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Archive for December, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens smashes global box office record

December 22, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens has smashed the record for the biggest box office debut weekend globally, with ticket sales of $529m (£355m). The previous record, $525m (£352m), was set by Jurassic World in June. The seventh instalment of the nearly 40-year-old space saga opened with a record-breaking $248m (£167m) in the US and Canada. […]

Rent rises could soon outpace house prices, warn surveyors

The cost of renting in the UK could rise faster than house prices over the next five years, surveyors have warned. At the end of that period tenants could find themselves having to pay at least 25% more than they do now, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). Simon Rubinsohn, Rics chief […]

SpaceX rocket in historic vertical landing

US space company SpaceX has successfully landed an unmanned rocket upright – the first time such a feat has been accomplished. The Falcon-9 rocket booster despatched 11 communications satellites before returning to an upright position at Cape Canaveral. The achievement has been hailed as milestone towards reusing rockets. It is hoped the mission will boost […]

Tokyo’s shares dragged down by Toshiba for second day

Japan’s benchmark index was weighed down for a second day on Tuesday by electronics giant Toshiba. Shares in the firm closed down 12.3% after sinking 10% on Monday ahead of an expected announcement about job cuts. Late on Monday, Toshiba confirmed it would cut 6,800 jobs at its consumer electronics division together with some jobs […]

Stock markets welcome US rate rise

December 17, 2015

European shares have surged after the US central bank increased interest rates for the first time since 2006. The main share indexes in the UK, France and Germany’s were all up by between 1% and 3% in morning trade. The US Federal Reserve increased the range for its benchmark interest rate to between 0.25% and […]

UK retail sales see strong rise in November

UK retail sales increased by 1.7% in November, helped by pre-Christmas spending, official statistics show. Compared with the same month last year, sales were up by 5%, said the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The figures were stronger than analysts had expected, with retailers offering promotions at the end of the month for the Black […]

UK unemployment rate falls to 5.2%, lowest in nearly 10 years

The UK unemployment rate fell to the lowest for nearly 10 years at 5.2% in the three months to October. It was the lowest jobless rate since the three-month period to January 2006, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The number of people out of work fell by 110,000 to 1.71 million between […]

Morrisons cuts petrol price to below £1 a litre

December 11, 2015

Morrisons has cut the price of petrol to below £1 a litre, the lowest UK price level, excluding special promotions, since 2009. The supermarket chain will be selling petrol at no more than 99.9p per litre and cutting diesel by 1p a litre. The price of crude oil continues to fall, with Brent now below […]

IMF: UK’s economic performance ‘strong’, but risks remain

The UK’s recent growth, employment progress and deficit reduction have been “strong”, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said. Underlying economic vulnerabilities have been addressed, and steady growth looks set to continue, it said. But high household debt, a “strikingly large” trade deficit and high government debt are still risks to the economy. It also […]

Neil Woodford sells Rolls-Royce stake

Star fund manager Neil Woodford has sold his stake in the engineering firm Rolls-Royce, saying he has lost his confidence in the business model. In a blog, Mr Woodford said that November’s disappointing trading statement had prompted the move. He did not disclose the size of the stake but reports suggest that it was worth […]

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