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Shell bid for BG likely to go ahead despite oil slide, say analysts

Barclays dismisses concerns about deal being disrupted by falling crude price

With the continuing slump in the oil price, there are signs that investors may be concerned that Royal Dutch Shell’s near £50bn cash and share deal to take over BG might not go ahead.

But in a new note, analysts at Barclays have downplayed these worries:

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

FTSE 100 loses early gains on China fears as oil price slides again

Ashtead lifted by positive results and Hikma gains after Barclays note

An early rally after Tuesday’s plunge has fizzled out, with the UK’s leading index slipping into negative territory again.

There were a few bright spots in the falling FTSE 100 (unlike on Tuesday when only engineer Meggitt managed to make any gains as global markets including Wall Street tumbled).

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Halfords hit by bicycle sales wobble

New chief blames discounting and rain-sodden summer for sales woes but insists slowdown is merely a blip

Halfords has blamed a sharp fall in its sales of bicycles and cycling equipment over the summer on bad weather that deterred casual cyclists from taking to the road or upgrading their kit.

In an unscheduled trading statement, Halfords said cycling revenues at stores open for a year or more fell 11% in the eight weeks to 28 August. The company, which is under new leadership, said discounting in the market was also a factor.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Jitters as Australian economy grows by just 0.2% in June quarter

Quarterly growth figure is half the expected rate, dragged down by reduced mining and construction activity and export woes

The economy stuttered during the three months to the end of June, undermined by reduced mining and construction activity coupled with a decline in exports.

Wednesday’s national accounts showed the economy grew at a feeble 0.2% in the June quarter, half the rate expected by economists. It compares with 0.9% growth in the previous three months – one of the fastest quarterly expansions in the world during that period.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Luke Foley joins Victorian and SA Labor premiers to back China free trade deal

‘Labor has led the way on engagement with China. The next step is a free-trade agreement,’ says NSW Labor leader, putting him at odds with federal ALP

The leader of the opposition in New South Wales has lined up with two Labor premiers to back the China free trade agreement as it stands, at odds with the federal ALP leadership.

Luke Foley in NSW has joined Victorian premier Daniel Andrews and his South Australian counterpart Jay Weatherill in supporting the deal as it stands.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

US markets plunge as Chinese economy fears revive global jitters

Dow Jones loses more than 450 points, or 2.8%, at closing bell in sell-off that came after more signs of weakness in China’s economy

World stock markets got off to a rocky start in September closing sharply down on fears that China’s slowing economy will hurt economies across the globe.

In the US all the major indices closed down, the second fall of the week, following similar falls in Europe and Asia. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 2.8% at 469 points, the S&P 500 closed down 2.95% and the Nasdaq down 2.95%. US stocks are on course for their worst performance since the end of 2011.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

US stock markets fall as China's troubles spread west – live updates

IMF chief fears ‘bumpy’ ride and warns that global growth is weaker than hoped, as China’s manufacturing shrinks at fastest rate since 2012

8.29pm BST

S&P 500: 497 stocks down today. With data going back to 1996, hit 500 only once: August 8, 2011. $SPX pic.twitter.com/cg6ztLAO5Z

Sobering: 497 of the 500 stocks in the S&P 500 are down overall today (at the moment). August 8 is a bad day in US market history – it’s the day Standard & Poor’s (the S&P of S&P 500) downgraded US sovereign debt from AAA or “risk free” to AA+, better known as Black Monday 2011.

8.10pm BST

Here’s a quick chart of all the stocks on the Dow just before the top of the hour, ranked by largest chunk of share price lost thus far today. Data captured at 2:58pm.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

China markets turmoil: leaders' refusal to learn lessons makes more volatility a sure bet

As Chinese authorities hunt for imaginary culprits, investors should get used to wild stock market rides

Get used to the wild stock market rides. Tuesday’s action lacked the high drama of Monday last week – there was no slump in Chinese share prices or opening 1,000-point decline in the Dow Jones – but 3% off the FTSE 100 is quite alarming enough. At least three things suggest the stormy weather is here to stay.

First, Beijing appears to have learned nothing during the last month. Their search for scapegoats has led to the ridiculous spectacle of a Chinese journalist at a respected publication “confessing” on television to causing panic and disorder in the markets. There was no mention in Chinese state media, of course, of the real story – that over the course of a year, China’s authorities manufactured an extraordinary bull market that was bound to collapse because valuations reached absurd levels.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Asos founder and chief executive Nick Robertson quits

Move comes after troubled period that has included a series of profit warnings, a fire at its warehouse and poor international sales

Nick Robertson, the co-founder of the online fashion retailer Asos, is to step down as chief executive in a surprise move after a tricky 18 months for the former stock market darling.

The entrepreneur, who will remain on the board as a non-executive director, will be succeeded by Nick Beighton, the group’s chief operating officer and its former finance director, who is thought to have been groomed for the role over the past year and a half.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Aga saga heats up as stove maker gets approach from second US suitor

Manufacturer of cast-iron cookers favoured by middle class receives approach from Whirlpool that could stymie £129m Middleby takeover

Aga Rangemaster, the maker of cast-iron cookers favoured by the English middle class, has become the subject of a bidding war between two US companies after Whirlpool made a takeover approach.

The UK company said Whirlpool, the world’s biggest appliance maker, had contacted it about making a cash bid. Aga said it would open its books to let the company decide whether to make a formal bid. Whirpool is understood to have made its approach in the past few days.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS