right thing
He must be exhausted. But last night no one could say that David Cameron wasn’t fired up at his final rally in Carlisle. In less than 20 minutes, and to euphoric applause from his Tory audience, he pulled out almost every item in his playbook including the crumpled note – it was a joke but Cameron will never let him forget it – that Labour’s Liam Byrne left at the Treasury saying there was no money.
Nicola Sturgeon: it’s within our grasp to make history
The SNP is within “touching distance” of making history at Westminster, Nicola Sturgeon said yesterday, as she predicted a “watershed” general election result which would see her party replace Labour as the dominant political force in Scotland.
Local election results may be delayed
The results of local council election being run alongside the general election may not be known until Saturday. There are contests for 290 councils and six mayors in England today, on the same say as the parliamentary battle.
Labour and Conservatives are neck and neck, says poll of polls
The Conservatives and Labour gearing up for a bitter constitutional row on the morning after election, as The Independent’s final “poll of polls” shows the two main parties deadlocked.
Don’t do something you’ll regret
David Cameron today urges the British public not to “do something you’ll regret” as voters head to the polls for the closest general election in a generation. With the final round of opinion polls showing Labour and Conservatives neck and neck, the Prime Minister uses an interview for today’s Daily Telegraph to urge voters to reflect in the “solemn quiet” of the polling booth before casting their vote.
Labour leader ‘borrows’ slogan from Sturgeon
Ed Miliband last night attempted to ape the language used by Nicola Sturgeon as he pledged to “end Tory austerity” on his final campaign visit to Scotland. With Labour facing electoral wipeout north of the border, Mr Miliband made a last attempt to convince SNP supporters to back his party.
‘Raising taxes will not fix economy’
Raising taxes to plug Britain’s deficit will not work, two founder members of the Bank of England’s panel that sets interest rates have warned. As Britons head to the polls today to vote in the general election, Dame DeAnne Julius, who served on the Monetary Policy Committee between 1997 and 2001, said Britain was already close to “hitting the ceiling” on the amount of revenue the government could raise through higher taxes.
Services sector posts strongest growth for eight months
Strong economic data have signalled that Britain’s economy is growing at the strongest pace in more than two years. Markit’s survey of private services firms showed that growth in the sector hit an eight-month high in April, suggesting that slow growth in the first quarter may have just been a hiccup.