A Royal Dutch Shell Plc refinery near the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada – Cole Burston /Bloomberg
Bitcoin climbs towards $40,000, after latest Musk Tweet
FTSE 100 up 0.1pc, boosted by oil majors
BBC hit with Ofcom complaint from GB News
Behind the G7 fanfare, Britain's economic crown has slipped
Sign up here for our daily business briefing newsletter
11:58 AMMinisters to guarantee broadcasters get prominent slots on smart TVs with new law
The world's biggest technology manufacturers will be forced to offer prime spots on smart TVs to British broadcasters to help secure the future of public service programming, reports Ben Woods.
Ministers will reportedly clear time in the legislative schedule next year to bring in new rules guaranteeing prominence on streaming devices for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
The laws will draw on recommendations to safeguard the future of public service media from the media regulator Ofcom that will be published next month, according to the Financial Times.
Such a move would help broadcasters avoid costly agreements with the tech platforms when trying to secure the best positions for their catch-up services on streaming devices.
Some streaming devices demand nearly a third of the broadcaster's advertising sales in exchange for a place on their digital menus alongside Netflix and Disney+.
Broadcasters fear without support from government the cost of these agreements will weaken their fight against deep-pocketed streaming services by eating into their programme budgets.
Traditional TV regulations hand BBC and ITV top spots on TV channel guides in exchange for making news and uniquely British programmes for smaller audiences.
The current 2003 Communications Act, however, does stretch to cover the world of streaming.
A push to update the law has faced push back from streaming operators, with Roku claiming prominence has "little or no relevance in the streaming world"
11:48 AMLordstown's two top execs resign following cash flow revelationsThe electric Endurance pick-up truck on display at Lordstown Motors Corporation, in Lordstown, Ohio – Tony Dejak /AP
Electric-vehicle maker Lordstown Motors has announced the sudden departure of its two top executives, following the company's warning last week that it might not have enough cash to fund the development of its first truck.
The startup said in a statement today that Chief Executive Officer Steve Burns and Chief Financial Officer Julio Rodriguez have resigned from the company, effective immediately.
Last week, the company warned it might not be able to survive the next 12 months if it couldn't raise more capital.
In March, the startup disclosed a Securities and Exchange Commission probe of its operations after a short seller said its technology was flawed and that pre-orders for its truck were nonbinding.
In a separate statement, Lordstown said a board investigation concluded the company had made inaccurate statements about vehicle pre-orders. The board concluded other allegations made by short seller Hindenburg Research in March were “false and misleading” in many aspects.
My colleague Io Dodds wrote about Lordstown's cash problems last week.
11:36 AMEurozone factory production rises 0.8pc as Europe recovers from recession
Eurozone industrial production rose 0.8pc in April, twice as fast as economists expected.
The rise was spurred by a more than doubling of durable consumer goods output- a category which includes fridges, televisions, electronics, cars and home furnishings – compared to April 2020.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.11:29 AMUS stock futures rise
US stock futures inched higher today, suggesting the S&P 500 could reach a new record after it ended last week at an all time high.
Focus is expected to shift to the Federal Reserve's meeting early this week, when the central bank is expected to maintain its accommodative stance on monetary policy.
S&P 500 futures were were up 0.2pc, while futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 lifted 0.3pc and Dow e-minis were up 0.04pc.
11:13 AMFTSE 100 boosted to pandemic high by oil majors
At just after midday, the FTSE 100 remains up 0.3pc boosted by oil majors Royal Dutch Shell (up 2.3pc) and BP (up 1.39pc) which are reacting to the oil price rally.
Today the blue-chips have peaked at a new pandemic high, however the index still has a way to go before it returns to its pre-pandemic level of around 7,400 points.
10:55 AMTom Stevenson: Inflation doves are taking a huge risk with global economy
The Federal Reserve allowed US inflation to get out of control 50 years ago – and it could be making the same mistake once again, says Tom Stevenson in his new column.
As humans we are hard-wired to be anxious when things are not what we expect. There’s a good reason for that. It protects us from danger, but it also means we are prone to over-react to information that is less important than it appears.
Investors and journalists alike tend to give more weight to the unusual than the significant. Last week’s inflation data may be the latest example. Or they may not.
I don’t know any better than anyone else whether inflation will turn out to be a genuine problem, but I do know that it’s just about the most important question for us to be asking today.
If you are predisposed to worry that governments and central banks are cooking up an inflationary storm, there is plenty to feed your fears at the moment. Both the 9pc rise in Chinese factory gate prices and America’s 5pc hike in consumer prices were the highest since the financial crisis.
Read the rest of Tom's column here.
10:36 AMMore staff return to the workplace
The proportion of the UK workforce exclusively working from their office or place of work has risen to 50pc, the highest level since October 2020, according to the ONS.
Workers living in London were most likely to report working from home in the previous seven days. Those aged 30 to 49 years were most likely to report working from home, with almost half (45pc) saying they did so compared with around one-third of those aged 16 to 29 years (34pc) and 50 to 69 years (32pc).
10:19 AMRenting now cheaper than mortgage payments, says Hamptons
Renting is now cheaper than making monthly mortgage payments, according to real estate agent Hamptons.
A monthly average of £1,054 spent on rent is now cheaper than the average £1,125 a first-time buyer spends on mortgage repayments, the analysis found – the first time since December 2014 that renting has been cheaper than buying.
In London, renting is £251 cheaper, while that number drops to £108 cheaper in the South West and £35 cheaper in the West Midlands. In four areas – the North East, North West, Yorkshire and Humber, and Scotland – it remains cheaper to buy.
The particularly big price difference in London has been created by the three national lockdowns, which have pushed more city dwellers to move to suburbs and rural areas in search of more space. As a result, urban landlords have been pushed to offer cheaper rents to avoid empty homes.
“Falling rents in the capital have made renting cheaper relative to buying by a bigger margin than anywhere else. And with rents still falling, the differential looks set to continue growing,” says Aneisha Beveridge, head of research at Hamptons.
09:56 AMHospitality salaries rise 18pc
Staff are enjoying significantly higher salaries as Brexit, the pandemic and the furlough scheme cut competition for jobs – in an early sign that leaving the EU is benefiting lower-skilled workers in the UK, reports Rachel Millard.
Data from recruitment firm Reed, first reported by The Sunday Times, has found that average salaries this year have risen by 18pc across hospitality and catering, 10pc in retail and 4pc overall.
It follows widespread reports that bosses in retail and hospitality, in particular, have been struggling to fill jobs as they reopen following coronavirus lockdowns, with some forced to cut opening hours because they cannot find the staff.
According to Reed, the average salary in hospitality is now £26,888 compared to £22,701 last year and £23,425 in 2019. The average salary in retail is now £29,310, it said, compared to £26,758 last year and £23,425 in 2019.
Read Rachel's full story here.
09:50 AMTed Baker losses rise by almost a third to £107mPedestrians walk past a Ted Baker clothing store in London – TOLGA AKMEN /AFP
Ted Baker revenues plummeted 44pc in the year to 30 January, as the pandemic hit formal wear sales and amplified problems the brand was wrestling with before the virus outbreak.
The fashion brand's pre tax losses rose 29pc to £107.7m, with the company saying formal styles and occasionwear were particularly affected by lockdowns.
Chief executive Rachel Osborne said: "While the impact of Covid-19 is clear in our results and has amplified some of the legacy issues impacting the business, Ted Baker has responded proactively and is in a much stronger place than it was a year ago."
Investors were however focused on the company's efforts to turn the brand around by investing in ecommerce and bolstering its sustainability credentials.
The company's shares were up 3.8pc after it reported ecommerce sales rose 22pc to £144.9m and it had increase its use of sustainable cotton to 69pc.
09:32 AMVodafone chooses new 5G suppliers
Vodafone has moved closer to cutting ties with Chinese technology giant Huawei by choosing new suppliers to power its next-generation 5G network, reports Ben Woods.
The mobile operator has revealed the suppliers that will curb its reliance on "high risk" vendors after Boris Johnson followed the US by blacklisting Huawei over spying fears.
Vodafone has chosen Dell Technologies, NEC, Samsung, Wind River, Capgemini Engineering and Keysight Technologies to underpin its network based on Open Ran technology.
European telecoms operators have thrown their weight behind open radio access networks, a technology standard that increases network diversity by allowing a wider range of suppliers.
A taskforce headed by Lord Livington, the former BT boss, has recommended to ministers that smaller suppliers should make up a quarter of the equipment used in 5G networks once Huawei is removed.
It comes as the UK telecoms industry is poised to spend up to £2bn ripping out Huawei kit by 2027.
09:20 AMFTSE 100 yet to recover pandemic losses
The FTSE 100 is currently at its highest level since February 2020 but the index is yet to return to its pre-Covid peak of around 7,400 points.
Other major stock markets are beginning to recover their Covid crash losses and rally beyond their pre-pandemic heights, including the S&P in the US and the Nikkei 225 in Japan.
European shares also notched up another record today, with the pan-European STOXX 600 up 0.3pc and Germany's DAX reaching an all-time high.
09:01 AMVast majority want hybrid future of work, says ONS
The vast majority of adults already working from home said they wanted a "hybrid" approach of both home and office working in future, according to an ONS survey.
Around 85pc of home-workers said they expected flexibility about where they worked in the future, with women more likely than men to report homeworking gave them more time to complete work and fewer distractions, while men were more likely to report better wellbeing.
Younger workers however were less likely to report an overall positive view of homeworking than older workers, the ONS found. Fewer respondents aged between 16 and 29 reported "improved work-life balance" or "completing work in a shorter time" than those aged over 30.
Businesses were still undecided about the future role of the office, with 32pc stating they were not sure what proportion of the workforce will be working from their usual place of work.
08:39 AMBMW joins £48m bid to back used car website taking on Cazoo
BMW and top venture capital fund Index Ventures have invested £48m into a British used car sales start-up that is taking on Cazoo and WeBuyAnyCar, reports my colleague James Cook.
London-headquartered Motorway is now considering international expansion for its service, which lets people sell their cars to used car dealers online, with a particular eye on the US market.
The latest investment round was led by Index Ventures, which previously backed start-ups including Deliveroo and Revolut.
Other investors include BMW i Ventures and Unbound, the venture capital fund run by Shravin Bharti Mittal, son of Indian billionaire Sunil Mittal.
Read James' full story here.
08:34 AMMore on Serco's share surgeSerco staff working on behalf of NHS Test and Trace operate a coronavirus testing centre in Stone, England – Christopher Furlong /Getty Images Europe
Outsourcer Serco's shares were surging 4pc this morning, after the company raised its profit outlook by £15m because it expects its coronavirus testing and tracing contracts to remain in demand for longer than previously anticipated.
Serco runs large parts of the NHS Test and trace service, including a quarter of testing sites and half the “tier 3” contact tracers, who are mainly tasked with phoning the contacts of people who have tested positive.
Following reports of surging infections linked to the Delta variant, the company said it expected 2021 profits to come in at around £200m. A full update on trading will be given on 30 June.
08:12 AMFTSE risers and fallers
BT group was leading gains on the FTSE an hour after the index opened (up 2.24pc), with the stock continuing its last week surge after French telecoms company Altice announced it had taken a 12pc stake.
However travel stocks were predictably falling as Britain braced for delay in the economy's reopening today, British Airways owner IAG was trailing the index (down 2.12pc), while Rolls Royce was close behind (down 1.95pc).
On the FTSE 250, Tullow Oil pushed higher (up 4pc) as the price of oil rallied.
Outsourcer Serco was also up 3.5pc after it raised its 2021 profit outlook by £15m to about £200m because it expects stronger demand for its Covid-19 services, such as testing and tracing contracts, in the year's second half than previously anticipated.
Mitie, however, was trailing the mid-caps for losses as its announcement last Thursday that it swung to a pretax loss in the past year continued to weigh on the stock.
07:57 AMMore on Bitcoin's recovery07:52 AMMemestocks prove just as volatile in Europe
Denmark’s first meme stock Orphazyme suffered a selloff this morning, with shares in the tiny biotechnology firm plunging as much as 37pc when the market opened in Copenhagen.
The meme-stock frenzy arrived in Denmark towards the end of last week and now one of the Nordic region’s main retail brokerages warning clients of the potential risks ahead.
“The extreme trading and media focus will force the company and its management into overtime,” Per Hansen, an investment economist at brokerage Nordnet AB, said in a client note on Monday.
“That will create extra work and take the focus away” from running the business. What’s more, “a corporate valuation that’s not financially viable or sustainable won’t, in the long run, be able to alter a negative development” in the underlying business.
The tiny biotech firm, which has yet to produce a viable treatment or turn a profit, saw its American depositary share price soar almost 1,400pc at one point last week.
Orphazyme had a market value of over $450m after trading ended on Friday. Last month, it was worth around $200m.
Orphazyme said on Friday that it’s “not aware of any material change in its clinical development programs, financial condition or results of operations that would explain such price volatility or trading volume.” It also warned investors against being sucked into the irrational price swings.
07:39 AMOil rallies to multi-year highsA driver empties his tanker truck of crude oil at Marathon Oil to be refined into gas on May 20, 2021 in Salt Lake City, Utah – George Frey /Getty Images North America
Oil prices are at multi-year highs this morning, on an improved outlook for worldwide fuel demand.
Brent crude futures inched up to $73.46 per barrel, their highest since April 2019. US crude futures added 0.5pc to $71.32 per barrel, their highest since October 2018.
07:27 AMFTSE rises to 16-month high
London's FTSE 100 index is on the ascent this morning, touching its highest level since February 2020 as investors seem unperturbed by reports Prime Minister Boris Johnson is likely to delay the economy's reopening by four weeks.
Boosted by gains in heavyweight financials and energy stocks, the blue-chip index is up 0.7pc. Royal Dutch Shell is leading for gains, up 1.5pc as the stock tracks higher crude prices.
07:12 AMFTSE opens higher
The FTSE 100 has jumped 0.7pc on opening, currently trading at 7,184 points.
The FTSE 250 is also up a healthy 0.5pc at 22,844 points.
07:08 AMWhat to expect from UK markets this week:
Michael Hewson, Chief Market Analyst at CMC Markets UK, lays out the events investors will be watching:
In the UK it's also set to be another big week for UK economic data, with the latest unemployment, inflation and retail sales numbers for April and May set to show a continued improvement in the direction of travel for the UK economic rebound.
Today we are also set to find out that next week's scheduled relaxation of restrictions on the UK economy is expected to be put back by up to four weeks, over concerns about the rising levels of infection in the Delta or Indian variant.
As a consequence, we might see a little bit of softness in the pound, along with possible further weakness in the likes of hospitality and travel stocks, which had already started to slide at the end of last week over those very concerns.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to lay out the reasons for the delay, though he could allow some relaxations to take place albeit at a slower pace than originally envisaged.
06:34 AMMusk reopens door for Bitcoin payments for TeslaSpaceX founder and Tesla CEO Elon Musk looks on as he visits the construction site of Tesla’s gigafactory in Gruenheide, near Berlin, Germany – Reuters /MICHELE TANTUSSI
Bitcoin has gyrated to Musk's views for months since Tesla announced a $1.5bn Bitcoin purchase in February and said it would take the cryptocurrency in payment. He later said the electric car maker would not accept Bitcoin due to concerns over how mining the currency requires high energy use and contributes to climate change.
"When there's confirmation of reasonable (~50pc) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions," Musk said on Twitter on Sunday.
Bitcoin rallied more than 9pc after that message, breaking above its 20-day moving average, and it climbed a tiny bit further in Asia to hit $39,838.92.
"The market had been going through another round of correction over the weekend … until Elon Musk's tweet of accepting BTC again for Tesla purchases changed sentiment," said Bobby Ong, co-founder of crypto analytics website CoinGecko.
This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.Update your settings here to see it.06:27 AMBitcoin rallies (again)
Good morning. Bitcoin hit a two-week peak just shy of $40,000 on Monday, after another weekend reacting to tweets from Tesla boss Elon Musk, who fended off criticism over his market influence and said Tesla sold bitcoin but may resume transactions using it.
The FTSE 100 is expected to open slightly higher.
5 things to start your day
1) BBC hit with Ofcom complaint from GB News after 'shutting out' broadcaster Lawyers for the company have alerted media regulator Ofcom, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and Oliver Dowden, the Culture Secretary, about a row over its access to political footage.
2) Ministers weigh up hospitality rescue over billions in unpaid rent Officials are considering proposals to ring-fencing historic debt built up by pubs and restaurants during Covid-19.
3) Qualcomm ready to invest in Arm if $40bn Nvidia sales collapses Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s incoming chief executive, told The Telegraph it would be prepared to buy a stake in Arm alongside a consortium of industry players.
4) BMW joins £48m bid to back used car website taking on Cazoo London-headquartered Motorway is now considering international expansion for its service, which lets people sell their cars to used car dealers online, with a particular eye on the US market.
5) WhatsApp boss: We would challenge encryption crackdown Will Cathcart told The Telegraph that the service would be prepared to challenge any demand that it break the systems that make it impossible for security services to read messages between criminals.
What happened overnight
Global shares held firm near record highs on Monday while US bond yields flirted with three-month lows as investors expect the Federal Reserve to stick to its dovish mantra later this week.
Japan's Nikkei rose 0.35pc while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.1pc. Activity was limited with the region's largest markets – China, Hong Kong and Australia – closed for a holiday.
Globally, equity markets were basking in the prospects of a broadening economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and anticipation of continuity in dovish monetary policy from the US Federal Reserve.
The MSCI all-country world equity index, the US S&P 500 and the pan-regional STOXX Europe 600 index all closed at record highs on Friday.
Coming up today
Corporate: Ted Baker, Augmentum Fintech (full year), Crest Nicholson (interim), Saga, SThree (trading statement)
Economics: Industrial production (EU, Japan)