19 July

Ellie Nicholson

19 July

Good morning, 

Another day, another allegation of “fake news”. But what’s caused it this time? President Trump has been forced to dismiss claims of a “secret dinner” with Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin at this month’s G20 summit.

The White House have called the interaction, a “brief conversation”, which was attended by Putin and his official interpreter although Trump’s own translator did not receive an invitation, because he does not speak Russian. 

Suspicion surrounding the relationship between the Trump family and the Russian government continues to grow. Just last week, emails exchanges were released that clearly show Donald Trump Junior, the president’s son, in talks with Russian lawyers during the presidential campaign.

However, Mr Trump has assured his twitter following that it is the "fake media" who are “becoming more and more dishonest”. Putin on the other hand was repeatedly pressured about the allegations by Mr Trump, who has reassured everyone that he asked once and then a second time “in a totally different way”.

 

The BBC are braced for a public backlash today, when it will publish the names and salaries of its top earners as part of its annual report. The corporation is set to release a list of employees earning more than £150,000, which is expected to show a gender pay gap among the top-earners, of which two-thirds are men. The BBC will allow the high-earners to defend themselves on social media, and engage with critics.

Two bodies have been found in a Swiss Glacier that are believed to be a couple missing since 1942. Marcelin and Francine Dumoulin, disappeared 75 years ago after going to tend their cows in the Alps. Climatologists say a rise in global temperatures caused the ice to reveal the corpses, which were wearing clothing and belongings dating to the pre-war era.

Whitehall departments are failing to ensure ex-civil servants stick to lobby bans after they join the private sector, the National Audit Office says. The public spending watchdog found that Whitehall departments are failing to consistently enforce safeguards to prevent civil servants exploiting inside knowledge.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

A new report by the CMI and the British Academy of Management, has said that the ethnic diversity within Britain’s biggest businesses must be improved after the Brexit vote. While 12.5% of the UK population are black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), they occupy just 6% of top management jobs. 

Major City Firms will start implementing their Brexit contingency plans by the end of the year unless the government agrees a transitional deal with the EU, the head of the UK’s top financial watchdog warned yesterday. The Financial Conduct Authority chief executive, Andrew Bailey has indicated that the regulator is pressing the government on the issue, as city firms are getting near  to taking steps to ensure they can continue to operate seamlessly post-Brexit.

Consumers are no longer to be charged extra for paying by debit or credit card from January next year. The UK government plans to ban extra surcharges which are often found on food delivery apps, airlines and small businesses, although the change in law is likely to mean some companies will increase prices to cover these costs.

 

MARKETS

What happened yesterday

The FTSE 100 closed slightly down at 7,390.22 yesterday, despite sterling weakening against key currencies following a dip in inflation.

Royal Mail was the big winner yesterday, as shares rose 3% following an increase in revenues to June 25th. According to the Royal Mail, this increase was due primarily to its European parcel business GLS. In the UK, the volume of letter deliveries fell.

The pound fell after an unexpected slip in inflation. Official figures released, have shown that the UK's inflation rate dropped from to 2.6% in June, down from 2.9% in May, whereas economists had expected no change. This has reduced the change of an interest rate hike when the Bank of England next meets on August 3rd.Sterling fell to $1.3038 against the dollar and €1.1251 against the euro.

Sterling fell to $1.3038 against the dollar and €1.1251 against the euro.

Trading Announcements
Evraz, Severn Trent, TalkTalk Telecom Group, Tristel

AGMs
Biffa, Kellan Group, Lombard Risk Management, RPC Group, TalkTalk Telecom Group, People's Operator

International Economic Announcements
(12:00) MBA Mortgage Applications (US)
(13:30) Building Permits (US)
(13:30) Housing Starts (US)
(15:30) Crude Oil Inventories (US)

COLUMNS OF NOTE

Robert Colville, writing in CapX, looks at the in-depth statistics behind the recent report in the stagnation of life expectancy and considers if austerity really is to blame.

Writing in The Guardian, Anne Perkins discusses the unique role of the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) in setting and guarding the standards that it thinks are valued by society. Praising the regulator for plans to clamp down on outdated gender stereotypes, she asks why it is powerless to political abuses.

DID YOU KNOW?

There are around 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body. If you took them all out and laid them end to end, they'd stretch around the world more than twice.