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Monday 18 December 2017

Britain 'may escape ratings downgrade'

Britain's top-notch credit rating may survive the threat of a downgrade because economists still believe in London's resolve to erase a huge budget deficit and the central bank's ability to print money. Rating agency Moody's imposed a negative outlook on Britain's triple-A rating late on Monday, saying the country's finances were too weak to cope with another big shock.

Traders bid crude up amid Iran conflict


Traders are bidding up crude by as much as 15pc on the assumption that conflict with Iran will lead to the biggest disruption to Gulf oil supplies since 1991. Brent, the benchmark grade for more than half the world's oil, is trading for $5 (€3.80) to $15 a barrel more than it would without the standoff with Iran, according to Societe Generale, which says prices may jump to $200 should cargoes be interrupted.

Amazon aiming for growth in sign-ups

SALES Inc's Prime service, a linchpin of its effort to keep customers loyal and fuel long-term profit, has seen three million to five million people subscribed as of October. Prime began in 2005 and provides two-day shipping for $79 a year. Amazon is working to reach seven million to 10 million in the next 12 to 18 months.

Gold futures slide as dollar stages rally


Gold futures fell, capping the longest slump this year, as the dollar's rally eroded demand for the precious metal. The greenback rose to the highest in almost two weeks against a basket of major currencies. Gold dropped for the third straight session.

Yahoo! shares down 7.4pc as talks stall


Yahoo!, the largest US web portal, tumbled as much as 7.4pc following a report that talks concerning a possible sale of its Asian assets hit an impasse. The discussions stalled partly because of concerns over whether the terms will be tax-efficient enough, according to the technology blog AllThingsDigital.

Irish Independent

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