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This is Business Live from BBC News with Ben Thompson and Sally Bundock.
Federal Reserve Chief Janet Yellen is expected to announce another rise
But the question is how many more and when?
Live from London, that's our top story on Wednesday, 15th March.
Will the US dollar continue it's onward march as the central bank
Also in the programme, headwinds for Hong Kong's national carrier.
Cathay Pacific makes its first loss since the financial crisis.
All eyes will be on the Fed, but this is how European markets opened.
We'll get the details later. And we'll be getting the inside
track on all that glitters. The man behind gold mining firm
Petro Pav Lovsk is here to tell us how the firm came close to collapse
and how he managed to put the shine And here in the UK the top ten
weirdest jobs have been revealed, we will talk you through them
and we want to know what weird Keep your comments coming in. Some
days I think this is the weirdest job in the world.
It's the day global markets have been waiting for.
The US Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise interest
Fed policymakers are tipped to raise interest rates by a quarter point -
It's what Janet Yellen says after the meeting that
They'll be looking for clues about future rate rises,
when and how quickly they might come?
And the Fed may talk about undoing some of the measures it
introduced at the height of the financial crisis.
It bought up over $1.75 trillion worth of mortgage-backed
securities, but now it wants to offload them.
Janet Yellen is also having to weigh up an improving US economy but
at the same time as President Trump's policy of building,
infrastructure spending and tax cuts - all of which could
Andrew Walker is here. So just fill us in. The rate rises is priced in.
We're expecting that. The question is what is she going to say in the
press conference? She will be talking about how the US economy is
growing reasonably well. It's strong and the labour market is
particularly strong and we've got unemployment, the latest figures are
4.7%, the Fed's policy makers think that's about the minimum level that
it can get without generating, accelerating inflation. It's worth
saying it has been at 5% or below for 18 months now, but there are
wider measures of weakness, of slack, if you like in the labour
market that have also improved, that's looking at people who aren't
officially counted as unemployed, but want to get jobs, but aren't
actively looking and people who are working shorter hours than they
want. If you look at those factors, the labour market has continued to
strengthen in a way that's not fully reflected in the headline figure and
that's an important consideration for Fed policy makers. What is
interesting because I was grilling you before we came on air about the
fact that wage growth is good in the States as well? The most recent
figure for hourly earning is a 2.8% increase. That's comfortably above
inflation. The Fed's target is 1.9% and that's another factor, the Fed
has a target of 2%. If you look at their figure they're close to
target. If you take out the food and energy prices, it is lower, but it
is clearly getting there. So I think the Fed is very much wanting to
ensure that inflation stays within its target range, concerned that if
it doesn't move soon then it could have a problem down the line of
excessive inflation. So with that in mind and also within mind President
Trump's plans that he keeps telling us about, although we have little
detail on infrastructure spending and tax cuts, what are we expecting
the Fed to do the rest of this year, do you think? The general
expectation is perhaps two, maybe three more rate rises, but it will
very much depend on how the data unfolds and how the issues unfold.
We don't really know what he's going to do, what President Trump is going
to do by way of tax cuts. Infrastructure spending. The
preliminarications for that for demand depend on how he's proposing
to finance that. There might be a lot of private sector money coming,
if it boosts the deficit that has the potential for being inflationary
and they will be important factors that the Fed will take into
consideration in the months ahead. Thank you very much indeed, Andrew
Walker. And we will be across the news from Washington when it breaks
later today. Lorry drivers moving goods
in Western Europe for Ikea and other retailers,
are living out of their cabs for months at a time
as they cannot afford to live According to a BBC
report, some drivers - brought over from poorer countries
by lorry firms based in Eastern Europe, say
their salary is less than three Ikea has said it is
"saddened" by the report. The Australian Transport
Safety Bureau has warned against using battery-powered
devices on flights after a passenger's headphones caught
fire during a flight It says the phone's lithium-ion
battery was the likely cause. The incident follows several
incidents of Samsung Galaxy phones and hoverboards exploding
and being banned on planes. Cathay Pacific has reported its
first full-year loss since the 2008 The Hong Kong based airline,
like many of its peers has been struggling with overcapacity and hot
competition from carriers Simon, tell us more about Cathay
Pacific. It is a very tough environment for this company? This
is Asia's biggest international airline. 2016 was a very difficult
year and today it revealed how difficult. It lost $74 million last
year. That compares to the profit of ?6 billion the year before. It is
struggling to fill space on its planes, but in the holds of its
cargo planes and there is competition from mainland China.
These are airlines who are flying direct to the US and to Europe. So
they're hovering up the Chinese passengers who might have flown via
Hong Kong. It no longer makes sense for many of them to do so Cathay
Pacific is losing out. What are they going to do about it? They said they
would make job cuts. And there were no more details. Today, no more
information and that's one of the reasons why the shares have fallen
sharply in Hong Kong. Simon, good stuff, it is always good to see you.
Stocks in Tokyo fell with energy firms down on weak oil prices
and investors are waiting for news from the Fed meeting.
Shares in Toshiba also down sharply on fears over its future.
While the US Central Bank is considered odds-on
to tighten borrowing costs, traders are most interested
in what its plans are for future hikes, with boss Janet Yellen's
post-meeting comments the main focus.
In Europe, here's how the numbers are looking.
In the UK, unemployment rate expected to rise to 5% from 4.8%
We'll also get eurozone jobs numbers too.
In the corporate world, the UK Government has reduced its stake
in Lloyds to just below 3%, putting the lender on track to be
back in private ownership within the next few months.
But over in the US, the headlines are dominated by the tax
The American TV network, MSNBC, has shown two pages,
of what it says, are Donald Trump's federal tax returns for 2005.
Mr Trump has always refused to release his returns.
The Pulitzer prize winning journalist David Cay Johnston
told MSNBC he'd received the documents in the post,
The White House response - is that the documents
demonstrate Mr Trump paid - $38 million in taxes.
On an income of more than $150 million.
Our correspondent Tulip Mazumdar in Washington says there
is still massive interest in President Trump's tax returns.
These are just summary pages from his 2005 tax returns with two main
headline figures. He earned $150 million in 2005 and paid $38 million
in taxes, around 25%. So nothing hugely controversial or revelatory
there, but this is significant because Donald Trump has been asked
for many months now both as a candidate and now as president to
release his tax returns and he has so far refused to do saying he can't
because the internal revenue service is currently auditing him and that
prevents him from doing that. Now tax experts say that's not
necessarily true and if he wanted to, he could release them, but all
this caused a lot of anger at the White House. They sent out a
statement shortly before all this information came out on American TV
over here and they said, "It is totally illegal to steal unpublished
tax returns. The dishonest media can continue to make this part of their
agenda while the president will focus on his which includes tax
reform and will benefit all Americans."
Joining us is Jane Sydenham, Investment Director,
Give us your take on the Fed? The markets are expecting a rate rise
and if there wasn't one, we would see surprise, but what we're
expecting is rate rises in the second, perhaps the second quarter
and maybe the third quarter. As Andrew was saying, you know, it is
that look ahead that really matters, but I think today's move is
certainly priced in. So that priced, a bit of certainty there, but there
is a lot of political uncertainty in Europe right now, we talked about it
at the start of the week. We've got the Dutch elections and the French
elections later in the spring and obviously the German elections in
the autumn and the issue actually, what is interesting is the way that
risk manifests itself for investors is through Government bonds and
actually at the moment, they're calm. Yields are very low. There is
no expectation in markets... That's always worrying, is it not? It is.
When you say investors reaction to risk, just explain how that works
because we assume, OK, bonds are seen as a safer investment Yes. But
if there is political risk in certain countries presumably their
bonds are not as attractive? That's right. How does it work? The way
that investors look at this, they actually look at a country and say
I'd rather not have French bonds because I'm worried about the
election so I'll sell them so the yields on those bonds will rise, it
is a view on that country and its credit worthiness. It is all about
the bond market. Jane, we'll return soon because we're going to talk
about the UK's top ten weirdest jobs! Yes. So, Jane have a think.
Maybe she had one in her career. The comments are coming in. I'll save
them for later because some are great. What is your weirdest moment?
It didn't have a title. I just had to water hanging baskets for weeks.
I worked in a pie factory. I was at a conveyor-belt and I did this for
eight hours. Pies from there, over to there. Wow. I was very good at
it. Where they good pies? I can't eat pies. It put me off for life. It
is a well-known retailer, but I won't reveal.
We'll talk about that and we'll talk about digging gold.
You're with Business Live from BBC News.
The owner of fashion chain Zara has reported its full
Inditex is the world's biggest clothing retailer and also owns high
street brands such as Bershka and Pull and Bear, it said that
sales were helped by new store openings and online growth.
Theo Leggett has more from the Business Newsroom.
Nice to see you, Theo. This is the company that seemingly can do no
wrong, but what's going on today? I'm looking at that graph behind you
and I see a drop. This is, I think, managing expectations. Inditix, its
profits were up 10%. Sales up 10%, dividend increased by 13 percent,
you'd think investors would welcome that. What we saw was a brief spike
this morning and then the share price dropped very rapidly. It is
nudging back up again. I think that is because this particular company
expectations are always very, very high so even if it does well,
sometimes people are selling off shares, maybe taking a bit of profit
if the share price has been rising recently. So you don't always get an
automatic bounce, but it is creeping back up a bit.
This company has an unusual business model producing small amounts of
clothes quickly, not bulk producing. It waits to see what consumers are
buying and then starts to produce and distribute them which allows
them to react quickly to what people on the street actually want to buy.
If you compare what is happening with them with French connection
which a result of yesterday it is doing better. It is also growing
rapidly. It has 7300 stores around the world, give or take a few, and
it is growing. It has opened several hundred new stores this year and is
opening stores in 56 markets. Bent on expansion. Thank you. There is
lots more in terms of the corporate stories on the Business Life page.
Lorry drivers moving goods in Western Europe for IKEA and other
retailers living out of their caps for months at a time.
The European Council president Donald Tusk has been commenting on
Brexit saying Britain would mostly hugged itself if it left the
European Union without agreement -- hurt. He has been tweaking we will
not be intimidated by threats that now Brexit deal is bad for everyone
above the UK. Interesting the rhetoric fighting back and forth
between London and Brussels. Expect more of that as we approach
Article 50 and two years of negotiations. We will watch it. .
Now, let's talk gold, because the man behind gold mining
The firm, formerly called Peter Hambro Mining,
has been operating in the far east of Russia since 1994.
But it has been on a bit of a journey over the past few years.
The falling price of gold nearly pushed the company
But the firm's boss and founder, Peter Hambro, says the company has
gone through a transformation since then, and come
Joining us now is Peter Hambro, chairman of Petropavlovsk.
first met you in 2002. You were a tiny company and you have gone from
strength to strength, five men in Russia. You have a bullion in your
pocket. -- mines. And I hold it? You may. I am not taking this home.
Worth $38,000. If I drop that it bounces. Give us a sense of the
story of your company because it has gone from something very small to
wear back it is today but on the verge of collapse two years ago. You
are at the mercy of what their cells for in global markets. We started
the company in 1994. Me and my partner. We built it up into a major
operation and have produced 7.5 million and Susan Gold, $8 billion
worth of gold in 23 years, just a little bit more. One of the largest
taxpayers in the Russian Far East where we operate on the borders with
China. Very popular because we have created huge amounts of jobs there
where there are not any other jobs. Get on very well with the
administration who have been helpful to rise. The Russian state? Yes. I
am thrilled to have done it. I started my training career in the
Soviet Union. When I was a gold trader. It was a natural progression
to go and join that side of the world in production. You touched on
the roller-coaster ride. We saw the show pros on the screen. Shares went
down to about 8p. Talk me through how you cope with that. And how you
get the business by contract. Talk me three how my wife got through it!
It was a horrid thing to happen. We decided to process the new and
harder to process called which exists in larger quantities in
Russia. We did not finance that properly. We borrowed money to do it
and the back to place well before we could get it into production. That
has changed again and we will be in production from 2018. How hard is it
not to focus on the share price? You basically want to carry on running
your business and do what you do every day and you also have an eye
on the share price and you think investors do not like what we are
doing, I going to have to do it differently? It is certainly a
factor. When I was interviewed by you years ago and the share price
had fallen she asked what I was going to do about it and I said
there's nothing I can do because my job is to produce this. You have
been operating in Russia for many years. We have reported on the
difficulties that companies have trying to operate in Russia, BPB in
one of those. I've have Ukip the state on board? -- how have you
kept. How does it work? With sanctions on Russia how has that
affected your business? One of their main players has become a friend,
one of the few British companies who have succeeded in Russia. The
problems they faced and we faced problems they faced and we faced
occasionally was a low level of interference not by the state but by
competitors effectively which we have overcome. We have paid our
taxes, worked at the highest level of environmental, very good health
and safety, done it how you have to do it. Russia is a very well-managed
country now. We are going to have to leave it there but there is so much
more to discuss. I know you will keep in touch with us. We will make
sure he takes that, him. There is security as well. I was
going to suggest he leaves it. In a moment we'll take a look
through the Business Pages but first here's a quick reminder of how
to get in touch with us. You can stay ahead with the business
live page. We will keep you up-to-date with details with insight
and analysis from the BBC's team of editors around the world and we want
to hear from you. Get involved on the BBC Business Live page. You can
find us on Twitter and Facebook. Whenever you need to know.
Jane Sydenham is joining us again to discuss.
A report in the Independent about people who have very strange job
titles. Some of then I cannot mention because of the connotations.
I definitely fits into the customer happiness hear bracket because I
used to work in the management complaints department in a store so
complaints only reached this department of someone had not had
their goods after six months. They were really happy. On the verge of
litigation. A handbag stuffer who had to roll up to shoot paper and
put them in the bags -- tissue. Watching ants in and colony. After
A-levels, artificial insemination of goats. I should have taken a
checkout job in hindsight. He needs counselling, I am sure. Acoustics
consultant. I have no idea. Air cartographer. Brexit, the Irish are
complaining about rivals in the Brexit race. Different countries
vying for the top spot of London loses out. Luxembourg seems to be
the place that ARG seem to assign itself to have a reserve position as
a result of Brexit and the Irish are unhappy about that. You are going to
see these areas vying for business effectively. They will be staffing
up banks and operations. Dublin has done very well. Since June's result
last year, lots of banks, sorry businesses, some banks, businesses
have registered places in Dublin. Yes. Not necessarily moved anyone
but have registered. Yes, and they have infrastructure and capital
adequacy and all the things that businesses need. Thank you.
I pressure is dominating the weather is so largely fine and dry before
things turn more unsettled later in the week and into the weekend.
Bringing wetter and windy weather and feeling