Stock markets have retreated again over worries of further US interest rate rises after the Federal Reserve defied Donald Trump to increase rates for the fourth time this year.

The EU has confirmed it is “actively investigating” a potential breach of its diplomatic communications network, following reports that secret cables had been stolen by hackers.

The Bank of England has welcomed a “crucial and positive” move by the EU to help keep a key part of the financial system functioning in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.

A handful of banks will be forced to write multimillion pound cheques to buy shares in the construction giant Kier Group after some of its biggest investors snubbed the chance to take part in a £250m fundraising.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is to merge its consumer healthcare unit with that of rival Pfizer, to create a new market leader with almost £10bn in annual sales.


Santander has been fined more than £30m for “serious failings” in processing the accounts of dead customers, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says.


Amazon to offer free shipping on all US holiday orders

This marks the first time Amazon is offering a scheme like this, and a forward push towards adding new Prime members, along with season’s sales

Amazon announced that it is waiving the purchase minimum starting Monday to give “customers even more convenient and faster delivery options”. Last year, Amazon shoppers without Prime memberships had to spend at least $25 to earn free shipping.

The National Retail Foundation forecasts holiday retail sales will climb by up to 4.8% compared to 2017. The company’s plan could overshadow holiday strategies from top competitors like Target, which offers free two-day shipping on all orders from November 1 to December 22.

The promotion, available only in the United States, will make hundreds of millions of items eligible for free shipping, Amazon stated. By comparison, Walmart, one of Amazon’s fiercest competitors, sells around 75 million products online.

This effort is also towards pumping up sales after the company’s revenue projection for the remainder of the year fell below some Wall Street analysts’ estimates. The company has expected its fourth quarter sales to lie between $66.5bn and $72.5bn.

Amazon did not announce a cutoff date for the promotion yet, but stated that free shipping will be available for all orders arriving in time for Christmas. The company usually sets the final date toward the end of the season.

Prime members already get free shipping on all eligible orders with no minimum required, but without the holiday promotion, non-Prime shoppers must spend at least $25 to land free shipping.

Prime members in the United States do get a holiday perk, however. Amazon is making more than three million items eligible for same-day delivery for the holidays.

In recent months, Amazon has also extended same-day delivery from Whole Foods through Prime Now to more than 60 cities.

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