UK retail sales stabilize; German confidence rises; Hong Kong shares surge – business live – The Guardian, Google News

Time for a quick recap.

Here’s the full story:

Asia Elects(@ AsiaElects)

Hong Kong, 452 / 452 seats counted.

District Council political camps:

Pro-Beijing: 59 (- 239)

Pro-democracy: 388 ( 262)

Unaligned: 5 (-2)# HongKongElectionspic. xwLFnC

November 25, 2019

  • Transport for London has refused to renew Uber’s license, saying the ride-hailing site hasn’t done enough to protect customers. Uber plans to appeal, and says the decision is unfair.
  • Viagogo buys StubHub (updated)

    More takeover news:

    Online auction site Ebay has agreed to sell its online ticketing subsidiary StubHub to rival reseller Viagogo in a $ 4. 05 BN deal.

    StubHub was co-founded by Viagogo’s creator, Eric Baker, during his time at business school, but left before the business was sold to eBay for $ (million in) .

    Baker says:

    “It has long been my wish to unite the two companies. I am so proud of how StubHub has grown over the years and excited about the possibilities for our shared future. ”

    Hopefully this ‘shared future’ won’t include the controversies that have dogged Viagogo in the UK. A year ago it lost a legal battle that forced it to give more information about its sellers, including ticket touts.

    Viagogo was later banned from Google, after the search giant concluded it had violated its advertising rules. This hit its customer numbers sharply – down 80% in the UK ….

    UPDATED: Viagogo have reminded me that they have now been reinstated after working closely with Google, so that issue has been resolved.


    US farmers must be getting desperate for a trade war breakthrough.

    Data released today show that Chinese imports of American soybeans have hit a three-month low – with Brazil taking up some of the slack.

    YUAN TALKS(@ YuanTalks)

    # China‘s inbound# soybeanshipments from# USslumped to 1. 15 mln tons in Oct from 1. 73 mln tons in Sept, lowest in 3 months, customs data show.

    China bought 3.8 mln tons soybeans from Brazil, the largest supplier, down from 4. 79 mln tons in Sept and 6. 53 mln tons last Oct.

    (November) , 2019

    Optimism of a breakthrough in the US-China trade war is continuing to lift markets.

    In London the FTSE 100 is now 70 points higher at 7396, its highest level in nearly a week.

    Industrials, consumer cyclical firms and tech companies are among the risers, reflecting hopes that Washington and Beijing will (eventually) sign off a phase one trade deal.

    LVMH’s capture of Tiffany’s today (see earlier post) shows that the luxury end of retail is still hot, despite the global slowdown.

    Here’s Kate Swaine, partner at legal firm Gowling WLG:

    It is interesting to witness further consolidation across the luxury goods sector, following hot on the heels of Michael Kors’ 2018 purchase of Versace.

    At a time when the retail market is challenging, the luxury end of the sector has proved resilient to the slowdown in economic growth. This purchase demonstrates the appetite for investment and expansion even at the heights of the sector.

    Gareth Shaw, Head of Money, Which ?, fears TSB customers will lose out once it shuts 86 of its branches across the UK:

    “Bank customers are still enduring almost daily IT glitches, which is why everyday banking services and access to cash – which is a vital back-up – must be protected. The next government should urgently intervene with legislation that protects access to cash for as long as it is needed.

    Britain’s financial sector continues to shed staff at a heady rate, as banks try to slash costs and keep up with technological changes.

    Today the ace is hovering over TSB, which is planning to shut 86 branches – one in seven of its estate – just six years after being spun out of Lloyds.

    That will eliminate up to 400 jobs – grim news in the run-up to Christmas.


    Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has hit out atTransport for London’s decision not to renew his company’s license.

    He insists Uber has made ‘fundamental’ changes, and will fight the ruling.

    dara khosrowshahi(@ dkhos)

    We understand we’re held to a high bar, as we should be. But this TfL decision is just wrong. Over the last 2 years we have fundamentally changed how we operate in London. We have come very far – and we will keep going, for the millions of drivers and riders who rely on us.

    (November) , 2019

    But what about today’s revelation that at least 14, 000 Uber journeys took place with the ‘wrong driver’ at the wheel?

    London Mayor Sadiq Khan says this is unacceptable; Uber hasn’t yet proved it has ‘robust’ procedures in place to prevent a repeat.

    Sadiq Khan(@ SadiqKhan)

    My statement on TfL’s Uber

    (November) , 2019

    (the company, though, will point to its facial recognition work that could thwart rogue drivers who upload their own photos).

    The improved CBI retail sales reportcould be a sign that shoppers will hit the high street with gusto this Christmas.

    So argues Howard Archer of the EY Item Club:

    The CBI survey offers the retailers genuine hope that consumers are prepared to loosen their purse strings for the critical Christmas period; and suggests that some of the recent lackluster sales performance has been due to consumers taking a breather before splashing out over the festive season. The survey indicates that retailers are relatively upbeat about the Christmas sales outlook for sales with a balance of 21% expecting sales volumes to be up year-on-year in December. This was the first positive expectations balance since June

    It also may well be that some consumers have recently held back on their retail sales, waiting for Black Friday price cuts and promotions in the latter part of November. However, the evidence of recent years suggests that Black Friday tends to have more of an impact in distorting the timing of retail sales rather than boosting them overall.

    Howard Archer(@ HowardArcherUK)

    Improved# CBI# dist ributivetrades survey shows sales balance up to 7-month high of -3%; balance of 8% of# retailerssee sales good for time of year, Retailers pretty upbeat about December prospects. Much-needed better indication for (# UK)# economyfor Q4 25 VD

    (November) , 2019

    Confirmation that retailers are reluctant to invest:

    CBI Economics(@ CBI_Economics)

    Retail investment intentions for the year ahead fell for the sixth consecutive quarter and at a faster pace than last quarter. Wholesalers’ investment intentions, meanwhile, were unchanged from August, remaining at their weakest since the financial crisis#

    (November) , 2019

    Here’s Anna Leach, CBI Deputy Chief Economist, on today’s retail survey:

    “Retailers are entering the festive season with a bit of hope that sales will head up, with the strongest expectations in half a year. Actual sales have also stabilized and have nudged above average for the time of year. And employment has stopped falling after three years of decline.

    But Brexit uncertainty continues to weigh on investment plans for the year ahead which remain weak.

    UK retail sales slump ends

    Just in: The downturn in UK retail may be bottoming out, just in time for Christmas.

    The CBI’s monthly survey of British retailers has found that sales were “broadly unchanged” in November, ending a six-month run of falling demand.

    Trading Economics(@ tEconomics)

    # UnitedKingdomCBI Distributive# Tradesat -3

    (November) , 2019

    Retailers are more optimistic about future prospects too . Many growth to return in the year to December, with their strongest expectations in seven months.

    However, suppliers reported another drop in demand, suggesting that shop owners are still cautious.

    Here are the main findings:

    • 38% of respondents reported that sales volumes were up on a year ago in November, while 41% said they were down, giving a balance of -3% – the highest balance in 7 months
    • Retailers expect sales volumes to increase in the year to December ( 21%), with 44% expecting a rise and 23% expecting a fall
    • Sales were seen as above average for the time of year to the greatest extent since April: 38% reported sales for the time of year as good and 30% reported them as bad, giving a rounded balance of 8%. This is expected to improve further in December ( (%)
    • Orders placed upon suppliers fell for the seventh consecutive month in annual terms :(% reported an increase while) % reported a fall, giving a rounded balance of -9%. Retailers expect a recovery in orders growth next month ( (%)

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