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Another day, another deal, this time it's Murdoch on Murdoch. BSkyB,which is 39pc owned by Rupert Murdoch, has confirmed it is early stage talks about buying stakes in Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia which are held by the media mogul's US-based 21st Century Fox. The €10bn deal would combine the Murdoch empire's UK, German and Italian assets and potentially turn BSkyB into a European satellite-TV giant. The combination has been a long-held ambition. Last year, James Murdoch, the former chief executive of BSkyB said the separation of the three units was "not optimal" and was something they needed to "resolve." However, efforts by the Murdoch's to consolidate assets have been controversial: in 2010 and 2011, Rupert and James tried to take full control of BSkyB but backed down in the face of political uproar in the UK as the phone-hacking scandal erupted. In a statement today, BSkyB has said the talks are preliminary and no agreement had been reached. But it said it "believes at the right value, this combination would have the potential to create a world-class multinational pay TV group." We'll have the updates on our website here.
In other company announcements today, Lonmin has warned that its output is being heavily impacted by strikes in South Africa. In its half year results today, the miner has reported a drop in revenues to $578m from $735m last year. Operating profits have plunged into the red, with a $131m loss from a $90m profit last year. Ben Magara, chief executive, said it had been a "challenging" period "latterly dominated by protracted by industrial action."
Just Retirement,the savings company that was hit heavily by the Chancellor's Budget reforms in March particularly by the declaration: "No-one will have to buy an annuity, has said sales are "around half of pre-Budget levels". But the boss Rodney Cook has said he's "rapidly adapting our model to the new environment," including boosting defined benefit de-risking sales and lifetime mortgages. The Co-Op Bank has said it has secured irrevocable commitments for 31pc of its£400m placing. Niall Booker, chief executive of the Co-Op Group, has said the successful book build "give us great confidence" that the capital raising will be successful. "The speed at which this has been achieved is a great endorsement of the new management team and the work they are doing to turn the business around," he said. The fund raising is expected to be completed by the end of May. UBM has bought Mexico's biggest construction industry trade show, Expo CIHAC. Centrica is holding its annual meeting today. Last week the owner of In other economic news, the BDO Business Trends report has found confidence in the manufacturing sector reached an "all time high" in April. The latest CIPD Labour Market Outlook says that the employment intentions of its members are at a six and half year high, although pay remains subdued. The latest meeting of the Bank for International Settlements with central bank governors concludes in Basel. The World Trade Organisation is holding a General Council meeting in Geneva. And inIndia, the ninth and final phase of elections gets underway today. The counting of the votes in the world's biggest democracy is due to take place on Friday.
And it's the Veuve Clicquot Business Woman of the Year Awards this evening at Claridges. The finalists are Karen Blackett, UK chief executive of MediaCom; Harriet Green, chief executive of Thomas Cook; and Jane Shepherdson, chief executive of Whistles. Started in 1972 as a tribute to Madame Cliquot, the founder of the champagne, the award is seen as the most prestigious in the business.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
We can debate the future, but the challenges of today in the end demand that the UK just gets on with it.
Sir Roy McNulty is chairman of Gatwick Airport talking about the need for a new runway
FIGURE OF THE DAY
£2bn The windfall the biggest UK energy suppliers could pocket after the government miscalculated a deal to cut green levies
Fred Imbert, John Melloy,Sam Meredith 4-6 minutes - Source CNBC U.S. stock index futures were slightly lower Thursday morning, as investors closely monitor the status of high-level trade talks between the world’s two largest economies. Around 5:50 a.m. ET, Dow futures indicated a negative open of more than 50 points. Futures on the S&P and Nasdaq were marginally lower. Market focus is largely attuned to global trade developments after a slew of conflicting reports around Thursday’s U.S.-China trade talks sent investors for a wild ride. The initial report that hit futures came from the South China Morning Post, which said the U.S. and China made no progress in deputy-level trade talks this week. The report added that higher-level talks with China’s Vice Premier Liu He would now be only one day, with the China delegation planning to leave Washington on Thursday instead of Friday as scheduled. The issue of forced technology t
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL previous Questions Swirl Around World Cup Crime Report June 11, 2010, 10:21 PM HKT Geeks in China, South Korea Fight ‘69 Holy War’ Much has been said about South Korean anger toward Beijing over China’s failure to make a timely expression of condolences for those killed in the Cheonan sinking, and its reluctance to accept the results of an international report that found Chinese ally North Korea responsible for the deadly incident. (See links here , here and here ). Reuters South Korean band Super Junior But the real battle between South Korea and China is being fought far from the halls of power in either Seoul or Beijing, and has nothing to do with the Hermit Kingdom. In what’s being called “69 Holy War” (more on that later), computer geeks on both sides of the Yellow Sea have been trading barbs and hack attacks for more than a week in an escalating cyberwar triggered by a boy
MarketWatch's top stories of the week By MarketWatch SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stocks had a roller coaster end to the week, falling enough on Friday to undo healthy gains from earlier in the week. The main driver in the market has been earnings and even though a lot of companies are beating analyst expectations with ease, very few are reporting results that show any true strength. Friday, a lot of the decline was attributed to a drop in oil and other commodities, which was triggered by a rise in the dollar. Stocks in the energy, materials and industrials sectors led the way lower. On Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average ( .DJI ) fell 109.13 points or 1.1% to close at 9,972.18. For the week the index fell 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite Index ( .COMP ) dropped 10.82 points or 0.5% to close at 2,154.47 on Friday and logged a weekly decline of 0.1%. The broader Standard & Poor's 500 Index ( .SPX ) fell 13.31 points or 1.2% on the day to close at 1,079.60 fo