Some relief for US banks, including Wells Fargo and Citibank: the US central bank claims the 34 largest domestic players have passed ‘stress tests’ – namely how banks would react to unemployment levels of 10%, lower property values and a global recession – by the Fed.
More worry about the long-term direction of the oil market and power re-grouping in Saudi Arabia. The new crown prince 31-year-old Mohammed bin Salman is said to be unpredictable with possible long-term effects on the oil market and regional stability, suggests a new oilprice.com report. WTI Crude is up +0.47% at $42.94.
Asian trading was fairly downbeat overnight with both the Shanghai and Sensex indexes down -0.58% and -0.20% respectively to 3,129.35 and 31,232.3. The pound was modestly 0.25% higher at $1.2709 this morning while the euro was 0.16% up at $1.1168.
- UK FTSE 100 7,439.29 -0.11%
- Dow 21,397.29 -0.06%
- S&P 500 2,434.50 -0.05%
- Nasdaq 6,236.69 +0.04%
- Nikkei 225 20,130.94 +0.10%
- DAX 12,794.00 +0.15%
- CAC 40 5,281.93 +0.15%
- Gold 1,253.20 +0.30%
- Oil WTI 42.95 +0.47%
Toshbia asks for earnings delay
A quiet day on the corporate front with no major reporting updates. Japanese tech giant Toshiba is behind on its financials and has asked Japan’s regulator for a breather – till 10 August – for its annual earnings report.
The problem is linked to a US nuclear unit undergoing bankruptcy filings which have rapidly lapped up red ink; only a final audit can be processed once the Westinghouse nuclear business is complete.
It’s not clear if an extension will be granted. If not, Toshiba faces the prospect of being delisted unless it files within 30 days. To bolster its financials Toshiba’s lucrative chip unit, Toshiba Memory Corp, is now for sale.
'Risky and expensive' - Hinkley Point
Criticism has emerged from public auditors to the Government’s £18bn plans for the Hinkley Point C nuclear station in Somerset. The National Audit Agency (NAO) claims the costs are not value for money and the benefits “marginal”.
Currently much of the project is being financed by Chinese and French money. "The government has increasingly emphasised Hinkley Point C's unquantified strategic benefits,” says the NAO, “but it has little control over these and no plan yet in place to realise them.”
Virgin urges password change
Trouble for Virgin Media and its customers. More than 800,000 Virgin Media clients are being urged to switch passwords otherwise hackers could potentially gain access.
The problem relates to those with a Super Hub 2 router. A recent Which? report found that hackers could access the router, giving them exposure to a range of smart appliances – think ‘internet of things’.
There’s no denying the huge benefits that smart-home gadgets and devices bring says Alex Neill, managing director of home products and services at Which? “However, as our investigation clearly shows, consumers should be aware that some of these appliances are vulnerable and offer little or no security.”
Breaking news: UK safety experts urge the Government to beef up health and safety laws – more than 70 experts have written to the Prime Minister to express concern about further industry deregulation. It’s thought Whitbread-owned Premier Inn is urgently reviewing cladding on several buildings.