More rail strikes announced after union meets Government

Train platforms at Kings Cross Station during rail strikes in July - Aaron Chown/PA Wire
Train platforms at Kings Cross Station during rail strikes in July - Aaron Chown/PA Wire

Rail union the TSSA has served notice for strikes at a further six train operating companies and Network Rail.

It comes just hours after meetings with a government minister in the long-running dispute over jobs, pay and conditions.

Nine companies will now be affected by strike action by the union on Saturday December 17: Network Rail, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Southeastern, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express, West Midlands Trains, Avanti West Coast and c2c.

Avanti West Coast will also be affected by strikes on December 13, 14 and 16.

Luke Chester, TSSA organising director, said this afternoon:

"Enough is enough. Our members are fed up of being treated with contempt by employers and government alike.

“We’ve sat through hundreds of hours of talks and have moved mountains to make progress on modernisation details, staffing and jobs. But still there is no offer in writing and nothing whatsoever on pay, despite inflation biting our members hard."

The union said further industrial action over the Christmas and new year period was being actively considered.

Read the latest updates below.

06:09 PM

Poland approves price cap on Russian oil

Poland has agreed to the European Union's deal for a $60 per barrel price cap on Russian seaborne oil, allowing the EU to move forward with formally approving the deal over the weekend, Poland's Ambassador to the EU Andrzej Sados said.

The price cap, an idea of the Group of Seven (G7) nations, aims to reduce Russia's income from selling oil, while preventing a spike in global oil prices after an EU embargo on Russian crude takes effect on Dec. 5.

The G7 price cap will allow non-EU countries to continue importing seaborne Russian crude oil using Western insurance and maritime services as long as they do not pay more per barrel than the agreed limit.

EU countries have wrangled for days over the details, with those countries adding conditions to the deal -

05:16 PM

Cash workers suspend G4S strikes after pay increase offer

While rail workers have added new strike dates, G4S cash workers have suspended planned strikes on Monday after a pay deal was agreed with the security giant.

Members of the GMB union voted in favour of industrial action last month, raising concerns of potential cash shortages at banks and retailers across the UK in the run-up to Christmas.

The outsourcing firm delivers cash and coins to the likes of Barclays, HSBC, Santander, Tesco and Asda.

The strike was due to take place from 3am on December 5 after 97pc of voting members were in favour of the move.

However, the union has now paused the planned action and is recommending a two-year pay deal from the company to members.

The pay deal will include an 8.5pc increase in basic pay and allowances from January 2023.

Eamon O'Hearn, GMB national officer, said: "G4S cash staff are low paid workers doing a dangerous job, transferring the cash so many of us rely on every day.

"They deserve decent pay in this cost-of-living crisis. They will now decide whether this offer is enough."

04:55 PM

Strike action "last resort" says union leader

Notice of further strike action by the TSSA follows four weeks of intensive talks which the union said failed to produce a written offer from Network Rail or the Rail Delivery Group.

The TSSA and officials from the Rail, Maritime and Transport union held separate talks on Friday with rail minister Huw Merriman.

"This strike action is an exasperated last resort but unless there's an offer made it won't be the last," said Luke Chester, TSSA organising director.

"It's meant to be the season of goodwill but there's very little being shown by the Government and it's running out fast on our side."

04:02 PM

Pound falls as US wage inflation grows

The pound plunged by nearly 0.9pc in minutes this afternoon after figures in the US showed wages increased despite mounting worries of a recession.

The unexpectedly positive data could complicate the Federal Reserve's intention to start slowing the pace of its interest rate increases this month, potentially boosting the value of the dollar.

The pound had been on track for its fourth consecutive weekly advance against the greenback, having reached its highest level since the start of August today.

However, the value of sterling plummeted this afternoon as the US Labor Department said employers in America hired more workers than expected in November and increased wages.

This is despite technology companies, including Twitter, Amazon and Meta, the parent of Facebook, announcing thousands of jobs cuts.

03:48 PM

Asos loses second finance chief in as many months

Asos model walks off catwalk - REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett
Asos model walks off catwalk - REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

The online fashion retailer Asos has lost its second finance chief in two months as it battles to turn its business around following a fall in spending on clothes, writes retail editor Hannah Boland.

Katy Mecklenburgh, who had taken over as interim chief financial officer at the end of October, will be stepping down next June to take up a post at Softcat, an IT company.

Asos said it is continuing its hunt for a permanent chief financial officer while she works out her six-month notice period.

Ms Mecklenburgh had taken over the finance role following the exit of former chief financial officer Mat Dunn, who left as part of a restructuring of Asos's executive team after a monthslong decline in its share price. The stock is down more than 70pc since the start of the year.

The company unveiled a shake-up in June, bringing in Jørgen Lindemann as its new chairman and Antonio Ramos Calamonte to act as chief executive.

Asos expects to write off around £130m worth of old stock in the current financial year, amid efforts to cut back the number of promotions on its website.

03:32 PM

UK, Japan and Italy close to fighter jet project deal

The Rafale is a French twin-engine fighter jet - THIBAUD MORITZ/AFP via Getty Images
The Rafale is a French twin-engine fighter jet - THIBAUD MORITZ/AFP via Getty Images

Britain, Japan and Italy are close to announcing a political agreement on a new jet fighter, joining forces to fund a multi-billion dollar program capable of competing with the next generation of warplanes from the US and elsewhere.

A deal on the project, to be called the Global Combat Air Program, is expected next week.

Britain and Italy have been developing the Tempest warplane to rival France and Germany’s so-called Future Combat Air System plane for some years.

London and Rome have been working on bringing Japan into the group, with Sweden another prospective partner.

Adding Japan would bring a global dimension, potentially aiding worldwide sales, while bolstering funding after Germany chose to partner with France on the rival aircraft.

03:18 PM

Christmas dinner 'to be most expensive in a decade'

Christmas turkey - iStockphoto
Christmas turkey - iStockphoto

All the news on US inflation will likely mean that you are not surprised to hear that your Christmas dinner this year will be the most expensive in at least a decade.

The cost of everything is soaring, from poultry to Yorkshire puddings.

Prices for the typical festive meal are up more than 22pc on last year, as rising energy bills hit food producers, as well as the avian-flu outbreak in Britain.

Meanwhile, the price of pork has jumped 39pc in a year, while turkey is up 30pc, according to research by Mintec. The company said in a statement:

Inflation has had a severe impact on the food industry, with tighter margins for producers caused by rising input costs.

02:58 PM

Wall Street continues downward slide

US markets have continued on their downward trajectory as wage growth in November suggests the US Federal Reserve may have to continue raising rates aggressively to tame inflation.

While Fed chief Jerome Powell signalled on Wednesday that the central bank could start "moderating" the pace of rate hikes as soon as December, investors were unnerved by today's jobs figures.

The Dow Jones is down 0.8pc, the S&P 500 is off 1pc and the Nasdaq Composite is down 1.3pc.

An interesting chart on the theory of why interest rate increases should lead to lower inflation:

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02:32 PM

Wall Street plunges at the open

As predicted, it has been a very tricky open to say the least on Wall Street following US labour market figures that indicate the Federal Reserve may be forced to continue with its aggressive interest rate rises.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 0.9pc to 34,092.94.

The S&P 500 plunged 1.1pc to 4,031.59 while the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite was hit 1.4pc to 11,312.21.

02:16 PM

US labour market figures a 'reality check for markets'

Markets had expected interest rate rises to slow down in the US but today's labour market figures are likely to lead to a miserable open on Wall Street in about 15 minutes' time.

The figures, showing wage increases, will leave the Federal Reserve with a big decision to make in its quest to get a grip on inflation.

If it tightens the money supply further, that will likely means there will be less appetite from consumers to invest in assets like stocks.

The FTSE 100 immediately dropped 0.5pc following the news and is now down 0.3pc on the day.

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02:02 PM

Fastest wage rises since 2020 hurt US Fed's efforts to tackle inflation

The fastest rise in US wages since 2020 and resilient job creation have delivered a blow to the Federal Reserve's efforts to tame inflation in the world's biggest economy.

Senior economics reporter Tom Rees has the latest analysis:

The pound slipped against the dollar and US stock futures tumbled as accelerating wage growth and stronger-than-expected hiring boosted the odds of continued aggressive action to cool prices.

Wages rose 0.6pc in November compared to the previous month, the joint-strongest since December 2020, while some 263,000 jobs were added to the US economy. It was the weakest job creation in almost two years but it still fuelled fears on markets of more Fed rate rises.

Markets have been betting on a slower pace to interest rate rises in the US and even cuts next year. But strong wage pressures and continued hiring will complicate the Fed’s efforts to control inflation, which has shown signs of cooling.

The pound dropped 0.7pc versus the dollar to $1.2167 while futures pointed to a 1.6pc plunge in US stocks at the opening bell on Wall Street.

Hussain Mehdi, strategist at HSBC Asset Management, said: "The pace of US hiring alongside other measures of labour market activity such as vacancies and wage growth remain too high for the Fed’s liking.

"With this in mind and amid broader US economic resilience and sticky core inflation, we think speculation of a Fed pause as soon as the January/February meeting is unjustified."

01:44 PM

Three train operators arrive late more than half the time

 Avanti West Coast - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Avanti West Coast - Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Three train operators serving northern England are getting fewer than half their services to arrive on time.

Only 33.3pc of trains with Avanti West Coast, which serves north-west England as part of its long-distance routes on the West Coast Main Line, recorded an on-time figure.

That was close to its worst four-week period on record, which was in autumn 2019 when 31.4pc of stops at stations were not delayed.

Just 45.8pc of stops at stations by TransPennine Express trains were within a minute of the schedule between October 16 and November 12, analysis of Office of Rail and Road (ORR) data by PA found.

At 48pc, Northern's punctuality was only slightly better.

All three operators have been hit by staffing problems, with many drivers refusing to volunteer to work on rest days.

01:20 PM

Pension adviser fined for advising British Steel members to leave scheme

A firm which advised people to give up valuable pensions has been fined nearly £2.4m by the City regulator.

Pembrokeshire Mortgage Centre (PMC), trading as County Financial Consultants, gave unsuitable advice to consumers to transfer out of the British Steel Pension Scheme and other defined benefit pension schemes, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said.

The company advised 420 consumers, nearly two-thirds of whom were British Steel Pension Scheme members, on whether to transfer out of their defined benefit scheme.

Overall, 93pc were advised to transfer, with County Financial Consultants earning more than £2m in transfer and ongoing advice fees.

Defined benefit pension schemes guarantee people a certain level of income in retirement, based on their salary.

01:02 PM

Heathrow baggage handlers to strike during Christmas getaway

Ground staff gather at a picket near Heathrow's Terminal 2 on November 18 - Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Ground staff gather at a picket near Heathrow's Terminal 2 on November 18 - Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Families flying abroad for Christmas face strikes at Heathrow airport, with baggage handlers set to walk out for three days at the end of the school term.

About 350 staff at Menzies Aviation, which provides ground-handling services for carriers including American Airlines and Deutsche Lufthansa, will strike from Friday, December 16, the Unite union said today.

The action will affect three Heathrow terminals as workers push for a pay rise.

Unite said passengers face "disruption, delays and potentially cancellations," though an earlier strike at Menzies over three days last month had little impact, according to airlines and Heathrow.

12:44 PM

Wall Street expected to open lower

US equity futures have slipped, reflecting a generally cautious mood on world markets ahead of a crucial monthly jobs report that could offer clues on how much further the Federal Reserve might raise interest rates.

Contracts on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 edged lower, although both underlying indexes are still set for a second week of gains.

Premarket US trading reflected concern over the impact of higher rates on company earnings, especially in the tech sector.

Shares in cloud security company Zscaler and chipmaker Marvell Technology declined after downbeat outlook reports.

Stocks got a boost this week from a softening in China's stringent Covid zero stance and signals from Fed Chair Jerome Powell of a downshift in the pace of rate hikes.

Bets on where the US central bank's rate will peak have now dropped below 4.9pc, according to swap markets. The current benchmark sits in a range between 3.75pc and 4pc.

12:17 PM

Stop using pandemic as excuse for late deliveries, Royal Mail warned

Royal Mail - Ian Nicholson/PA Wire
Royal Mail - Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Royal Mail has been warned it must stop using the Covid-19 pandemic as an excuse for late deliveries even as it grapples with nationwide strikes.

Senior technology reporter Matthew Field has the details:

Ofcom, the communications regulator, has been investigating Royal Mail after it missed official performance targets because of Covid.

The watchdog said it had decided Royal Mail had not been in breach of its regulatory standards in 2021-22 as a result of the exceptional disruption caused by Covid illnesses and a surge in package deliveries during lockdowns.

But it said the pandemic would no longer be accepted as an excuse for failure.

Read why Royal Mail was "disappointed" by its performance and apologised to customers.

11:59 AM

Germany hit by surprise fall in exports as surging energy prices weigh on economy

A container ship at Hamburg Port, Germany - Gregor Fischer/Getty Images
A container ship at Hamburg Port, Germany - Gregor Fischer/Getty Images

German exports unexpectedly fell in October for the second month in a row, as high inflation and soaring energy prices weigh on Europe's largest economy.

Germany exported €133.5bn (£114.6bn) worth of goods in October, a 0.6pc drop on the previous month, according to seasonally-adjusted figures from federal statistics agency Destatis.

The dip surprised analysts who had expected a slight jump in exports, according to Factset.

The setback, which comes after exports already slipped by 0.5pc in September, was mainly down to softer demand from European Union countries.

Europe is reeling from the fallout of Russia's war in Ukraine, which has pushed up energy prices and sent inflation soaring to record heights.

The cost-of-living squeeze coupled with lingering global supply chain issues have left Germany bracing for a recession.

11:37 AM

Asset manager Premier Miton shares jump

Asset manager Premier Miton shares surged as much as 21pc today despite revealing more than £1bn in funds were withdrawn by customers.

Lower than expected staff costs, a growing number of funds and more than 87pc of its funds having above average performance helped to reassure investors.

However, its shares on the AIM index in London remain down 36pc on the year at 109p. Pre-tax profits were down 15pc to £14.9m.

Investec upgraded its advice to investors to "buy".

11:17 AM

Luxury watch market slows after pandemic boom

Mark Ronson is a brand ambassador for Audemars Piguet
Mark Ronson is a brand ambassador for Audemars Piguet

Prices of luxury second-hand watches have plummeted as consumers who splashed the cash during the pandemic feel the crunch from the cost-of-living crisis.

The value of Rolex, Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet watches, long seen by investors as a store of value, have been hit dramatically, according to reseller Subdial.

The company's Subdial50 Index, which tracks prices for the 50 most traded luxury watch references by value, has declined by nearly 17pc in the last six months, following an unprecedented surge in 2021.

Second hand prices for Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak "Jumbo" were above £110,000 at their peak in March, having more than doubled in a year. Now the watch is trading at around £70,000.

Subdial co-founder Christy Davis said: "When a bubble starts to build around one thing, watch enthusiasts find another."

10:56 AM

Pound continues gains against the dollar

The pound is on track for its fourth consecutive weekly advance against the dollar amid growing anticipation that the pace of interest rate increases will slow down in the US.

Sterling is up 0.1pc today to put it more than halfway towards the $1.23 mark.

Kristoffer Kjær Lomholt, chief analyst at Danske Bank, said:

We are modestly bullish on sterling and part of that is related to the dollar narrative.

The current account funding story that played out with the 'mini-budget' and the uncertainty around that has been completely priced out, we see that both in real sterling terms and also real rates terms.

All that has fully reversed from late September, early October.

10:42 AM

Surge in applications to shut down businesses in Britain amid energy crisis

The number of creditors applying for businesses to be shut down in Britain has surged as companies battle rising energy prices and falling consumer spending power caused by the cost-of-living crisis.

The UK is on course for about 3,500 winding up petitions to have been made before the end of the year, up from 825 in the whole of 2021. There have been 2,990 so far this year.

There were 474 petitions to wind up companies in November alone, nearly four times higher than the same month a year ago.

Creditors can use a winding up petition to apply to the courts to close down a company if debts owed to them remain unpaid.

David Kelly, head of insolvency in PwC's restructuring team, said:

Since the Government's support during the pandemic came to an end, we've seen a steady increase in winding up petitions, but the fact that there were 474 in November demonstrates that the current economic climate is starting to bite and, as such, many creditors are taking a tougher stance with debtors.

10:31 AM

McLaren sells off prized vintage supercars

McLaren sells vintage supercars - Mark Thompson/Getty Images for McLaren
McLaren sells vintage supercars - Mark Thompson/Getty Images for McLaren

Cash-strapped McLaren has offloaded some of its heritage car collection to Bahrain's sovereign wealth fund.

The British marque sold some of its collection after identifying "certain technical upgrades" needed on its Artura hybrid supercar which have led to delays in deliveries.

The company had already confirmed this week that it had secured a £100m injection from its main shareholder, Mumtalakat, which owns a near 60pc stake.

A McLaren spokesman confirmed the sale of some heritage vehicles in return for the cash but did not elaborate on what was sold.

The company counts 54 rare F1 racing cars among its collection.

10:14 AM

Tesla hands over first electric truck

Elon Musk unveils the Tesla Semi electric truck in Nevada - Tesla
Elon Musk unveils the Tesla Semi electric truck in Nevada - Tesla

Tesla has handed over the first of its electric Semi trucks, a milestone for the carmaker more than five years after it unveiled the vehicle.

During a low-key "delivery event" at Tesla's battery factory in Sparks, Nevada, chief executive Elon Musk said: "If you want the most badass rig on the road, this is it."

While electric passenger cars get most of the buzz, the move to electrify trucking could be transformative for an industry known for high emissions and hefty fuel costs.

Adding driver assistance features can also help operators save on labour expenses.

On stage, Mr Musk said Tesla had pulled off a 500-mile (805-kilometer) demonstration run on a single charge and full load in California, between Tesla's Fremont plant and San Diego. A time-lapse video was shown of the route.

Large fleet operators like Pepsi, Walmart, Meijer and JB Hunt Transport Services were among the companies that placed non-binding reservations for the Semi five years ago.

The first deliveries will go to Pepsi's Frito-Lay plant in Modesto, California.

09:53 AM

Credit Suisse stems flow of clients jumping ship

Credit Suisse - REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann
Credit Suisse - REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

Credit Suisse chairman Axel Lehmann said the bank has mostly stemmed the huge outflow of clients assets that have helped send the shares to a record low.

Withdrawals at the Swiss lender, which surged to about 84bn Swiss francs (£73.1bn) earlier this quarter after rumours about the bank's stability, have "basically stopped," Lehmann told Bloomberg Television.

The bulk of the bleeding occurred in October, and the bank has since seen some client assets coming back in Switzerland.

However, the bank is accelerating cost cuts announced just weeks ago, Mr Lehmann said, which are likely to involve more job losses than previously announced.

Credit Suisse said in October it intends to reduce its cost base by around 2.5bn Swiss francs (£2.2bn) to about 14.5bn (£12.6bn) in 2025.

He said: "We are definitely exceeding 1.2bn up until the end of next year. So we try to front-load and not back-load the implementation."

Its shares climbed as much as 5.6pc today.

09:29 AM

Oil producers expected to stick to current output levels

Major oil producers are expected to stick to their current output strategy or even slash production further when they meet at the weekend.

The Opec+ group of oil producing nations and their allies will meet on Sunday in the face of falling prices, a potential Russian oil price cap and an embargo on Russian crude shipments.

At their last ministerial session in October the 13-nation Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries headed by Riyadh and its 10 allies led by Moscow, collectively known as Opec+, agreed to reduce output by two million barrels per day (bpd) from November.

The Opec+ reduction amounted to the biggest cut since the height of the Covid pandemic in 2020.

Amid fears of economic slowdown, Sunday's the cartel's meeting via videoconference convenes ahead of the EU enforcing an embargo on Russian crude shipments from Monday.

G7 countries, the EU and Australia had also appeared close to agreeing a $60 dollar per barrel price cap on Russian oil Thursday.

The alliance should vote for a "rollover of the previous decision" to cut two million bpd, an Iranian source told AFP on Thursday, arguing that the market was "very uncertain" in light of imminent European sanctions.

09:09 AM

‘I bought a wind turbine – now I pay £1.50 a month for energy’

Households are being forced into ever-more ingenious ways to escape the unprecedented spike in energy bills, after post-pandemic supply issues and the war in Ukraine drove the wholesale price of gas to record highs.

My colleague Tom Hayes reveals how some homeowners are benefitting from a windfarm hundreds of miles from their home.

Some rushed to retrofit their houses with green upgrades to wean themselves off gas: improving efficiency with insulation, forking out for heat pumps, and installing solar panels.

But some have gone even further and invested directly in wind turbines hundreds of miles from where they live in an attempt to drive down their energy bills. For those who bought into a recent trial scheme, the idea has already proven lucrative.

Ele Sherwen lives in west London and part-owns a wind turbine with around 900 other people.

Read how she has reduced her energy bills with her share in the turbine as part of the collaboration with Ripple Energy, a clean energy company.

08:52 AM

Energy stocks lead slide in FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 slipped ahead of key US jobs data, with energy stocks leading the decline, while AJ Bell helped boost the FTSE 250 after an analyst upgrade.

The internationally-focused blue-chip index shed 0.5pc but was set for a third straight weekly gain, while the FTSE 250 was up 0.3pc.

AJ Bell jumped 7.5pc to the top of the mid-cap index after Jefferies raised its rating for the investment platform to "buy" from "hold" following upbeat earnings.

Heavyweight energy stocks lost 1.7pc to lead sectoral falls on mixed crude oil prices, with BP down 2.7pc, Harbour Energy falling 2.2pc and Shell sliding 1.7pc.

BP has also been embroiled in controversy after a Ukraine official said the company would receive "blood money" from its investments in Russia.

All eyes are on the US employment data, due later in the day, which will likely show job growth at its smallest in nearly two years in November as mounting worries of a recession cooled demand for labour.

08:35 AM

John Lewis strikes £500m deal to turn supermarkets into homes

John Lewis has agreed a £500m deal to transform supermarkets and warehouses into 1,000 rental homes as part of a major house building push by the retailer.

Retail editor Hannah Boland has the latest:

The partnership unveiled a £500m joint venture with Abrdn, the investment company, to build its first tranche of rental properties by redeveloping two Waitrose stores and an empty John Lewis warehouse in Bromley and West Ealing, in Greater London, and Reading.

It is aiming to build 10,000 homes within the next decade, many of which will be in redeveloped John Lewis sites – something it said would create a "stable income" for the business as it diversifies away from retail. By 2040, John Lewis has said it will make 40pc of its profits outside retail.

It comes amid what the John Lewis Partnership chairman Dame Sharon White has said is proving a tougher period than the pandemic, as the cost-of-living crisis hammers consumer spending.

Read how the company is also planning a shake-up of the layout of remaining stores.

08:32 AM

Elizabeth Line workers balloted on strikes

Rail workers on London's new Elizabeth Line are to be balloted for strikes in a dispute over pay.

Members of the Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) will vote in the coming weeks on whether to launch a campaign of industrial action.

The union said its members are paid "significantly less" than equivalent workers across the network.

The Elizabeth line, running across London from Reading and Heathrow to Abbey Wood, was opened in May by the late Queen.

It comes with members of the RMT union due to stage four weeks of walkouts in December and January. Read on for details.

08:02 AM

Mixed open for markets in London

The markets in London have struggled for direction at the open as traders look to a jobs report for clues on the US Federal Reserve's next policy steps.

The internationally-focused FTSE 100 opened down 0.2pc to 7,558.49 while the domestically-orientated FTSE 250 was up 0.1pc to 19,435.03.

07:58 AM

Oil headed for strong gain this week

Oil is headed for its biggest weekly gain in almost two months after China softened its stance on Covid-19 restrictions.

The price of a barrel has also been boosted by Washington mulling a pause in sales from strategic reserves, and a weaker dollar boosting commodities.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, sits above $87 a barrel while US produced West Texas Intermediate (WTI) held above $81 a barrel after a run of four daily gains.

The uptick in prices comes ahead of a key meeting at the weekend of the Organization Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as Opec+, and a last-minute drive by the European Union to agree on a price cap for Russian oil.

07:47 AM

Elon Musk bans Kanye West from Twitter again after swastika post

Ye, formerly named Kanye West, has had his ban from Twitter reinstated - SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Ye, formerly named Kanye West, has had his ban from Twitter reinstated - SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Elon Musk has banned Kanye West from Twitter after an anti-Semitism fuelled interview where the rapper claimed "I like Hitler".

Senior Technology Reporter Matthew Field has the latest.

Just days after reinstating the former billionaire musician's account, West spoke on an video hosted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

On his Twitter account, West posted an image of a Star of David with a Nazi swastika inside it.

Mr Musk said West had "violated our rule against incitement to violence".

The lists came hours after West engaged in a hate fuelled video where he repeatedly praised Hitler, Nazis and denied the Holocaust.

The ban comes after free speech app Parler confirmed that Mr West would no longer be buying it.

Parler said in a statement: "The company has mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale."

07:40 AM

Good morning

BP has been told it will be receiving "blood money" unless it cuts its ties with a state-controlled Russian oil company.

Ukraine president Volodymyr Zelensky's chief economic adviser Oleg Ustenko has written to BP's chief executive asking that it cut ties with Rosneft.

In his letter he wrote: "This is blood money, pure and simple, inflated profits made from the murder of Ukrainian civilians."

5 things to start your day

1) Total pulls investment from North Sea in response to Sunak’s windfall tax - French operator becomes first major player to cut back spending plans

2) Chinese ‘super embassy’ blocked in London in blow to Xi Jinping - Tower Hamlets council rejected planning permission for the vast project near Tower Bridge

3) Striking Royal Mail staff accused of violence and intimidation - One person was headbutted and others were followed and filmed, company claims

4) Boris Johnson clashes with Leonardo DiCaprio over Sadiq Khan's Ulez expansion - Former Prime Minister among signatories to Telegraph letter challenging proposals

5) China ramps up censorship to suppress protests against unpopular zero Covid rules - Tech firms ordered to hire more censors to pay closer attention to information being shared about demonstrations

What happened overnight

Stocks fell in Asia after US equities struggled for direction, with traders awaiting a jobs report later Friday for clues on the Federal Reserve’s next policy steps.

A gauge of Asian equities dropped, led by Japan, where the yen’s five-day rally increased downward pressure on stocks. A Bank of Japan board member suggesting the need for a policy assessment added to negative sentiment.

Futures contracts for the S&P 500 slid after the index edged lower during the US session. It rallied earlier this week on Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s signals of a downshift in the pace of hikes.

Bets on where the central bank rate will peak have now dropped below 4.9pc, according to swap markets. The current benchmark sits in a range between 3.75pc and 4pc.

Fed Bank of New York President John Williams said further hikes are needed to curb inflation. Concern that such tightening raises the odds of a recession became more pronounced after data showing American manufacturing contracted in November for the first time since May 2020.

The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index steadied after sinking to its lowest since June.

Australian and New Zealand government bond yields slid, following the lead from Treasuries on Thursday, when their rally gathered steam amid a pullback in expectations for Fed tightening. The 10-year US benchmark yield rose slightly to 3.54pc during Asian trading.