Staff at Lloyd’s of London, the insurance market in the City, have enjoyed a tipple during the day ever since it opened in 1688, but now a 9-to-5 alcohol ban has been drafted in – after roughly half of employee disciplining cases were found linked to alcohol in the last two years, Reuters reported Wednesday. Newly updated employee guidelines provide “clarification on the rules around alcohol consumption, which is prohibited during business hours. The guidance removes any ambiguity on the policy,” a Lloyd’s of London spokesman said in a statement. According to The Financial Times, its 800 workers have been told the hours between 9am and 5pm must be strictly dry. It is traditional for traders working in that area to gather around Leadenhall Market to make contacts and probe deals over a pint.
The Bank of England on Thursday ramped up its UK economic growth forecasts for the next three years, despite the threat of Brexit storm clouds. The bank voted unanimously in its February meeting to keep interest rates at the record low level of 0.25% and keep its quantitative easing (QE) purchase targets at up to £10 billion ($12.6 billion) for corporate bonds and £435 billion for U.K. government bonds. Then, the British central bank lifted its 2017 economic growth prediction to 2.0% from a 1.4% forecast signalling the better-than expected performance of the UK economy since the June referendum. The BOE still believes growth will slow as Brexit negotiations begin, predicting GDP growth of 1.6% in 2018 and 1.7% in 2019. That was up from growth estimates of 1.5% and 1.6% respectively.
“The most interesting part of Thursday’s events will be Mark Carney’s press conference. The Bank will probably revise up their forecasts for inflation and growth in the short term. So Mr Carney is bound to be asked why he’s not planning on raising interest rates in response. The answer will be that the central bank looks beyond this kind of inflation because it thinks it won’t last.
The number of EU students applying to study in the UK has dropped by 7% sparking fears that the impact of the Brexit vote is starting to bite in the university sector, official figures released today by UCAS reveal. UK applicant figures have also decreased to a total of 469,490, a fall of 5% on this time last year; among EU students, there have been 42,070 applicants, compared to 45,220 at the same point last year, around 7% drop. It is the third fall in applicant numbers since 2002, and the biggest since 2012 - the year that tuition fees in England were trebled to £9,000 (CFF 11,216). The other drop was in 2006, when fees were raised to £3,000 (CHF 3,730).
Despite some concerns around the start of last year, and the political shocks that unfolded over the course of the past 12 months, 2016 actually turned out to be quite a good year for investors, with most asset classes rising in value. But what can we expect over 2017, and how should investors approach the coming year? In this short outlook document we outline what we expect over the year ahead and set out what we believe could be the best-performing asset classes in each of our main scenarios.
Johann Schneider-Ammann, Switzerland’s economy minister said Sunday he wants to have “background” talks with Britain so that a trade deal can be in place as soon as the UK leaves the EU. “My objective is clear. Not one day should pass after Britain’s exit (from the EU) without new regulations in place,” he told Blick daily. “It should be at least as good” as the present deal, he said. The paper said Britain’s International Trade Secretary Liam Fox declared during the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting that he was very interested in a trade agreement with Switzerland.
In spite of a strong UK GDP reading, the GBP/USD currency pair was unable to pierce the immediate resistance cluster, resulting in a small bearish correction, with a slip below 1.26 again. The same cluster keeps providing strong resistance today around 1.2670, implying that the Pound is to weaken against the US Dollar for the second day. The nearest demand area rests around 1.2515, which could limit possible losses, while another strong group supports is located at 1.2430, namely the monthly PP and the 55-day SMA. However, technical indicators in the daily timeframe suggest the Cable is to inch higher; nevertheless, the immediate resistance is expected to remain intact.
Barclays has settled on Dublin for its main hub inside the EU after Brexit, and is planning to add about 150 staff here if UK-based finance companies lose easy access to the trading bloc, according to Bloomberg sources. It is believed the bank started scouting the city for office space this month, and has been in contact with regulators here about expanding its operations.
Parliament must vote on whether the government can start the Brexit process, the Supreme Court has ruled. The most powerful court in the land has upheld a High Court decision that ruled it unconstitutional for UK Prime Minister Theresa May to formally trigger the process of leaving the EU without first consulting MPs. But the court ruled the Scottish Parliament and Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies did not need a say. Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted against an E.U. departure in the June vote.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Britain should look to Switzerland on how to handle relations with the European Union, for a post-Brexit model of "close co-operation", according to Swiss newspaper Neue Zuercher Zeitung (NZZ) on Sunday. "Britons should take as an example how cleverly Switzerland has linked national sovereignty and close cooperation with the European Union," he said, Britain needed a "wise political solution" to Brexit added. A series of bilateral deals have been struck between Switzerland and the EU meaning it accepts free movement of people and certain rules on trade.
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