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Tesla sues Sweden in bid to avoid hit from strikes

Elon Musk is the chief executive of Tesla, which has launched a lawsuit against the Swedish state
Elon Musk is the chief executive of Tesla, which has launched a lawsuit against the Swedish state - AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Tesla has sued Sweden’s government in an attempt to circumvent strikes crippling its operations in the country.

The electric-vehicle maker said it is suing “the Swedish state through the Swedish Transport Agency” after walkouts from postal workers halted the delivery of licence plates.

Postal workers have joined a wave of strikes in sympathy with metalworkers union members, who are in a dispute with Tesla over pay.

Dockworkers at Sweden’s four largest ports have also stopped the delivery of Tesla vehicles to put more pressure on the carmaker.

Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk said the involvement of Swedish postal workers was “insane”.

In its lawsuit filed today, the Texas-based company said being unable to access the registration plates “constitutes an unlawful discriminatory attack directed at Tesla”.

Tesla has no manufacturing plant in Sweden, but has several service centres in the country.

Mikael Andersson, a spokesman for the Swedish Transport Agency, tod AFP that “we at the Swedish Transport Agency do not share this view” that it was blocking the distribution of license plates.

He added: “Therefore Tesla has decided to have the issue tested in court, which is their right.”

Read the latest updates below.

06:37 PM GMT

Signing off

That’s it for today. Chris Price will be back in the morning to cover what’s happening in the markets and the world of business. I’ll leave you with a couple of the latest stories from The Telegraph:

05:53 PM GMT

British are 'too modest' about their economy, says Business Secretary

Global companies should “ignore the doom-laden voices that you may hear” and instead look at Britain as a country with the “third-fastest growth in the G7 since 2010 and a faster recovery from Covid than Germany”, the Business Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, has said.

Speaking over afternoon tea to chief executives at the Global Investment Summit, she said:

British people are too often too modest about our own country. I didn’t think we’re bullish enough about selling the UK’s strengths...

More often than not the Government’s role should be to get out of the way and let you do what you do best.

We need to listen, to understand, to enable you to make long-term investment decisions with certainty...

Let’s not forget that people said Nissan would leave the UK because of Brexit.

As we saw on Friday they could not have been more wrong...

Outside the US we have the most respected universities in the world... four of the world’s top 20.

And outside the US we have the world’s largest concentration of financial services companies.

And that gives us an opportunity to be at the hub of global innovation.

Kemi Badenoch at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace today
Kemi Badenoch at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace today - Chris Ratcliffe/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

05:06 PM GMT

FTSE closes in the red

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.37pc today. The biggest fallers were the investment manager St James’s Place (2.42pc) and AstraZeneca (down 2pc). But it was a really good day for online property website Rightmove, which rose 4.79pc, as a result of individual sellers and estate agents paying extra to boost their presence on the website. Fresnillo, a Mexican metals miner with a London listing, rose 4.32pc.

The FTSE 250 dropped 0.11pc. Ceres Power was the biggest faller, down 3.84pc. Shaftsbury, the London landlord, rose 3.69pc after it reported a boost in sales of 12pc between July 1 and November 15 compared with 2022.

04:59 PM GMT

Mountain Warehouse commits to high street expansion despite losses

Mountain Warehouse, the hiking and running retailer, plans to open 50 shops next year, according to the FT.

Mark Neale, founder and chief executive, said:

Despite what you read about the death of the high street, there’s a lot of life left...

We’ve got more stores coming, and bigger stores. We’ve got a number of shops that used to be Topshop that we’ve opened this year, one which used to be the Topshop in Norwich and is now a top shop for us.

The company started with one shop in 1987 and has grown to more than 360 in eight countries. It turned over £303m in 2022, up from £240m the year before.

Losses in the private equity-backed company grew to £4.3m in 2022, up from a loss of £1.6m in 2021.

04:37 PM GMT

Value of rare whisky suffers steepest drop in a decade amid slump in luxury market

The price paid for rare and luxury whiskies at auction has experienced its biggest fall in a decade amid a growing slowdown in the global luxury market. Daniel Woolfson reports:

The value of so-called fine and rare whiskies selling for more than £1,000 per bottle dropped by 7pc in the year to October, according to data from Scottish advisory firm Noble & Co.

Rare whiskies are often used as an alternative investment to traditional assets such as stocks and property.

However, despite the drop in value, the number of bottles purchased rose by 10pc to more than 8,500 over the period.

One of which was a Macallan Valerio Adami 1926, which fetched a record £2.1m when sold at Sotheby’s earlier this month.

Duncan McFadzean, head of food and drink at Noble & Co, said: “While the rarest bottles are still breaking records, our analysis shows that even lower-value transactions are susceptible to price sensitivity.

“We expect this trend to continue into 2024 as weak global economic conditions prevail.”

Luxury sellers have also been hit by a slowdown in sales in China, with challenges reflected across various sectors, including furniture, cars and retail.

Diageo, the owner of Johnnie Walker and Talisker whiskies, recently suffered its steepest share price fall since 1997 after warning that sales in Latin America and the Caribbean would fall by a fifth in the first half of the year.

Other high-end spirits makers, including Pernod Ricard and Remy Martin, have also raised concerns over declining demand.

A bottle of Macallan Adami 1926 whisky on display at Sotheby's in London in October
A bottle of Macallan Adami 1926 whisky on display at Sotheby's in London in October - Kin Cheung/AP

04:34 PM GMT

UK economy will continue 'outperforming expectations', says Downing Street

The UK economy will continue “outperforming expectations”, Downing Street insisted when quizzed about the Bank of England chief’s comments expressing concern over the growth outlook. Amy Gibbons reports:

Governor Andrew Bailey had said the UK economy’s potential to grow was lower than it had been in much of his working life.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman told journalists: “I think you heard from both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor on the UK’s economic outlook.

“We do believe that we have turned a corner, particularly given the success in halving inflation. And you saw an autumn statement which was designed to boost the UK economy with new policies like full expensing, which was long called-for by businesses and we are confident that as a result we will keep outperforming expectations.”

04:31 PM GMT

Governments to get ‘buy now, pay later’ deal on weight loss drugs

Obesity drug maker Novo Nordisk said it would give countries “buy now, pay later” options for its treatments, as it plots a push to treat more people who currently cannot access its jabs. Hannah Boland reports:

Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen, chief executive of the Dutch pharmaceutical company, said Novo Nordisk was in talks to boost take-up of its weight loss jabs by helping healthcare services to spread out the cost of the treatments.

Speaking to the Financial Times, Mr Jørgensen said innovative pricing deals would allow countries to “adopt medicines upfront, see the benefits and pay down the road”.

He added: “How can healthcare systems justify making a large one-time payment upfront that leads to significant savings down the road? I think we need to share that risk to get going.”

Read the full article...

An injection pen for Novo Nordisk's weight-loss drug Wegovy
An injection pen for Novo Nordisk's weight-loss drug Wegovy - Reuters

04:25 PM GMT

Chinese Vice Premier calls for deeper ties with Britain

China and Britain should deepen economic and trade cooperation, the Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng has said. According to a report by Xinhua, the Chinese state news agency, he made the comments to a delegation of business executives led by China-Britain Business Council’s chairman Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles on Monday in Beijing.

According to the report Mr He “said that China adheres to opening its door to development, and unswervingly promotes high-level opening-up”.

Leaders from HSBC, Standard Chartered and AstraZeneca were among those in attendance.

China's Vice Premier He Lifeng, photographed at the start of meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on November 9
China's Vice Premier He Lifeng, photographed at the start of meeting with US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on November 9 - Loren Elliott/AFP

04:06 PM GMT

Cheap money from central banks are like “heroin” to the economy, says JP Moran boss

Government spending sprees and cheap money from central banks are like “heroin” to the economy, Jamie Dimon, the chief executive and chairman of JP Morgan has warned. Tim Wallace reports:

Injections of fiscal and monetary stimulus make households and businesses initially “feel good”, the investment banking boss told the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace.

But when taken away, they can have dangerous consequences, he said.

Mr Dimon’s warnings come at a time when economists increasingly fear a prolonged slump or even recession is on the way in many parts of the rich world as companies and families adapt to higher interest rates after years of very cheap borrowing.

His comments echo those of the Economic Affairs Committee in the House of Lords which in 2021 published a report titled: “Quantitative easing: a dangerous addiction?”

At that point - when the Bank of England was still ramping up QE and had not yet started raising interest rates - Andrew Bailey, the Bank’s Governor, criticised the committee for using language which he said was insensitive to genuine addicts.

Jamie Dimon at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace in London today
Jamie Dimon at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace in London today - Chris Ratcliffe/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

03:54 PM GMT

Greeting card makers criticise Royal Mail over plans to hike price of second class stamps

Royal Mail is currently campaigning against plans by regulator Ofcom to cap the price of a second class stamp at 75p, as the company argues there is an “urgent need” to raise prices amid tough competition from rivals. James Warrington reports:

The efforts to water down the proposals have sparked criticism from the Greeting Card Association (GCA), which said the postal service must remain “reliable, national and affordable”.

The GCA, which represents more than 500 publishers and retailers in the UK, also took aim at Royal Mail’s calls for Saturday letter deliveries to be axed.

Amanda Fergusson, chief executive officer of the GCA, drew comparisons between Royal Mail’s proposals and the cuts to Britain’s railway services under Richard Beeching in the 1960s.

She said: “Under Beeching, we lost much of the railways we loved because no one had the imagination to ask what they could be. We must not let that happen to our Royal Mail service.

“It’s simply a remarkable British treasure that we can send a card absolutely anywhere in the country for a very reasonable 75p. In the decades ahead, I am certain we would rue the loss of this service that unites our nation and is part of what makes us British.”

In a submission to Ofcom, Royal Mail said the price of a second class stamp was significantly below the European average of 94p, adding that commercial flexibility was needed to support its financial sustainability.

Royal Mail has been contacted for comment.

Festive decorations on a postbox in Salisbury, Wiltshire, 2021
Festive decorations on a postbox in Salisbury, Wiltshire, 2021 - Andrew Matthews/PA

03:49 PM GMT

High immigration not solving labour shortages, says S&P

The credit ratings agency S&P says that near-record levels of immigration into the UK are failing to ease worker shortages because the new arrivals often lack the right skills.

According to S&P analysts Marion Amiot and Boris Glass:

The skill set of the non-EU immigrants is different [from EU immigrants] and their participation in the labor market is lower. Many are students or refugees. Consequently, immigration does not necessarily help fill the gaps in industries where the workforce is lacking.

This is, they say, is “encouraging dynamic wage increases”.

03:39 PM GMT

Black Friday sales down on 2022

Black Friday was once known for customers stuggling to get the best deal (see the photo below from 2014) but the excitement over this import of America’s busiest shopping day down this year as Britons react to inflationary pressures.

Barclays said the volume of transactions on Black Friday was down 0.63pc compared to 2022.

Marc Pettican, head of Barclaycard Payments, told Reuters:

This dip in sales volumes year-on-year is perhaps expected given the impact of the cost-of-living on Brits’ discretionary spending and the trend towards launching discounts earlier in November.

Black Friday was busier than normal for shops, with transactions up 2.7pc compared to the same Friday in October this year. Mr Pettican said this demonstrated the “the continued popularity and importance of this shopping milestone.”

Customers fall to the floor as they grapple for a television during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket in 2014
Customers fall to the floor as they grapple for a television during a Black Friday discount sale at an Asda supermarket in 2014 - Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

03:30 PM GMT

Handing over

That’s all from me for today. Alex Singleton will keep giving you live updates from here.

There is just time to take a look at the latest government figures on new home sales in the United States, which decelerated in October, although the market for new properties remains boosted by a lack of stock.

Sales of new single-family houses logged a lower than expected seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 679,000 last month, according to the Commerce Department.

This marked a cooling from September’s pace of 719,000, which was revised lower.

The median sales price of new houses edged down to $409,300 as well - the lowest since August 2021.

03:20 PM GMT

Opposition to Abu Dhabi’s Telegraph takeover is ‘sentimental’, claims Tory minister

The investment minister Lord Johnson has claimed concerns over the potential Abu Dhabi takeover of The Telegraph are “sentimental”, as traditional news sources now hold little sway.

Our reporter James Warrington has the latest:

Lord Johnson waded into the growing row despite the announcement last week by the Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer that she is minded to trigger a regulatory investigation to protect the public interest.

Such a move would hand the Government quasi-judicial power over the deal.

Lord Johnson, who previously ran a hedge fund with Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg, nevertheless praised the UAE as a “first class and extremely well run country” and branded The Telegraph a “so-called treasured asset”.

He said it was crucial that the UK did not shut itself off from foreign investment.

Read what the peer, who also spent much of his financial services career in Hong Kong, said.

Lord Johnson waded into the growing row despite the announcement by the Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer
Lord Johnson waded into the growing row despite the announcement by the Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer - Liam McBurney/PA Wire

03:06 PM GMT

Tesla demands Swedish state fined 1m krona

According to the Tesla lawsuit against Sweden, the company demands that the district court fine the Swedish Transport Agency 1m krona (£76,000).

The document, obtained by The Associated Press, said this will “oblige” the Swedish Transport Agency to allow Tesla  to “retrieve license plates” within three days from notification of the district court’s decision.

Tesla said that the agency has “a constitutional obligation to provide licence plates to vehicle owners.”

02:43 PM GMT

Shops braced for disappointing Christmas, industry figures show

Retailers are preparing for a disappointing Christmas, industry figures show, as annual sales declined for a seventh month in a row.

Sales volumes in the year to November dropped according to the CBI distributive trends survey.

However the measure used by the survey came in at minus 11pc, which was better than minus 36pc in October.

Retailers forecast sales to be negative in December - but at a less weak minus 6pc.

The CBI said: “Retailers expect a disappointing festive period.”

It added that on balance, a majority of companies believe sales would fall “short of seasonal norms”.

Retailers expect a 'disappointing' Christmas period, according to the CBI
Retailers expect a 'disappointing' Christmas period, according to the CBI - TOLGA AKMEN/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

02:39 PM GMT

Wall Street slides at the open

US stocks were subdued at open ahead of a key inflation reading and commentary from Federal Reserve policymakers later in the week, while retailers were in focus as holiday shopping picked up steam with Cyber Monday deals.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13.71 points, or less than 0.1pc, at the open to 35,376.44.

The S&P 500 opened lower by 4.48 points, or 0.1pc, at 4,554.86, while the Nasdaq Composite dropped 11.55 points, or 0.1pc, to 14,239.31 at the opening bell.

02:10 PM GMT

Metro Bank holders back £925m refinancing

Metro Bank shareholders have backed a £925m rescue deal at a general meeting.

The agreement means the challenger bank rubber stamps a £325m capital raise and £600m of debt refinancing, in a deal that will help revive its strained balance sheet.

Metro Bank
Metro Bank

02:04 PM GMT

Axing banker bonus cap 'makes a lot of sense' says Santander boss

The boss of Santander has said the scrapping of the UK’s bankers’ bonus cap is good news for the industry, as she welcomed a similar move elsewhere in Europe.

Ana Botin, the banking giant’s executive chairwoman, said it “makes a lot of sense” to reward staff based on their performance.

The decision to remove the limit on bankers’ annual payouts came last month, after the Bank of England’s regulatory arm said the cap was a factor holding back talented workers coming to the UK.

The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) also said that limiting payouts was having the opposite effect of driving up staff salaries that are not linked to the long-term performance of a firm.

Axing the cap came in a post-Brexit shake-up of the rules, a year after former chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng said the decision would encourage global banks to create jobs, invest and pay taxes in the City.

Ms Botin, speaking to the Financial Times at the Global Banking Summit, said:

It’s a business where you should be compensated in a variable way, so I think it’s good news for our industry, it makes a lot of sense.

I’m sure we will adapt to that.

01:43 PM GMT

Pictured: Elon Musk and Benjamin Netanyahu meet Israelis

Israel said it has reached an agreement in principle for using Elon Musk’s Starlink communications in the Gaza Strip, where a pause to the war against Hamas coincided with the tech entrepreneur’s visit.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog has scheduled an afternoon meeting with Musk. They will be joined by relatives of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza and will also discuss “the need to act to combat rising antisemitism online”, Mr Herzog’s office said.

SpaceX chief executive Mr Musk has been pictured with Benjamin Netanyahu on a visit to the Kfar Aza settlements in southern Israel, which was one of the locations targeted by Hamas during its deadly attacks on October 7.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes Elon Musk on a visit to the Kfar Aza settlements in southern Israel
Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes Elon Musk on a visit to the Kfar Aza settlements in southern Israel - Government Press Office of Israel/Anadolu via Getty Images

01:26 PM GMT

BT confirms it is not planning offer for musicMagpie

BT has said it is not in talks to acquire musicMagpie after the second-hand smartphone seller’s share price collapsed and efforts to expand in the US stalled.

Shares in the gadget refurbishment business surged by a third on Monday last week after it confirmed the business was considering bids that could lead to a potential sale.

The Sunday Telegraph revealed musicMagpie had hired Deloitte to explore a possible private sale after the company’s efforts to crack the US market with its Decluttr brand stalled and revenues fell.

However, in an update to shareholders, BT said “it is not intending to make an offer for musicMagpie”.

Co-founded by Steve Oliver in 2007, musicMagpie claims to have upcycled over 400,000 consumer tech gadgets
Co-founded by Steve Oliver in 2007, musicMagpie claims to have upcycled over 400,000 consumer tech gadgets - Kevin Holt

01:09 PM GMT

Wall Street poised to begin the week lower

US stock indexes slipped in premarket trading as retailers raced to attract customers with their discount Cyber Monday deals.

Wall Street ended the Thanksgiving week on a positive note, with the major indexes notching up their fourth consecutive week of gains on growing optimism that the Federal Reserve has likely finished raising interest rates.

The rebound in equities in November has brought the S&P 500 within 1pc of its highest intra-day level this year.

Axel Rudolph, senior market analyst at IG Group, said:

Usually after Thanksgiving, you tend to get some profit taking because the volumes are low.

But, until the end of the year we usually have, from a seasonality point of view, quite a bullish bias in equity market.

In premarket trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were down 0.2pc while futures on the Nasdaq 100 had slumped 0.1pc.

12:52 PM GMT

Metro Bank 'in talks to sell £3bn of mortgages to Barclays'

Metro Bank has entered talks to offload a £3bn portfolio of mortgages to Barclays, it has been reported, as the bank prepares to announce a broader restructuring aimed at rescuing the high street lender.

The challenger bank is in exclusive discussions with Barclays to sell the residential mortgage book, according to Sky News.

It comes hours before Metro Bank, which has 2.7m customers, is expected to announce to shareholders that it has backed a £925m refinancing plan.

Its shares have risen nearly 10pc today ahead of the likely confirmation of the recapitalisation, which has already won approval from bondholders.

However, its shares remain down 66pc so far this year.

Metro Bank is expected to announce today that is has agreed a £325m capital raise and £600m of debt refinancing
Metro Bank is expected to announce today that is has agreed a £325m capital raise and £600m of debt refinancing - Paul Grover for the Telegraph

12:35 PM GMT

I'm not sure I'd want to duplicate IRA, Blackstone boss tells Sunak

Our economics editor Szu Ping Chan was watching as Blackstone chief executive Steve Schwarzman spoke with Rishi Sunak about Joe Biden’s flagship Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

The policy which hands out subsidies to companies investing in green technology in the US. Mr Schwarzman said:

We have this law called the Inflation Reduction Act - but it doesn’t have much to do with inflation reduction actually.

And we’re currently running deficits of $2 trillion a year. I think that’s somewhere around 8pc of GDP.

I’m not sure that’s a model that everyone would run out and duplicate. We’re trying to deal with that ourselves.

I think there’s some really good elements in that in terms of the commitment to renewables and a more predictable environment for investing… but I don’t know if I would recommend that to the UK.

12:11 PM GMT

Eurostar trains from Netherlands to London halted for six months

Eurostar services from the Netherlands to London will be suspended for six months.

The decision was announced by Dutch rail company Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS), which said Amsterdam Centraal will be unable to process cross-Channel passengers during a major renovation of the station.

For six months from June next year, Eurostar trains will run empty on the route before picking up London-bound travellers in Brussels.

Cross-Channel services from Rotterdam will be affected in the same way.

It was initially feared direct services from the Netherlands would be suspended for almost a year.

Passengers wanting to travel from Amsterdam or Rotterdam to London by rail will be required to take a train to the Brussels and change on to a Eurostar service.

Direct Eurostar trains going in the other direction from London to the Netherlands will continue to operate.

There are currently four daily return services between London and Amsterdam via Brussels and Rotterdam.

Eurostar trains will not run from the Netherlands to London for six months
Eurostar trains will not run from the Netherlands to London for six months - LEX VAN LIESHOUT/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

11:57 AM GMT

Biden’s borrowing binge criticised by Blackstone boss

Joe Biden’s huge borrowing to fund subsidies for investment into the US has been criticised by the boss of one of the world’s largest asset managers.

Blackstone chief executive Steve Schwarzman said the President’s flagship Inflation Reduction Act “doesn’t have much to do with inflation reduction” as he took part in a conversation with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at the Global Investment Summit.

He warned that the US deficit would be close to $2trn a year as a result of Mr Biden’s green subsidies, adding: “I’m not sure that’s a model everyone would run out and duplicate.”

Mr Sunak responded that the UK wants to “bring our borrowing down to a sustainable level,” cut taxes and attract investment.

Mr Schwarzman described the UK as “pro-business” before adding it “varies a little bit with different administrations”.

11:34 AM GMT

Pound gains as Sunak announces £30bn of UK investment

The pound has gained for a third day and was on track for its largest monthly rise against the dollar in a year.

Sterling’s move higher is largely a result of investors ditching the greenback ahead of what many believe will be a rapid shift to US interest rate cuts in 2024.

Separately, in a potential longer-term boost for the pound, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced a raft of foreign investments in Britain worth nearly £30bn as he hosts the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace.

Sterling has gained nearly 4pc against the dollar over the last month, but has fared less well against the euro or the Chinese yuan, with declines in November of 0.3pc and 3.6pc, respectively.

Money market traders expect the Bank of England to keep interests higher for longer than either the Federal Reserve or the European Central Bank in 2024, which has helped give sterling an edge recently.

Sterling was last up 0.1pc at $1.26, nearing three-month highs, and was flat against the euro at just under 87p.

11:14 AM GMT

Investment in UK ‘is lower than it has been historically’ says Lloyds boss

The boss of Lloyds Bank has “uncertainty in the economy” has hit investment in the UK as business leaders gather for the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace.

He told Bloomberg TV:

Investment in the UK is actually lower than it has been historically, and given domestically the uncertainty in the economy we have got a relatively lower level of domestic investment at the moment, which is why I think an event like this and a focus on trying to get more investment in business and in the UK is so important.

Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Charlie Nunn is at the Global Investment Summit
Lloyds Banking Group chief executive Charlie Nunn is at the Global Investment Summit - Hollie Adams/Bloomberg

10:58 AM GMT

Revolution Beauty in talks over settlement with former boss

Revolution Beauty has confirmed it is negotiating with former boss Adam Minto after reports he might pay the company £3m to avoid a potential lawsuit.

The make-up business said it is also talking to former executive chairman Tom Allsworth about changing the terms for the acquisition of Medichem, which he owned.

The company told shareholders:

Revolution Beauty remains in negotiation on both these issues.

There is no guarantee that agreements will be reached.

Revolution Beauty said in June that it was planning potential legal proceedings against Mr Minto.

In September last year Revolution Beauty’s shares were suspended after the company’s auditors refused to sign off on its books.

Months later the business revealed a series of problems with its accounts, and it was finally able to publish its results for the year ending February 2022 in May 2023.

Revolution Beauty
Revolution Beauty

10:40 AM GMT

PM tell business leaders: 'Make no mistake, we are cutting taxes'

Rishi Sunak highlighted Britain’s generous capital allowances schemes and “most-competitive visa scheme for highly skilled international talent” as he tried to lure business leaders to invest in the UK.

The Prime Minister used his speech at the opening of the Global Investment Summit to say that Britain is an ideal place to invest because of “our low tax approach, our culture of innovation and our people”.

He said “make no mistake, we are cutting taxes” as he pointed to the capital allowances measures announced in the Autumn Statement.

He said that “innovation is the golden thread running through the British economy” adding that the UK has “one of the most highly-qualified workforces in Europe”.

Our economics editor Szu Ping Chan, below, is at the summit and will be tweeting updates throughout the day:

10:19 AM GMT

Watch live: Global Investment Summit gets underway

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has opened the Global Investment Summit, where the Prime Minister will be speaking shortly:

10:16 AM GMT

Bailey and Davie 'relegated to cheap seats' as Global Investment Summit begins

Our economics editor Szu Ping Chan is in the room for the start of the Global Investment Summit taking place at Hampton Court Palace:

10:14 AM GMT

Musk to meet Netanyahu in Israel amid anti-Semitism controversy

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk will meet Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu today in an attempt to defuse an anti-Semitism row that has earned the billionaire a rebuke from the White House and seen major advertisers leave Twitter.

Mr Musk and Mr Netanyahu will discuss the security aspects of artificial intelligence and hold a live online discussion, the Israeli PM’s office said.

When they last met, in California on September 18, Mr Netanyahu urged the billionnaire to strike a balance between protecting free expression and fighting hate speech after weeks of controversy over anti-Semitism on X - the former Twitter.

Mr Musk has denied being racist and defended his views after endorsing the tweet, which drew condemnation from the White House and rights activists.

Critics have accused the world’s richest person of amplifying anti-Jewish hatred on X, which Mr Musk bought for $44bn (£35bn) last year.

Mr Musk will also meet President Isaac Herzog, and representatives of the families of hostages held in Gaza.

Protesters gathered when Elon Musk met Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California in September
Protesters gathered when Elon Musk met Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in California in September - REUTERS/Carlos Barria

09:58 AM GMT

Oil falls amid weaker China profits

Oil prices have fallen for a fourth day as data from China raised concerns about demand and traders looked ahead to this week’s delayed Opec+ meeting.

Global benchmark Brent dropped 0.8pc below $80 a barrel after retreating by 2.3pc over the last three sessions, while US-produced West Texas Intermediate was down 0.9pc below $75.

Crude fell as figures showed profits at China’s industrial companies rose at a much slower pace in October, raising concerns about demand.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) had to push back the critical gathering to decide on supply policy by four days to November 30 amid a dispute with allies in Africa over quotas.

09:43 AM GMT

HSBC UK boss apologises for Black Friday mobile app outage

The chief executive of HSBC has apologised to customers after the outages that led many customers to suffer delays to payments during Black Friday.

Speaking at the UK’s Global Investment Summit, Ian Stuart said the problem that left mobile banking unavailable for thousands of customers was a technical glitch and not a cyber attack.

He told Bloomberg TV that the issue with a third party supplier has been identified and it has been fixed.

He added that Black Friday sales were marginally up year on year.

09:36 AM GMT

Passengers hit with severe disruption heading to Heathrow

It was an awful journey to work this morning for passengers heading to Heathrow as the three rail lines that connect the airport to London simultaneously faced outages.

The new Elizabeth Line, as well as the Heathrow Express and Piccadilly lines were all suspended for various reasons.

Transport for London apologised for the issues, which come as Rishi Sunak holds his Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace in a bit to attract financial backing for the British economy.

09:23 AM GMT

Aviva buys Canadian insurer Optiom

Insurance giant Aviva said it will buy a Canadian vehicle insurer for about £100m.

The purchase of Optiom will let the British insurer reach more customers in Canada, one of its three key areas after years of refocusing the business.

Optiom provides vehicle replacement insurance in the North American nation. Aviva is already the company’s underwriter, the business said.

The deal is expected to be completed in the first three months of 2024. Aviva Canada chief executive Tracy Garrad said:

The acquisition strengthens our offering and distribution capabilities in a highly attractive segment of the Canadian insurance market.

We know Optiom well through our existing relationship and are excited about what we can do together to better serve our brokers and customers.

Aviva has been scaling back its business for years. Its plan under chief executive Amanda Blanc has been to focus on three key markets: the UK, Ireland and Canada.

In September, the business announced the approximately £800m sale of its stake in a Singapore-based joint venture.


09:04 AM GMT

Sunak hails 'positive momentum behind UK economy'

Rishi Sunak said there is “very positive momentum behind the UK economy” as leading investors gathered at Hampton Court Palace.

Arriving at the Global Investment Summit, the Prime Minister told reporters:

My singular focus is driving growth and creating jobs across the UK. So I’m delighted that we’ve secured investments worth around £30 billion - three times the amount that was secured the last time this summit was held a little while ago.

And that comes on the back of a very positive Autumn Statement where we cut taxes for those businesses that are investing in our future growth, and also the great announcements from Nissan last week, securing the future of that plant in Sunderland, building three new lines of the next generation of electric vehicles.

So very positive momentum behind the UK economy.

Rishi Sunak arrives at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace
Rishi Sunak arrives at the Global Investment Summit at Hampton Court Palace - Stefan Rousseau/Pool Photo via AP

08:59 AM GMT

Gold hits six-month high as traders bet interest rates have peaked

Gold prices have climbed to a six-month high as traders bet that interest rates have peaked.

The safe-haven asset has climbed to $2,009 an ounce and briefly hit a six-month top of $2,017.82.

It comes as money markets expect that interest rates will not move higher in the US, where the Federal Reserve has put borrowing costs between 5.25pc and 5.5pc.

Traders also think rates will not move higher than the 15-year highs of 5.25pc in the UK or the record 4pc in the eurozone.

The rise in gold also comes as the dollar has weakened, turning investors toward safe-haven assets that will keep their value.

The global reserve currency has slumped 3.8pc against the pound over the last month to be worth 79p.

Gold prices have hit their highest level in six months
Gold prices have hit their highest level in six months - REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

08:45 AM GMT

Investment summit delivers £30bn boost

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has said £29.5bn has been committed by investors in the UK, triple the sum raised at the last Global Investment Summit in 2021.

As the gathering of business leaders gets away in Hampton Court Palace, she told LBC:

This is a great growth story. It’s showing that despite a lot of the naysaying people actually want to invest in the UK.

They believe in this country. They believe that it has a lot of opportunity.

They’re quite confident that this is the place where they can put their money and they will make good investments while helping us to grow our economy and deliver those jobs in wages that the people of the UK demand.

08:43 AM GMT

FTSE 100 falls ahead of US and EU inflation data

The FTSE 100 slipped in early trading as cautious investors braced for a barrage of economic data throughout the week.

The blue-chip index has fallen 0.1pc, while the more domestically-focused FTSE 250 midcap index has gained 0.3pc.

Heavyweight energy stocks fell as much as 1.1pc, tracking a fall in crude oil prices, while industrial metal miners lost as much as 0.9pc.

Investors are now awaiting the UK mortgage data and the inflation prints across the eurozone and in the United States due later in the week.

Among individual stocks, Entain eased 2.5pc to the bottom of the FTSE 100 after Goldman Sachs downgraded the Ladbrokes-owner’s stock to “Sell” from “Buy”.

Drugmaker AstraZeneca dipped 0.8pc after brokerage Jefferies lowered its price target on the stock.

Rightmove jumped as much as 6.5pc to the top of the FTSE 100 after UK’s largest property portal lifted its forecast for annual average revenue per advertiser.

08:34 AM GMT

Silver price 'giving gold some additional momentum'

Here’s another look at that rally in the price of silver from Saxo Bank’s head of commodity strategy Ole Hansen:

08:23 AM GMT

Interest rates will not fall for ‘foreseeable future’ insists Bailey

The Governor of the Bank of England has said interest rates will not come down “in anything like the foreseeable future” as he continued to push against money markets.

Andrew Bailey said it is “too soon” to have the discussion about cutting interest rates, which stand at 15-year highs of 5.25pc.

Until midway through last week, money markets were expecting interest rates to be cut by June at the latest.

Traders have reduced those bets since the Autumn Statement last Wednesday and now expect rates to be cut by August.

Mr Bailey told the Newcastle Chronicle: “I’m very conscious of the position of the less well off but we do have to get it down to 2pc and that’s why I have pushed back of late against assumptions that we’re talking about cutting interest rates or we will be cutting interest in anything like the foreseeable future because it’s too soon to have that discussion.”

He added that the second half of the inflation battle, reducing prices from 4pc at the end of the next quarter to 2pc would be “hard work”.

Andrew Bailey said that getting inflation from 4pc to 2pc would be 'hard work'
Andrew Bailey said that getting inflation from 4pc to 2pc would be 'hard work' - HENRY NICHOLLS/Pool via REUTERS

08:04 AM GMT

UK markets open mixed

UK markets had a muted start after a slow session in Asia following the holidays in the US at the end of last week.

The FTSE 100 has opened 0.3pc lower at 7,464.44 while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 was flat at 18,459.79.

08:02 AM GMT

Aluminium rises as Goldman Sachs predicts shortage

It has been a strong morning in the metals market, with silver and aluminium also trading higher.

Silver managed a gain of as much as 2pc to more than $24 per ounce while aluminium rose 0.6pc to $2,228.50 a ton on the London Metal Exchange.

Aluminium advanced as Goldman Sachs predicted a widening global shortage in 2024 because of constraints on Chinese supplies.

Analyst Nicholas Snowdon wrote in a note to investors that the tightening outlook mostly reflects “the impact of China’s supply bind, where a combination of hitting the capacity cap and Yunnan winter cuts means that onshore primary production will likely only grow 2pc next year”.

07:52 AM GMT

Economy doing well despite headwinds, insists Badenoch

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch has said the UK economy is “doing well despite significant headwinds” ahead of Rishi Sunak’s Global Investment Summit with hundreds of business figures.

As the event at Hampton Court Palace gets underway today, she told Sky News:

We are really pleased this morning to be welcoming international investors from all over the world.

These are all people who are investing in the UK because they believe in the UK, in the opportunity there is for them to grow their businesses, but also to create jobs and help keep our economy growing and vibrant.

It is really important off the back of the Autumn Statement where the Chancellor made some of the biggest tax cuts we’ve seen for such a long time, it is important that we talk about the UK economy...

The UK economy is doing well despite significant headwinds. We are dealing with the same problems that many other countries around the world are dealing with.

Investors who I hosted at a reception yesterday were telling me about the concerns they have in the US, in France and so on.

Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch will welcome business leaders to the UK's Global Investment Summit
Business Secretary Kemi Badenoch will welcome business leaders to the UK's Global Investment Summit - Aaron Chown/via REUTERS

07:42 AM GMT

Rightmove boosted by listings from house builders

Rightmove has increased its average revenue per advertiser as new homes developers increased their listings amid the downturn in the market.

The property portal said that the measure would come in at between £112 and £116 for the full year, exceeding previous guidance of £103 to £105.

It expects revenues to grow 8pc to 10pc and underlying operating profit to grow between 7pc and 8pc as it reassured shareholders ahead of an investor day at the London Stock Exchange.

Chief executive Johan Svanstrom said:

The momentum that we reported in July has continued through the third quarter and beyond.

The strength of our performance against an uncertain market backdrop demonstrates the strength of the UK consumer affinity to our platform, the value of the established network effect of our business model, the depth and richness of our consumer data, and the value that our customers place in our products to build their businesses.

It also illustrates the resilience of our business model in all phases of the property market cycle.


07:20 AM GMT

Good morning

Thanks for joining me. Gold prices have started the week by hitting a six-month high after a slump in the value of the dollar.

The safe-haven asset hit $2,017.82 an ounce as the value of the dollar continues to slide amid bets on money markets that the US Federal Reserve will not increase interest rates again.

5 things to start your day

1) Bank of England’s net zero focus ‘jeopardises’ inflation fight | A “democratic deficit” has emerged at the Bank, the Economic Affairs Committee has warned

2) The UK knows how to throw a party but investors won’t be fooled | Pomp and ceremony won’t distract from the sorry reality of Britain’s decline

3) Global firms pledge £30bn to UK economy ahead of Sunak summit | Microsoft and BioNTech provide boost for Prime Minister as global executives gather

4) How Israel is interfering with Hamas’s route to victory | Microsoft and BioNTech provide boost for Prime Minister as global executives gather

5) Supermarkets at risk of British beef and lamb shortages | Farmers begin reducing livestock numbers as post-Brexit overhaul starts to bite

What happened overnight

Asian markets dipped Monday as investors look ahead to the release this week of key US inflation data that could provide a guide for the Federal Reserve’s plans for interest rates going into the new year.

With Wall Street seeing little action at the back of last week owing to the Thanksgiving break, traders had few catalysts to drive action, though analysts were upbeat about the end of the year.

The retreat in equities comes after a recent run-up across world markets fuelled by bets the US central bank has finished lifting interest rates as inflation comes down and the jobs market comes off the boil.

The main focus this week is the release Thursday of the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation.

In Asian trading, Tokyo stocks shed earlier gains and ended lower, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index down 0.5pc, or 177.86 points, to 33,447.67, while the broader Topix index fell 0.4pc, or 9.18 points, to 2,381.76.

After a tepid half-day of business Friday in New York, Asia drifted lower.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dropped 1pc to 17,382.28, while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.8pc to 3,017.79.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 edged down 0.4pc to 7,009.50. South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.2pc to 2,491.20.

Still, observers were upbeat about the outlook, with the latest weakness blamed on traders taking a breather after a strong month.

Eyes are also on developments at Opec after the group and its allies delayed a meeting aimed at agreeing production quotas, with some African countries said to be baulking at Saudi Arabian calls for more cuts.

The group is thought to be close to reaching an agreement that could see the Saudis and Russia extend output reductions into the new year.

Crude prices have fallen in recent weeks as demand is seen coming down owing to slowing economies, particularly China’s, and the Middle East crisis appears to be contained.

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