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Business Live: FTSE 100 moves higher – BBC News

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Business Live: FTSE 100 moves higher – BBC News
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Summary

  1. Debenhams shares jump after loan secured
  2. FTSE 100 up 0.3% in early trading
  3. Nissan quarterly profit sinks 76%
  4. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Howard Mustoe and Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

  1. Carney: ‘No deal hit to incomes’

    Mark Carney is explaining to an MP from the Isle of Wight that if the pound was to fall sharply after a no-deal Brexit, that would not be a sign of prosperity.

    “Certainly in the short term there will be a hit to incomes,” Mr Carney said.

    Mr Carney was speaking after giving a speech at the Financial Times.

  2. Crude oil rises on production cuts

    Brent Crude prices

    Copyright: BBC

    Crude oil prices have pushed higher. North Sea Brent Crude is up $1.25 or 2% per barrel at $62.76.

    Oil production cuts led by the oil cartel Opec are helping to drive prices higher.

    Saudi Arabia said that in March it will cut production by more than it originally pledged.

    However, Opec may struggle to match supply and demand this year. A report from the group forecast a fall in demand for oil this year due to the slowing global economy.

  3. Carney flags risks of corporate debt

    BBC economics correspondent Andrew Verity tweets:

  4. Second supplier ready to raise prices

    Kevin Peachey

    Personal finance reporter

    EDF logo

    Copyright: Reuters

    EDF has become the second energy supplier to indicate plans to raise prices in April in light of regulator Ofgem’s new cap.

    On Thursday, Ofgem said it would allow suppliers to charge more from April to those on default tariffs owing to a rise in wholesale costs.

    Yesterday, E.On confirmed it would put up its prices by 10% for 1.8 million customers in April.

    Now EDF has told price comparison sites that it will match this price rise for 1.3 million existing customers on EDF’s standard variable tariff.

    Other suppliers are expected to follow suit.

  5. Problems for pay-as-you-go British Gas customers

    BBC Personal Finance Reporter Kevin Peachey tweets:

  6. Under Armour sales and profits rise

    shop

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Under Armour reported
    quarterly sales that beat analyst estimates as it sold more of its sportswear at full price over Christmas.
    It posted net profit of $4.2m in the last three months of 2018, compared with a
    loss of $87.9m a year earlier.
    Sales rose to $1.39bn from $1.37bn.

  7. ‘A cruel and unfair system’

    Guardian story

    Copyright: Guardian

    This is a cruel tale, reported in the Guardian.

    Jeff Hayward, died of a heart attack aged 52, after spending 18 months in dispute over whether he was fit to work.

    His family took on the case after, and won, seven months after his death.

    In the article, Katy Marshall, the Ribble Valley Citizens Advice manager, said: “This is far from being an isolated case, as sadly we see many very incapacitated people who struggle to appeal against the decision that they are fit for work. We often hear: ‘But my doctor says I can’t work. How can they say that I can?’ They can and they do – it is a cruel and unfair system for a great many people.”

  8. Ken Saro-Wiwa Hague trial

    Human rights activists with black masks and hangman's nooses around their neck demonstrated 10 November,outside Shell India's headquaters in South Bombay.

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The widow of a Nigerian activist suing oil giant Shell over the execution of her husband says his death left her “traumatised” and “poverty-stricken”.
    Esther Kiobel is testifying in court in The Hague, demanding compensation and an apology from the Dutch-based firm.

    She is among four women who accuse Shell of being complicit in the hanging of their husbands by Nigeria’s military in 1995. Shell denies the allegation.
    The activists led mass protests against oil pollution in Nigeria’s Ogoniland.

    The protests were seen as a major threat to then-military ruler Gen Sani Abacha, and Shell. They were led by author Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was among nine activists hanged by the military regime.

  9. Trump reportedly wants to meet with Xi “very soon”

    Chinese and American national flags fly on Tian'anmen Square to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump on November 8, 2017 in Beijing, China.

    Copyright: Getty Images

    White House adviser Kellyanne Conway told Fox News that US President Donald Trump wants to meet with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping “very soon”, according to media reports.

    “This president wants a deal. He wants it to be fair to Americans and American workers and American interests,” she was quoted as saying.

  10. Italy’s €90.8bn gold rush

    gold

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Italy’s populists want to pass a law saying that its central bank’s gold holdings – the fourth largest in the world – belong to the state, Bloomberg reports.

    The Italian government has made big promises on spending and having access to all that gold to sell could help them, Bloomberg cites Italian media in speculating.

  11. Debenhams: ‘significant change’ needed

    Alasdair Ronald, Senior Investment Manager at
    Brewin Dolphin, reminds us that this is only one step in a long road to recovery for the department store chain.

    Quote Message: The announcement of today’s cash injection from Debenhams’ lenders will be some much-needed positive news for shareholders in the struggling department store, who have seen their investments drop around 95% in value over five years. However, context is key and one has to remember that this comes only weeks after a very tough Christmas period for the company. Debenhams is approaching a crunch point: it’s trying to agree a company voluntary arrangement which will accelerate store closures and re-negotiate rents – both of which will be crucial to the business’s survival. Whatever happens, significant change is required if Debenhams is to secure its future from Alasdair Ronald Senior Investment Manager at Brewin Dolphin

    The announcement of today’s cash injection from Debenhams’ lenders will be some much-needed positive news for shareholders in the struggling department store, who have seen their investments drop around 95% in value over five years. However, context is key and one has to remember that this comes only weeks after a very tough Christmas period for the company. Debenhams is approaching a crunch point: it’s trying to agree a company voluntary arrangement which will accelerate store closures and re-negotiate rents – both of which will be crucial to the business’s survival. Whatever happens, significant change is required if Debenhams is to secure its future

  12. Michelin shares tear ahead

    Michelin man

    Copyright: Getty Images

    With an 11% jump, shares in tyre maker Michelin are by far the biggest winners among the leading shares in Paris.

    Shares are on track for their best day in a decade, according to Reuters.

    The company reported better than expected results for last year, and promised further improvement this year.

    That’s given shares in other tyre makers a big lift. Germanys Continental is up 4% and Italy’s Pirelli is also up 4%.

    “Michelin is able to sustain premium price points, while
    concurrently gaining market share – this is the perfect recipe
    for earnings growth,” analysts at Citigroup wrote in a research note.

  13. FTSE 100 up; Burberry and GVC leading the way

    Horse racing

    Copyright: Getty Images

    The FTSE 100 is holding on to this morning’s gains. It is up 26 points or 0.4%.

    Luxury fashion firm Burberry is one of the biggest winners, up 1.6%, possibly helped by positive results from rival fashion firm Gucci.

    Gambling group GVC, the owner of Ladbrokes, is also up 1.6%. Betting firms in the UK had some good news today when it was announced that horse racing would restart on Wednesday after a six-day shutdown following an outbreak of equine flu.

  14. Gucci owner has ‘excellent’ year

    Gucci sign

    Copyright: Reuters

    Kering, the owner of Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent, has reported a 24% rise in comparable sales in the October to December period, compared to the previous year.

    Profits hit a record 3.7bn euros for 2018.

    “2018 was an excellent year for Kering and its Houses. Once again we significantly outperformed our sector,” said chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault.

    Gucci accounts for 80% of Kering’s income in 2018.

  15. Door knocking

  16. London dominates service exports

    City of London

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Two London areas accounted for almost a quarter of total British service exports in 2016, according to the Office for National Statistics.

    Exports of services from Camden and City of London (one area for the ONS) totalled £35bn and Westminster notched up £25bn, the report said.

    Outside of London, Greater Manchester was the next biggest, with service exports of almost £7.5bn.

  17. ‘Ridiculous merry-go-round’ over inflation measure

    Merry go round

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Parliament’s treasury committee wants the UK’s Statistics Authority to mend RPI, a measure of inflation which is still used to calculate increases in rail tickets and the return on inflation-linked bonds.

    “A statistical error in RPI caused it to
    artificially increase by 0.3 percentage points in 2010, leading to a £1bn yearly windfall for index-linked gilt holders at the expense of consumers such
    as students and rail passengers,” it said.

    Nicky Morgan MP, committee chair, pointed out that the official CPI measure, which often comes in lower, is used for setting incomes such as pensions, while RPI, which the Office for National Statistics dumped some time ago and often gives a higher figure, is used to set outgoings like rail tickets, which is “grossly unfair”.

    Lord Forsyth of the House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee said the UK Statistics Authority “told us they had not asked the Chancellor to approve fixes to RPI
    because they expected he would say no. The Treasury said they could not act
    because no request had been submitted. This is a ridiculous merry-go-round.”

  18. Shares in financial betting firm dive

    Plus500, a firm that offers bets on financial markets, warned shareholders that its profits will be well below what it had expected. The shares dropped 35%.

    New regulation on these bets has hit revenue, it said.

    It sells contracts for difference, which allow you to bet on shares (and other things) without owning them.

    What may not be helping is the stark warnings CFD providers must carry.

    On Plus500’s website, it proclaims: “CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 80.6% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.”

  19. Carlos Ghosn still a director

    Pedestrians looking at a television news programme featuring former Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn, in Tokyo

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Jailed former cars boss Carlos Ghosn remains a director of Renault, the car company says, even though he has resigned as chairman and
    chief executive.

    Thierry Bollore, Renault chief executive, is now chairman of the
    Renault-Nissan holding company, Renault said.

    “In addition to the Board of Directors’ communication of
    January 24, 2019, Renault wishes to specify that Mr. Ghosn
    resigned from his terms of office as Chairman of the Board of
    Directors and Chief Executive Officer, but remains, as of the
    date hereof, Director of Renault SA,” the company said.

    “Mr. Ghosn retains, as of the date hereof, his positions
    within Alliance Rostec Auto BV and Renault do Brasil.”

  20. Review backs support for local journalism

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    A government review into the media has concluded that investigative journalism and democracy reporting – such as local courts and councils – are areas under threat, as they rarely pay for themselves.

    It was written by the former senior journalist and academic Dame Frances Cairncross.

    “It is important to find ways of supporting public interest news, which is the stuff about democracy, about the doings of government, which is so important just to keep our society working properly.”

    Darren Thwaites, Editor of Manchester Evening News said: “One of the recommendations that we would fully endorse is an extension of the local democracy service, which has so far been very successful for us.”

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