Director of G4S immigration detention center resigns after abuse of migrants uncovered

The director of the G4S-run immigration center where staff were filmed mistreating and humiliating vulnerable migrants has resigned because the questionable security firm faces further investigations.

Ben Saunders left his role at Brook House, near Gatwick Airport terminal, with “immediate effect” three days following the scandal broke.

Jerry Petherick, the md for G4S Custodial and Detention Services, stated an interim director could be set up prior to the appointment of the substitute.

Undercover footage broadcast by BBC Panorama demonstrated vulnerable detainees being mistreated, restrained, insulted and humiliated by pads, among substance abuse, self-harm and suicide attempts.

Mr Petherick and the other G4S manager were grilled within the scandal throughout a hearing prior to the Home Matters Committee, which stated it might continue investigating allegations over the way the firm was charging the federal government.

Peter Neden, president of G4S United kingdom and Ireland, told MPs he felt “ashamed” watching the footage and also the exposé was the very first he heard about the abuse.

“I was embarrassed with things i saw,” he told the committee earlier this year. “I am very sorry… when we were by any means conscious of any one of that conduct we’d took action.

G4S charged with ‘culture of intimidation’ against asylum seekers

“We take on an instantaneous plan of action to make certain this can’t happen again. We take these occasions seriously indeed. There’s room for conduct of this kind within our business.”

A staff member filmed colleagues abusing detainees and mocking individuals who were receiving treatment after self-harming or stoning up.

Disturbing scenes incorporated the reaction to a detainee who had been attempting to strangle themself and set a cell phone battery in the mouth.

A child custody manager was filmed telling him: “Plug him in and he’ll be considered a Duracell bunny.”

Because the detainee had been restrained, the undercover reporter filmed another employee allegedly choking him with what he referred to as “the most distressing treatment” he saw throughout his time at Brook House.

G4S stated three employees have to date been ignored within the footage, with seven others suspended.

The organization has additionally commissioned a completely independent inquiry and stated it had been assisting a police analysis.

brook-house-panorama.jpg
G4S pads answering a detainee who’d taken Spice at Brook House (BBC Panorama)

Committee chair Yvette Cooper told the hearing it was dependent on “very grave concern” that G4S made an appearance to possess unsuccessful to tackle staff misbehaviour following mistreatment revealed in a youthful offenders’ unit this past year.

Ms Cooper accused G4S of neglecting to have “any grip at all” around the situation and stated its response was “remarkably similar” as to the have been guaranteed before. 

“This raises very serious questions regarding their management, training, oversight and whistleblower policies as well as their capability to securely operate this contract,” the Work MP stated.

“We also heard disturbing allegations that G4S fooled the house Office to improve their profit, which we’ll pursue further.” 

Campaigners have known as for that firm to become stripped of contracts to operate immigration centres and also the Bail for Immigration Detainees charitable organization authored to Amber Rudd demanding an open inquiry.

Brook House is among two immigration centres operated by G4S within the United kingdom and it has convenience of 508 males.

The center is built to hold people for approximately 72 hrs in front of deportation / removal however, many individuals have been arrested there for nearly 2 yrs. 

The United kingdom may be the only country in Europe to permit indefinite immigration detention and campaigners and independent queries have lengthy known as for that practice to become curtailed.

Concerns are also elevated within the mixing of foreign crooks who’ve offered prison sentences for violent crime and vulnerable asylum seekers like Samim Bigzad, an Afghan asylum seeker now in the center of the high-profile legal fight from the Government.

G4S offered its youth detention centres following last year’s scandal at Medway, but nonetheless operates five prisons in Britain.

The organization continues to be hit by numerous scandals over its handling of worldwide contracts for security and prisons, including neglecting to correctly staff security teams in the London 2012 Olympic games, losing charge of rioting prisoners at HMP Birmingham, allegedly manipulating police telephone data and hiring the Orlando terror attacker Omar Mateen in america.

Many controversies have centered on treating arrested immigrants by G4S pads, as well as their utilization of pressure while employed by the United kingdom Border Agency and prison service.

Three G4S pads were cleared of wrongful death following the dying of Jimmy Mubenga, who had been fatally restrained on the deportation / removal flight from Heathrow this year.

For the reason that year alone, the organization received greater than 700 complaints from arrested immigrants, including allegations of assault and racism.

G4S was made to pay back £108.9m towards the British Government in 2014 after overcharging on contracts to digitally tag offenders.

The Intense Fraud Office had opened up an analysis into G4S and Serco after it emerged that both firms have been charging for tagging crooks who have been either dead, in prison or never tagged to begin with.

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Why neighborhood toy stores are thriving while Toys R Us goes bankrupt

— crushed by debt — files for personal bankruptcy]

If is really a private-equity horror story (not just one for the children), then mother-and-pop neighborhood toy shops tend to be more just like a story book.

At Child’s Play in Northwest Washington, annual sales happen to be climbing about 3 % annually, as a parent avoid megastores an internet-based options in support of their four locations, which together generate millions in annual revenue.

On the recent week day mid-day, the shop bustled with children. Their parents with you stated they are available towards the store regularly simply because they such as the carefully curated selection, useful employees, Lego-building occasions and also the gift wrapping, which comes in handy whenever you stop by in order to mothering sunday party.

Crocs’ big strategy: Stay ugly]

The toys at Child’s Play are selected with the aid of developmental psychologists, work-related therapists and teachers. Staffers are trained extensively in child development and therefore are trained to recommend products according to specific factors.

Have to focus on your toddler’s finger strength? Employees might recommend Play-Doh.

Possess a child that has trouble losing? Cooperative games for example Forbidden Island or Mole Rats wide could be the ticket.

Frequently, parents stated, they’ll enter the shop having a couple of parameters: “I require a $20 gift for any 4-year-old boy.” It’s only a few minutes before an worker has recommended something and wrapped it on their behalf. (“Walk into any birthday celebration around here, and it is all gift wrap from Child’s Play,” one mother stated.)

“Every worker here has a minimum of a 5-minute shtick on every item within this store,” Shannon Sumner stated. “And everyone has a minumum of one niche, whether it’s books or Legos or games.Inches (Her expertise: Nerf weaponry and outside toys.)

“Nowadays people have a tendency to consider toys as disposable entertainment,” stated Steven Aarons, who founded Child’s Play 31 years back. “But they’re even more than that. They are simply vital that you a child’s development.”

Benjamin Mack banded while watching The Exorcist Legos.

“I much like coming to see what they’ve here,” the 8-year-old stated. “Sometimes If only I possibly could buy each and every factor within this aisle.”

This really is, he stated, where he involves spend the monthly allowance he earns doing chores throughout the house. Once he earned $21 in a single month. Today he was empty-handed.

“I usually concentrate on the $10 sets, for affordable for me personally,Inches he stated.

“But basically had lots of money, I’d get individuals on top shelf,” he added, pointing for an all-terrain tactical enforcer marked $149.99. “They cost a lot of hundreds.”

He and the 5-year-old brother, he stated, live nearby and prefer to stay in after school.

“I think toy stores come with an benefit to stores in your phone or computer,” Benjamin stated because he checked out a presentation of Legos. “Amazon may have more things, however this is simpler because it’s not necessary to check out a screen.”

Nearby, a consumer appreciated how employees had tracked lower an obscure ancient shark figurine on her twins. Another remembered time employees opened up a game so her 7-year-old boy, Ben, could decide whether or not this was the best gift for uncle.

“When Ben was searching for any football, they were given out a lot of footballs and performed with him,” stated Janice Wilding, who’d stopped along with her three children. “They really put them around within the store. Cure would do this?Inches

Taking toys from their boxes and showing the way they work is an integral part from the job at independent toy stores. It is also the primary reason companies for example Haba, a German toymaker that are experts in wooden toys, only target independent retailers.

“The niche toy market represents our brand in a manner that mass retailers just cannot,” stated Lea Culliton, president of Haba USA. “We want to utilize shop proprietors who’re engaged and knowledgeable, and that’s what today’s parents want, too.”

Back through the games, Ella and Cora remained as searching for the best toy. Their latest selection would be a laser tag looking for $49.99.

“Please, please,” Cora stated, jumping up and lower. “Both people can enjoy.Inches

“No, Mother stated no guns,” their father, Jon, stated. “We’ve only been here, what, an hour or so? Geez, I want a beer.”

More often than not, Jon stated, he is doing his shopping on the web. It’s cheaper and simpler.

“If I’d were built with a little experience, I would’ve bought her birthday toys online too,” he stated. “But that they like coming here, exactly what do you need to do?Inches

The girls’ doctor walked in and stated hello. Then Ella and Cora encountered a few classmates.

Cora found a foam baseball bat she thought her father would really like. (He didn’t.) She considered a Barbie dolls convertible. (“Don’t even consider it,” her older sister informed her. “If it’s a vehicle, which means it’s a significant amount of money.”)

“Cora, in 2 seconds, should you not have something, we’re departing,” their father known as out. “Girls, I’m walking out of the door.Inches

He then spotted a parrot-capped pen. An worker came to show Cora the way it labored: “Here, watch,” she stated. “Say your company name.Inches

“Cora,” Cora stated.

“Cora,” the parrot repeated.

The 6-year-old began jumping. “I’m setting it up! I’m setting it up! It states everything on repeat!”

Her father pumped his fist in mid-air. “Done! Perfect! Okay, Ella, you will get one, too. Let’s go!”

He compensated for that toys. They walked out of the door, the women holding hands, their father holding two bags of toys.

Key questions: What’s next for Uber and TfL?

Uber continues to be effectively barred from operating working in london, after Transport for London on Friday denied its application to resume its private hire licence working in london.

TfL accused Uber of “too little corporate responsibility with regards to numerous issues that have potential public security and safety implications”, and stated it wasn’t “fit and proper” to carry a licence within the capital. 

Uber stated it might lodge an appeal within days from the decision. 

How did we obtain here?

Private hire operators working in london, which you will find hundreds, are usually granted licences for 5 years.

When Uber first showed up working in london right before the Olympic games this year, it had been given a 5-year licence, and also, since then is continuing to grow to 40,000 motorists, developing a rapid rise in the entire quantity of vehicles around the capital’s roads.

In May, it had been given a unique four-month licence extension, which expires next Saturday, Sept 30. Taxi motorists, who’ve seen their trade disrupted by Uber’s arrival, have lobbied against it having the ability to continue operations and unions have threatened law suit if the extension qualifies.

Sadiq Khan defends TFL over Uber decisionSadiq Khan defends TFL over Uber decision 01:22

Why has it been banned?

Transport for London stated Uber had unsuccessful to make sure passenger safety and it wasn’t satisfied the organization was “fit and proper”.

It listed four concerns it stated Uber had unsuccessful to deal with: the way it reports serious criminal offences, how medical certificates are acquired to approve motorists, how criminal background checks are carried out, and it is utilization of “Greyball” software to evade regulatory physiques.

Anything 
else?

Whilst not pointed out by TfL, and never inside the regulator’s remit, Uber has gotten lots of critique for a way it treats motorists, who’re understood to be self-employed rather of Uber workers. Politicians have rounded on the organization being an emblem from the “gig economy” that doesn’t guarantee work, benefits or perhaps a steady earnings for motorists.

The problem is just about the subject of their own legal challenges.

Kinds of employment a summary

What goes on now?

Uber’s licence runs for an additional week, through which time chances are it will have formally lodged an appeal.

Once it’s done it can continue operating working in london because the challenge continues, something which will probably take several several weeks, or even more than a year.

Parallel towards the legal process is a major lobbying campaign. The organization has had thousands and thousands of individuals sign its petition to help keep Uber working in london.

Where has Uber encounter trouble all over the world?

What is the precedent for any challenge?

Not a lot of one. There has not been one particualr minicab firm on Uber’s scale with such political sensitivity losing its licence working in london, therefore the appeals process is one thing of the unknown.

The company has effectively convinced TfL to water lower proposals previously. In other metropolitan areas all over the world it’s been ignore making coming back after laws and regulations altered or it altered its service.

The other issues may be the new leader facing?

This latest setback working in london contributes to an increasing listing of challenges facing Dara Khosrowshahi, who began as Uber’s leader in the finish of recently. Not just has 
the firm lately faced allegations of masking sexual harassment, investor lawsuits over alleged fraud associated with founder Travis Kalanick 
and patent claims from Waymo, but simply a week ago it received fire after research revealed some Uber motorists were teaming as much as pressure greater prices for passengers in metropolitan areas including London.

The organization has additionally been without key people of their management team for any extended period.

Uber hasn’t were built with a finance chief since 2015, and presently doesn’t have engineering mind, chief operating officer or president.

Confidence among small firms tumbles, but exporters show optimism

Optimism among United kingdom small firms has fallen to the cheapest level because the EU referendum, when confronted with rising operational costs along with a sluggish domestic economy.

New findings in the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) quarterly small company confidence index show that certain in eight small firms now be prepared to downsize, hands on or close their business.

Rising costs seem to be responsible: the great majority, 70pc, of the from the 1,230 small companies who required part reported which costs have elevated since this past year with 42pc citing work, and 21pc taxation, as discomfort points. Entertainment and retail firms came cheapest within the confidence stakes, using their optimism lower 30pc and 20pc correspondingly.

But while overall confidence seems to possess taken a success, small exporters are positive. The study discovered that 39pc of firms are reporting a boost in overseas sales – a 3 year high – and that just about as numerous (35pc) expect exports to keep growing within the coming quarter.

Export orders

Jo Smedley, md of small retailer Red Sardines Games told The Daily Telegraph that although export levels towards the US have risen on her firm, in comparison United kingdom sales happen to be sluggish, despite significant purchase of marketing and e-commerce infrastructure. Greater costs within the recycleables required to manufacture games also have presented challenges for that Grimsby-based firm.

“Small firms is going to be searching towards the Chancellor to increase a lifeline in the Budget. In this difficult buying and selling atmosphere, any new tax grabs or lack of reliefs for entrepreneurs would exacerbate existing challenges,” stated Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman.

Tom Ironside, director of economic regulation at the British Retail Consortium (BRC), contended by using indications of a slowing economy along with a September Retail Prices Index with a minimum of 4pc – which will push-up business rates – a fall in confidence among retailers of any size is understandable.

“The prospect of the further investment-sapping tax rise of the magnitude is deeply worrying and can only actually make existence more difficult for high roads. Nearly one out of every 10 shops presently lies vacant and individuals in economically-vulnerable communities particularly remain persistently empty, restricting the probabilities of these places to thrive,” he stated.

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Toys ‘R’ Us files for personal bankruptcy among find it difficult to pay lower billions indebted

Why Toys R Us continues to be battling — even while the broader toy industry booms]

The 60-year-old company was for many years the country’s prominent toy store, having a towering flagship in New York’s Occasions Square along with a ubiquitous icon, Geoffrey the Giraffe. In The Year 2006, it purchased competitor FAO Schwarz, but eventually closed its legendary New You are able to store on Fifth Avenue, citing expense.

The filing — only the latest inside a string of high-profile bankruptcies this season — occurs the heels of-important holiday shopping season, which could take into account 1 / 2 of retailers’ annual sales. To date this season, greater than 300 retailers have declared personal bankruptcy, including RadioShack, Gymboree and also the Limited. Others, including Macy’s, Sears and Bebe have closed countless stores.

The filing “brings to some close a turbulent chapter within the legendary company’s history,” Neil Saunders,md of GlobalData Retail, stated within an email. “Even when the debt issues are solved, Toys ‘R’ Us still faces massive structural challenges by which it has to fight. The jury has gone out whether it may adapt enough to outlive.Inches

Toys “R” Us is presently of three companies — private equity finance firms Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital, and property firm Vornado Real estate Trust — that purchased it for about $6 billion in 2005.

The Wayne, N.J.-based store, when the first stop for holidays and birthdays, has faced mounting competition online retailers and large-box chains like Walmart and Target, which frequently provide the same toys at a lower price and much more convenience.

Simultaneously, toys have grown to be a lesser priority for a lot of teenagers and children, who’d rather buy tablets and smartphones — or apps and games for individuals devices — than traditional playthings. Two in three youthful teenagers now their very own tablet or smartphone, many them stated paying for individuals devices is becoming an essential consideration, based on GlobalData Retail.

“For many children, electronics have grown to be a substitute or an alternative to traditional toys,” Saunders stated. “With the most fundamental of merchandise getting a higher cost tag, there’s frequently little remaining – either in the child’s budget or even the gifting budget of oldsters and family — to invest on other toys.”

Find out more:

Claire’s is ‘a complete train wreck’

Online stores seize on lengthy-overlooked market: Women size 16 or more

Nordstrom’s intend to attract shoppers: Wine, manicures — but no merchandise

Chips Off the Old Block: Computers Are Taking Design Cues From Human Brains

SAN FRANCISCO — We expect a lot from our computers these days. They should talk to us, recognize everything from faces to flowers, and maybe soon do the driving. All this artificial intelligence requires an enormous amount of computing power, stretching the limits of even the most modern machines.

Now, some of the world’s largest tech companies are taking a cue from biology as they respond to these growing demands. They are rethinking the very nature of computers and are building machines that look more like the human brain, where a central brain stem oversees the nervous system and offloads particular tasks — like hearing and seeing — to the surrounding cortex.

After years of stagnation, the computer is evolving again, and this behind-the-scenes migration to a new kind of machine will have broad and lasting implications. It will allow work on artificially intelligent systems to accelerate, so the dream of machines that can navigate the physical world by themselves can one day come true.

This migration could also diminish the power of Intel, the longtime giant of chip design and manufacturing, and fundamentally remake the $335 billion a year semiconductor industry that sits at the heart of all things tech, from the data centers that drive the internet to your iPhone to the virtual reality headsets and flying drones of tomorrow.

“This is an enormous change,” said John Hennessy, the former Stanford University president who wrote an authoritative book on computer design in the mid-1990s and is now a member of the board at Alphabet, Google’s parent company. “The existing approach is out of steam, and people are trying to re-architect the system.”

The existing approach has had a pretty nice run. For about half a century, computer makers have built systems around a single, do-it-all chip — the central processing unit — from a company like Intel, one of the world’s biggest semiconductor makers. That’s what you’ll find in the middle of your own laptop computer or smartphone.

Now, computer engineers are fashioning more complex systems. Rather than funneling all tasks through one beefy chip made by Intel, newer machines are dividing work into tiny pieces and spreading them among vast farms of simpler, specialized chips that consume less power.

Changes inside Google’s giant data centers are a harbinger of what is to come for the rest of the industry. Inside most of Google’s servers, there is still a central processor. But enormous banks of custom-built chips work alongside them, running the computer algorithms that drive speech recognition and other forms of artificial intelligence.

Google reached this point out of necessity. For years, the company had operated the world’s largest computer network — an empire of data centers and cables that stretched from California to Finland to Singapore. But for one Google researcher, it was much too small.

In 2011, Jeff Dean, one of the company’s most celebrated engineers, led a research team that explored the idea of neural networks — essentially computer algorithms that can learn tasks on their own. They could be useful for a number of things, like recognizing the words spoken into smartphones or the faces in a photograph.

In a matter of months, Mr. Dean and his team built a service that could recognize spoken words far more accurately than Google’s existing service. But there was a catch: If the world’s more than one billion phones that operated on Google’s Android software used the new service just three minutes a day, Mr. Dean realized, Google would have to double its data center capacity in order to support it.

“We need another Google,” Mr. Dean told Urs Hölzle, the Swiss-born computer scientist who oversaw the company’s data center empire, according to someone who attended the meeting. So Mr. Dean proposed an alternative: Google could build its own computer chip just for running this kind of artificial intelligence.

But what began inside data centers is starting to shift other parts of the tech landscape. Over the next few years, companies like Google, Apple and Samsung will build phones with specialized A.I. chips. Microsoft is designing such a chip specifically for an augmented-reality headset. And everyone from Google to Toyota is building autonomous cars that will need similar chips.

This trend toward specialty chips and a new computer architecture could lead to a “Cambrian explosion” of artificial intelligence, said Gill Pratt, who was a program manager at Darpa, a research arm of the United States Department of Defense, and now works on driverless cars at Toyota. As he sees it, machines that spread computations across vast numbers of tiny, low-power chips can operate more like the human brain, which efficiently uses the energy at its disposal.

“In the brain, energy efficiency is the key,” he said during a recent interview at Toyota’s new research center in Silicon Valley.

Change on the Horizon

There are many kinds of silicon chips. There are chips that store information. There are chips that perform basic tasks in toys and televisions. And there are chips that run various processes for computers, from the supercomputers used to create models for global warming to personal computers, internet servers and smartphones.

For years, the central processing units, or C.P.U.s, that ran PCs and similar devices were where the money was. And there had not been much need for change.

In accordance with Moore’s Law, the oft-quoted maxim from Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, the number of transistors on a computer chip had doubled every two years or so, and that provided steadily improved performance for decades. As performance improved, chips consumed about the same amount of power, according to another, lesser-known law of chip design called Dennard scaling, named for the longtime IBM researcher Robert Dennard.

By 2010, however, doubling the number of transistors was taking much longer than Moore’s Law predicted. Dennard’s scaling maxim had also been upended as chip designers ran into the limits of the physical materials they used to build processors. The result: If a company wanted more computing power, it could not just upgrade its processors. It needed more computers, more space and more electricity.

Researchers in industry and academia were working to extend Moore’s Law, exploring entirely new chip materials and design techniques. But Doug Burger, a researcher at Microsoft, had another idea: Rather than rely on the steady evolution of the central processor, as the industry had been doing since the 1960s, why not move some of the load onto specialized chips?

During his Christmas vacation in 2010, Mr. Burger, working with a few other chip researchers inside Microsoft, began exploring new hardware that could accelerate the performance of Bing, the company’s internet search engine.

At the time, Microsoft was just beginning to improve Bing using machine-learning algorithms (neural networks are a type of machine learning) that could improve search results by analyzing the way people used the service. Though these algorithms were less demanding than the neural networks that would later remake the internet, existing chips had trouble keeping up.

Mr. Burger and his team explored several options but eventually settled on something called Field Programmable Gate Arrays, or F.P.G.A.s.: chips that could be reprogrammed for new jobs on the fly. Microsoft builds software, like Windows, that runs on an Intel C.P.U. But such software cannot reprogram the chip, since it is hard-wired to perform only certain tasks.

With an F.P.G.A., Microsoft could change the way the chip works. It could program the chip to be really good at executing particular machine learning algorithms. Then, it could reprogram the chip to be really good at running logic that sends the millions and millions of data packets across its computer network. It was the same chip but it behaved in a different way.

Microsoft started to install the chips en masse in 2015. Now, just about every new server loaded into a Microsoft data center includes one of these programmable chips. They help choose the results when you search Bing, and they help Azure, Microsoft’s cloud-computing service, shuttle information across its network of underlying machines.

Teaching Computers to Listen

In fall 2016, another team of Microsoft researchers — mirroring the work done by Jeff Dean at Google — built a neural network that could, by one measure at least, recognize spoken words more accurately than the average human could.

Xuedong Huang, a speech-recognition specialist who was born in China, led the effort, and shortly after the team published a paper describing its work, he had dinner in the hills above Palo Alto, Calif., with his old friend Jen-Hsun Huang, (no relation), the chief executive of the chipmaker Nvidia. The men had reason to celebrate, and they toasted with a bottle of champagne.

Xuedong Huang and his fellow Microsoft researchers had trained their speech-recognition service using large numbers of specialty chips supplied by Nvidia, rather than relying heavily on ordinary Intel chips. Their breakthrough would not have been possible had they not made that change.

“We closed the gap with humans in about a year,” Microsoft’s Mr. Huang said. “If we didn’t have the weapon — the infrastructure — it would have taken at least five years.”

Because systems that rely on neural networks can learn largely on their own, they can evolve more quickly than traditional services. They are not as reliant on engineers writing endless lines of code that explain how they should behave.

But there is a wrinkle: Training neural networks this way requires extensive trial and error. To create one that is able to recognize words as well as a human can, researchers must train it repeatedly, tweaking the algorithms and improving the training data over and over. At any given time, this process unfolds over hundreds of algorithms. That requires enormous computing power, and if companies like Microsoft use standard-issue chips to do it, the process takes far too long because the chips cannot handle the load and too much electrical power is consumed.

So, the leading internet companies are now training their neural networks with help from another type of chip called a graphics processing unit, or G.P.U. These low-power chips — usually made by Nvidia — were originally designed to render images for games and other software, and they worked hand-in-hand with the chip — usually made by Intel — at the center of a computer. G.P.U.s can process the math required by neural networks far more efficiently than C.P.U.s.

Nvidia is thriving as a result, and it is now selling large numbers of G.P.U.s to the internet giants of the United States and the biggest online companies around the world, in China most notably. The company’s quarterly revenue from data center sales tripled to $409 million over the past year.

“This is a little like being right there at the beginning of the internet,” Jen-Hsun Huang said in a recent interview. In other words, the tech landscape is changing rapidly, and Nvidia is at the heart of that change.

Creating Specialized Chips

G.P.U.s are the primary vehicles that companies use to teach their neural networks a particular task, but that is only part of the process. Once a neural network is trained for a task, it must perform it, and that requires a different kind of computing power.

After training a speech-recognition algorithm, for example, Microsoft offers it up as an online service, and it actually starts identifying commands that people speak into their smartphones. G.P.U.s are not quite as efficient during this stage of the process. So, many companies are now building chips specifically to do what the other chips have learned.

Google built its own specialty chip, a Tensor Processing Unit, or T.P.U. Nvidia is building a similar chip. And Microsoft has reprogrammed specialized chips from Altera, which was acquired by Intel, so that it too can run neural networks more easily.

Other companies are following suit. Qualcomm, which specializes in chips for smartphones, and a number of start-ups are also working on A.I. chips, hoping to grab their piece of the rapidly expanding market. The tech research firm IDC predicts that revenue from servers equipped with alternative chips will reach $6.8 billion by 2021, about 10 percent of the overall server market.

Across Microsoft’s global network of machines, Mr. Burger pointed out, alternative chips are still a relatively modest part of the operation. And Bart Sano, the vice president of engineering who leads hardware and software development for Google’s network, said much the same about the chips deployed at its data centers.

Mike Mayberry, who leads Intel Labs, played down the shift toward alternative processors, perhaps because Intel controls more than 90 percent of the data-center market, making it by far the largest seller of traditional chips. He said that if central processors were modified the right way, they could handle new tasks without added help.

But this new breed of silicon is spreading rapidly, and Intel is increasingly a company in conflict with itself. It is in some ways denying that the market is changing, but nonetheless shifting its business to keep up with the change.

Two years ago, Intel spent $16.7 billion to acquire Altera, which builds the programmable chips that Microsoft uses. It was Intel’s largest acquisition ever. Last year, the company paid a reported $408 million buying Nervana, a company that was exploring a chip just for executing neural networks. Now, led by the Nervana team, Intel is developing a dedicated chip for training and executing neural networks.

“They have the traditional big-company problem,” said Bill Coughran, a partner at the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Sequoia Capital who spent nearly a decade helping to oversee Google’s online infrastructure, referring to Intel. “They need to figure out how to move into the new and growing areas without damaging their traditional business.”

Intel’s internal conflict is most apparent when company officials discuss the decline of Moore’s Law. During a recent interview with The New York Times, Naveen Rao, the Nervana founder and now an Intel executive, said Intel could squeeze “a few more years” out of Moore’s Law. Officially, the company’s position is that improvements in traditional chips will continue well into the next decade.

Mr. Mayberry of Intel also argued that the use of additional chips was not new. In the past, he said, computer makers used separate chips for tasks like processing audio.

But now the scope of the trend is significantly larger. And it is changing the market in new ways. Intel is competing not only with chipmakers like Nvidia and Qualcomm, but also with companies like Google and Microsoft.

Google is designing the second generation of its T.P.U. chips. Later this year, the company said, any business or developer that is a customer of its cloud-computing service will be able to use the new chips to run its software.

While this shift is happening mostly inside the massive data centers that underpin the internet, it is probably a matter of time before it permeates the broader industry.

The hope is that this new breed of mobile chip can help devices handle more, and more complex, tasks on their own, without calling back to distant data centers: phones recognizing spoken commands without accessing the internet; driverless cars recognizing the world around them with a speed and accuracy that is not possible now.

In other words, a driverless car needs cameras and radar and lasers. But it also needs a brain.

Gap between rising prices and pay widens as wage growth figures disappoint; unemployment drops to 4.3pc

Market report

Concerns that Imagination Technologies’ Apple earnings will disappear earlier than expected sent the takeover target sliding as the new iPhone’s delayed release sunk suppliers across the globe.

While some of Imagination’s intellectual property remains in the new iPhone X, Apple stated that it has designed the graphics processing unit (GPU) in the new product, hinting that the company will begin to phase-out its relationship with the Hertfordshire-based company, which had derived around half of its revenues from the Silicon Valley giant.

Nearly £470m was wiped off Imagination’s valuation overnight in April after Apple revealed that it was ditching the company and making its own GPU from 2018.

Decimated by the share price plummet, the company then put itself up for sale with Beijing-backed private equity fund Canyon Bridge Capital Partners rumoured to be in the running. It appears, however, that the world’s largest listed company has fast-forwarded its plans to take full control of its products’ GPU, weakening Imagination 7.3p, or 5.1pc, to 135.8p.

If confirmed, it would mean less per device Apple royalty payments a year earlier than expected, said Stifel analyst Lee Simpson.

The iPhone X’s delayed November release date took the shine off the tech giant’s latest unveiling with unimpressed investors dumping shares in suppliers reliant on a strong Apple sales boost in the fourth quarter of the year.

Tiny Welsh chipmaker IQE, whose share price has tripled since speculation mounted that the company would be integral to the new iPhone’s 3D-tracking technology, was one of Apple’s victims, retreating 10.3p to 136.8p.

Over in the US, Apple continued to fall, shedding another 1pc after the opening bell in New York as traders attempted to decipher the impact of the tech firm’s delayed release on earnings.

Elsewhere, industrial metal producers torpedoed the FTSE 100 as copper slipped to pull down miners Glencore and Rio Tinto 8.9p to 363.6p and 66p to £36.25, respectively.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell ‘B’ climbing 3.5p to 452.4p and 14p to £21.92, respectively, on the price of oil rallying mitigated the blue-chip index’s 20.99-point fall to 7379.70, however. Brent crude prices advanced 1pc to just under $55 per barrel after the International Energy Agency forecast higher demand in 2017 as OPEC’s production begins to ebb, encouraging traders that the oil market is finally beginning to rebalance.

Finally, newspaper publisher Johnston Press popped 0.13p to 12.8p after private equity firm Custos upped its stake in the I and The Scotsman publisher from 5pc to just over 8pc.

5:13PM

Markets wrap: Squeeze on UK households tightens as wage growth figures disappoint

High inflation and stagnant wage growth has muddied Mark Carney and the MPC’s decision 

The squeeze on UK households got a little tighter today after the ONS confirmed that wage growth lags far behind rising inflation, knocking hopes of an early interest rate rise.

While unemployment dropped to a fresh 42-year low at 4.3pc, the tighter labour market couldn’t pull up wages, which stagnated at 2.1pc in the three months to July.

Hawkish hopes of an early rate hike were ignited yesterday when inflation jumped to 2.9pc but sluggish wage growth has added another layer of uncertainty with the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee due to meet tomorrow.

Although no change in policy is expected in tomorrow’s meeting, inflation soaring well ahead of the bank’s 2pc target has cranked up the pressure on Mark Carney and the MPC with chief economist Andy Haldane deemed the most likely to jump ship to the hawks.

The pound coming off a one-year high against the dollar following the job figures couldn’t help the FTSE 100, which has been sunk by miners retreating on the price of copper slipping.

IG market analyst Joshua Mahony explained the miners’ drag on the FTSE 100 today:

“Miners provided a drag upon the FTSE 100 throughout today’s session, as the deterioration in both precious and industrial metals dragged the likes of Antofagasta, Anglo American, Fresnillo and Glencore to the bottom of the leaderboard.

“Copper was today’s big loser amongst a sea of red for metals, while a selloff in gold in the face of equity market weakness saw the precious metal finally trade like a physical commodity rather than just a safe haven asset.”

4:34PM

Hospital drugs firm Clinigen snaps up troubled rival Quantum for £150m

Clinigen supplies drugs to hospitals

One of the largest companies on London’s junior market Aim, hospital drugs supplier Clinigen, has agreed a deal to snap up troubled rival Quantum Pharma for £150m.

The news sent shares in Quantum Pharma up 18pc. However, its suitor, which has a market cap of over £1.1bn, suffered a 3pc fall as investors mulled over the tie-up.

The offer is for 37p in cash and 0.0405 new Clinigen shares per Quantum share.

Shaun Clinton, chief executive of Clinigen, told the Telegraph the move would boost its ability to supply novel drugs to clinicians and enable it to expand further into continental Europe.

He said further acquisitions could be on the cards, saying: “We would consider further bolt-on deals to add speciality pharma products or to extend our geographical footprint.”

Read Iain Withers’ full report here

4:20PM

US markets lose steam after jumping to record closes

Apple and energy shares are engaging in a tug of war in the US

After jumping to record all-time closes yesterday, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 have lost their steam slightly over in the US this afternoon.

Both indices are in flat territory with the tug of war between Apple’s 1.2pc retreat and energy stocks buoyed by stronger prices resulting in a flat finish.

Buyers are running out of steam, according to CMC Markets analyst David Madden.

He commented:

“Stock markets in Europe are experiencing low volatility as the rally that we saw at the start of the week has lost momentum.

“The bullish sentiment on the back of Hurricane Irma not being as severe as predicted, and no new tensions in relation to North Korea, has been replaced with a lacklustre attitude. You could say traders are pausing for breath, after the positive run.”

3:52PM

Blackpool Airport returns to public ownership after 13 years as Balfour Beatty sells stake

Simon Blackburn, leader of Blackpool Council, said today’s sale would protect the 30 people currently employed by the airport

Balfour Beatty has agreed to sell its majority stake in Blackpool Airport to the council, as the local authority looks to protect the future of the site.

Construction company Balfour agreed the deal to sell 95pc of the airport for £4.25m, saying that it “further simplifies the portfolio, in line with the group’s strategy”.

Blackpool Council had originally owned the airport until 2004, when it sold the stake to a consortium led by City Hopper Airports and Mar Properties for £13m. The council retained the remaining 5pc, while the rest was sold to Balfour Beatty in 2008.

However, falling passenger numbers and a legal dispute with operator Jet2 over the opening hours of the airport led to the site falling into administration in 2014.

Read Rhiannon Bury’s full report here

3:25PM

Jobs growth accelerates but pay disappoints in interest rate dilemma for Carney 

Unemployment tumbled to a new 42-year low in July, with more Britons than ever before in work.

Private and public hiring picked up in the three months to July with employment rising by 181,364, the fastest pace of jobs growth since 2015. More than 31.2m people are now in work, while joblessness dropped to 1.46m, or 4.3pc – a low not seen since mid-1975.

Employers appear keen to keep on hiring as the Office for National Statistics found 774,000 vacancies in August, a modest rise on the month.

The number of public sector workers also rose for the first time in a year to 5.44m.

Read Tim Wallace’s full report here

2:58PM

Galliford Try avoids large infrastructure projects as charge on legacy contracts hits profits  

Peter Truscott, Galliford’s chief executive, said that the company was remaining “cautious” about the impact of political uncertainty and the outlook for the macro economy

The developer and construction company Galliford Try has said it will no longer bid for large fixed-price infrastructure contracts after its profits were hit by a charge on legacy contracts. 

Pre-tax profits fell nearly 60pc to £59m due to the £98m charge it announced in May, relating to problem legacy contracts for the the Queensferry Crossing and part of a road in Aberdeen. But the company posted a 7pc rise in revenues to £2.7bn in the 12 months to June 30, and a 9pc increase in pre-tax profits excluding exceptional items including the charge.

Galliford added that the amount set aside was unchanged and it was making “good progress” on its target to increase profits by 60pc by 2021.

Its housebuilding arm, Linden Homes, and the regeneration division both reported stronger results, with operating profits up 16pc and 27pc respectively, but the construction side suffered, with margins on its underlying business squeezed to virtually nothing. 

Read Isabelle Fraser’s full report here

Galliford Try
2:40PM

Pound and dollar await crucial Thursday

Weak inflation is holding back interest rates rises in the US

Sterling has dipped into the red against the dollar in the last half an hour but today’s movements could be small fry compared to a big day for the two currencies tomorrow.

While sterling has the Bank of England’s Super Thursday to contend with, the US’s own inflation and interest rate hike worries will be the focal point for traders stateside.

Persistently sluggish inflation in the US has dampened hike hopes but a pick-up could reignite expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise rates for a third time in the cycle before the end of the year.

Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM, said this on tomorrow’s US figures:

“Thursday’s CPI report is a big deal, especially when considering how concerns over stubbornly low inflation rates remain one of the key culprits weighing heavily on US rate hike expectations.

“Price action suggests that dollar bears still remain in control, as investors become increasingly sceptical over the Federal Reserve’s ability to raise interest rates again before the end of the year. A soft inflation figure on Thursday that falls below market estimates is likely to dent the prospect of higher US rates, consequently punishing the vulnerable dollar further.”

2:01PM

Brent crude rallies close to $55 per barrel on upgraded demand forecast

Oil stocks have been boosted by the IEA’s upgraded forecast

Oil demand will pick-up faster than expected this year, the International Energy Agency has forecast today, boosting the price of Brent crude to close to $55 per barrel.

The IEA said that the market is beginning to rebalance as oil demand grows and production among OPEC members begins to fall.

Brent crude jumped 0.8pc to its highest level since late May after the report bumped up its demand growth forecast by 1.6m barrels per day.

Oil stocks have lagged behind crude’s rally in recent months but today the two oil giants on the FTSE 100, BP and Shell, have advanced 0.5pc and 0.6pc, respectively.

1:27PM

UK funds back DNA data miner that can diagnose disease

Sophia Genetics holds a database of 125,000 human genomes

A biotech offering artificial intelligence that can diagnose diseases by mining hundreds of thousands of patients’ DNA data has completed a $30m (£22.6m) fundraising, backed by names including UK venture capital giant Balderton Capital.

Sophia Genetics said it would use the cash to expand its network of hospital tie-ups, which already stands at 330 hospitals in 53 countries, including nine in the UK. The push will be focused on expansion outside Europe.

It will also help fund a move into cancer diagnostics, with the latest therapies from drugmakers increasingly being tailored to suit a patient’s genetic profile.

Swiss-based Sophia Genetics has already analysed the genomic profiles of over 125,000 patients, providing a database that aids doctors in diagnosing a range of conditions from cystic fibrosis and hereditary heart problems.

Read Iain Withers’ full report here

1:02PM

Halfords names Dixons Carphone software boss as new chief executive

Halfords said summer sales had been boosted by a rise in the number of Brits choosing to vacation closer to home

Halfords has appointed the boss of Dixons Carphone’s software business as it new chief executive.

Graham Stapleton has been hired to replace Jill McDonald, who is taking the reigns at Marks & Spencer’s clothing, home and beauty business next month.

Mr Stapleton, who joins the company in January, has previously served as chief executive of Dixons Carphone’s Connect World Services division. Prior to that, he was chief executive of Carphone Warehouse UK & Ireland.

Earlier in his career he held senior positions at Kingfisher and Marks & Spencer.

Read Sam Dean’s full report here

12:48PM

Lunchtime update: Squeeze on households confirmed by stagnant wage growth

The gap between inflation and wage growth has continued to widen

The squeeze on UK households got a little tighter today as the ONS confirmed that wage growth lags far behind rising inflation.

Unemployment dropped to its lowest level in 42 years but the tighter labour market failed to translate to earnings with wage growth stagnating at 2.1pc.

The fall has knocked hawkish hopes of an earlier-than-expected interest rate rise at the Bank of England and the pound has pared its early gains on the currency markets. Sterling remains at a one-year high against the dollar, however, trading at $1.3274.

The FTSE 100’s losses have eased but it is still stuck in the red, bucking the trend on markets. Miners weighed heavily on the blue-chip index as copper slipped to a three-week low while Tesco is the sharpest faller on a broker downgrade.

Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell commented on this morning’s action:

“While sterling’s slide took the edge off the FTSE’s losses it couldn’t fully lift it out of the red. Instead the index is still down 30 or so points, weighed down by its mining stocks. As for the Eurozone, the euro’s bounce against the pound meant there was little for the DAX and CAC to enjoy, instead both indices sitting flat as the morning went on.  

“Looking to this afternoon and for now the Dow Jones seems to have stalled at 22100. The index is set to start the US session flat at that level, with little on the agenda – bar the latest PPI reading – to help it on its way to a fresh all-time high.”

12:26PM

Slow wage growth a global problem

Today’s wage growth figures are proving a bit of a head scratcher for economists. The normal connection between a tight labour market and wage growth just hasn’t been feeding through into the figures recently.

Real wage growth has fallen in almost all sectors with only a handful, including finance and arts, enjoying a rise. 

Looking at the employment figures by region, Northern Ireland lags behind with just 68.2pc of its population in work compared to 79.6pc in the South East.  

Investec economist Philip Shaw points out that slow wage growth is not just a UK problem:

“Both basic economic theory and common sense suggest that pay growth is likely to be bid up as labour becomes scarcer and shortages become more commonplace.

“However, soft wage growth is not just a feature of the UK economy, but an international phenomenon, with the authorities in the US, the euro area and Japan attempting to make sense of similar developments, despite tight, or at least tightening labour markets there.”

Ashurst employment partner Crowley Woodford believes that confidence is key to sluggish wage growth:

“There is still a lack of confidence amongst employers with regards to the longer term future whilst workers still feel insecure in their jobs. This dampens the pressure on employers to offer higher pay and employee representative bodies to demand it.”

11:57AM

Apple’s iPhone X unveiling pulls down European suppliers

The iPhone X will be released in November and cost £999

Unless you’ve been living under the rock or taken a vow against capitalism, you may have noticed that Apple unveiled its new iPhone X yesterday and the markets are of course not immune to the latest release from the world’s largest listed company.

Disappointment that the iPhone X will not hit stores until November dragged down Apple shares 0.4pc last night in the US with the new £999 phone available to buy on November 3, a considerable delay compared to previous releases.

Given that Apple left its fourth quarter guidance in tact, it suggests that the tech giant expects to compensate for the delay with sales of its new iPhone 8, which will be released later this month.

Apple’s share price knock has had a read across to its suppliers with British semiconductor firm IQE falling nearly 6pc while in Europe suppliers AMS and Dialog have both retreated. Imagination Tech shares, which have plummeted since Apple announced that it would soon stop using the company’s chips, have fallen 4.5pc.

11:28AM

Markets update: easyJet jumps on new long-haul booking service

EasyJet has moved into long-haul through its ‘Worldwide by easyJet’ service

All that wage growth excitement has led me to neglect the big movers in London this morning so let’s take a quick look at the laggards and leaders.

On the FTSE 100, easyJet has been propelled to the top of the leaderboard after making the move into long-haul through a new service that allows passengers to book connecting flights on partner airlines.

At the other end, Tesco has dropped 1.9pc on a broker downgrade from Exane BNP Paribas while mining stocks are struggling as the price of copper falls to a three-week low.

On the mid-cap FTSE 250, homeware store Dunelm has popped over 7pc after it told shareholders of a strong start to its financial year while wholesale retailer Booker has retreated 2.5pc following a broker downgrade.

10:58AM

Dunelm sales drop as it warns of difficult trading climate in the UK

Dunelm like-for-like sales were down last year

Homewares retailer Dunelm has warned that it expects trading conditions to remain difficult in the UK as it reported a drop in like-for-like sales.

In its full-year results, Dunelm said like-for-like sales in its stores were down 2.4pc in the year to the start of July.

Overall like-for-like sales were down 0.5pc, and pre-tax profits fell to £92.4m from £128.9m in the previous year.

The decrease came despite an 8.5pc jump in total revenues, from £881m to £956m.  

The FTSE 250 company said the sales drop in its stores was the result of lower footfall as a result of “unusually warm weather”.

Shares jumped 40p to 650.5p, a 6.6pc increase, following the update.

Read Sam Dean’s full report here

10:48AM

Job figures reaction: link between wages and unemployment weakening

Minister for Employment Damian Hinds said today’s figures show employers investing Britain

The link between wages and unemployment is weakening, according to Deloitte’s chief economist Ian Stewart.

He said:

“Job creation is a huge UK success story. Despite Brexit uncertainties and slower growth, the UK continues to generate ever lower unemployment and ever more jobs.   “

“But the recession, and its aftermath, has weakened the link between unemployment and wages. In the past this degree of tightness in the jobs market would be pushing wages higher. Instead earnings growth has flat lined in the last couple of years.”

Here’s the reaction of the Minister for Employment Damian Hinds to today’s job figures:

“The strength of the economy is helping people of all ages find work, from someone starting their first job after leaving education, to those who might be starting a new career later in life.

“Britain’s employment success is largely about a growth in full-time and permanent work, as employers invest in Britain and offer quality job opportunities that put more money into people’s pockets.

“But there is more to do, and we will continue to build on our achievements through our employment programmes and the work of Jobcentre Plus.”

Unfortunately that extra money in people pockets is being pinched by high inflation.

10:34AM

Job figures reaction: high inflation and weak wage growth muddies BoE decision

The Bank of England is stuck between a rock and a hard place ahead of tomorrow’s monetary policy meeting after wage growth failed to keep up with inflation.

While high inflation boosts hopes that the central bank will soon take a hawkish turn, today’s poor wage growth figures in a tight labour market has added another layer of uncertainty. 

Ranko Berich, head of market analysis at Monex Europe, believes today’s figures have put the central bank in an uneviable position:

“Looking at the across the board inflation increase reported in August and low unemployment rate, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the BoE’s policy decision will be a no brainer in favour of higher rates at some stage in the next 12 months. But today’s miss on average earnings highlights the fact that this is just not the case: wage growth remains sluggish, and real wages are in deep contraction in the UK.

“The BoE is in an unenviable position heading into tomorrow’s MPC meeting, given that inflation is above target but the latest wage and investment data show that the economy is hardly going through a demand driven boom that needs an immediate monetary response.”

Wage growth failing to keep pace with inflation has muddied the decision at the Bank of England, according to ETX Capital analyst Neil Wilson.

He explained:

 “At the same time inflation is exchange rate rather than demand driven and therefore expected to retreat soon enough. Hopes of a hike by year-end may well be dashed on the rocks of economic uncertainty.

“In the short-term, cable may find it hard to hold onto gains if there is no additional indications from the Bank that it is prepared to hike this year. Today’s wage growth data would appear to temper any hawkish inclination, proving bearish for sterling in the near-term.”

10:06AM

Wage growth reaction: today’s disappointing figures pull down early interest rate hike hopes

Wage growth has weakened this year despite the decline in job market slack, according to Pantheon Macro

Has today’s disappointing wage growth wounded hopes of an early interest rate hike?

The chance of an early rate rise have been dealt a blow this morning, according to Jake Trask, FX Research Director at OFX.

He said:

“Before this morning’s data, there had been some speculation that the Bank of England’s Chief Economist would switch tack tomorrow, and address above-target inflation by voting for a rate hike.

“But this morning’s sluggish reading will likely see him sit on his hands a while longer, to avoid adding pressure to consumers already facing rising prices.”

Pantheon Macro UK economist Samuel Tombs agrees that today’s job figures weaken the argument of monetary policy hawks.

He explained:

“The latest labour market data are, on balance, a setback for the hawks on the MPC arguing for higher interest rates. Admittedly, employment rose by 181K, or 0.6%, in the three months to July, the fastest growth since the end of 2015.

“But the three-month average number of job vacancies in August was 0.9% lower than in the previous three months, pointing to a slowdown in employment growth ahead.”

9:57AM

Gap between wages and inflation widens

Today’s wage growth figures will reignite concerns that the tightening labour market is still failing to feed through to wage growth.

Wage growth was expected to nudge up to 2.2pc but the figures remained steady at 2.1pc.

The figures mean that the gap between wages and inflation, which rose to 2.9pc yesterday, has widened even further to tighten the squeeze on UK households.

London Capital Group analyst Ipek Ozkardeskaya believes the pound’s retreat following today’s data could be short-lived, however.

She added:

“The widening price-wage inflation gap is becoming a serious headache for the Bank of England (BoE) policymakers as lower wages require a dovish monetary policy, but only as long as the inflation allows. 

“Despite the slow improvement in wages and street protests from several sector workers, the rising inflationary pressures could encourage some Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) members to vote in favour of an interest rate hike in the coming months.”

9:44AM

Job figures key takeaways

Wage growth now lags far behind inflation

  1. Wage growth remains steady at 2.1pc, lower than expectations. The disappointing figures widen the gap between pay and rising prices.
  2. Unemployment nudges down to 4.3pc, its lowest rate since 1975.
  3. 32.14m people were in work in the three months to July, 181,000 more than the period between February to April.
  4. Pound retreats back to flat territory on the currency markets following sluggish wage growth data.
9:33AM

Wage growth disappoints; unemployment nudges down to 4.3pc

Wage growth disappoints, remaining steady at 2.1pc to widen the gap between rising prices and pay.

Unemployment nudges down to 4.3pc, a 0.1 percentage point drop.

Pound slips back towards flat territory against dollar, trading 0.1pc higher at $1.3280.

9:20AM

Pound eases off morning highs; still firmly in positive territory against most major currencies

The pound has jumped 0.3pc higher against the dollar this morning

The pound’s ascent on the currency markets has eased off a little as we approach the job figures at the bottom of the hour with sterling flirting with flat territory against the euro.

The FTSE 100 is continuing to suffer at the expense of the stronger pound, according to Spreadex analyst Connor Campbell.

He said:

“With the UK jobs report on the way the FTSE continued to suffer in the shadow of sterling’s September rise.   The FTSE plunged more than 50 points after the bell, swiftly falling to a 7350-grazing near one week low. The miners have all moved lower, while BP and Shell are both down half a percent.

“However, the main reason for the UK index’s decline was the pound’s latest climb. Though only up 0.2%, that takes cable to a fresh, $1.33-plus one year peak; it has also risen 0.1% against the euro, cementing a 6 week high.”

9:05AM

Job figures preview: what the experts say

Let’s have a quick round-up of what the experts are saying ahead of today’s job figures.

CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson believes strong figures today will lift interest rate hike hopes.

He said:

“A solid wages number could shift the calculus on the MPC further towards a rate rise with Chief economist Andrew Haldane likely to join the other two hawks Michael Saunders and Ian McCafferty in pushing for a rate rise, given recent comments he made during the summer, when inflation ticked up to the same level it is now.

“He suggested that “beginning the process of withdrawing some of the incremental stimulus provided last August would be prudent moving into the second part of the year”, though the caveat was that the data supported such a move.”  

He added that it would have been a “delicious irony” if inflation had pushed past 3pc and Bank of England governor Mark Carney had been forced to write a letter to chancellor Philip Hammond to explain why the figures had so badly missed the central bank’s 2pc target.

Many blame Mr Carney and co’s emergency monetary policy change after the EU referendum for knocking down the value of the pound and pushing up inflation.

Disappointing wage figures will only complicate matters at the central bank, according to Accendo Markets head of research Mike Van Dulken.

He commented:

“Following yesterday’s much hotter than expected inflation prints, the Bank of England will be hoping for a reciprocal surprise from wages too.

“A disappointment, however, will add yet another level of complexity to their current interest rate quandary, with policymakers hesitant to increase rates which consumers  are subject to an extended pinch on their pockets.”

8:48AM

Job figures preview: what to expect

Unemployment is expected to remain at a 42-year low

Yesterday’s jump in inflation reignited hawkish hopes of an interest rate hike before the end of the year, sending the pound soaring on currency markets.

There are concerns at the dovish end of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee, however, that the UK economy is too fragile to withstand a rate rise. Could today’s figures be enough to persuade wavering MPC members, such as chief economist Andy Haldane, to back a hike?

What to expect

Wage growth is expected to nudge up to 2.2pc in the three months to July, a 0.1 percentage point rise on last month’s figures and lagging far behind inflation.

Meanwhile, unemployment will remain unchanged at 4.4pc, a 42-year low, according to economists.

8:27AM

Agenda: Pound pushes past $1.33 against dollar ahead of wage growth data

Housebuilder Galliford Try posted profits at the upper end of estimates

Lagging wage growth is the focal point for the markets this morning with the ONS’ figures expected to show the gap between pay and rising prices continuing to widen.

Average earnings growth will nudge up to 2.2pc, according to the consensus of economists, cranking up the pressure on households and marking another knock-back for real wages.

The pound this morning has built on yesterday’s post-inflation data gains against the dollar, rising 0.4pc at $1.3326, a one-year high. 

The FTSE 100 under pressure from the buoyant pound missed out on the relief rally pulling up equities globally yesterday. This morning it has lurched into the red while European stocks’ rally has stuttered with the CAC 40 in flat territory and the DAX nudging down.

Galliford Try’s full-year results are the highlight on a slightly lighter corporate calendar. The housebuilder, which was hit by a £98m provision to cover legacy contract costs earlier this year, posted profits at the upper end of estimates, pushing its shares 1.3pc higher earlier on.

Interim results: Alliance Pharma, Ten Entertainment Group, Just Group, Soco International, Gaming Realms, Ingenta, Epwin Group, SQS Software Quality Systems AG, Advanced Medical Solutions Group, Columbus Energy Resources, MyCelx Technologies Corporation

Full-year results: Wilmington, Dunelm Group, Town Centre Securities, Galliford Try, Haynes Publishing Group

AGM: Marechale Capital, Versarien, Tricorn Group, Argo Group, Games Workshop Group, Intercede Group, Hardy Oil & Gas

Economics: Unemployment Rate (UK), Claimant Count Change (UK), Average Earnings Index 3m/y (UK), PPI m/m (US), Industrial Production m/m (EU)Employment Change q/q (EU)