OECD DOWNGRADES GROWTH FORECASTS AND CALLS FOR MORE STIMULUS
By Josephine Moulds
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says UK will be among worst hit by downturn among G7 nations. The OECD said the outlook for the UK had deteriorated and predicted the economy will shrink by 0.7% this year, compared with previous forecasts of a 0.5% decline. The only G7 member worse off than Britain is Italy, which is expected to shrink by 2.4%. By contrast, Germany is expected to grow by 0.8%.
STOCK MARKETS SOAR AS MARIO DRAGHI DEFIES GERMANY
By Louise Armitstead, chief business correspondent
Global stock markets jumped as Mario Draghi, The president of the European Central Bank, defied German opposition and launched an “unlimited” bond-buying programme that he said would provide a “fully effective backstop” to the stricken eurozone economies. Mario Draghi confirmed that the new programme would be unlimited in the amount of bonds it could buy and would have conditions attached.
OBAMA ISSUES RALLYING CRY TO VOTERS
By Stephanie Kirchgaessner in Charlotte, North Carolina
Barack Obama accepted the Democratic presidential nomination by calling on Americans to rally round an economic recovery plan based on shared sacrifice and the “bold, persistent experimentation” that Franklin Roosevelt employed during the Great Depression. “On every issue, the choice you face won’t be just between two candidates or two parties,” the president said on Thursday as he took the battle to his Republican rival Mitt Romney. “[It is] a choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future.”
LOUBOUTIN WINS RED SOLES BATTLE
By Steve Hawkes, business editor
Top designer Christian Louboutin has won a copyright battle with fashion rival Yves Saint Laurent over the iconic red soles on his shoes. An appeal court in New York declared the look was such a “distinctive symbol” that it deserved trademark protection. Trademark solicitors Harrison Goddard Forte said: “This effectively means he can monopolise the red sole of women’s shoes.” But YSL claimed partial victory because the judges limited the protection to shoes where red is used with other colours.
LLOYDS BOSS ANTONIO HORTA-OSORIO TELLS BANKERS TO SHAPE UP
By Rob Davies
Lloyds boss Antonio Horta-Osorio placed himself at the vanguard of a new breed of bank boss, as he launched a stinging attack on an industry he said had been "complacent". The Portuguese banker shares a retail background with new Barclays chief Antony Jenkins and said the two of them were well-placed to win back public trust. "I am at heart a retail banker ... Antony also has a retail background so there has been change from what existed previously."
BLOW FOR BP AS HOPES OF US LEGAL DEAL FADE
By Philip Waller
BP'S chances of an early settlement over the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster were dealt a blow yesterday when it emerged the US government is pressing ahead with its lawsuit. Shares in the oil giant dipped 12¾p to 423¾p following accusations of gross negligence and wilful misconduct filed by the US Department of Justice.
JUDGEMENT DAY FOR MEGA-MERGER OF GLENCORE AND XSTRATA
By Michael Bow
Glencore’s proposed $34bn (£21.3bn) merger with Xstrata appeared to be heading for failure last night as investors lined up this morning to vote on the deal. Barring a last minute hike in the offer price from Glencore, leading Xtstrata shareholder Qatar Holding is expected to scupper the deal. Glencore, which owns 33.7 per cent of Xstrata, will hold a shareholder vote on the proposal at 8am this morning with Xstrata planning to follow suit at 10am.
LUFTHANSA CANCELS 1,200 FLIGHTS AS CREW STAGE THIRD STRIKE
Lufthansa cabin staff have begun a 24-hour nationwide strike, forcing the airline to cancel 1,200 flights on Friday and over the weekend. Thousands of passengers face disruption as the airline scrapped two-thirds of scheduled flights from late Thursday into the weekend.
AMAZON CREATES 2,000 JOBS AMID ONLINE GROWTH
Online retailer Amazon announces plans to expand its distribution network in Britain, creating thousands of new jobs. It said the jobs would be permanent positions at three new "fulfilment centres" being built before the end of 2014.
ASIAN STOCKS HEAD FOR BIGGEST GAIN IN A MONTH ON ECB PLAN
By Yoshiaki Nohara
Asian stocks rose, with the regional benchmark index headed for its biggest gain in a month, after the European Central Bank announced an unlimited bond-buying program and China boosted stimulus measures. HSBC, Europe’s biggest lender, rose 2 percent in Kong Kong. Toyota, a carmaker that depends on North America for a quarter of its sales, added 1.9 percent after data showed U.S. jobless claims fell.
…. AND FINALLY …
POPE GETS GREEN RIDE FROM FRENCH CAR MAKER
Pope Benedict will be able to limit his impact on the environment as he travels around his summer residence at Castel Gandolfo thanks to a new custom-made electric vehicle donated by French car maker Renault. The white-colored vehicle has the Papal coat of arms on its doors, Renault said on Thursday. Based on the Kangoo Maxi van, it has a 44 kilowatt electric motor and lithium-ion battery, and can travel 170 kilometers without recharging.