Card Factory profits slump 12% thanks to increased National Living Wage and weak pound

Firm warns that earnings growth in 2019 will be limited amid continuing headwinds
Card Factory’s annual pre-tax profit fell 12.3 per cent to £72.6m thanks to an increase to the National Living Wage and higher import costs caused by a weaker pound.
The gift card retailer said costs rose £14.6m in the year to 31 January 2018, meaning profits were down despite a 2.9 per cent rise in like-for-like sales. The firm warned that earnings growth in 2019 will be limited amid continuing headwinds.
The National Living Wage rose to £7.50 per hour from £7.20 per hour for over-25s in April 2017 and rose again to £7.80 this month.
Read more Corbyn says millions on National Living Wage could miss out by £5,000 This has hurt the profits of a host of retailers, many of whose staff are among the UK's lowest paid.
Card Factory’s revenues for the year rose 6 per cent to £422.1m from £398.2m a year ago despite a “tough consumer environment” as the number of shoppers visiting the high street con..

China files trade complaint against US at the WTO over steel and aluminium tariffs

China has filed a trade complaint against the US with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, over tariffs recently imposed on imports of steel and aluminium products.
According to the complaint, China claims the duties of 25 per cent and 10 per cent on imports of steel and aluminium products respectively are inconsistent with provisions of the WTO's General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) 1994 and of the Agreement on Safeguards.
Read more China vows to fight 'at any cost' as Trump threatens $100bn tariffs Chinese authorities allege the US has breached the GATT by failing to follow proper procedural requirements, including notification and consultation procedures.
The complaint also states that “the United States has failed to administer its laws, regulations, decisions and rulings in relation to the measures at issue in a uniform, impartial and reasonable manner”.
President Donald Trump unveiled the tariffs at a meeting of US metal industry represent..

Oil prices boosted as Trump promises 'forceful' response to Syria attack and fears of a US-China trade war ease

A speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping was welcomed by traders, with Asian markets rising as well as oil prices
Oil prices rose in early trading on Tuesday after Donald Trump promised to make a decision on taking action in Syria “very quickly”.
The commodity was also boosted by an easing of tension between the US and China, giving support to hopes that a trade war between the two economies can be avoided.
Read more Oil prices open above $70 on heightened Middle East tensions Brent crude rose 1.18 per cent on Tuesday morning, edging close to the $70 a barrel mark, while US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude rose 1.2 per cent to $64.19.
Fears of a global trade war eased after a Chinese President Xi Jinping delivered a speech in which he spoke of a more open economy and reduced import tariffs on vehicles. Although he did not mention the US specifically, traders seem to be focusing on the positive aspects of Mr Xi’s speech, with Asian markets buoyed by his remarks – both H..

Brexit: Euroclear confirms holding company move from London to Brussels

The tax residence and domicile of the clearing house will move to the Belgian capital later this year
Euroclear, the financial clearing house, has confirmed it is shifting the residence of its holding company from the UK to Brussels due to Brexit.
The tax residence and domicile of the holding company of the Brussels-headquartered group, which underwrites trades between large financial firms, will also transfer to the Belgian capital later this year.
Read more British banks will lose ‘passporting rights’ to the EU after Brexit Brexit has put the future ability of UK-based financial firms to operate across the EU and eurozone in doubt and some firms are taking pre-emptive action in case access ends up being withdrawn.
“We want to redomicile the topco to the eurozone. It will be in Belgium as it’s where most of our business operations are. We are preparing to launch a transfer of arrangement sometime after the summer,” Lieve Mostrey, Euroclear’s chief executive told the Financial T..

Glencore boss Ivan Glasenberg quits as Rusal director after US slaps sanctions on Russian firms

The FTSE 100-listed miner also said it will not go ahead with plans to take a stake in EN+ through a share swap
Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg has resigned as a director of Russian aluminium producer Rusal after the US placed sanctions on the company.
The US has named Rusal and EN+ in a new list of sanctions targeting Russian companies and their owners, off the back of a burgeoning diplomatic crisis due to the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury last month.
The Russian stock market dropped 10 per cent on Monday, with Rusal shares falling as much as 41.8 per cent.
Read more Russia stock market crashes after US imposes sanctions on oligarchs London-listed Glencore said today that while it has various contracts with Rusal for the purchase of aluminium and alumina, it is “committed to complying with all applicable sanctions in its business and is taking all necessary measures in order to mitigate any risks to Glencore's business as ..

Iran-Israel Conflict Escalates in Shadow of Syrian Civil War

Iran-Israel Conflict Escalates in Shadow of Syrian Civil War

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Israel Suspected of Striking Syrian Air Base

Videos posted online appeared to show missiles over Homs Province, where a military base was struck on Monday, and fast-moving aircraft were heard over Lebanon.

By CAMILLA SCHICK on Publish Date April 9, 2018.

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BEIRUT, Lebanon — Israel on Monday appeared to have escalated its shadow war in Syria against Iran, with a predawn airstrike against a military base that coordinates Iranian-backed militias, killing four Iranian military advisers.
The dead included a colonel who served as a senior officer in Iran’s drone program, according to Iranian news reports.
The attack on the Syrian air base near the desert town of Palmyra in central Syria drew new attention to a conflict between Iran and Israel that has been steadily increasing in intensity while mostly hidden in the shadows of Syria’s civil war.
As Iran has taken advantage of the war..