For eleven brief minutes last night, Twitter was awash with shock, confusion and some excitement after the account of one of its prominent users vanished from the site.
Visitors to Donald Trump’s page were met with the message "Sorry, that page doesn't exist!", sending users of the social media platform into overdrive as they tried to understand why the US President had decided to deactive his favoured method of communication.
Some concluded that Twitter had decided to censor him, others were convinced that his exasperated staff had removed it in the interests of bringing more structure to the White House communications operation. There was also a notion that this was his rather novel way of resigning from the office. However, these theories all transpired to be ‘fake news’ after Twitter clarified that it had been deleted by one of their customer support employees on their last day in the job, before restoring his account.
Shortly before the incident, Trump ended four decades of Federal Reserve tradition by rejecting the reappointment of Janet Yellen to a second term, instead opting to nominate a Republican investment banker without an economics background. Jerome Powell was widely tipped to be the President’s pick to lead the world’s most powerful central bank, and is expected to continue the Fed's current policies of gradually raising interest rates in the short term.
However, the appointment is seen by many as an attempt to mould the bank into an institution that better reflects the President’s agenda and this is likely to become even more apparent when he fills the remaining four places on the Fed’s seven-strong board.
And how will we know who Trump has chosen to fill those places?
Theresa May has faced a backlash from Conservative MPs and military figures after her decision to promoting her close ally Gavin Williamson to defence secretary. Williamson, the youngest person to take charge of Britain’s armed forces, replaced Sir Michael Fallon having previously been the party’s chief whip. (£)
Eight Catalan government ministers have spent their first night in custody after a Spanish judge refused to grant them bail. Tens of thousands of Catalans staged a protest against their detention over charges relating to last week’s declaration of independence. Prosecutors are also seeking a European Arrest Warrant for ousted Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont, who failed to appear in court and is now in Belgium.
The UN has said that at least 741 civilians died in "execution-style killings" by Islamic State militants during the battle for the Iraqi city of Mosul. It was also found that another 461 civilians died as a result of Iraqi military and US-led coalition air strikes between November 2016 to July 2017, considered the most intensive phase of the battle.
BUSINESS AND ECONOMY
Apple is expected to reclaim the crown of most profitable company in the world from Samsung as the technology giant gets set for its “biggest quarter ever”. CEO Tim Cook said he was feeling “very bullish” for the company’s future. Today Apple launched their latest phone model, the iPhone X. (£)
Carmaker Volkswagen are exploring the possibility of opening a British bank to help to fund sales of its cars in the UK after Brexit. Europe’s largest carmaker has held talks with the Bank of England about making a formal application for a banking licence that will permit it for the first time to take savers’ money.
A new report by Savills has predicted that London house price growth will begin to lag well behind other regions over the next five years, reversing a trend that has stretched back decades.
What happened yesterday?
The highly-expected decision by the Bank of England to raise interest rates for the first time in a decade yesterday saw the pound fall against both the dollar and the euro. The Bank’s guidance that any future rises would be "very gradual" grabbed the attention of investors, as sterling was pushed down further than it has fallen in the past five months against a basket of other major currencies.
Sterling dropped nearly two cents against the dollar to $1.3062, and was down nearly two cents against the euro at €1.1204.
Interestingly, the Bank did not repeat previous warnings that markets were underestimating the extent of future rises.
As is often the case when sterling falls, the FTSE 100 index rose, closing 67.36 points higher at 7,555.32.
Smith & Nephew
Frontera Resources Corporation (DI), Gunsynd
UK Economic Announcements
(08:30) Halifax House Price Index
(09:30) PMI Services
International Economic Announcements
(12:30) Balance of Trade (US)
(12:30) Non-Farm Payrolls (US)
(12:30) Unemployment Rate (US)
(14:45) PMI Composite (US)
(14:45) PMI Services (US)
(15:00) Factory Orders (US)
(15:00) ISM Non-Manufacturing (US)
COLUMNS OF NOTE
Writing in The Times, Daniel Finkelstein believes that promoting Gavin Williamson from chief to the role of defence secretary is a “gamble” by Theresa May. He says the Prime Minister could count on his loyalty and his move may end the recent effectiveness of the whips’ office, one of the reasons he believes has allowed her to remain in post. (£)
In The Guardian, Michael Jacobs asks why the Bank of England has chosen to increase interest rates. Jacobs says the Bank has done everything to keep the failing economy moving and has now run out of options. He believes the problem lies with the government’s continued fiscal austerity.
DID YOU KNOW?
US rock group Metallica is the only musical act to have played on all seven continents. The band set the record after they entertained 120 scientists and competition winners in a transparent dome at Carlini Station in Antarctica in 2013.
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