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Tuesday 17 April 2018

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Company news, markets and financial talking points, available from 8am Monday to Friday

Pound's run puts UK at top of G10 group

The pound continues to fare well against the dollar, pushing above $1.43 in the seventh successive session that it has made gains against the US currency. The BBC points out that this means that, among the G10 group of rich nations, the UK has the best-performing currency this year. The prospect of another rise in UK interest rates has made the pound more attractive to traders.

Netflix revenue beats Wall Street expectations

Netflix says its revenue hit $3.7bn in the first three months in the "fastest pace in the history of our streaming business". The figure, which was ahead of expectations on Wall Street, was up from $2.6bn at the same time last year. The streaming service’s net income was $290m, up from $178m last year. The Times says the firm has won over viewers by being prepared to take bigger risks than traditional Hollywood studios.

Third of UK millennials 'will never own a home'

One in three of Britain’s millennial generation will never own their own home, says the Resolution Foundation. The think tank says many 20-to-35-year-olds will be forced to live and raise families in insecure privately rented accommodation throughout their lives. It is calling for a major overhaul of the private rented sector, proposing a three-year cap on rent increases.

China's economy grew 6.8% in first three months

China’s economy beat expectations to grow 6.8% in the first quarter. The government had set a target of 6.5%, but a rebound in private investment helped offset a declining trade surplus. Concerns about China's economy remain as the government struggles to contain ballooning debt and a housing bubble without denting growth. The prospect of a trade war with the US also looms large.

WPP hit by £1bn blow amid break-up fears

Almost £1 billion was wiped off the value of the troubled advertising giant WPP yesterday. Shares closed down 6.5% at £11.11, valuing the group at just over £14bn. It was the first day of trading since Sir Martin Sorrell resigned, prompting fears that his exit could lead to a break-up of the company. A leading shareholder said it was "regrettable" that Sir Martin, had been forced out.

Quote of the day… The £22,000 stunt

"I set up a £12 company and it hit me for £22,000." Campaigner Kevin Brewer, who is being prosecuted after he listed government ministers as directors to illustrate lack of Companies House checks.

THE NUMBERS... AT 0641 GMT

FTSE 100: down -0.91 to 7198.20
Dow Jones: up +0.87 to 24573.04
Dax: down -0.41 to 12391.41
Cac 40: down -0.04 to 5312.96
Nikkei: down -0.05 to 21824.25
Hang Seng: down -0.24 to 30241.43
US dollar: buys €0.8075 and £0.6971
Sterling: buys $1.4343 and €1.1583
Oil: $71.66 up +0.34

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