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FTSE and pound rise as markets rebound

07/07 – Shares on the FTSE 100 index have risen more than 1%, while sterling has recovered slightly from a 31-year low.

London’s blue-chip share index was up 80 points in afternoon trade at 6,544 as the mood among traders brightened. The pound rose 0.7% against the dollar to go back above $1.30 and was 0.9% higher against the euro at €1.1754.

Investors are betting Bank of England governor Mark Carney and his team will cut interest rates from 0.5% on 14 July.


Shares in Marks and Spencer were down 0.9% after it reported a steep fall in sales.

AB Foods, owners of Primark, saw shares rise 9.3% to be the biggest gainer on the FTSE.

Sports Direct shares rose 2.1% despite recent bad publicity about the retailer’s working conditions.

Shares slide as Brexit fears take hold

06/07 – UK and European stock markets fell and the pound hit a fresh 31-year low as worries over the UK’s vote to leave the EU continue to rattle markets.

The pound fell to $1.2798, its lowest since 1985, before rebounding.

Analysts blamed warnings from the Bank of England that Brexit risks were “crystallising” and fears about the UK commercial property market.

In late trade, the pound was at about $1.29, it has dropped by about 14% against the dollar since hitting $1.50 ahead of the referendum result. Against the euro, the pound was down 0.9% at €1.1656, having earlier hit its lowest level since 2013.

The Times

Brexit jitters threaten to burst new car sales bubble

The Brexit referendum appears to have burst the new car sales bubble with registrations in June falling for the first time since the depths of the global financial crisis downturn. Sales of cars in June dropped 0.8 per cent to 121,500 – the equivalent of 150 fewer new cars leaving showroom forecourts every day compared to a year ago.

Sue Robinson, director of National Franchised Dealers Association, said: “With consumer confidence falling post Brexit, we call upon the Treasury and the Bank of England to do all they can to stimulate consumer demand.

“We currently import over a million cars a year and associated parts from the EU. We urge our politicians to swiftly negotiate a trade deal with the EU in order to safeguard a prosperous future for the motor retail industry.”

Roundabout revolution urged for older drivers

T-junctions should be replaced by mini-roundabouts under plans to make the road network more “pensioner-friendly”, a government-backed report has recommended.

Ministers have been told that highways should be redesigned to ensure that Britain’s rapidly ageing population can reach friends, shops and the GP surgery with less risk of injury. The Older Drivers Task Force called for T-junctions to be scrapped after figures showed that people aged above 75 were twice as likely to be killed attempting to negotiate them than the average motorist.

The Guardian

Churchill says 13% of East London cars are uninsured

One in eight cars on the roads in east London do not have insurance, according to analysis which names the capital as the worst place in Britain for uninsured drivers. About 216,000 of the capital’s 3.9m cars do not have insurance, according to the insurer Churchill.

The Metropolitan police said that since 2011 a total of 119,000 cars had been seized in the capital – about one-third of the total across the UK. The Metropolitan police had increased roadside checkpoints, automatic number plate recognition (ANPR), fixed cameras and routine number plate checks.

The Daily Telegraph

Weaker pound to cushion the shock of Brexit, predicts S&P

Britain will cope without a full-blown recession over the next two years as a weaker pound cushions the Brexit shock and panic subsides, Standard & Poor’s has predicted. The UK economy should muddle through with growth of 1.5pc this year, 0.9pc in 2017, and 1pc in 2018. The benign outcome assumes that the Bank of England will cut interest rates to zero and relaunch quantitative easing, buying £100bn of bonds in each of the next two years.

The Daily Mail

Google’s self-driving cars can now spot cyclists: Sensors can read hand signals and predict rider’s behavior

Cyclists and drivers have a long history of not sharing the road.

Nevertheless, Google believes there is enough room for both and has taught its fleet of self-driving cars to detect, understand and remember nearby riders. The search giant’s latest self-driving car report reveals its autonomous vehicles can now interpret riders’ hand signals with onboard sensors and uses machine learning to remember behavior.

End of the road for free electric car charging at motorway services: A 20-minute top-up will now cost plug-in vehicle owners £5 a go 

Electric and plug-in hybrid car owners will have to pay £5 to charge their vehicles at motorway services from next week.

As more people are turning to alternative fuel cars – 46,000 in 2016 alone accounting for 3.2 per cent of all new-car sales, according to SMMT – Ecotricity, which is the sole provider for around 300 charging posts up and down the UK’s motorway network, said it had become overwhelmed, with usage of its free motorway chargers trebling last year.

Free top-ups will be abolished from Monday 11 July and demand a flat-fee each time a driver wants to use a rapid charger for 20 minutes. Full-electric models will cover around 50 miles on one 20-minute charge.



Posted by Sue Robinson on 08/07/2016