Wednesday 26 July 2017

Pessimism on US economy deepens

recession

Americans' pessimism on the economy has deepened, with only one-in-five people saying the country is on the right course and just 9pc of people confident the economy wouldn't slide back into recession. A majority say it will take at least six years for home values to recover to pre-recession levels.

Fitch downgrades five Spanish regions



RATINGS

Fitch Ratings downgraded the credit of five Spanish regions, including Catalonia, warning they will struggle to cut deficits. The red ink running through the accounts of Spain's regional governments is now a major concern for the markets.

Delay in Siemens' offering of Osram

ENERGY

Siemens has delayed an initial public offering of its Osram lighting unit, following a slump in global equity markets. Siemens said it was "firmly holding" to the planned sale but didn't specify when an opportunity might arise, as the timing depended on "stabilisation of market conditions".

SAS steps up its cost-cutting drive

AIRLINES

SAS, the Nordic region's largest airline, will deepen cost cuts through to 2015 as local rival Finnair Oyj reaps the benefits of establishing Helsinki as a hub for travel between Western Europe and Asia. SAS aims to shave as much as 5pc from annual expenses via "continued cost reductions".

Firms violated rules ahead of oil spill

Leak

BP, Transocean and Halliburton violated offshore safety rules in connection with the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that led to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, US authorities said. The failure of a cement barrier let oil and natural gas flow from the deep-water well, triggering the April 20 blast.

Earnings down

23pc at John Lewis

RETAIL

John Lewis, Britain's largest department-store chain, said first-half earnings fell 23pc, weighed down by store-opening costs and its promise to match competitors' prices. Operating profit dropped to £111.5m (€127m), from £145.2m a year earlier. Sales climbed 6.4pc to £4.05bn.

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