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.


Real estate boosts Dubai and Egypt, Gulf markets rise


The Dubai stock market rose for a third straight day due to bargain-hunting in beaten-down real estate stocks, while Egypt gained for a fourth straight day

In Dubai, the index rose 1% with Emaar Development jumping 7.6%. Union Properties and Dubai Investments, which have been trading at multi-year lows, added 7.4% and 2.3% respectively.

There has been no clear sign of a pick-up in Dubai’s sluggish real estate market. Low valuations have however encouraged some investors to return to stocks, with the Dubai index trading at about 7.3 times trailing earnings compared to 12.5 times for the MSCI emerging market index. Trading volumes in Dubai on Thursday were the highest since early September.

Real estate stocks also helped Egypt’s blue-chip index gain; it rose 1.1% with Talaat Mostafa Group adding 5.7%.

Global Telecom climbed 4.4% after the Egyptian exchange said Moon Capital Partners Master Fund had acquired 34.4mn shares of the company for $6.15mn. The stock had surged 6.9% on Wednesday, when the exchange said it was block-traded without naming the buyer.

El Sewedy Electric fell 1.2%; it had jumped 6.5% in the last half-hour of trading on Wednesday after it provided details of a deal to participate in construction of a dam in Tanzania. The Saudi index gained 0.3% with real estate firm Jabal Omar rising 2.6% and Saudi Telecom Company climbing 2%.

Dallah Healthcare rose 4.4% after its board recommended a capital increase to $200mn.

Insurer Saudi Enaya Cooperative Insurance jumped 9.9% . Amana Cooperative Insurance, surged 9.9%.

On the Saudi parallel market known as Nomu, contracting company Al Kathiri Holding jumped 7.8% after it signed a memorandum of understanding with Spain’s Constructora D’Aro to obtain a concession to build tridimensional concrete structures, and to establish a factory for them in Saudi Arabia.

The Abu Dhabi index gained 0.5% with Aldar Properties adding 5.2%.

Energy firm Dana Gas soared 8.4% after saying its production had reached 70,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), up from 62,250 boepd in the first nine months of 2018. It plans to invest in further increases.

Qatar’s main index snapped a three-day losing streak as it edged 0.2% higher. Qatar National Bank, the Middle East’s biggest lender, gained 0.8% and Industries Qatar rose 1.0%.

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