Author: WTX Business Team

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Average five-year fixed mortgage rates now above 6% Following last month’s interest rate hike, a typical five-year fixed mortgage deal now has an interest rate of more than 6%. Last month the Bank of England raised interest rates to a 15-year-high of 5% in an attempt to bring down inflation.  Mortgage lenders have been increasing rates and withdrawing deals recently, which has been driving up costs for homeowners. PM Rishi Sunak has urged homeowners to “hold their nerve” over rising rates. On Tuesday, the average rate for a five-year fixed mortgage stood at 6.01% according to Moneyfacts. The average two-year…

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Sainsbury’s boss says food price rises starting to slow Sainsbury’s boss Simon Roberts has said food prices are not rising as quickly as they were, helping to boost the amount customers are buying. The supermarket chain saw an increase of nearly 10% in the value of goods it sold in April, May and June. The hot weather, Eastern the royal Coronation and bank holidays all played a role in the increase of goods sold. Roberts said Sainsbury’s was “fully committed” to passing on savings to the customers. The past year has seen food prices skyrocket, but some wholesale prices have…

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The Economist – The Humbling of Vladimir Putin THE ECONOMIST SAYS the last pretence of Vladimir Putin to be, as he imagines, one of his nation’s historic rulers was stripped away on June 24th. A band of armed mercenaries swept through his country almost unopposed, covering some 750km (470 miles) in a single day, seizing control of two big cities and getting to within 200km of Moscow before withdrawing unharmed. Mr Putin long ago failed as a reformer, having presided over ever-deepening corruption and economic stagnation and being unable to make Russia anything more than a purveyor of hydrocarbons just…

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CITY AM – London set to power UK recovery CITYAM SAYS London businesses are shaking off all the doom and gloom swirling around the UK economy and are poised to power the country’s recovery, exclusive research shared with City A.M. has found. The capital’s firms are standing up to rising costs and shaky consumer demand, but are still alive to inflationary threats, according to the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (LCCI) latest Capital 500 survey. Some 24 per cent of London businesses notched an increase in domestic sales in the second quarter of this year, up from 21 per…

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Energy boss says prices might rise this winter The boss of the International Energy Agency has warned energy prices could spike again this winter, forcing governments to step in and subsides bills again. If the Chinese economy strengthens quickly and there is a harsh winter, gas prices could rise, putting financial pressure on customers, Fatih Birol said. He said governments should push for energy-saving and boost renewables. But a UK government spokesperson said energy bills are set to fall by an average of £430 this month. Gas prices jumped massively following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The war drove up energy…

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Thames Water boss quits after sewage spills The boss of Thames Water Sarah Bentley has quit after two years in the role, weeks after giving up her bonus, following the sewage spills.  Thames Water said she leave her role with immediate effect. Chief financial officer Alistair Cochran will now take over as interim co-chief executive. He will now run the company along with Cathryn Ross.  Last month, Bentley said she would forgo her bonus due to the company’s poor performance. The backlash comes after news that raw sewage was being dumped into rivers around the UK.  Thames Water is the…

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CITY AM – Parties set for battle over rates Labour now 25 points clear of Tories as mortgage rates batter Rishi Sunak’s party CITY AM SAYS Labour has posted its biggest lead over the Conservatives since March, new polling data has revealed, as the public grows increasingly tired of the government’s perceived mismanagement of the economy. Labour’s vote share jumped four points to 47 per cent, giving the opposition party a 25 point lead over the Tories, according to fresh polling data by YouGov. The Conservative Party’s vote share dipped two points to 22 per cent, according to the data,…

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Cineworld screens stay open despite administration Cineworld has said its screens will remain open despite the company planning to file for administration in the UK.  The company is planning to restructure the world’s second-largest cinema chain which will see its shares being suspended.  The company filed for bankruptcy protection in the US last year as it struggled with debts of $5bn. Despite this, cinemas will remain open for business. “Cineworld continues to operate its global business and cinemas as usual without interruption and this will not be affected by the entry of Cineworld Group plc into administration,” it said. “The…

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WH Smith, M&S and Argos failed to pay minimum wage More than 200 firms – including WH Smiths, Marks & Spencer and Argos have been named for failing to pay the minimum wage and could face penalties of nearly £7m, and must reimburse workers for breaches dating back to over a decade. WH Smith, Marks & Spencer and Argos all said the breaches were unintentional and had been swiftly remedied. It’s not been revealed how much they paid in fines, but the government said penalties amounted to up to 200% of the arrears owed. “Paying the legal minimum wage is…

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Cryptocurrency $40bn collapse boss Do Kwon jailed for forging documents The cryptocurrency boss Do Kwon, responsible for the $40 billion (£31.3 billion) downfall of terraUSD and Luna tokens, has been sentenced to four months behind bars in Montenegro after being found guilty of forging official documents. Kwon was arrested in March at Podgorica Airport in Montenegro’s capital, where he was apprehended while attempting to board a flight to Dubai. In addition to his four months in jail in Montenegro, Kwon is facing further charges in the US and South Korea in connection with the collapse of the two digital tokens…

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The Economist – BritGPT How Britain can become an AI superpower THE ECONOMIST SAYS Get ready for some big British celebrations in 2030. By then, if Rishi Sunak is to be believed, the country will be “a science and technology superpower”. The prime minister’s aim is for Britain to prosper from the booming opportunities offered by supercomputing and artificial intelligence. Generative ai has stoked a frenzy of excitement (and some fear) among techies and investors; now politicians have started to acclaim its potential, and British ones are in the vanguard. Britain, says Mr Sunak, will harness ai and thus spur…

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CITY AM – Bank set to hike rate yet again Bank of England to raise interest rates for 13th time in a row this week to tame persistent inflation CITYAM SAYS The Bank of England is nailed on to raise interest rates for the thirteenth meeting in a row this Thursday, but markets think there’s an outside chance Governor Andrew Bailey and co will revert to an outsized rise to tame what is emerging as the worst inflation problem in the rich world. Markets reckon the nine-strong monetary policy committee (MPC) – the group of people who set official interest…

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Financial Times – Johnson’s repeated lies to MPs condemned in searing report Summary of the front page The report into the partygate scandal that concluded Boris Johnson repeatedly lied to the House of Commons makes the splash on the Financial Times. The FT picks out the line from the report which sums up its core finding: “He [deliberately] misled the House on an issue of the greatest importance… and did so repeatedly.” While the judgement casts doubt on whether he can ever stage a political comeback, the paper reports, it notes that some Tory MPs have publicly defended the ex-PM.…

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