POUND LIVE: Sterling recovery slips against Euro and Dollar | City & Business | Finance

POUND LIVE: Sterling recovery slips against Euro and Dollar | City & Business | Finance

Following two-days of steady rise against the euro and dollar, the pound has slipped to a -0.18 per cent to decrease against the euro to 1.134, and -0.05 per cent decrease against the dollar to 1.3518

The agreement on the amount Britain will pay to “divorce” the EU sets the sterling on a steady rise but real progress isn’t expected until trade talks begin and Britain can make its case for a service-led deal with the EU after 2019.

Headlines are dominated this morning by news that tax-payer owned Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) will close 259 branches and cut 680 jobs as it reduces costs and encourages customers to use online and mobile services.

Jane Howard, RBS’s managing director of branch banking, said that customers are increasingly using mobile and online channels rather than bricks-and-mortar branches, and RBS had to react to that.

“There will be some customers that will be really disappointed we are closing branches and I understand why. But it’s important that we do respond.”

RBS is Investing in its remaining branches and its digital offering, Howard said, adding: “Given what we know, we’ve got the right shape of network.”

Yesterday – blowing out yet more cobwebs – RBS finalised the closure of its “bad bank”, set up to sell unwanted assets nearly a decade after it was rescued in a £45-billion bailout, yesterday and this month the British government said it plans to start selling £15 billion of shares in RBS next year.

On the stock Market, the UK’s benchmark FTSE 100 index is still down a little due to the strong pound 11.39 points at 7,315.28.

Babcock International was day’s top faller , down 3.4%, after Morgan Stanley cut its price target for the defence and engineering contractor’s shares.

Despite ongoing “gloom over Britain’s productivity, manufacturing activity rose in November according to the IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers’ index (PMI).

The new index says that activity rose to a four year high of 58.2 compared to 56.6 in October.

In a boost to Britain’s Brexit finances, a new poll from Reuters says that talks between Britain and the EU will probably end with a free trade deal.

The respondents to the poll now claim that the chance of a disorderly Brexit – where no deal has been reached when the two years of talks are scheduled to close in March 2019 – has fallen to 25 percent from the 30 percent chance given in an October poll.

The talks are likely to end with a UK-EU free-trade agreement, an overwhelming majority of top economists polled said.

Kallum Pickering at Berenberg, adds: “With the UK ready to honour its full commitments in the Brexit bill, and a good chance that London and Dublin can strike a compromise on the Irish border question soon, we now see a lower risk that the UK and the EU will part company without a future trade deal by the March 2019 Brexit deadline”. 

In business news, Games Workshop, global leaders in tiny figurines of Goblins, Elves, Space Marines and ornate decorative trees have posted results of £38m in operating profit for the first six months of the year.

The firm have reported sales up a whopping 54% to £109m and as such Games Workshop’s share price rose 6.15% to £20.78 today.

They also have a stong line on the highly rated Total War PC game and despite declining visibility on the high-street customers seem to be heading online.

Source: Express.co.uk

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