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Ofcom warns broadcasters to remain impartial ahead of election, FTSE 100 hits new record high – business live | Business


Introduction: Ofcom warns broadcasters to remain impartial ahead of election, Lloyds profit falls 28% – business live

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of business, the financial markets and the world economy.

The UK’s media regulator has warned broadcasters to maintain due impartiality ahead of the general election later this year. Ofcom also published new strengthened rules on using politicians as presenters following repeated breaches of its guidance, but stopped short of an outright ban, saying this is not what people want.

Cristina Nicolotti Squires, Ofcom’s broadcasting and media group director, said:

People are clear that they expect broadcasters to maintain the highest standards of due impartiality. It follows that, given politicians’ partial viewpoint, audiences don’t want to see or listen to politicians presenting news – full stop. But while many are instinctively uncomfortable with politicians presenting current affairs, there was no clear consensus for an outright ban.

Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Halifax, has kicked off the UK bank earnings season, reporting a 28% drop in first-quarter pre-tax profits to £1.6bn. Peaking interest rates and growing competition in the mortgage market squeezed margins.

FTSE 100 futures point to the index hitting another all-time high when markets open.

The FTSE 100 index finished Tuesday at a new closing high, for the second day running, up 0.26% at 8044 points. During the day, it hit a new record high of 8076 points, as hopes of interest rate cuts pushed shares higher. However, the Bank of England’s chief economist Huw Pill said later on that inflation must be squeezed out of the economy and cautioned against cutting rates too soon.

Asian stocks have rallied, led by tech stocks after Tesla, the US electric carmaker, surged in after-hours trading following its promise of new models. Japan’s Nikkei gained 2.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.1% and the Singapore exchange added 0.8%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.6%.

US stocks closed higher after companies such as General Motors reported strong results. The Nasdaq finished 1.6% higher while the S&P 500 rose 1.2%. Tesla kicked off the earnings season for the US tech giants, known as the Magnificent 7, which last week had close to $1 trillion wiped off their combined market value in a boon to short sellers.

Tesla shares surged nearly 10% in after-hours trading, despite a revenue miss for the first quarter of 2024, a steep decline in profits, and a recall of its most recently released car, the $100,000 Cybertruck. However, investors were cheered by previews of a ride-hailing app to be integrated into Tesla products, and the company’s promise to release new vehicle models sooner than previously announced (it referenced a robotaxi network in the works).

The Agenda

  • 9am BST: Germany Ifo business climate for April

  • 11am BST: UK CBI industrial trends survey

  • 1.30pm BST: US Durable goods orders for March

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Key events

Lloyds profits fall as competition for mortgages heats up

Here is our full story on Lloyds:

Lloyds Banking Group has posted a 28% drop in profits for the first three months of the year as intense competition in the mortgage and savings market hit its earnings.

The country’s largest mortgage lender, which owns the Halifax brand, said pre-tax profits dropped to £1.6bn between January and March, having fallen from £2.3bn last year when rising interest rates boosted the lender’s profits by almost 50%.

Lloyds Bank in Oxford Street. Photograph: Pietro Recchia/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Pressure from politicians and regulators to pass on interest rates to savers at the same rate they had been raising mortgage and loan charges has squeezed income for major mortgage providers such as Lloyds in recent months.

In response, banks have competed harder for customer deposits by offering more substantial returns, particularly on fixed savings products where consumers lock away cash for longer. Customer deposits fell by about £2.2bn to £469.2bn.

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FTSE 100 index hits fresh intraday record high

Just after the open, the FTSE 100 index hit a fresh record high, rising to 8083.

It is now trading at 8076, up 0.4%. Shares have been lifted by hopes of interest rate cuts and easing geopolitical tensions.

Asian and US stocks have also rallied, cheered by strong corporate results.

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Introduction: Ofcom warns broadcasters to remain impartial ahead of election, Lloyds profit falls 28% – business live

Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of business, the financial markets and the world economy.

The UK’s media regulator has warned broadcasters to maintain due impartiality ahead of the general election later this year. Ofcom also published new strengthened rules on using politicians as presenters following repeated breaches of its guidance, but stopped short of an outright ban, saying this is not what people want.

Cristina Nicolotti Squires, Ofcom’s broadcasting and media group director, said:

People are clear that they expect broadcasters to maintain the highest standards of due impartiality. It follows that, given politicians’ partial viewpoint, audiences don’t want to see or listen to politicians presenting news – full stop. But while many are instinctively uncomfortable with politicians presenting current affairs, there was no clear consensus for an outright ban.

Lloyds Banking Group, which owns Halifax, has kicked off the UK bank earnings season, reporting a 28% drop in first-quarter pre-tax profits to £1.6bn. Peaking interest rates and growing competition in the mortgage market squeezed margins.

FTSE 100 futures point to the index hitting another all-time high when markets open.

The FTSE 100 index finished Tuesday at a new closing high, for the second day running, up 0.26% at 8044 points. During the day, it hit a new record high of 8076 points, as hopes of interest rate cuts pushed shares higher. However, the Bank of England’s chief economist Huw Pill said later on that inflation must be squeezed out of the economy and cautioned against cutting rates too soon.

Asian stocks have rallied, led by tech stocks after Tesla, the US electric carmaker, surged in after-hours trading following its promise of new models. Japan’s Nikkei gained 2.3%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng rose 2.1% and the Singapore exchange added 0.8%. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.6%.

US stocks closed higher after companies such as General Motors reported strong results. The Nasdaq finished 1.6% higher while the S&P 500 rose 1.2%. Tesla kicked off the earnings season for the US tech giants, known as the Magnificent 7, which last week had close to $1 trillion wiped off their combined market value in a boon to short sellers.

Tesla shares surged nearly 10% in after-hours trading, despite a revenue miss for the first quarter of 2024, a steep decline in profits, and a recall of its most recently released car, the $100,000 Cybertruck. However, investors were cheered by previews of a ride-hailing app to be integrated into Tesla products, and the company’s promise to release new vehicle models sooner than previously announced (it referenced a robotaxi network in the works).

The Agenda

  • 9am BST: Germany Ifo business climate for April

  • 11am BST: UK CBI industrial trends survey

  • 1.30pm BST: US Durable goods orders for March

Share

Updated at 

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