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Archive for November, 2014

Black Friday: Websites swamped by record demand

November 28, 2014

Retailers are forecasting record online sales as part of Black Friday pre-Christmas discounting. But John Lewis said its website was having difficulties handling the number of visitors looking for a bargain. Tesco Direct and Currys’ websites were also swamped by visitors and suffered problems. Currys said it experienced “astonishing” demand overnight. Apple’s iPad mini and […]


Oil prices hit fresh four-year lows in wake of Opec meeting

Oil prices hit a four-year low in the wake of the decision by the Opec producers’ cartel not to cut output. Brent crude touched a new four-year low of $71.12 a barrel early on Friday, before recovering to trade above $73. The price of Brent had dived by more than $5 a barrel on Thursday […]


David Cameron seeks EU support for new migration curbs

David Cameron: “Those who want to claim tax credits and child benefits must live here and contribute to our country for a minimum of four years” David Cameron has passionately urged other EU leaders to support his “reasonable” proposals for far-reaching curbs on welfare benefits for migrants. Britain’s prime minister said lower EU migration would […]


Public borrowing at £7.7bn in October

November 21, 2014

The monthly ONS figures are the last before Chancellor George Osborne delivers his Autumn Statement on 3 December Government borrowing fell to £7.7bn in October, official figures show, down £0.2bn from a year earlier. Between April and October, government borrowing was £64.1bn, an increase of £3.7bn from the same period last year. While unemployment has […]


China rate cut spurs markets on to new highs

New York reaction – markets rose on Chinese rate cut and ECB President’s speech The cut in Chinese interest rates and comments from Europe’s central bank chief have lifted global markets. The People’s Bank of China cut its one year deposit rate to 2.75% from 3.0% to try to revive its economy. Meanwhile Mario Draghi, […]


ONS says gender pay gap is at an all-time low

November 20, 2014

The average full-time pay gap between men and women is at its narrowest since comparative records began in 1997, official figures show. The difference stood at 9.4% in April compared with 10% a year earlier,the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, a gap of about £100 a week. However, the change was the result of […]


Bankers’ bonus cap rejected by EU Court

The Advocate General of the EU Court of Justice has rejected the UK’s challenge to its cap on bankers’ bonuses. The cap restricts bonuses to 100% of banker’s pay or 200% with shareholder approval. Advocate General Niilo Jääskinen gave an opinion that the EU legislation limiting the ratio was valid. The cap on the ratio […]


Oil services giants Halliburton and Baker Hughes are in merger talks.

November 14, 2014

Baker Hughes, the industry’s third largest services provider, confirmed US press reports, adding that the talks were “preliminary”. Any deal with Halliburton, the sector’s number two behind the far larger Schlumberger, is likely to face competition issues. The firms provide drilling and logistics services, but have been hit by falling oil prices and higher costs. […]


Pay growth beats inflation as jobless total falls, ONS says

Growth in average pay for UK workers overtook inflation for the first time in five years, according to data from the Office for National Statistics. Wages excluding bonuses rose by 1.3% in the year to September, beating the 1.2% Consumer Prices Index inflation rate. Including bonuses, earnings rose by 1% from a year earlier, the ONS […]


Housing market dip only temporary, says Rics

The housing market was particularly active in some parts of the UK earlier in the year A dip in activity in the UK housing market and slowing property prices will only be “temporary”, surveyors say. Demand from new buyers slowed for the fourth consecutive month in October, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said. […]


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