Business news: Euro slips, Amazon (AMZN) bans Visa (V) in UK
By Jenny McCall
13:57, 19 November 2021
- Christmas has certainly come early for retailers as new data from the Office of National Statistics showed that UK retail sales climbed by 0.8% in October. This was helped by a pre-Christmas shopping surge, with toys, sports equipment and clothing stores among the main gainers.
- Credit crutch: Online retailer Amazon has banned Visa card payments in the UK due to high fees, it was announced today. As a result of the ban, Visa’s shares slipped by over 5%.
- The euro slipped on Friday, after Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank, said “we must not rush into a premature tightening,” cementing her dovish policy stance.
- Borrowing decline: UK public sector borrowing fell in October. The Office for National Statistics said October’s public sector net borrowing rate was £200m less than a year ago.
So you’re telling me @AmazonUK have BANNED the use of Visa Credit Cards in the #UK ???? because of their ‘high Visa fees’ (Approx: 0.30-1.70%), instead of simply adding this fee to the cost of products like every other business has to do? This is such a weird move. #Amazon #Visa pic.twitter.com/UT3LJJfRIu— Hayley (@hayley_nash) 17 November 2021
Business and economic news
- Halma (HLMA) – the UK-based and FTSE 100-listed producer of life-saving hazard-protection equipment – acquired Infinite Leap for $30m (approximately £22m).
- Art and crypto: Two paintings from contemporary artist Banksy sold for over $12 million in the first Sotheby’s sale denominated in ether.
- Housing boom: Higher pandemic lending margins and a surge in the UK housing market have helped Nationwide double its pre-tax profits to £853m for the last six months.
A pair of Banksy artworks were sold at auction last night for 3,093 #Ethereum, almost $15m. The paintings were purchased through Sotheby’s, which accepted the world’s second-largest #cryptocurrency for the first time. $ETH— cryptonow (@cryptocoinsnow) 19 November 2021
- Stocks: Dow fell by 0.40% and S&P was down 0.12% at 12pm GMT. Nasdaq index futures hit a record level today, as investors looked to sectors of economic stability after a delay in voting on US President Joe Biden’s $1.75 trillion spending bill.
- Oil: Oil prices fell sharply toward $78 a barrel on Friday, driven by a fresh surge in Covid-19 cases in Europe.
- Gold: Gold prices were flat on Friday as traders continued to be concerned over inflationary pressures.
- Forex: In mid-morning trade, the euro fell 0.4% at $1.1327 against the US dollar. It also dropped 0.1% to £0.8412 versus the British pound and lost 0.2% to JPY129.60 against the Japanese yen.
- Crypto: Bitcoin was down 3.56% and ethereum had dropped by 0.21% in afternoon trading.
What to watch today
- It was announced on Friday that Chinese developer Evergrande Group will be removed from Hong Kong’s Hang Seng China Enterprises Index.
- US Transportation Department doled out nearly $1 billion in infrastructure grants as Biden prepares to dramatically boost funding on the nation’s roads, bridges, rail, transit and other projects.