Market News

Wednesday newspaper round-up: Brexit, Facebook, Amazon, China, Sports Direct, Evans Cycles

31/10/2018 07:30

(Sharecast News) - A disorderly no-deal Brexit would plunge the UK into recession, cost a million Britons their jobs and leave households an average of £2,700 a year out of pocket, according to a leading global credit rating agency.

Standard & Poor's said that the UK's AA sovereign rating, the third highest grade, would be cut if Theresa May failed to secure a deal.

- The Times Facebook has warned investors to expect slower revenue growth for the foreseeable future as it battles new privacy laws, lower user numbers and a worldwide shift towards private messaging.

In an unusually candid conference call on Tuesday, following its latest financial results, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg described serious challenges ahead after a year of scandals, falling share prices and executive departures.

- Telegraph MPs debating Theresa May's final Brexit deal could have a succession of options put before them in a rare procedure that second referendum campaigners fear will be used by ministers to select the answer that suits them best.

The clerk of the House of Commons has suggested that if ministers held to their insistence that no amendments could be put to May's final deal for legal reasons, "stand-alone consecutive motions" could be debated instead.

- Guardian A "Norway for now" plan favoured by some Conservative MPs to prevent a no-deal Brexit was yesterday rejected by Norway itself.

In recent weeks senior Tories, including Brexiteers and Remainers, have signalled their support for the "Norway option" as an alternative to the Chequers plan favoured by Theresa May, who yesterday delivered the first address by a British prime minister to the Nordic Council in Oslo.

- The Times Amazon is launching its "try before you buy" fashion service in the UK, marking the online retailer's latest push into the clothing market.

Prime Wardrobe delivers a bag of three to eight clothing items with no upfront charge and free delivery for people signed up to Amazon's subscription service.

- Guardian Asia Bibi, the Christian woman facing execution for blasphemy in Pakistan, has had her conviction overturned by the country's highest court.

In a ruling that will anger the country's Islamic hardliners, Mrs Bibi, 47, was told she would no longer face the gallows after nearly a decade on death row.

- Telegraph The Chinese economy has revealed fresh signs of the pressure of a trade war with the US and a wider slowdown at home as manufacturing activity fell and the yuan was fixed at a new 10-year low to the dollar.

China's manufacturing sector barely expanded in October as both domestic and external demand ebbed, according to a closely watched metric released on Wednesday.

- Guardian Mike Ashley's Sports Direct is set to bring the shutters down on dozens of Evans Cycles stores after it bought the retailer in another controversial pre-pack administration deal.

The acquisition has triggered fears about the future of hundreds of jobs at the struggling specialist chain, with Sports Direct outlining plans to close up to half of its 62 stores.

- The Times A council bought a tent for a troubled teenage boy to live in after it failed to find him suitable accommodation, a watchdog has revealed.

Cornwall Council even provided the "vulnerable" teenager, who had moved south to live with his father, with a replacement tent after the first one a social worker bought him started leaking.

- Telegraph The property developer behind the conversion of central London's Centre Point office skyscraper into multi million-pound luxury apartments has given up trying to sell the flats after receiving too many "detached from reality" lowball offers.

Mike Hussey, chief executive of the developer Almacantar, said the company had decided to halt formal sales of the flats in the 1960s brutalist tower, now called Centre Point Residences, rather than slash prices.

- Guardian

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