We can’t accept that people refuse all help that the benefits system turns its back on them. People understand there needs to be a bit of tough love.
08.20 George Osborne has just been on Radio 4 talking about his welfare crackdown and the cost of living. He said that “there needs to be a bit of tough love” on benefits and called Ed Miliband’s energy price freeze a gimmick. More coming soon…
08.10 In Italy, prime minister Enrico Letta has confirmed his government will face a vote of no confidence on Wednesday. Bond yields have spiked today to 4.55pc.
10 year bond yields over Thursday, Friday and Monday. Image: Bloomberg
08.00 The FTSE 100 has opened around 0.9pc down at 6,454 on those US budget fears. Here’s some commentary from Mike van Dulken, head of research at Accendo Markets:
FTSE 100 (opening down) with still no compromise in the US between the Senate (Democrats) and the House of Representatives (Republicans) on the US budget (due by midnight), with the latter insisting on a 1yr delay to Healthcare reforms (Obama refuses to budge), and potential for at least a partial shutdown of many agencies – possibly more – on top of the existing sequester and with the debt ceiling deadline also looming (17 Oct).
Over in the Europe, while things have been calm(er), Italy risks being the source of latest fireworks with Prime Minister Letta confirming he is seeking a vote of confidence after Berlusconi (who may be ejected from Senate due to tax-fraud) ordered (yes, he’s still running the show) the withdrawal of 5 cabinet members from his party’s wing within the young coalition and emphasised its fragility. VAT is the issue within next year’s budget.
In Asia, markets dented by worries on the other side of the pond, and after some weak macro-economic data out of Japan, with improvements in Manufacturing PMI, Retail Sales and construction, offset by mixed Industrial production, housing and vehicle Production.
07.30 Apple has knocked Coca-Cola off its perch as the world’s most valuable brand after rising 28pc in one year, according to the consultancy Interbrand.
The iPhone maker is now worth $ 98.3bn and Coca-Cola has also been overtaken by Google, the first time the drinks company has not been put at number 1.
07.20 Manufacturing data from China has disappointed this morning.
According to influential PMI figures published by HSBC this morning, manufacturing activity was 50.2 in September, on a measure in which any number over 50 indicates growth. This was up from 50.1 in August, but much lower than a 51.2 initial reading reported last week.
07.10 The FTSE 100 is forecast to open around 1pc down yesterday, following declines in Asian markets as US lawmakers squabble over dealing with the country’s spending plans.
Washington has until midnight US time to agree on a new spending bill ahead of the end of the government’s fiscal year. If it fails to do so, non-vital services will be shut down, at a huge cost to the world’s biggest economy.
The FTSE is currently expected to open 0.9pc down. In Japan, the Nikkei fell 2.1pc this morning to 14,456.
07.05 Here are the top business stories in the Business section of today’s Daily Telegraph:
• Philip Aldrick reports that RBS and Lloyds, the state backed lenders, will join the Government’s Help to Buy scheme as the controversial second stage of the programme is brought forward by three months.
• Matt Warman reveals that Google paid just £11.6m in UK corporation tax last year.
• Graham Ruddick writes that Aldi has become a worthy rival to Britain’s big four supermarkets as profits have more than doubled.
• And Roger Bootle warns against getting over-excited about a recovery in the housing market.
And the best of the rest:
• The Financial Times (£) leads on the threat of a US government shutdown if Republicans in Congress and President Barack Obama fail to find agreement on budget talks.
• The Times (£) writes that top doctors have criticised medical insurers for interfering in patient choice.
• The Guardian reports that shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has not promised to renationalise the Royal Mail if Labour were elected, saying his priority would be protecting services.
07.00 Good morning and welcome to our daily business and markets live blog, your one stop shop for all the breaking business stories of the day.