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.


Centrica analysis states that lean energy technologies could save UK industry $700 million

It argued that energy-intensive industry and manufacturing could secure major cost and carbon savings through wider use of solar and battery technologies

The report came from by British Gas owner Centrica.

It analysed a range of major manufacturing and production activities—including steel mining, chemicals, car manufacturing, machinery, and food and drink production– which together account for around one-fourth of the UK’s entire electricity demand.

The UK’s clean growth strategy sets out an ambition for the UK industry to improve its energy productivity by 20% by 2030. The research findings do suggest that significant cost and carbon savings could be achieved by adopting distributed energy technologies such as new heating and lighting, solar and Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and battery storage systems.

The report also highlighted how new energy monitoring technologies could help identify inefficient machinery and processes – and further boost industrial carbon and cost savings. Overall, it estimated that even if only half of businesses in the UK’s industrial sectors installed energy technology improvements, it could boost productivity to the point of gross value addition of $19.1bn.

Jorge Pikunic, managing director at Centrica Business Solutions, said taking advantage of the latest clean energy technologies could “inspire a new revolution” in the industrial sector– and help secure a business advantage for the UK outside the European Union.

“In 2017, the industrial sector used 92mn megawatt hours of energy,” he stated.

“As well as being a staggering statistic, I believe this is also a clear signal of the opportunity for industrial organisations to play their part in the changing energy landscape, while also unlocking the potential of energy to ensure the UK’s position in the global marketplace.” He added.

The report follows the official opening on Friday of Centrica’s new CHP factory in Salford, Manchester, which created 20 new jobs. The plant will operate alongside the utility giant’s existing facility, which has produced 3,000 units for use in the UK and globally since 1984, stated the company.

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