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Jaguar Land Rover to cut production and 1,000 jobs in the Midlands – as it happened

Carmaker blames Brexit and confusion over diesel policy. European stock markets rise as Syria tensions ease.

2.37pm BST

We are closing the blog and will be back on Monday. Have a good weekend!

Jaguar Land Rover, Britain’s biggest carmaker, is to cut 1,000 contractor jobs in Solihull in the Midlands, after a fall in sales it attributed to uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote and the government’s diesel policy. Here is our story:

Related: Jaguar Land Rover to announce 1,000 job cuts next week

2.08pm BST

Here is the statement from Jaguar:

As is standard business practice, Jaguar Land Rover regularly reviews its production schedules to ensure market demand is balanced globally.

On Monday we will be cascading our 18/19 production plans for the next fiscal year to our workforce.

2.07pm BST

Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed that it will cut 1,000 contractor jobs at its Solihull factory. Britain’s biggest carmaker blamed a fall in sales due uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote along with confusion over the government’s diesel policy.

1.52pm BST

Back to Jaguar Land Rover. ITV is reporting that Britain’s biggest carmaker will announce production cuts and 1,000 job losses on Monday, and blame Brexit.

The company has told Reuters that it is making some adjustments to its production schedules and the level of agency staff. It added that it would unveil its 2018-19 production plans to its workforce on Monday. Jaguar also said that it regularly reviews its production schedules.

1.49pm BST

Wells Fargo faces a $1bn fine to settle outstanding regulatory investigations related to car insurance and mortgage lending abuses, the bank said. This means it may have to revise its quarterly results to reflect the final settlement.

1.16pm BST

Over in the US, Citigroup has reported a 13% increase in quarterly profits, fuelled by lower taxes and higher revenues from consumer banking.

The fourth-biggest American bank by assets said net income rose to $4.6bn in the first quarter to 31 March, compared with $4.1bn a year earlier. Earnings per share climbed to $1.68 from $1.35. Analysts had expected $1.61.

1.10pm BST

In January, Jaguar said it would temporarily scale back production at its factory in Halewood near Liverpool in the second quarter. The factory builds three Range Rover models and employs around 6,000 people. Britain’s biggest car manufacturer blamed faltering sales after the Brexit vote and a tax crackdown on diesel vehicles.

Here’s our story at the time

Related: Jaguar Land Rover to cut production at Halewood

1.04pm BST

Breaking news: Joel Hills at ITV is tweeting that Jaguar Land Rover will cut production and around 1,000 jobs after a slump in sales. The company is expected to blame Brexit and the slump in demand for diesel vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover is set to cut production and jobs following a slump in sales. Formal announcement will be made on Monday. I’m told around 1000 roles will be affected and that JLR will blame Brexit and sharp fall in demand for diesel.

1.03pm BST

Meanwhile, in Italy, the eurozone’s third-largest economy, talks to form a government are still deadlocked. President Sergio Mattarella has declared that there has been “no progress” after a second round of talks with political parties.

12.07pm BST

JPMorgan Chase, the biggest US bank by assets, has kicked off the US bank reporting season with strong figures. It has posted a 35% jump in first-quarter profits, boosted by higher interest rates on loans and lower taxes.

The bank’s net income rose to $8.7bn or $2.37 a share, in the three months to March from $6.5bn, or $1.65 a share, a year earlier. Analysts had pencilled in $2.28 a share.

11.37am BST

Further detail on the comments made by Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov at a press conference this morning, courtesy of Reuters. He said he hoped there would be no repeat of the experience of Libya and Iraq in the Syria conflict, in a veiled warning to US president Donald Trump.

God forbid anything adventurous will be done in Syria following the Libyan and Iraqi experience.

11.18am BST

On a lighter note, the appointment of Goldman Sachs banker David Schwimmer as the new chief executive of the London Stock Exchange has prompted a lot of Friends jokes.

As someone who’s constantly being asked on Twitter when the rest of the cast and I are going to do a reunion episode, my heart goes out to the new head of the Stock Exchange.

11.11am BST

There are some snaps on Reuters quoting the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov as saying that the atmosphere around Syria is very alarming, and that ultimatums and threats do not help the dialogue. He also said that the channels of communication with the US are being used.

#BREAKING Russian specialists found no trace of chemical attack in Syria’s Douma: Foreign Minister Lavrov

11.06am BST

Gold prices are up for a second week as concerns over the conflict in Syria remain.

While Donald Trump has back-pedalled on the threat of US missile strikes in Syria following last weekend’s chemical attack on civilians, the situation with Syria’s main ally Russia remains tense.

Related: Syria crisis: Corbyn accuses May of waiting for Trump’s instructions – live

10.14am BST

And here are Mahony’s thoughts on China moving to trade deficit in March for the first time in a year.

Chinese trade data has been the big focus for markets after the biggest economy in Asia posted its first dollar-denominated trade deficit in a year. A sizeable downward shift in Chinese exports will certainly provide heightened anxiety over where we go from here, with the threat of a trade war looming large over an economy which is still heavily reliant upon international demand for their products.

10.10am BST

Joshua Mahony, market analyst at at online trading firm IG, has taken a closer look at the UK stock market and the pound.

Sterling has hit 10-week highs against the dollar and 11-week highs against the euro, partly related to diverging interest rate expectations for the UK and the eurozone. The Bank of England is widely expected to raise interest rates next month.

The FTSE has continued to underperform its peers this morning, with the index trading in the red despite gains across German, Spanish and French indices. Dovish minutes from the European Central Bank yesterday, coupled with a wider story of dollar weakness has ensured the pound continues to outperform against its main peers.

With the pound hitting a two-month high against the dollar and ten-month high against the euro, it comes as no surprise that the internationally focused FTSE 100 suffers, while the domestically focused FTSE 250 joins its European counterparts in the green.

10.06am BST

In other data just out, the eurozone’s trade surplus increased to €21bn in February from €20.2bn in January. Exports in the 19 countries sharing the euro declined by 2.3% but imports fell more, by 3.1%, month on month, according to the European Union’s statistics office Eurostat.

10.01am BST

The euro is broadly unchanged versus the dollar after final German inflation figures met economists’ expectations. In March, German inflation rose to a 1.6% annual rate from 1.4%. Spanish inflation also increased, to a four-month high of 1.2%, as did French CPI, which was released yesterday. It was confirmed at a 5 1/2 year high of 1.7% in March.

#Spain #CPI #inflation inches up to 1.2% y/y in March
Food prices push headline inflation slightly upwards
Food and restaurant prices were the main inflationary factors, there was no deflationary pressure

The rise in the cost of living in major eurozone countries points to an increase in demand, which is good for economic growth.

9.54am BST

David Maddden, market analyst at CMC Markets UK, says:

Stocks are mixed this morning with traders cautious about being overly long going into the weekend. President Trump’s rhetoric in relation to Syria has dialled down and this has removed some of the fear in the market, but as the situation is yet to be resolved, investors aren’t particularly optimistic.

We are expecting the Dow Jones to open up 22 points at 24,505 and we are calling the S&P 500 flat at 2664.

9.49am BST

Oil prices are now heading higher again and are on course for their biggest weekly gain since July.

Brent crude in London is up 0.7% at $72.53 a barrel, taking its gain this week to around 8%. US crude is also trading 0.7% higher, at $67.53 a barrel, and is up nearly 9% this week.

9.45am BST

European stock markets are rising, with the exception of the FTSE 100 in London, which is flat at 7,252.

9.44am BST

On currency markets, sterling has extended gains, rising nearly 0.5% above $1.4292 to 10-week highs.

The dollar, for its part, has touched a six-week high against the yen as fears over an imminent US strike in Syria faded and investors anticipated strong US corporate earnings. Banks JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo will report first-quarter results before Wall Street opens today.

9.27am BST

Paul Donovan, global chief economist at UBS Wealth Management, has sent us his thoughts on trade.

US president Trump suggested that there may not, in fact, be any new tariffs imposed in the Sino-US trade dispute, and that the US might apply to join the TPP. Markets have given cautious welcome to this news. Welcome, because avoiding a trade war is a clear economic positive. Cautious, because market trust in US presidential announcements is, perhaps, a little limited.

Re-joining the TPP could be construed as anti-Chinese. The TPP is a preferential trade deal, meaning that those outside the deal are at a competitive disadvantage to those inside the deal. On the Sino-US trade dispute, the US does seem to be pushing hard for a tweetable “we won” moment. The substance of any deal seems less important.

9.22am BST

The London Stock Exchange has picked Goldman Sachs banker David Schwimmer as its new chief executive, succeeding Xavier Rolet, who was forced out in November.

The 49-year-old American is due to start at the LSE on 1 August after a 20-year career with the US investment bank, most recently as global head of market structure and global head of metals and mining in the investment banking division. He has also served as chief of staff to Goldman CEO Lloyd Blankfein, then chief operating officer.

He is well known for his robust intellect and partnership approach with clients and colleagues alike.

8.53am BST

Trading is lacklustre this morning on European stock markets, but they are near one-month highs. The Stoxx 600 index is on track for its third consecutive week of gains, its longest winning streak since January.

Most of the first-quarter results released by European companies were positive. However British software firm Sage saw its shares plunge 19% after it cut its full-year revenue outlook. It is leading losses on the FTSE 100 index in London.

We sincerely regret the disruption this will cause to our customers.

Our team of technical experts and service engineers is working around the clock to ensure we return them to full service as soon as possible.

8.36am BST

The FTSE 100 index is slightly negative, trading down some 6 points at 7251.70, while the FTSE 250 is also down, by 0.2%, or 41 points to 19732.13.

Shopping centre operator Hammerson is the biggest faller on the FTSE 250 index after bigger French rival Klépierre abandoned attempts to buy the company behind Birmingham’s Bullring and Brent Cross in London. Hammerson shares are down 12.7% at 454.1p, while Klépierre rose 4.3%.

The board of Hammerson did not provide any meaningful engagement with respect to the increased proposal and, after careful consideration, Klépierre has concluded that it does not intend to make an offer for Hammerson.

8.07am BST

Oil prices are slipping after Trump toned down his threat of missile strikes in Syria on Thursday. Brent crude in London is down 0.2% at $71.89 – but is up 7% this week – while US crude has edged down 0.15% at $66.92 a barrel.

Both benchmarks have risen about $5 this week, putting them on track for the biggest weekly gains since July. They hit their highest level since late 2014 on Wednesday after Trump warned “missiles will be coming” in Syria after a chemical attack on civilians and Saudi Arabia said it intercepted missiles from Yemen over Riyadh.

7.57am BST

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.

As tensions over Syria ease, trade is back in focus today.

Would only join TPP if the deal were substantially better than the deal offered to Pres. Obama. We already have BILATERAL deals with six of the eleven nations in TPP, and are working to make a deal with the biggest of those nations, Japan, who has hit us hard on trade for years!

If it’s true, I would welcome it.

If the United States, it turns out, do genuinely wish to rejoin, that triggers a whole new process.

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Source: The Guardian