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UK construction sector growth slows

Markit survey confounds more optimistic forecasts with loss of momentum in housebuilding and civil engineering

Growth in Britain’s construction industry has slowed unexpectedly in July, hurt by a loss of momentum in housebuilding and civil engineering, according to a new survey that highlighted the economy’s reliance on the services sector.

The monthly Markit/CIPS UK construction purchasing managers’ index (PMI) published on Tuesday fell to 57.1 after hitting a four-month high of 58.1 in June, confounding a Reuters poll estimate for a rise to 58.4.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Reserve Bank of Australia keeps the cash rate at 2% – live

RBA keeps it steady at historic low of 2%. Follow reaction with our live coverage

2.40pm AEST

Each statement by the RBA generally involves a fair degree of cut and paste, and this one is almost verbatim the same as last month’s.

But there is a slight difference in the paragraph on the domestic economy.

While the rate of growth has been somewhat below longer-term averages, it has been associated with somewhat stronger growth of employment and a steady rate of unemployment over the past year.

2.38pm AEST

And the usual on the housing market…

“The Bank is working with other regulators to assess and contain risks that may arise from the housing market.”

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Yule love it! Selfridges' Christmas shop launches 143 days ahead of big day

Central London department store transforms 3,000 square feet of its fourth floor into festive winter wonderland – despite the summer weather

Christmas came early as Selfridges launched its Christmas shop on Monday.

The central London department store has transformed 3,000 square feet of its fourth floor into a winter wonderland filled with festive decorations. Even Father Christmas was present, to welcome shoppers through the doors 143 shopping days before the big day.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Serious Fraud Office to investigate firm’s Somali oil contract bid

Soma Oil and Gas, chaired by ex-Conservative leader, paid company negotiating for government of Somalia over lucrative oil deal

A company chaired by the former leader of the Conservative party made payments to a Somali government adviser as they were agreeing a lucrative oil contract with the troubled east African country, the Guardian has learned.

Soma Oil and Gas, which is chaired by Lord Howard, paid legal fees to the independent advisory group, Petroleum Regimes Advisory (PRA) as PRA was negotiating on behalf of the government of Somalia.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

German car giants pay £2bn for Nokia's Here mapping service

Audi, BMW and Daimler team up to acquire technology that could prove invaluable in race to develop driverless cars

Three German carmakers have put their rivalries aside by teaming up to acquire a €2.8bn (£2bn) mapping business from Nokia, as they attempt to avoid being outsmarted by technology groups in the race to cash in on the driverless car revolution.

Amid speculation that the likes of Uber, Amazon and Apple were preparing bids, Nokia, the Finnish communications group, agreed a deal to sell its Here unit to the consortium of Audi, BMW and Daimler, the Mercedes owner.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Greek shares nosedive as manufacturing data reveals economy in shock

Banks lose 30% as Athens stock market opens for the first time since late June

The full extent of the damage caused by the Greek crisis was laid bare when the first day of stock market trading after five weeks of economic paralysis saw shares lose a sixth of their value.

Bank stocks bore the brunt of a wave of pent-up selling that eclipsed anything seen in the past three decades on the Athens stock market, with three of the leading Greek financial institutions losing the maximum 30% permitted in a single day’s trading.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

Royal Bank of Scotland share price: let's hope Rothschild is right

A loss on the disposal of RBS is inevitable since the privatisation price of 502p is miles away. But the size of the loss matters

As the chancellor prepared to press the button on his first sale of Royal Bank of Scotland stock, the share price fell to within pennies of its lowest level this year.

Don’t worry, advocates of an early sale will argue, the mere act of starting to dispose of the stake will lead to better prices in future. According to the official script, the government’s steady shuffle towards the exit will awaken the interest of long-term investors. No longer will they shun a bank kept on a tight leash by the Treasury; instead, they will be attracted to a normal commercial institution where the biggest shareholder also seeks value for money.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

FTSE falls back but Rolls-Royce rises as it talks with active investor

Aero engine maker bucks downward trend but mining shares hit by Chinese data

With mining shares under pressure after poor Chinese manufacturing data, the UK market made a downbeat start to the month.

But Rolls-Royce rose 47p or nearly 6% to 841p on talk it could speed up turnaround plans after activist investor ValueAct bought a 5.44% stake to become the aero-engine maker’s biggest shareholder.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS

What is TTIP and why should we be angry about it?

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership may sound boring, but it could affect everything from your income to the food you eat and the state of the NHS. Here is a beginners’ guide to the controversial trade deal

“Sometimes,” says a character in David Foster Wallace’s novel The Pale King, “what’s important is dull. Sometimes it’s work. Sometimes the important things aren’t works of art for your entertainment.” It is worth bearing that in mind as we consider TTIP, the most boring thing we’re supposed to get angry about since – ooh … was it PFI schemes that nobbled hospitals, eviscerated schools and left Britain £222bn in debt? Or was it the asymmetrical constitutional ramifications inherent in the West Lothian question? Or George Osborne’s incomprehensible pension changes involving auto-enrolment annuities, tax wrappers, pots and draw-downs? Christine Lagarde’s last press conference about the Greek debt crisis? Maybe it was your last mobile phone bill.

Add up the boredom you experienced on each of those occasions, multiply the result by the international coefficient of tedium (which, as you know, is 27.5) and that’s how bored the international trade deal known as TTIP will make you.

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Source: The Guardian Circular Economy RSS