Turkish lira hits record low after earthquakes strike
Turkey's lira hit a record low and its stock markets tumbled after an earthquake which has killed at least 2,200 people dealt another blow to an economy already ravaged by surging inflation.
The exchange rate fell to 22.70 lira to the pound and 18.85 against the dollar, while the country's main equities benchmark dropped as much as 4.6pc, with banks tumbling more than 5pc before paring some losses.
The huge earthquake of magnitude 7.8 which struck central Turkey and northwest Syria early this morning was followed by another large quake this afternoon.
Piotr Matys, senior FX analyst at In Touch Capital Markets, said the earthquake had created "additional uncertainty ahead of crucial elections" due to be held in May.
Borsa Istanbul announced a temporary halt to transactions in shares of several companies in the earthquake zone this morning and has added more names to the list as the day progressed.
Emerging markets are under pressure more widely with currencies and stocks across the developing world feeling the pain from a sharp dollar rally on Friday in the wake of a strong US jobs report.
That's all from us tonight, see you in the morning.
Binance to temporarily suspend dollar transfers
Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world, will temporarily suspend deposits and withdrawals of US dollars using bank accounts.
No reason was given for the suspension, which begins from Wednesday. It does not impact bank transfers using other fiat currencies.
“It’s worth noting that only 0.01% of our monthly active users leverage USD bank transfers, but that we are working hard to restart service as soon as possible,” said a Binance spokesperson.
The move comes as crypto companies struggle to strike partnerships with banks willing to facilitate sending money to buy and sell digital assets.
£60bn spent on gas-powered turbines due to wasted wind energy
Enough wind power to supply 1.2m homes a day was wasted over winter because there is no capacity to store extra energy generated on gusty days, according to new research.
Business reporter Matt Oliver explains:
National Grid’s electricity system operator asked wind turbines which were expected to generate about 1.35 terawatt-hours of electricity between October and January to switch off instead because they were not needed to meet demand at the time, according to the consultancy Stonehaven.
Meanwhile, gas-fired power turbines burned an estimated 65 terawatt-hours of gas over the period when wind speeds were lower – costing an estimated £60bn.
It came as National Grid asked two British coal-fired power plants to warm up in case they were needed for back-up electricity on Tuesday during a predicted cold snap. It stood them down by late Monday afternoon.
Rupert Pearce, chief executive of electricity storage business Highview Power, which commissioned the Stonehaven analysis, said more storage capacity was needed to prevent wind power being wasted.
World's largest gold mining company makes takeover bid
US gold miner Newmont is offering $17bn (£14bn) to acquire Australian rival Newcrest Mining, a takeover deal which would create a global precious metals giant as competitors rush to increase reserves.
Newmont, which is the world’s largest gold mining corporation, reportedly confirmed on Sunday that it has made the stock-only proposal after pursuing Newcrest for several months.
Tom Palmer, president and chief executive of Newmont, said: “We believe a combination of Newmont and Newcrest presents a powerful value proposition to our respective shareholders, workforce and the communities in which we operate.”
In what would be the largest takeover deal of 2023 so far, Newmont’s offer follows consolidation in the precious metals industry as producers face higher costs, declining output and increasing deposits that are harder to mine.
GSK shares rise despite industry concerns of falling vaccine revenue
GSK topped the FTSE 100 at today's close, with shares closing 1.35pc higher at £1,459 each. The British multinational pharma company also rose 1.49 per cent by 3.3 points.
This comes despite reports that pharmaceutical companies, which made billions from the pandemic from selling vaccines, face a steep revenue decline this year due to pent up product inventories and rising immunity.
FTSE ends first trading day after last week's record high
The FTSE 100 has closed at 7,836.71 points, 0.8pc lower than last Friday's high score of 7,901.8.
Meanwhile, the domestically-focused FTSE 200 finished 0.9pc at 20,409.38 points.
Only nine companies on the FTSE 100 were in positive territory at the end of trading.
It has been a bruising day on the markets.
The FTSE 100 has fallen 0.9pc to 7,831.66 after reaching a record high on Friday.
The FTSE 250 has dropped 1pc to 20,384.80.
The pound has slipped 0.4pc against the dollar and is headed towards $1.20.
I'm signing off now but my colleague Adam Mawardi will take take you through to the close and into the evening.
France to give aid to winemakers
France will provide subsidies to wine producers in regions like Bordeaux to offload surplus supplies, the agriculture ministry said on Monday, as the renowned industry struggles with declining consumption.
Falling demand for red wine, as French consumers drink less alcohol or turn to other wine categories, has hammered the sector in Bordeaux, even as champagne makers have been toasting record sales.
As a short-term measure, the government will channel up to €160m (£142.7m) of national and European Union aid this year for distilling surplus stocks into alcohol, the ministry said in a statement after a meeting with industry representatives.
A similar step was taken three years ago to absorb excess supplies caused by the closure of French bars and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.
US poised to impose tariff on Russian aluminium
The US is reportedly preparing to impose a 200pc tariff on Russian-made aluminium as soon as this week to keep pressure on Moscow as the one-year anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine nears.
The move has been contemplated for months, sources told Bloomberg.
The US is also targeting the Russian metal because Moscow has been dumping aluminium on the US market and harming American companies, they added.
Such steep tariffs would effectively end US imports of the metal from Russia.
Russia is the world's second-largest producer of the metal and Russian-supplied aluminum traditionally accounts for about 10pc of total US imports.
US markets fall at opening bell
Wall Street markets have opened lower amid the tensions with China and as investors reassess their predictions on when the US Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 0.2pc to 33,847.63, while the S&P 500 has slumped 0.5pc to 4,117.35.
The Nasdaq Composite has dropped 0.6pc to 11,931.16.
M&Co to close stores after buyout
Clothing retailer M&Co is to shut all of its stores later in the spring after being bought out of administration.
The Scottish chain was bought by AK Retail after being put into administration for the second time in December.
However, branches around the UK announced on social media that the deal did not include the stores or staff.
M&Co has about 170 branches around the UK.
In a post on Facebook, the stores said:
Unfortunately we haven't received the news we would have hoped for during our administration period, and would like to share this news with you.
As we haven't received any funded, deliverable offers that would result in the transfer of the company's stores or staff to a potential buyer, this means that all of our stores will close.
The M&Co Brand has been purchased, but unfortunately this does not include a future for our stores, website or staff.
We will trade all of our stores until Easter, and then begin the close down process. We will update you closer to the time, of our actual closing date.
Pound claws back losses as Mann hints at rate rises
The pound has recovered after earlier hitting a one-month low against the dollar after Bank of England policymaker Catherine Mann said interest rate rises were likely next month.
The pound weakened 0.2pc and was heading towards $1.20, extending declines after losing 2.8pc against the greenback last week - its worst such decline in more than four months.
It is now trading flat after the blowout US jobs data on Friday sent the greenback higher against almost all currencies.
Against a weaker euro, the British currency edged up, but stayed close to its softest against the single currency since late September.
Francesco Pesole, FX strategists at ING, said: "Growth data and Bank of England speakers will be the two domestic inputs for the pound this week, although global risk sentiment, geopolitical developments and a supported dollar may work against any positive domestic news.
"Cable (sterling/dollar) may heavily test 1.2000 soon."
Gas prices fall as India plans to boost capacity
European gas prices have slipped as India announces plans for an expansion of its oil and gas sectors, potentially boosting supply.
Dutch futures, the continent's benchmark, has fallen 1.4pc after fluctuating earlier in the day.
It comes as India, the third-largest greenhouse gas emitter, said it was intending to boost liquefied natural gas import capacity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.
The country insists it still aims to hit net-zero by 2070.
'Unicorn' Gousto sees valuation cut after share sale
British meal-kit delivery service Gousto has reportedly raised millions of pounds in additional funding to steer it through tough economic times, cutting its valuation in the process.
The company, backed by celebrity fitness influencer Joe Wicks, has secured £50m from investors in recent weeks through a share sale, according to Sky News.
The funding round took place at a "significant" discount to its $1.7bn valuation, sources told the broadcaster.
The company, founded in 2012, has been hailed as one of Britain's unicorns - companies with a $1bn valuation - and delivers healthy recipe boxes to subscribers.
Union threatens strike of power network staff
Strikes could grip the power network covering London and the South East this year as workers prepare to hold a ballot on industrial action in a row over pay.
UK Power Networks workers maintain and repair the electricity grid and 1,300 members of Unite will begin voting tomorrow on whether to walkout.
Staff were unhappy with a pay offer of 7pc for this year, followed by an average of inflation measures next year.
A spokesman for UK Power Networks said the offer amounts to 18pc and talks are ongoing.
Deutsche Bank looking at 'strategic' job cuts
Deutsche Bank is looking at ways to cut jobs in its efforts to "maintain a laser focus on costs", a senior executive has said.
The German lender has promised to keep expenses in check despite rapid inflation, UK & Ireland chief executive Tiina Lee said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
That involves "looking to strategically adjust headcount" after some "tactical" cuts last quarter, Ms Lee said.
Her comments echoed chief executive Christian Sewing, who last week vowed to rein in spending through various initiatives including staff reductions.
Deutsche Bank missed forecasts with its fourth-quarter earnings last week and has signaled more cost-cutting measures in an effort to keep expenses at last year's level in the face of "inflationary pressures".
Disney cuts Simpsons episode in Hong Kong over reference to forced labour camps in China
Disney has cut an episode of The Simpsons that refers to "forced labour camps" in China from its streaming service in Hong Kong.
James Warrington has the details:
The episode was first aired in October as part of the cartoon’s latest series but is no longer available on the Disney Plus streaming platform in Hong Kong.
In the episode "One Angry Lisa", Marge Simpson sees images of the Great Wall of China while taking part in an exercise class.
The instructor says: "Behold the wonders of China. Bitcoin mines, forced labour camps where children make smartphones."
Read why it is understood Disney removed the episode.
US markets due to fall at opening bell
Markets on Wall Street are expected to open lower amid the China tensions and as investors await a crucial speech by US Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell to assess the path of future interest rate increases.
There are also several more major corporate results this week, including quarterly reports from Walt Disney and Pepsi.
Halfway through the earnings of the S&P 500 companies, about 70pc have reported results above expectations, according to Refinitiv. Overall, analysts still expect quarterly earnings of S&P 500 firms declining 2.7pc.
Last week's stunning nonfarm payrolls report, which showed US economy added jobs at a rapid pace, pulled Wall Street's main indexes down on Friday, but for the week both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq gained 1.6pc and 3.3pc, respectively.
Manchester City charged by Premier League with multiple breaches of FFP rules
Manchester City have been charged with multiple alleged breaches of the Premier League's Financial Fair Play regulations following a four-year investigation and referred to an independent commission.
Jack De Menezes has the latest:
The breaches span a period across nine seasons from 2009/10 until 2017/18, with allegations of breaching regulations surrounding player and manager contracts and the remuneration declared in their financial accounts.
The reigning Premier League champions, who have won six titles since the Abu Dhabi-led takeover of 2008, have also been charged with failing to cooperate with the investigation, which has been carried out by an independent commission.
Those charges specifically apply to the period between 2018-19 and the current campaign.
City have also been charged by the Premier League over its alleged breach of Uefa regulations, having been found to have fallen foul of Club Licensing and FFP regulation in Europe.
Read what the Premier League said in a statement.
Eurozone retail sales fall
A 2.7pc decline in retail sales across the eurozone showed the continent's economy "ended 2022 on a weak note", latest figures show.
Sales fell in Germany, down 5.3pc, France, down 1pc and Spain, down 1.4pc, with data for Italy due on Wednesday.
Both food and non-food (excluding fuel) sales declined too, according to Eurostat.
Jack Allen-Reynolds, deputy chief eurozone economist at Capital Economics, said: "We think total household consumption will fall in the first half of this year, pulling the economy into recession."
He added: "Retail price inflation looks set to remain very high in the coming months."
December retail sales were very poor in the eurozone, with volumes of sales well below pre-pandemic trend at the moment. pic.twitter.com/28Nip3siVV
— Bert Colijn (@BertColijn) February 6, 2023
Drilling rigs 'migrating' away from North Sea, warn contractors
Drilling rigs and other equipment are "migrating" away from the North Sea and other European fields for opportunities elsewhere in the world, a trade group has said.
The North Sea chapter of the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC) called on the UK and Scottish governments as well as the offshore industry to co-operate better with each other.
The IADC said a longer-term outlook is needed to secure a transition to clean energy.
It said recently announced drilling opportunities represent only a "fraction" of what is needed to meet energy demand in the UK.
IADC regional director Stuart Clow said:
We are already seeing a migration of drilling rigs and equipment to other areas of the world which in turn reduces drilling and decommissioning capability in the North Sea and other areas.
Data shows more than 30 jack-up rigs have migrated from Asia, the Americas and Europe to the Middle East over the past year.
That is partly why encouraging business, responsibly developing all forms of energy and supporting the offshore supply chain in the North Sea are of the utmost importance.
Oil rebounds as Turkey forced to halt flows
Oil prices have risen after a major oil pipeline in Turkey was temporarily halted following the earthquake, while key producers flagged stronger Chinese demand just as more sanctions on Russia take effect.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, has edged higher 0.7pc above $80 a barrel today after a dramatic fall on Friday as data showed US job growth accelerated in January but suggested wage growth was moderate.
US-produced West Texas Intermediate climbed 0.4pc toward $74 a barrel after closing on Friday at the lowest level in about a month.
Turkey has halted oil flows to the Ceyhan export terminal on the Mediterranean coast after the earthquake which has killed more than 900 people.
The disruption comes amid ongoing optimism around stronger Chinese consumption, after International Energy Agency executive director Fatih Birol said at the weekend that the world's largest crude importer could see a stronger-than-anticipated rebound.
A European ban on seaborne imports of Russian oil products in response to the war in Ukraine came into effect on Sunday.
Markets slump amid US and China tensions
The FTSE 100 has dropped nearly 1pc since setting its record high on Friday as geopolitical tensions in China weigh on the market.
The blue chip index has fallen 0.9pc in the wake of the diplomatic fallout triggered when a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon was spotted over sensitive US national security sites in Montana. It was shot down by US fighter jets on Saturday.
The FTSE 100 had closed at a record high of 7,901.8 points on Friday. The domestically-focused FTSE 250 has tumbled 1.3pc today.
Markets around the world have also been affected by the uncertainty, with the STOXX Europe 600 down 1.1pc to 455.74 and the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index, which tracks Chinese stocks trading in Hong Kong, slumping 2.7pc.
Willer Chen, senior research analyst Forsyth Barr Asia, said: "The episode should be a big surprise to investors given the market’s previous expectation was that the Sino-US relationship could improve after the now called-off Blinken visit."
Susannah Streeter, senior investment and markets analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said: "The nervousness about what an escalation in tensions could mean for global growth is likely to limit a fresh heady ascent for stocks."
Beijing has urged Washington to show restraint as the US military searched for remnants of what it believes was a Chinese surveillance balloon.
China maintains it was a civilian weather-monitoring craft that was accidentally blown off course.
The drama prompted Washington to cancel a planned visit over the weekend to Beijing by Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Lacklustre market and rising interest rates blamed for construction decline
Following today's construction activity data, Tim Moore, economics director at S&P Global Market Intelligence, said:
A sharp and accelerated decline in housebuilding activity led to the weakest UK construction sector performance for just over two and a half years in January.
Construction companies once again cited a headwind from lacklustre market conditions, rising interest rates and fewer new project starts in the residential segment.
Commercial building also slipped into contraction as the subdued UK economy weighed on business investment.
Construction sector activity lowest since Covid outbreak
The construction sector suffered its lowest level of activity since the early months of the pandemic, according to new figures.
The S&P Global purchasing managers' index (PMI), considered a key measure of the strength of the industry, fell for a fourth straight month to 48.4.
A reading below 50 indicates the sector is shrinking. It is the second consecutive month of contraction after the PMI was measured at 48.8 in December.
Housing activity plummeted to 44.8, after a reading of 48 in December.
Lack of charging points 'biggest hurdle' to electric vehicle ownership
The increase in new car registrations will stall unless Britain invests in its network of charging points, according to business leaders.
Electric vehicle sales helped new car registrations rise year on year for a sixth consecutive month in January.
Nick Williams, transport managing director at Lloyds Banking Group said:
After a record-breaking year for EV registrations, a similar trend looks set to continue in 2023, with more than 17,000 new vehicles entering the UK car park in January.
But to make an electric dream a reality for more drivers this year we need to see continued investment and incentives from policymakers. This includes rapidly expanding the nationwide rollout of charging points – which, at its current rate, is one of the biggest hurdles to widespread EV ownership.
The increases we're seeing in new EV registrations are promising, but our infrastructure must be able to support them – only then will the UK be able to truly deliver on its ambition to be a global leader in the electrification of transport.
Electric vehicles drive increase in new car registrations
The UK's new car market grew 14.7pc in January, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
Some 131,994 new cars were registered last month, compared with 115,087 in January 2022.
The number of new cars registered has grown year on year for six consecutive months.
Electrified vehicles are driving the increase.
Registrations of hybrid electric vehicles were 40.6pc higher in January than during the same month in 2022.
National Grid warms up coal power stations as wind power drops
Two coal-fired power plants have been warmed up in case of a shortage of electricity supply as a drop in wind energy tightens supply.
EDF's West Burton A plant in Nottinghamshire has joined Uniper's Ratcliffe-on-Soar plant in the same county in preparation. They are two of Britain’s five winter contingency coal power stations.
National Grid's Electricity System Operator (ESO) said it was warming up the plants as a "prudent" organisation and insisted it does not mean electricity supplies are at risk.
The units would be used on Tuesday if they are deemed to be needed.
The amount of Britain's electricity supply provided by wind energy has fallen below 20pc today.
Interest rates 'need to stay the course,' says Bank chief
Interest rates will more likely rise again rather than cut or be held when the Bank of England makes its next decision, a member of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee has said.
Catherine Mann, one of the most hawkish members of the committee, said uncertainty around when the turning point for inflation would come "should not motivate a wait-and-see approach" over setting interest rates.
In a speech this morning, she warned "the consequences of under tightening far outweigh, in my opinion, the alternative".
She told business leaders: "We need to stay the course, and in my view the next step in Bank Rate is still more likely to be another hike than a cut or hold."
Markets fall ahead of UK economic data
The FTSE 100 has slipped from its record high as global sentiment soured after data pointing to strength in the US labour market raised worries that the Federal Reserve could keep raising interest rates for longer.
The blue-chip index has fallen 0.5pc to 7,860.35 after setting a record high of 7,906.58 in the previous session, helped by a weaker pound and a jump in commodity-linked stocks.
Fewer than 10 companies on the FTSE 100 are in positive territory more than half an hour into trading.
Globally, stocks wilted and government bond yields rose after upbeat economic data from the United States and other economies lessened the risk of recession, but also suggested rates would have to rise further and stay up for longer.
Meanwhile, worries about the UK economic outlook kept the domestically focussed FTSE 250 index under pressure. The index was down 0.6pc to 20,461.86.
Data due later this week is expected to show the UK economy contracted by 0.3pc in December on a month-over-month basis, just enough to leave the gross domestic product flat in the fourth quarter.
Among individual stocks, Hargreaves Lansdown fell as much as 3.5pc after Credit Suisse downgraded the wealth manager's shares to "underperform" from "neutral".
Apprenticeship system 'broken' say employers
Four leading trade bodies have called the apprenticeship system "broken" and have written to the Government asking for reform.
The apprenticeship levy taxes employers 0.5pc of their payroll each month if they have a wage bill of more than £3m a year.
Businesses paying into the pot can use this money to fund apprenticeship training schemes.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC), UKHospitality, techUK and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation said the system is restrictive as businesses cannot use the money to fund courses shorter than a year and £3.5bn is being wasted as a result.
They said the Government should change the levy to a broader skills levy and allow businesses to fund courses that are shorter, more targeted and more tailored.
Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, said:
Retailers want to invest more in training a higher-skilled, more productive and better paid workforce. They want to create more opportunities for people up and down the country. They want to contribute more to growth.
But the broken apprenticeship system is a ball and chain around their efforts. Without reforms to the levy, retail will not be able to turbo boost equipping its workforce for the future.
FTSE 100 falls back after record close
The FTSE 100 has fallen back after its record-breaking run on Friday that saw the market close at an all-time high.
The blue-chip index has dropped 0.6pc to 7,858.20 while the midcap FTSE 250 is down 0.7pc to 20,478.85.
The FTSE 100 closed at a record 7,901.80 on Friday, having also reached an all-time intraday high of 7,906.58.
German factory orders rise but still 'weak start to 2023'
German factory orders grew more than anticipated in December but the data still points to "a weak start" to the year for the Germany economy, according to analysts.
Demand increased 3.2pc from the previous month, more than the 2pc rise analysts had predicted. The jump was due to large orders, without which there would have been a 0.6pc decline, the statistics office said.
German output shrank 0.2pc in the final quarter of last year, making a recession on the back of higher energy bills difficult to avoid.
Quickly rising borrowing costs that have yet to fully filter through are adding to economic headwinds.
Several indicators are still pointing to growing confidence after mild winter weather and well-filled gas storage facilities all but eliminated the risk of shortages.
However, at least one economist believes this " wasn't a good factory order report":
The big ticket orders appear to have been made in intermediate goods sector. Despite the encouraging rise in surveys the hard data tends to point to weak start to 2023 for the German economy. pic.twitter.com/V7llSvAP3K
— Oliver Rakau (@OliverRakau) February 6, 2023
Renault and Nissan boards approve alliance reset
The boards of French automaker Renault and Japanese partner Nissan have approved a major overhaul of their rocky alliance following months of negotiations, the companies said this morning.
The carmakers said in a statement that they "rebalanced" their relationship, with Renault reducing its stake from 43.4pc to 15pc, the same size as Nissan's share of its French counterpart.
Dell to cut 6,650 jobs
Dell has become the latest technology company to announce huge cutbacks, revealing it will axe 6,650 jobs.
The business is experiencing market conditions that "continue to erode with an uncertain future", co-chief operating officer Jeff Clarke wrote in a memo seen by Bloomberg.
The job losses amount to about 5pc of Dell's global workforce.
Dell and other hardware makers have seen demand fall away following a boom during the pandemic.
Industry analyst IDC said personal computer shipments dropped sharply in the last three months of 2022.
It said Dell suffered the largest decline, falling 37pc. The company generates 55pc of its revenue from PCs.
Australian rival to buy Britishvolt in boost for UK electric battery factory ambitions
Plans for an electric battery gigafactory in the UK have been revived after an Australian business championed by Lord Botham snapped up the assets of collapsed Britishvolt.
Recharge Industries fended off interest from a number of companies to be chosen as the preferred bidder for the company.
Britishvolt plunged into administration in January having failed to secure a rescue deal for its plans to build a £3.8bn gigafactory near Blyth. It had £100m in government funding earmarked for the plant.
David Collard, founder of Recharge Industries and chief executive of its parent Scale Foundation, said the Australian company was “thrilled” and “can’t wait to get started making a reality of our plans to build the UK’s first gigafactory”.
He added: “After a competitive and rigorous process, we’re confident our proposal will deliver a strong outcome for all involved.”
Mr Collard had previously thanked Lord Botham for the “proactive assistance” of cricket legend Lord Botham, who is the UK-Australian trade envoy, ahead of its bid.
More than 200 staff were made redundant as part of the collapse of Britishvolt in January.
Britishvolt's joint administrators EY said the deal was for the majority of the business and assets of the company, which made 200 people redundant when it fell into administration last month.
The agreement is actually with Scale Facilitation Partners, an international trade consultancy based in Geelong and Manhattan.
It indirectly owns battery maker Recharge Industries.
EY said the deal came after administrators considered "multiple approaches", with "numerous offers received" for the failed electric battery maker.
It added: "Completion of the acquisition is expected to occur within the next seven days."
The collapsed electric battery maker Britishvolt has been bought out of administration by an Australian company championed by Lord Botham.
Recharge Industries will now work towards building the UK's first gigafactory.
Lord Botham, the England cricketing legend and a UK-Australia trade envoy, had assisted the company in making its bid.
5 things to start your day
1) Amazon to sublet UK warehouses as growth plans go awry - Review of operations comes as tech giant suffers worst annual loss since going public
2) Mortgage demand to hit 12-year low as high interest rates hammer borrowers – Stretched affordability could cause an increasing number of borrowers to default
3) Working from home is fuelling fraud epidemic, warn managers – Remote practices risk exposing staff to ‘social engineering’ tactics used by scammers
4) Hunt’s misguided policies will harm economy, warns ex-Tory business minister – Decision to slash tax credits for research is based on faulty data, says Greg Clark
5) Crispin Odey: ‘It will take a Labour government for the Tories to realise Liz Truss was right all along’ – Comments come as Truss breaks silence to defend her economic agenda
What happened overnight
Stocks in Asia retreated as an unexpectedly strong US jobs report raised the prospect of more rate hikes from the Federal Reserve, while concern over US-China geopolitical tensions also weighed on sentiment.
The dollar climbed for a third day after a gauge of its strength rose more than 1pc Friday, when figures showed a surge in payrolls and unemployment at a 53-year low.
This points to persistent US inflation and bolsters the case for more rate increases. South Korean stocks and contracts for US equities also declined.
Shares fell in Hong Kong and mainland China, with the Hang Seng Index on course for the lowest close in a month.
US-listed Chinese stocks slipped Friday after the Biden administration decided to postpone Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s upcoming trip to China in light of an alleged Chinese spy balloon, that was later shot down.
Tokyo stocks ended higher after a report about the Bank of Japan's next governor fuelled speculation that the institution would stick to its ultra-loose monetary policies.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index climbed 0.7pc to end at 27,693.65, while the broader Topix index added 0.5pc to 1,979.22.