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This is Business Live from the BBC with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.
Oil prices jump back above $35 as some call the bottom
But it's little comfort to oil giant Shell -
the latest to report a big fall in profits.
Live from London, that's our top story on Thursday
Royal Dutch Shell sees its annual net profit plunge by 87%
as the volotile oil price hits profits hard.
One of world's biggest ever trade deals has been formally agreed.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership will cover 40% of the global economy
but critics say it's a recipe for job losses and low pay.
A surge in oil prices has helped to lift investor
confidence across most markets with energy-related
The oil majors are among the big winners.
And Ford is revving up to take on the European market -
but it could mean heavy job losses and cost cuts.
The boss of Ford in Europe will join us live later.
So do you have a question for the boss?
Let us know, get in touch, use the hashtag BBC BizLive.
Shell has reported an 80% drop in full year earnings as the oil
producer has been buffeted by falling oil prices.
The decline is the company's sharpest fall in
Shell is just one oil giant that's had to make major cuts as a result
Let's take a quick look at the market as a whole:
America's biggest firm Exxon Mobil posted its weakest
The company is planning to cut capital and exploration spending
Fellow oil giant BP will cut 7,000 jobs around the world
It's also planning to sell $5 billion in assets.
Shell - which posted those bad numbers this
morning - has sold more than $20 billion in assets
since the start of 2014 and plans more through 2018.
It cut capital investment by $8 billion in 2015.
In fact Shell's results come just days after the company sealed
a ?47 billion takeover of BG Group Plc.
Capital investment for Shell and BG for 2016
is expected to be $33 billion, down an eye watering 45% with 10,000
jobs confirmed to be cut as part of the takeover.
Our economics editor Kamal Ahmed is here.
It highlights how difficult it is for the big oil firms to make any
sort of plans and predictions based on the oil price which is so
volatile. Where are we in terms of where the oil for -- firms are at
the moment? Show is less affected, because they produce gas and the gas
price has not fallen as badly as the oil price -- Shell is less affected.
So they have some protection there, but if you speak to oil chief
executives they believe that the oil price will strengthen over the rest
of the year, as demand from China and America increases, and all of
these companies, the big companies, they are relying on that. Or they
will have to go through more cuts in costs, yet more investment decisions
which are negative. I was speaking to law John Brown, the former chief
executive of BP and I asked in his thoughts about the future of the oil
price. -- Lord John Brown. The big thing I think we've learnt
in the past is that it takes time for supply to stabilise and allow
the gap between supply We're back to a period of lower
prices, much as we had from '86 to 2004 - a 17 year period
where the price was around about 30 to $35 in real terms
which is sort of the price today. You asked about the North Sea? Yes,
Shell has said it is pulling out of its exploration in the Arctic and it
will have less exploration in Africa. The North Sea is one of
those expensive areas and I asked him what he thought the
future was for the North Sea. It has some future, clearly there is gas
oil, which will continue to be in selective parts, but it is not the
same as it used to be, no doubt about that. It is a very diminished
part of the global supply equation. Can I say, one of the things which
is extraordinary about the UK North Sea, I remember when it started, and
we thought it would the over by the year 2000. That we turn off the
lights in 2000, but back came and went, and actually, the North Sea
was doing very well, and so we have had a lot of extra time here, which
we should be very grateful for. There is the merger between Shell
and BP, probably the worst time they are thinking about doing this. It is
nearly a $50 billion deal, but I think the chief executive of Shell
is more concerned with making that deal work than he is the future
trajectory of the oil price. One important thing for our pensions and
savings, Shell has committed to its dividend, so did BP, they are two of
the biggest dividend payers in the UK so at least for investors they
will be some reassurance. We will watch that closely. Thanks for
joining us. Now some other business stories.
Credit Suisse has reported its first full-year loss since 2008 as it set
Trading losses also contributed to a slump at the two
Switzerland's second-biggest bank posted a net loss of $5.8 billion.
The Zurich-based lender is accelerating plans to cut 4,000
Sumner Redstone has stepped down as executive chairman to be replaced
by president and chief executive Leslie Moonves.
There's also speculation that Mr Redstone will also step down
as chairman of Viacom, which owns MTV and Nickelodeon.
The 92 year-old has been facing questions and legal action over his
The former head of the International Monetary Fund,
Dominique Strauss-Kahn, is joining the board of a bank owned
by Ukranian billionaire Viktor Pinchuk.
Mr Strauss-Kahn resigned as IMF managing director in 2011,
allegations which were later dismissed.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership, one of the world's biggest
multinational trade deals, was formally adopted by the 12
But the massive trade pact still needs years of tough
negotiations before it becomes a reality.
Leisha Chi is in Singapore with the details.
It has felt like forever, but it has only taken five years. Thousands of
hours of negotiations and multiple missed deadlines, this ambitious
deal has finally been signed in New Zealand. This is the world's biggest
trade deal in two decades and will cover 40% of the global economy.
These countries are looking to lower barriers to trade investment, and
the signing is important, but this is only the first step in what will
be a long process. The pact will require use of tough negotiations
before it becomes a reality on the ground. They do so much. -- thank
you so much. It is not quite over yet, but we will keep you
up-to-date. If you were watching the show yesterday. Tom Stevenson from
Fidelity said where the oil price goes, the market goes, and that is
very true. Shares in Tokyo were hit hard. We had earnings from Toshiba,
they were disappointing. Sharp, disappointing. Elsewhere, though,
gains across the board, as the cost of oil goes up, and that is the case
in Europe, as well. Credits Wiese shares are being hammered today. --
credit Suisse. Shell's shares are down, despite the report they
released. We can now go to New York. Some major media companies are
reporting this Thursday, News Corporation will turn in its
second-quarter results, the owner of the Wall Street Journal has reported
three quarters of revenue decline, print sales are partly to blame, and
investors want details on how the Rupert Murdoch controlled company is
planning to deal with these challenges, and the New York Times
is likely to face similar pressures when they release their
fourth-quarter results. Another tech company is turning in its
fourth-quarter results, this is linked in, the operator of the
world's biggest professional networking website. How much revenue
has it made from ads and paid membership? And an oil company
Conoco Phillips is expected to report a loss. It should not come as
too much of a surprise following results from other oil companies.
Bronwyn Curtis, Chair of the Society of Business Economists.
We can talk about oil once again. We can see a correlation with the
equity markets. It is about confidence and optimism. It is. Very
interesting, what happened overnight. We have the number of
non-manufacturing index in the US yesterday and it was not very good,
so the dollar fell and the oil price goes up, then the dollar goes up,
the equity markets about and then we have a good day. It shows you how
sensitive the markets are two quite small changes. This volatility will
go on. All eyes on Mark Carney in the UK, the quarterly inflation
report coming out, and decision on interest rates, quite interesting
how people are looking to central banks for help, but not so much in
the UK as Europe or the US or Japan. They have not got much ammunition
left compared to what we had in 2008. We had quantitative easing and
putting money in, but the economy has now recovered. The stock market
is quite mature, and so is the global recovery. Today I think, from
the Bank of England we will have downward revision to growth,
inflation, and in wages, and that means that rate hikes will be pushed
way into the future, or at least people will expect that, and I think
the economy is starting to slow down. Although there was a chance to
hike rates year ago, the year before that, when consumer spending was
strong, now it looks very difficult, especially with the international
situation. Muddy Waters in which to make an interest rate rise. For now,
thanks for joining us. Still to come -
the future on four wheels. As the global car industry faces
unprecendented change - we'll chat to the head
of Ford Europe. You're with Business
Live from BBC News. The Bank of England will issue
its latest quarterly It's also expected to leave interest
rates on hold at their record low. But just a matter of weeks ago,
Governor Mark Carney was preparing us all for higher borrowing costs,
and a first rate rise Dominic Rossi is Chief Investment
Officer of Fidelity, one of the world's
biggest fund managers. He says it's not just the Bank
of England that has failed in its communication,
but all the major central banks. Part of that criticism is about the
whole case for forward guidance and another part of the criticism is the
fact that the Bank of England's inflation forecast has been poor,
and the guidance towards interest rates has been too aggressive at
times, but the essence of communication, they have
consistently understated the disinflationary forces in the world
economy, and if you look at the ECB, the Bank of England, the Chinese and
the Federal market, they have all consistently, over the inflation
forecast, and subsequently they have been too aggressive in their
communication strategy about future interest rate hikes. They are
constantly rowing back. Talking about the frustration that
many have with this so-called forward guidance which is the new
thing. That central banks in the US and the UK are very much into this.
The two and is, it is designed to give everyone an indication of what
the tank is going to do next -- the two are designed. I remember when
Mark Carney first got the job in the UK, he said when unemployment is at
7%, that is when rates will go up, but he had to change that, as
well. The goalposts keep on moving. You can keep an eye on everything on
the business pages on the website. the business pages on the website.
We are looking ahead to the quarterly inflation report, we will
have plenty of coverage on that on BBC News.
The oil giant Shell has reported a sharp fall in annual profits.
It made nearly $2 billion, compared with almost
The latest big firm to suffer that fall in the price of oil. But its
deal with British Gas and still on track so we keep an eye on that in a
new era of low oil prices. Shot I start? You start!
Now, the woes of the global car industry have been well documented.
It's only thanks to heavy layoffs, closures and bailouts that
many of the world's big car makers survived the downturn.
But on the whole, they've come out the other side much stronger.
Ford's operation in Europe returned to profit for the first time in four
The firm closed a number of plants, which helped propel it to a profit
of $259 million in Europe, compared to a loss of nearly
And the European market is important.
But whilst lucrative, it's only expected to
To stay profitable, the company plans to cut costs by $200 million
a year in Europe over the next few years.
It will do that by voluntary layoffs and improving efficiency.
But what about the rapidly growing market for hybrid vehicles?
In 2014, Ford had only 12% of the market share in the US,
compared to nearly 56% for all the Toyota models.
And then there are the unexpected competitors, the likes of Apple
and Google, that are actively developing driverless
James Farley Jr is President for Europe, the Middle East
Good morning. First, how did you get involved in this industry? A crazy
industry, it is fair to say. Ops and styles, lay-offs, closures, all
sorts of trouble is the industry has faced. Did you see that coming in
this job? Not really, it was a mature industry. Like many of my
colleagues, we love cars. I always have done and it is still in magical
industry. Moving people from point a to point B, giving them personal
transport, now it means something different with software and
autonomous driving. New technology. So this is a whole new reality, but
so exciting. I understand you were working for Toyota and Bill Ford
phone due at a critical time for Ford to say, please join us. As a
leader at Toyota in the US, we loved our life in Santa Monica and we
decided to join Ford. My grandfather started their in 1911, a chance to
join this iconic company in a time of need. And six months later,
everything changed! After the car industry changed. We pulled
ourselves up at Ford and we did not need any help from the government.
We have been repairing our own business, Europe is very much like
that. We need to keep our costs in line, to be that thriving business
even in bad times. A lot of topical things I would love your take on,
not least that trade deal, five years in the making and not a done
deal. What would it mean? Ford is a free trader and it is a big deal to
have access to markets all around the world. The biggest concern is to
make sure the currency environment is fair for everyone. This is a
great development. Let's talk about Europe. We have mentioned in the
introduction Europe is going to have another very tough year. You
announced yesterday cutbacks and restructuring in Europe. What is
your plan for making the most of what little growth there is? First,
we have a very important operation. We sell 1.5 million vehicles and we
have manufacturing facilities across Europe including in the UK. The
operation is very important and we have a lot of lives at stake as well
for employees. We have seen modest growth in Europe but we are really
well positioned. We have made increases two years in a row, the
cost structure is competitive, we see the automotive industry
recovering nicely in Europe and we are committing to making more money
this year than last year. On that issue of Europe, it is interesting
when it comes to the debate about the UK's continued membership of the
European Union. What would it mean for you as a company whether the UK
remained in left the European Union? We have been on record many times
because of the importance of the EU as an open market, we have 14,000
employees in the UK, we build nearly 2 million engines, we have 3,000
engineers working on global engineering here in Europe, the UK
is the second-largest engineering centre for the -- for the automotive
industry. And having that free available in the UK and Europe is
critical. We export 85% engines, most of them, to Europe. Any
interruption and uncertainty would be a risk for employees. If we talk
about the future and driverless cars and that kind of thing, many argue
you at Ford are in first gear and your competitor is in fifth. We
announced a $5 billion investment in electrification which will be key
for compliance and that the new reality of an autonomous car and
software. We have experiments, some in London, running our own driver
mobility service. It is really interesting learning. We will invest
happily in smart mobility. We think there are three areas in Europe
difference to North America. Difficult to get the balance right,
investing in that while laying people off in Europe. Absolutely,
but it is critical because our industry is in the forefront of
another disruption. And we absolutely welcome the opportunity
for new competitors and for transport is a paid service. We
absolutely see that as a growth opportunity for our company. Ford
founded the company based on mobility and that idea is different
in the next 100 years. And Ford wants to be part of that. And
talking of technology, a word on the industry that has been damaged by
the reputation of VW when it comes to cheat devices, what is your
position? We were very clear up we do not have any devices on our
vehicles and we support for the real world emissions driving standards
for our industry. Customers need to know how their vehicles will perform
in the real world. Our employees, especially in the UK, as the market
leader, we are thankful that we reassured them. Good to hear from
you. Thank you. Good to meet you.
Let's take a quick look at what's making the news
Reuters reports that The Trans Pacific Partnership,
one of the biggest multinational trade deals ever, has been signed
by ministers from its 12 member nations in New Zealand.
The New York Times has an interesting report on toxic debt,
with research on trillions of dollars of toxic loans
While the Washington Post has been looking into coffee pods.
Namely, that sales of them are starting to fall in the US.
Of the booming for so many years, those machines.
And finally, The Telegraph says that Luxembourg has announced ambitious
plans to become a hub for asteroid mining.
Bronwyn is back to look at the papers.
Nice to see you. First of all, toxic doubt, we thought a lot of this had
gone away in the sub-prime era but it is back. It never really went
away! -- toxic debt. Just clever marketing! That is not true, in the
US, we did see them letting banks go bust, other financial institutions,
and writing off that debt. In Europe, they fudged it and we saw
recently that the Italian banks are in trouble and may need bailing out
and there is 1 trillion in debt in Europe alone. It is the China
concern and the unknown. It is absolutely the China concern. These
estimates, we do not really know. They say in loans and financial
assets, it has gone up from seven years ago, nine Chilean has gone.
That is staggering. -- nine Chilean. Up to 30 trillion. That is a huge
number. And it is half the amount of output in a year. If these numbers
are to commit this is very worrying. Time is against us but quick way,
that story, Luxembourg mining asteroids, they say it is the way to
do it because it has all sorts of natural resources we have run out on
Earth including things going in the mobile phones of all things.
You heard it here first! We have to go, nice to see you.
Good morning. The weather today looks very different from yesterday.
Instead of the sunshine and showers, today is milder, accompanied by a