There was a Brexit downer in the air today as the IMF tore into the medium-term prospects of the UK. IMF boss Christine Lagarde says the UK will see +1.6% growth this year compared to +1.7% originally predicted. UK growth will decelerate to +1.5% in 2019, she claims. Lagarde said more investment commitment is being stuck on the back-burner – she was scathing.
"If you look at investment alone, with +2.1% of GDP in investment, with the global economy as it is, and the space the UK economy has in that global economy, it should be rolling at 6%."
Uber got a big slap earlier: Europe’s highest court says Uber must be treated not as a digital tech service but as a cab business (more of below). Uber claims the decision won’t alter its business currently.
The pound edged up +0.14% higher against the dollar to 1.3405 while the euro gained +0.19% against the pound to 0.8861. The FTSE 100 was almost 19 points lower tonight at 7,525, down -0.25% with NMC Health sinking -4% and BAT -1.5% down.
- UK FTSE 100 7,525.22 -0.25%
- DAX 13,101.57 -0.87%
- CAC 40 5,355.00 -0.52%
- Dow 24,735.98 -0.08%
- S&P 500 2,678.10 -0.13%
- Nasdaq 6,945.21 -0.27%
- Nikkei 225 22,891.72 +0.10%
- Gold 1,268.50 +0.34%
- Oil WTI 57.61 +0.09%
ECJ smacks down Uber: you're a cab service, not an app
The Uber-ECJ decision earlier may likely mean less work and tighter supervision for many of its workers. Uber is still appealing Sadiq Khan’s attempt to ban the app in London though Uber remains operational in the capital (a hearing is still some time off).
Either way, the ECJ says Uber must be treated as a cab firm. It also paves the way for more regulation on tech companies generally i.e. it’s not about the technology they develop and market, it’s about the service they provide.
The ECJ said “an intermediation service…must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as ‘a service in the field of transport’”
Shell faces Italian court on Nigerian corruption allegations
Oil giant Shell is facing allegations of corruption in Nigeria. The case concerns a Nigerian offshore oil block known as OPL 245 bought by Shell for $1.1bn in 2011. Campaigning organisation Global Witness says Shell "took part in a scheme which deprived Nigeria and its people of $1.1bn in a murky deal for access to one of Africa’s most valuable oil blocks, known as OPL 245".
The case goes to court in Italy in March. Shell denies all allegations. In a statement sent to Capital Shell said:
“Shell attaches the greatest importance to business integrity. It’s one of our core values and is a central tenet of the Business Principles that govern the way we do business. Shell has clear rules on anti-bribery and corruption and these are included in our Code of Conduct for all staff. There is no place for bribery or corruption in our company.”
Breaking news: RMT members are threatening to strike on 8, 10 and 12 January on the role of train guards. The train companies affected appear to be South Western Railway (SWR), Greater Anglia, Merseyrail and Northern.