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.


Facebook shares decline, Mark Zuckerberg halts stock sales


The social media giants’ co-founder didn’t sell a single share in the fourth quarter, as the company’s stock tumbled 20% amid a broader market rout

This made it the first quarter in more than two years he’s refrained from doing the same, according to Bloomberg data.

Zuckerberg had stated in September 2017 that he would unload 35-75mn Facebook shares over the following 18 months as part of a pledge to give away almost all of his fortune during his lifetime. Since then, he’s sold about 30.5mn shares worth roughly $5.6bn.

The transactions have been scheduled in advance with a so-called 10b5-1 trading plan, which can include parameters such as price or volume limits. Vanessa Chan, a spokeswoman for the Menlo Park, California-based company, declined to comment further.

Facebook shares have dropped about 38% from a record $218.62 on July 25 as the firm faced mounting criticism over its handling of user data and content policing. According to Zuckerberg, these issues will take years to fix. The decline shaved $32.7bn from his net worth as of Wednesday’s close, dropping him to #7 on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a listing of the world’s richest people.

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative will be a limited liability company controlled by the social media magnate and his wife, Priscilla, 33, rather than a charitable trust. That means they will both be able to make philanthropic investments and back political causes. The entity aims to decrease inequality and build technology to spur change, partly through investments in health and education.

Overall, senior executives and directors of Facebook, Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc. sold about $7.1bn of stock last year, the most since 2016, when they disposed of $10.7 bn, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That excludes shares that were gifted or sold to cover taxes.

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