Pound sterling slumps after Mark Carney casts doubt on May interest rate hike

Earlier this week sterling had hits its highest level against the dollar since the June 2016 Brexit vote as trader bet heavily on another hike in the cost of borrowing next month
The pound fell sharply on Thursday evening after the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, cast doubt on another interest rate hike next month.
Speaking to the BBC in Washington, Mr Carney drew attention to the “mixed data” from the UK economy this week and said he didn’t want to be “too focused on the precise timing” of when rates might next rise.
Read more Sterling rises as Mark Carney signals hawkish stance on rates Mark Carney says Bank to revise up its GDP growth forecasts Mark Carney says inflation has further to rise Earlier this week sterling had hits its highest level against the dollar since the June 2016 Brexit vote as traders bet heavily on another hike in the cost of borrowing coming in May, following last November’s increase.
But in the wake of the Governor’s dovish comments in fell..

In a Trade War, China Might Boycott U.S. Goods. That Could Backfire.

In a Trade War, China Might Boycott U.S. Goods. That Could Backfire. TAICANG, China — If China calls for a boycott of American goods, Chinese workers like David Xu could be in trouble.
Mr. Xu is one of thousands of residents of this port town who cash paychecks from American companies. He works as a technician at a Procter & Gamble manufacturing and distribution center here, one of the company’s biggest in China. Across town, Nike has opened a huge distribution center, its largest in Asia.
In all, more than 40 other American companies have set up shop here, making chemicals, lighters and a broad range of other products for a Chinese market eager for American goods.
“There is no deep hatred for American companies,” said Mr. Xu, who has worked for Procter & Gamble for 13 years. “The impact of this trade conflict shouldn’t be big. After all, American companies bring so many conveniences to the lives of Chinese people.”
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Continue reading the main story Some Chinese state med..

Coffee cups: major chains fail to match Costa's recycling targets

Costa Coffee has pledged to recycle as many disposable cups as it produces by 2020, raising the bar for action on disposable cup recycling in the UK.
Now the company has been joined by campaigners in calling for other major coffee chains to follow suit.
The action taken by the company involves paying waste management companies an additional £75 per tonne of waste, making it economically viable for them to take coffee cups to the specialist facilities that can recycle them.
Read more Costa's recycling commitment is a vindication of our campaign “We’re hoping that via this announcement our other competitors will come on board with us as well – we can’t see why they wouldn’t,” said Costa managing director Dominic Paul upon the launch of the new scheme.
Asked by The Independent if they were planning to make similar recycling commitments, however, other coffee giants could not match the decisive action taken by Costa earlier this week.
SumOfUs, which has been heading up a cam..

Charities' boards less diverse than those at FTSE100 firms, research finds

Just 6.6% of the trustees of leading charities are from an ethnic minority background
The boards of leading charities in England and Wales are even less diverse than those of FTSE 100 companies, new research has revealed.
Just 6.6 per cent of the trustees of leading charities are from an ethnic minority background, compared to 8.2 per cent on FTSE 100 boards, a report by Inclusive Boards found.
The agency found that almost two-thirds of the UK’s 500 largest charities have all-white boards. Oxfam, Save the Children and the British Council were among the close to 80 per cent that have no ethnic minority professionals in their senior leadership teams.
Read more £1 trillion fund manager pressures firms on diversity, climate change Nearly 60 per cent of senior leaders and 60 per cent of trustees are men, despite the fact that women make up 65 per cent of employees in the sector.
Women of colour make up just 2.9 per cent of charity trustees, suggesting that they face a double barrier..

Oil price surges to more than three year high as Middle East tensions continue and supplies fall

Saudi Arabia said to be targetting $80 oil
The price of crude oil surged to the highest its been since the end of 2014 on Thursday, with Brent pushing past $74 (£52) a barrel.
Analysts pointed to a fall in US oil supplies, revealed in data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), as a major factor in the increase. The EIA confirmed on Wednesday that crude oil stocks fell by 1.1 million barrels last week.
Read more Oil prices hit three year high over possible UK and US attack on Syria BP profits boosted by crude oil price rally Shell profits more than double thanks to soaring oil prices The price was also propped up by political tensions in the Middle East, with commodities in general rallying after US sanctions were imposed on Russian companies.
Meanwhile, the surge comes hours ahead of an OPEC meeting on Friday, where the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is expected to agree to extend their supply cut agreement.
Commentators believe Saudi Arabia is ..

PPI claims hit a four-year high as complaints deadline looms

Current accounts are next most complained about product
PPI claims hit their highest level in four years during the second half of 2017, the financial watchdog said today, ahead of the 29 August complaints deadline.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) reported that PPI complaints rose by 40 per cent between the first and second half of last year to reach 1.55m.
The watchdog said £415.8m was paid out January in redress to customers complaining about being mis-sold PPI, which is the highest amount since March 2016 and takes the total payout since January 2011 to £30bn.
Read more Banks are partly to blame for Ombudsman PPI mistakes The regulator has ramped up efforts to remind consumers of the looming deadline for complaints about PPI, with a series of adverts featuring an animatronic Arnold Scharzenegger head.
“Having set a deadline for PPI complaints, we are encouraging consumers to decide whether they want to claim, and if they do, to make their complaint as soon as possib..

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell's attempt to make nice with the City is a smart move

Mr McDonnell’s willingness to break bread with financiers demonstrates confidence in his position
In a marked change of tone, shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has told the City it can have a seat at the table if and when a new Labour government takes power.
The lifelong socialist and sometime banker basher offered a ‘new start’ to a relationship that has been fraught to say the least in a speech at Bloomberg.
Financiers were offered the chance to “come with us” into government.
Read more John McDonnell rebukes supporters for ‘antisemitic stereotypes’ McDonnell accuses Hammond of 'astounding complacency' City must not get special treatment in Brexit talks, says McDonnell Mr McDonnell made light of his portrayal as a “raving extremist” bent on nationalising their companies. More seriously, he was clear that the financial sector will not like some of Labour’s policy proposals, especially the ones on tax which will require them to pay more, both at a corporate and persona..

John McDonnell offers City of London 'seat at the table' in Labour policy making

Shadow chancellor proposes a 'new start in the relationship between Labour and the finance sector'
John McDonnell offered City bosses a chance to help shape Labour economic policy as part of his pitch to financiers on Thursday.
The shadow chancellor proposed a ”new start in the relationship between Labour and the finance sector”, in a speech at Bloomberg’s headquarters in London.
Financial services would have a “seat at the policy-making and policy delivery table” under a future Labour government, he said.
Read more City must not get special treatment in Brexit talks, says McDonnell The lifelong socialist joked that finance executives might expect to meet “a raving extremist who is about to nationalise their company and send them on a re-education course up north somewhere”.
Instead, he offered a more conciliatory tone, saying that he wanted them to “come with us” into government, alongside trade unions and manufacturers.
He promised to be straightforward with the fi..

Amazon Prime has passed the 100 million customer mark, says boss Jeff Bezos

Tech giant's shares rose in pre-market trading
Amazon has signed up more than 100 million Prime customers in the 13 years since the service launched, the tech firm’s boss Jeff Bezos has revealed in a letter to shareholders.
Shares in the retail giant rose almost 2 per cent in pre-market trading.
According to Mr Bezos, Amazon Prime passed the 100 million customer mark last year, with the company shipping more than five billion items through Prime in 2017.
Read more Amazon files for Alexa patent to let it listen to people all the time Trump’s feud with Amazon is about more than preserving the Post Office Kimmel on why Trump hates Amazon: “Bezos is actually a billionaire' The company also said membership of its Amazon Music Unlimited service more than double in the last six months.Meanwhile, 2017 was the first year since the company was established that more than half the items sold via Amazon came from third-party sellers.
Along with his letter reflecting on last yea..