Sterling has fallen against the euro and dollar this morning as EU officials poured cold water on Boris Johnson‘s hopes of a Brexit deal being agreed ahead of a crucial summit this week.
The pound slid 0.5 per cent before regaining some ground against the single currency following strong gains last week spurred by renewed positivity around Brexit talks.
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Budget to be held in November, chancellor announces
Sajid Javid has announced his first Budget as chancellor will be unveiled on 6 November – to take place after the government’s Brexit deadline of 31 October.
“This will be the first Budget after leaving the EU,” Mr Javid said.
“I will be setting out our plan to shape the economy for the future and triggering the start of our infrastructure revolution. This is the right and responsible thing to do – we must get on with governing.”
But Nicola Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister, said it was clear the government was “making it up as they go along” – and there was no guarantee Mr Johnson would still be in power.
She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I have to say, I think it’s another example of this government making things up as they go along.”
Payment giants back out of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, following PayPal
Mastercard, Visa, and eBay have all pulled out of Libra, Facebook’s increasingly embattled cryptocurrency project.
The major financial institutions follow PayPal in withdrawing from the Libra Association. The payments firms Mercado Pago and Stripe have also pulled out, leaving the project with only one of six payments-related firms who were originally involved.
The withdrawals also leave the cryptocurrency project with no major US payment processor.
A spokesperson for eBay said: “eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member. At this time, we are focused on rolling out eBay’s managed payments experience for our customers.”
A spokesperson for Visa also left open the potential for a shift, saying, “We will continue to evaluate and our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations.”
So what has the EU said to send the pound tumbling this morning?
Officials said intensive talks over the weekend had been “constructive” but that the pace of progress was not enough for a deal to be agreed this week.
Mr Johnson is desperate for an agreement to be signed off before Saturday to avoid him having to ask for further delay to Brexit.
But while EU sources said that a breakthrough during the prime minister’s talks with his Irish counterpart, Leo Varadkar, last week meant there was now “a deal to be done”, they urged Mr Johnson to make further concessions to secure an agreement.
The latest developments have dampened optimism in currency markets.
Sterling is down 0.65 per cent against the dollar to $1.256 and 0.5 per cent against the euro to €1.14 this morning.
Shoppers continue to shun high street as visitor numbers drop 10% in seven years
The number of consumers visiting Britain’s shopping centres, retail parks and high streets has slumped 10 per cent over the last seven years, including a decline last month.
Overall retail footfall was down 1.7 per cent in September compared with the same month last year.
Shopping centres suffered the largest loss of customers, with 3.2 per cent fewer visitors in September than a year earlier, according to research by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and data company Springboard. High streets fared slightly better, registering a 1.8 per cent drop.
UK renewables generate more electricity than fossil fuels for the first time
Wind farms, solar panels, biomass and hydropower generated 29.5 terawatt hours (TWh) of energy for the months of July, August and September, compared to 29.1TWh from fossil fuels, according to Carbon Brief.
In 2010, 10 times more energy came from burning fossil fuels than renewable energy, but the cost of renewables has tumbled, with onshore wind and solar power frequently cheaper.
Welcome to The Independent‘s live coverage of business and economics events.
Sterling is falling this morning, erasing some of its strong gains from Thursday and Friday. A survey shows UK high streets have now seen a 10 per cent fall in shopper numbers in seven years.
Later this morning the winner of the Nobel prize for economics will be announced.
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