Paolo Gentiloni, Italy’s prime minister, will host Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, in Rome on Thursday afternoon, on the eve of Theresa May’s big speech in Florence on the UK’s departure from the 28-member bloc.
Britain’s public finance deficit was the narrowest in August than it has been in that month over the past decade, providing the government more breathing room when it delivers its November budget plans.
The European Central Bank has announced plans to launch a new reference point for overnight interest rates, opening up a new alternative to the private-sector benchmarks that have been hit by scandal and are in the process of reform.
Standard & Poor’s has cut its rating on China by one notch weeks before the country is expected to launch a rare dollar bond, with the ratings agency citing rising economic and financial risks after a long period of heavy credit growth.
The good news is that half of companies in the eurozone have no intention to adjust plans for investment in the UK as a result of Brexit, according to a new survey by Swiss bank UBS, and 13 per cent expect UK investment to rise.
The less rosy news is that the more nervous companies are growing more concerned.
The price of iron ore has declined about 10 per cent over the past five sessions to trade at near $69 a tonne, the lowest it has been in two months, and analysts expect further pressure over the next quarter.
Ryanair could sell tickets for its AGM later today – if it weren’t for the fact that it would probably have to cancel a whole load of them at very short notice owing to a mess-up with its boardroom holiday rota.
Sleepy market conditions are holding back the big banks. But have-a-go retail traders still seem to be finding flickers of volatility to punt on, judging from the latest update from online trading house IG Group, which has produced record revenues.
Google has deepened its smartphone manufacturing operations with an agreement to pay $1.1bn to transfer about 2,000 staff from Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC. The companies have also inked a separate non-exclusive license agreement for HTC’s intellectual property, the terms of which have not been disclosed.
Asia Pacific stock markets diverged in Thursday trading after the Fed on Wednesday announced that it would begin paring back its balance sheet in October and left the door open for another rise in short-term borrowing costs in 2017.
Shares in Australian gold miners were down on Thursday as the price of the precious metal neared a one-month low after the US central bank said it would start to reverse its crisis-era stimulus programme from next month.