The three reasons markets have fallen

  • 15 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Theresa May Image copyright Getty Images

The markets took a fright today as Theresa May's cabinet - and with it, her Brexit deal - appeared to be falling apart.

Markets are a bit like bookmakers, they reflect the odds of certain outcomes, and three things have just become more likely than they were yesterday. Leaving the EU without a deal, a change of Prime Minister and a general election. All three scare investors.

Here's why:

Leaving the EU without a deal is widely considered bad for the UK economy - at least in the short to medium term - and that is bad for the pound. That hits people's incomes by pushing the price of imported goods and things priced in dollars (like petrol) higher.

Cash-strapped consumers may find it harder to pay their loans, credit cards and mortgages, hence the big fall we have seen this morning in the shares of banks and housebuilders. Persimmon is down over 10% and Lloyds by more than 6%.

Read full article The three reasons markets have fallen

Hammond and Clark thank bosses for no-deal risk warnings

  • 15 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Philip Hammond and Greg Clark Image copyright Getty Images

Business Secretary Greg Clark and the Chancellor Philip Hammond thanked business leaders for helping to highlight the economic damage a no-deal scenario might do to the economy.

That prospect helped focus minds among cabinet ministers in a marathon and fractious meeting at Number 10, according to sources present. "When evidence and facts met hopes and aspirations the evidence and facts won," said one minister.

Read full article Hammond and Clark thank bosses for no-deal risk warnings

Brexit breakthrough won't change firms contingency plans

  • 13 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Oxo cubes Image copyright Reuters

We got a concrete example of what no deal planning looks like this morning from the maker of Bisto and Mr Kiplings cakes, Premier Foods, who said they intended to start stockpiling raw ingredients and packaging for some of their products in case there is disruption to their supply chains.

The company said that would bring forward £10m of upfront costs.

Read full article Brexit breakthrough won't change firms contingency plans

Interserve shares dive on rising concerns over future

  • 13 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Interserve construction project Image copyright Alamy

A former big shareholder in construction and facilities management company Interserve has told the BBC he is doubtful the firm can survive.

Shares hit a 30-year low on Monday, and are down a further 15% on Tuesday.

Read full article Interserve shares dive on rising concerns over future

Relief for Hammond as growth holds - for now

  • 9 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Drinkers Image copyright Getty Images

Fond memories of a hot summer with the smell of barbecues and the sound of football matches wafted through Friday's GDP figures.

The government bean-counters pointed to strong retail sales boosted by warm weather and the World Cup. Other parts of the economy also warmed up.

Read full article Relief for Hammond as growth holds - for now

PM mobilises business chiefs for post-Brexit advice

  • 6 November 2018
  • From the section Business
Theresa May and Philip Hammond leave 10 Downing Street Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Theresa May and Philip Hammond met bosses last week to reassure them that their concerns mattered

The government's overtures to business are rapidly becoming a symphony.

After two years of feeling they were "outside the tent" when it came to Brexit strategy and policy, Theresa May is welcoming as many business big hitters back inside as she can.

Read full article PM mobilises business chiefs for post-Brexit advice

Budget 2018: Can Philip Hammond save the High Street?

  • 29 October 2018
  • From the section Business
Empty shop in Doncaster
Image caption Almost one in five shops in Doncaster is empty

2018 has been an annus horribilis for the High Street.

Big names like Toys R Us and Maplin have gone bust, while others like Debenhams and House of Fraser have closed city and town centre sites.

Read full article Budget 2018: Can Philip Hammond save the High Street?

Dyson chooses Singapore for new electric car plant

  • 23 October 2018
  • From the section Business
Sir James Dyson Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sir James Dyson is the founder of the company

Dyson, the UK-based company best known for its vacuum cleaners, has chosen to build its new electric car in Singapore.

The company will break ground on its new factory in Singapore later this year with the first car scheduled to roll off the production line in 2021.

Read full article Dyson chooses Singapore for new electric car plant

UK firms 'near point of no return'

  • 21 October 2018
  • From the section Business
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Media captionNicole Sykes, head of EU negotiations at the CBI

Businesses are becoming exasperated at the lack of progress in Brexit talks and are pausing or cancelling investment in the UK.

A week that many had hoped would bring progress in the talks has now come and gone without a breakthrough.

Read full article UK firms 'near point of no return'

BAE Systems will go to the Saudi ball

  • 16 October 2018
  • From the section Business
BAE Systems Image copyright Reuters

BAE Systems is one UK firm that will definitely not pull out of next week's business conclave in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom bought a sixth of everything the UK defence contractor sold last year and BAE employs 6,000 people on the ground there.

Read full article BAE Systems will go to the Saudi ball