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Oil price drops on report Saudis will quickly restore lost capacity — live updates

Louis Ashworth
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaking during a ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday. US officials have blamed the Islamic republic for an attack on Saudi oil facilities on Saturday - REX

5:01PM

Wrap-up: Jumpy markets wait for certainty. Will it arrive?

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Credit: Leon Neal/Getty Images Europe

Markets appeared fairly stunned today, with source-based stories prompting shivers rather than shifts.

Though things seem to have taken a few steps back from Donald Trump’s “locked and loaded” comments in the wee hours of Monday morning, sabres are being rattled.

Of course, we’ve been here before. As Bloomberg’s John Authers noted in his market commentary this morning:

Investors have been worrying about war in Iran even longer than Vladimir and Estragon waited for Godot.

Against that backdrop, its no wonder investors seem to be hunkering down rather than fleeing for the exit. Information is still emerging from the Arab peninsula, and it may be that nobody wants to make a big move until there is a clearer sense of what has happened.

That’s all from me today. Tomorrow is Fed day, so expect an unusually American flavor [sic] to the usual business, markets and economics action. Tune in then!

4:52PM

European stocks close broadly flat

With the FTSE flat as a pancake  at close, and its top European peers not looking much better, thus ends a very mixed, unsteady day on the markets.

Credit: Bloomberg TV

The sharp drop in Spanish and Italian shares, by the way, is born out of the countries’ respecting political crises.

If you love the sight of a flat stock market, turn your eyes westward, where the top Wall Street indices have all moved negligibly.

4:33PM

New: US officials say drones and missiles were launched from Iran

 Just in: US officials say drones and missiles used in the oil facility attacks over the weekend originated in southern Iran.

Senior officials have told CBS News that Saudi air defences did not stop the attacks because they were set up to protect against attacks from the south (i.e. Yemen).

Iran has denied responsibility for the attacks.

Here’s what has happened to the oil price since the incident:

 And here’s how the jump looks in the bigger picture:

4:10PM

Supreme Court adjourns

The UK’s Supreme Court has finished hearing initial arguments over the suspension of Parliament. Over on the politics live blog, Tony Diver has taken over to cover reaction and wrap up what the court heard today:

3:41PM

AI facial scanner slammed for ‘racist’ readings

Oprah Winfrey analysed by artificial intelligence system ImageNet Roulette Credit: ImageNet Roulette

Social media fans among this blog’s readership may well have have encountered Image Net over the past couple of days.

The system promises to analyse people’s facial features, then categorise them based on that reading.

The problem? It might be racist, report Natasha Bernal and Laurence Dodds. They write:

ImageNet, a trove of 14 million images hand-labelled by humans as a training guide for AIs, has been credited with kickstarting the modern AI boom and has become a benchmark against which new image recognition systems are measured.

This week a public internet tool called ImageNet Roulette, created as part of an art exhibition, went viral on social media as hundreds of people uploaded pictures of their own faces to be classified by an AI.

Users were perturbed to find the system tagging their faces with labels including “wonk”, “loser” and “rape suspect”.

3:27PM

Economist: Keep oil price shifts in context

Simon Baptist, chief economist of the Economist Intelligence Unit, tweets:

3:05PM

Why an ageing population pushes interest rates down

Baby boomers keeping hold of their investments and spending their pension pots slowly leads to a sustained glut of savings Credit: Joe Giddens/PA

Ahead of the Bank of England’s rates meeting on Thursday, deputy economics editor Tim Wallace has taken a look at the demographic trends that are forcing central banks’ hands. He writes:

The US Federal Reserve is set to cut rates on Wednesday, the European Central Bank went deeper into negative territory last week and announced plans to restart quantitative easing, while the Bank of England is likely to hold until it knows more about Brexit. But demographics are a much bigger force pushing down rates.

Rising lifespans mean younger generations will have to save more and more to support their longer retirements, while the older baby boomers will keep a hold of their investments and only spend their pension pots slowly, leading to a sustained glut of savings.

2:45PM

Break: Saudi oil output will be back to normal in 2-3 weeks — Reuters

Citing a Saudi source, Reuters has just reported that Saudi oil output could be back to normal in two to three weeks. That has sent the price of oil crashing back down:

2:43PM

New York Fed says it will intervene to steady repo rate

John Williams, President of the Federal Reserve of New York (left) Credit: Jonathan Crosby/REUTERS

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York has said it will begin an operations to steady the overnight repurchase rate after the number increased above expectations overnight, raising the cost of buying dollars on a key US money market.

The cost of borrowing surged to an annual rate of more than 4pc overnight and is climbing higher now at around 8pc, well above the Federal Reserve’s target of 2pc to 2.25pc, with questions left unanswered as to why the jump had taken place.

2:28PM

US industrial production rebounds

US industrial production rebounded in August Credit: Logan Cyrus/Bloomberg

US industrial production bounced back in August, beating estimates to grow 0.5pc overall, up from a 0.2pc contraction in July.

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to make another interest rate cut tomorrow, but that solid result is another sign that the US economy is feeling a little mixed currently.

2:19PM

Europe down across the board

Stock indices are in the red across Europe (with the honourable exception of Switzerland), as the aftershock from the weekend’s oil attacks continues to be felt. The FTSE 100 is currently 0.1pc off, faring better than its continental peers. — including the 

2:00PM

Full report: French Connection still hanging on for a buyer

Retail correspondent Laura Onita has a full report on today’s French Connection results (see 8:36am update). She writes:

The retailer, best known for its controversial advertising slogan FCUK in the nineties, reported a 12pc slide in revenues to £51m for the first half of the year, while losses narrowed by £200,000 to £5.3m.

The sales fall came after it shut nine sites this year. It has also opened one new store in central London after it had to shut its Oxford Street shop. It has 90 outlets in total, including concessions and three YMC stores. 

1:56PM

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard: With the Middle East on a war footing after the Saudi attack, oil could hit $150 a barrel

Pigeons fly over the minaret of the al-Merah mosque in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia Credit: Amr Nabil/AP

TelegraphBusiness columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has weighed in on the Saudi situation, saying rising tensions look like a “Sarajevo” moment for the Middle East. He writes:

The score is now being settled. The Aramco attacks can be repeated – or the Iranians may go further. The National Security Agency says they have one of the five best cyber-warfare units in the world. Hackers penetrated the Aramco computer systems in 2012 and left the image of a burning American flag on the computer system.

  • You can read his full column here.

1:48PM

Full report: Apple slams EU tax demands

Apple chief executive Tim Cook at the launch of the iPhone 11 Credit: STEPHEN LAM/REUTERS

My colleagues Natasha Bernal and James Crisp have a full report on Apple’s opening statements in court as the tech titan tries to push back against a €13bn EU back-tax bill. They write:

The Silicon Valley giant has embarked on a two-day appeal to avoid paying taxes imposed by Europe’s competition watchdog in a 2016 ruling, which it claims is an attempt to “retrofit” tax laws. 

Competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager had ruled that the tax it paid on its operations in Ireland was so low that it amounted to state aid.

1:28PM

S&P Platts: Three million barrels per day of Saudi oil will be offline for a month

Analysis by S&P Platts, an offshoot of the ratings agency that monitors energy and commodity prices, has found that around half of the production cut from Saturday’s oil facility attacks will last for about a month.

Analysts said three million barrels per day would be offline, equivalent to somewhere between 2.5pc and 3pc of global supply. 

“Saudi Arabia will likely say that they can fully supply their customers, although as time goes on this may be challenging. Any indication of delays or supply tightness will lead to further price increases in the weeks/months ahead,” S&P said.

Brent is currently trading at just over $68 a barrel.

12:45PM

Downing Street: Impact of Sirius situation on tax payers must be assessed

Questioned about Sirius Minerals (currently down 52pc) at a regular Number 10 briefing, Boris Johnson’s spokesperson declined to comment on the specifics of the situation, but said:

When examining any request for financing, we need to assess the potential of any project against the need to protect tax payees money

12:34PM

Look ahead: Analysts expect return to growth for US industrial production

Coming up just at 2:15pm, we’ll be getting the latest US industrial production data from the Federal Reserve.

Analysts polled by Bloomberg are expecting the sector to return to growth of 0.2pc in August, after contracting 0.2pc in July.

As you can see, the actually figure has been far more volatile than the surveys lately, so we could be in for a surprise ahead of tomorrow’s Fed rates meeting.

12:15PM

Apple: EU €13bn tax order ‘defies reality and common sense’

A person walks by an Apple logo during a media event in San Francisco, California. Credit: JOSH EDELSON/AFP

Apple has fired back at the EU over its demand for €13bn in back taxes as part of a legal challenge. Reuters reports:

The European Union’s order for Apple (AAPL.O) to pay 13 billion euros (£11.3 billion) in back taxes to Ireland “defies reality and common sense,” the U.S. company said on Tuesday, as it launched a legal challenge against the 2016 ruling.

The iPhone maker also accused the executive European Commission of using its powers to combat state aid “to retrofit changes to national law,” in effect trying to change the international tax system and in the process creating legal uncertainty for businesses.

The EU said in 2016 that the US tech giant had be the beneficiary of illegal state aid following Irish rulings that reduced its tax burden.

The mega fine is a key test for European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who has been trying to crack down on multinationals swerving tax.

Here’s more on her: Silicon Valley’s worst nightmare? Vestager is back as EC competition chief and more powerful than ever

12:02PM

Barratt boss pockets £3.6m after £890,000 pay rise

A Barratt homes new-build site under construction in Slough  Credit: Cate Gillon/Getty Images

David Thomas, chief executive Barratt Developments — Britain’s biggest housebuilder in terms of sales — took home £3.6m in total pay last year: a rise of 30pc, or £890,000.

Chief operating officer Steven Boyes took home £2.9m, from £2.2m the year before — a 31pc increase.

Barratt’s annual report said:

It has been another year of strong results for the group. We have met, or in some cases exceeded, the financial and nonfinancial short and long term performance targets. This would not have been possible without the clear direction and leadership from the Executive Directors and Senior Management.

Earlier this month, the company disclosed full-year results, revealing a record annual profit of £910m,

11:46AM

Analyst: Quiet day could lead to ‘lacklustre’ markets

Reacting to this morning’s updates, OANDA analyst Edward Moya writes:

If we don't see any major geopolitical developments today, we could see a lacklustre moves in US equities and the currency markets.  The focus is tentatively shifting back to the Fed and markets are nervous that the sudden rise with oil prices could derail some dovish bets.  

The aftermath of the worst disruption to world oil supplies on record saw oil prices tentatively ease from their recent highs as traders try to determine the longer-term impact of the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.  The shock loss of 5%pc of global crude production has markets focused on how soon Saudi Aramco can bring back production and if we will see the US or other countries use their respective strategic reserves.  The latest update shows Saudi Aramco's initial calculation on the damages may have been to optimistic and some customers expecting early October deliveries will likely see shipments later in the month. 

Crude prices will also closely react to how Saudi Arabia and the US will retaliate with Iran.  The base case remains for a tit-for-tat response, which could mean strategic strikes, but not a full-blown military war.

11:40AM

Saudi central bank governor: We can inject liquidity if oil shocks currency

More news from Saudi Arabia: following the oil attacks over the weekend, the Kingdom’s central bank governor Ahmed Abdulkarim Alkholifey has told reporters it can inject liquidity if needed.

The drone attacks on Saudi refineries knocked out more than half the country’s entire oil output capacity, setting it up for a potentially-severe economic shock.

Mr Alkholifey said there are current no plans by the country to adjust the opegging of its currency against the dollar.

Saudi Arabia has suggested Yemini Houthis were not behind the attack, but has gone less far than its American allies in pointing the figure against regional rival Iran.

11:28AM

Exxon Mobil plans £140m investment into ethylene plant in Fife

ExxonMobil's Fife Ethylene Plant Credit: Ken Jack/Corbis News

 Exxon Mobil will put a further £140m into its ethylene plant in Fife, Scotland, as it works to upgrade infrastructure and increase operation performance.

The investment, which will take place over two years, will support 850 jobs, the company said in a statement.

Plant manager Jacob McAlister said:

These planned investments demonstrate our commitment to long-term reliable operations as the site. While already one of the most modern plants of its kind in Europe, we are always looking for ways to improve reliability and efficiency through continued maintenance and investment in new technologies.

10:56AM

How the pound has fared so far this year

With sterling still slightly down as opening arguments continue within the Supreme Court, here’s a reminder of how sterling has fared so far this year:

10:45AM

In case you want to watch the Supreme Court proceedings live...

...they can be followed via video stream here: Supreme Court Live

Live updates here: Brexit latest news: Lord Chancellor refuses to rule out second prorogation ahead of Supreme Court hearing

10:41AM

Economist: German sentiment shift ‘encouraging’

Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen has labelled those raised German outlook figures ‘encouraging’, saying:

A solid headline, probably motivated by last week’s aggressive easing announcements by the ECB. The current situation index, however, remained soft; indeed it fell further this month, to -19.9 from -13.5 in August.

Inflation and long-term rate expectations jumped across the board for all major economic regions, and short-term rate expectations also rose, though more modestly. This sentiment carried over into expectations for the major equity markets, which also improved. Overall, the rebound is encouraging, but the index is still depressed compared to its history; more is needed to convincingly call a bottom.  

Credit: Pantheon Macroeconomics

10:21AM

German economic expectations bounce back slightly, sentiment slumps to nine-year low

An employee at a blast furnace at ThyssenKrupp AG's steel plant in Duisburg Credit:  Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

The closely-watched ZEW survey of German business shows sentiment about the country’s economic situation has dropped to a nine-year low, but showed a slight bounce-back in sentiment.

The monthly assessment showed investors’ fears over Brexit and the trade war between China and the US, but suggested economic stimulus from the European Central Bank has injected some cheer.

  • Current conditions fell to –19.9, from –13.5 in August.
  • Economic sentiment rose to –22.5, from –44.1 in August.

Europe’s largest economy contracted during the second quarter, and is widely expected to shrink again during the third part of the year, leaving it in a technical recession.

Its manufacturing- and exporter-heavy economy has struggled as the global trade picture worsens,

 ZEW president Achim said the outlook increase “is by no means an all-clear concerning the development of the economy”..

10:00AM

Break: Aramco says some October oil loadings will be delayed

Just in from Bloomberg — Saudi Aramco says some October oil loadings will be delayed. This might be the first clear clue we get as to how long output capacity will be reduced for: as a reminder, sources told the Telegraph yesterday that a full recovery could take “months”.

9:57AM

Saudi oil attack: Five things to read right now

If you’re trying to get to grips with the Saudi Arabian situation, here are five articles to read right now — and some graphics to help make sense of it all.

  1. Donald Trump says it is ‘looking like’ Iran was behind Saudi Arabia oil attack
  2. William Hague: The West must unite to keep Iran under control
  3. Saudi oil attacks: Why would Iran strike now?
  4. What does the oil price surge mean for the UK economy?
  5. How you can invest in the oil price after a record price rise

 Here’s how previous shocks have impacted the price of US oil:

9:38AM

WeWork float delay — in case you missed it

Investors are growing concerned that Adam Neumann, co-founder and chief executive of We Work, may have overcooked the company's valuation Credit: Mark Lennihan/AP

A major piece of overnight news from the US was that WeWork has delayed its stock market listing amid concerns about its valuation.

9:32AM

Pound falls for a second day ahead of Brexit court clash

Sterling is falling for the second day in a row, with just under an hour to go until arguments begin in the UK’s Supreme Court on the legality of Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament.

As mentioned earlier (see 8:53am update), the actual court process will take a few days, so this might be more of a general sense of malaise than a specific anticipation of a certain result.

Justice secretary Robert Buckland evaded solid answers on the issue during appearances on Sky News and the BBC this morning, saying the Government would “abide by the ruling of the court because we respect the rule of law”, but adding it needs to see “the precise terms of the decision”.

9:20AM

Recuiter Staffline swings to an £8m loss

Staffline is one the UK’s biggest recruitment firm

Staffline Group, the UK recruitment firm, blamed “unprecedented levels of uncertainty” caused by Brexit for a slowdown in its activities as it swung to an £8m loss for the first half.

The company, which was charged in June over claims it had underpaid workers, said it expects full-year profit of £20m, about half its underlying profit last year.

It is facing further regulatory pressures from HMRC, and an independent probe into whether it has complied with minimum wage rules.

Staffline said some companies had taken on temporary staff as full-time workers to mitigate the fallout from a potential skills shortage post Brexit.

Shares in the AIM-listed firm are off about 20pc currently.

Chief executive Chris Pullen said:

The first six months of 2019 presented a number of unforeseen challenges for Staffline. The delay in the publication of the 2018 final results created uncertainty, which has been compounded by a challenging trading environment. 

9:02AM

Telegraph exclusive: Johnson and Trump’s voter data software caught in privacy row

Boris Johnson (left) and Donald Trump at the G7 summit last month Credit: ERIN SCHAFF/AFP

Speaking of Boris Johnson, our US tech reporter Laurence Dodds has a great scoop on a political campaigning tool the Prime Minister has used. Laurence writes:

A widely-used political campaigning tool employed by Boris Johnson, Donald Trump, and the SNP has been buying data on British voters from a company accused by Facebook of violating its users' privacy.

NationBuilder, a voter management system which was used by up to 200 groups in the 2017 general election, paid an American company called FullContact to scour the internet for social media accounts belonging to voters, which it then offered to its own customers.

 

8:53AM

Look ahead: Supreme Court to rule on Johnson’s prorogation plan

Boris Johnson visited Luxembourg yesterday Credit: Pool/Getty Images Europe

In case you had somehow forgotten we’re in the midst of a constitutional crisis, legal arguments will kick off today in the Supreme Court hearing over whether Boris Johnson’s suspension of Parliament was legal.

MPs and activists have brought the case to the UK’s highest legal authority, after defeats in England and Northern Ireland, a victory in Scotland, and Wales deciding it was better to let the country’s top judges decide.

Arguments will start at 10:30am, and are expected to continue for three days, so we likely won’t hear a ruling until Thursday (at the earliest).

If the prorogation is ruled unlawful, Parliament may well be recalled early — which has the potential for major political aftershocks.

Mr Johnson was humiliated in Luxembourg yesterday after the tiny country’s Prime Minister effectively empty-lecturned him. Here’s a reconstruction of what happened, by the Telegraph’s  Brussels correspondent James Crisp:

8:38AM

Sirius Minerals shares crash

Shares in Sirius Minerals have crashed following this morning’s warning that it was unable to raise the $500m it needs to continue construction at a major fertiliser mine in Yorkshire.

Shares are currently down 60pc, having fallen as much as 64pc at the beginning of trading, leaving them worth up over 4p apiece.

8:36AM

French Connection in ‘ongoing’ talks over sale as operating loss shrinks

French Connection appears to be struggling to find a buyer Credit: David Rose/Daily Telegraph

Retailer French Connection has said its strategic review, which includes discussions with outside parties over a sale, is ongoing.

In half-year results released this morning, the company said its group revenue had fallen by 12.2pc amid an ongoing reduction of its portfolio, in line with expectations.

Its operating loss shrunk £3.7m, from £5.5m the year before.

Chairman and chief executive Stephen Marks said:

There is no doubt that progress has not been helped by the trading conditions in which we operate in the UK, although our retail performance has been resilient, overall the wholesale business is strong and we continue to see good stability in the licence income. 

The order books we have provide a clear outlook for the second half of the year in wholesale but it appears that retail conditions will continue to be challenging.  Underpinned by these results we remain fully on track to achieve our expectations for the financial year.

It appears the company is still struggling to find a buyer, however. Having begun a strategic review last October that included discussions with buyers, it said today:

We initially expected this strategic review (including the formal sale process) to conclude during the first half of 2019, but as announced on 28 June, given the active ongoing discussions, we extended this process to now. We believe that further time is required to bring the process to a successful conclusion and expect the process to be concluded by the end of our current financial year.

8:23AM

FTSE flat at open

European indices have opened pretty flat, with the FTSE 100 once again benefiting from some solid lift via oil giants BP and Royal Dutch Shell.

Credit: Bloomberg TV

8:15AM

Ocado retail sales accelerates but stays near lower end of expectations

Ocado delivery vans are lined up prior to dispatch Credit:  Peter Nicholls/REUTERS

Ocado has reported an 11.4pc rise in retail sales during the latest quarter, in its first financial statement since it formed a joint venture deal with Marks & Spencer.

The online supermarket, which is increasingly billing itself as a delivery and warehousing tech firm, has said it expects growth of 10pc to 15pc during the full second half.

The company highlighted:

  • Growth in retail revenue of 11.4pc, in line with our guidance for the remainder of the year
  • Growth in average orders per week up to 12.1pc as more slots became available 
  • Average order size down 0.8pc, reflecting slightly greater frequency of purchase
  • Growth enabled by additional capacity at our fourth customer fulfilment centre in Erith

The results are the first since a major fire at the company’s Andover warehouse earlier this year, in which several of its robotic prototypes were destroyed or damaged.

Chief executive Melanie Smith said:

These first set of results from the joint venture between Ocado Group and M&S show the resilience of Ocado following the Andover fire and the momentum the business now has. As we continue to enhance our offering and add more capacity in the UK, our leading partnership will deliver the very best experience to an ever-growing number of customers.

8:06AM

Kantar: Supermarket sector returns to growth

A customer picks a bag of potatoes inside a Morrisons supermarket Credit: Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Kantar have released their latest grocery market share data, covering the 12 weeks ending September 8.

Here are the research group’s key findings:

  • The grocery market returned to growth, with value sales increasing by 0.5pc during the past 12 weeks
  • Households bought 0.9pc fewer items than last year despite speculation about stockpiling
  • Lidl gained an additional 618,000 shoppers compared with last year
  • One third of British households shopped at the Co-op, helping it to increase sales by 1.8pc

Kantar’s Fraser McKevitt said:

As we move closer to 31 October, it seems talk about stockpiling might be just that because we’re not seeing any evidence of it at the moment.  In fact, households bought 0.9pc fewer items during the past 12 weeks than they did last year...

...All summer, retailers have faced tough comparisons with last year’s heatwave and disappointing weather has made it hard for them match the highs of 2018.  The forecast for August Bank Holiday was more than welcome and shoppers made the most of it being the hottest one on record, spending £1.3 billion from Friday through to Sunday, which was marginally more than last year.

Here are how the figures look in full:

Credit: Kantar

8:00AM

Sirius Minerals teeters after cancelling bond issuance

The proposed site of Sirius’ giant potash mine in Yorkshire Credit:  John Giles/PA Wire

The future of Sirius Minerals has been thrown into doubt after it warned it could not raise the $500m it needed to jump-start the next phase of construction on a giant fertiliser mine in Yorkshire, writes Jon Yeomans. He reports:

The FTSE 250 company said it did not believe the junk bonds it needs to sell "could be issued in the current market conditions".

Last month it blamed volatility on stock markets for a delay in issuing the bonds, which were needed to unlock a $2.5bn debt package from JP Morgan that would finance the second phase of construction at the mine.

Sirius will now launch a strategic review and will slow down work at the Woodsmith mine near Whitby to conserve cash. It will terminate its credit agreement with JP Morgan while it looks for other ways to finance the mine. 

7:37AM

What happened overnight 

Oil shed some of its massive gains on Tuesday as the United States flagged the possible release of crude reserves, but the threat of military action over the attacks on Saudi oil facilities kept prices elevated and stocks under pressure.

While equity market losses have not been large, shaky investor confidence continued to support safe-haven assets, with gold edging higher on Tuesday and Treasury prices rising. Investors otherwise broadly remained on the sidelines ahead of an expected interest rate cut from the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday and the next round of US-China trade talks on Thursday.

MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was down 0.6pc. Chinese shares fell 0.85pc, while Australian shares were down 0.27pc.

In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng Index shed 1.01pc, or 274.83 points, to 26,849.72 by the break.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, slipped 1.78pc to $67.79 per barrel in Asia on Tuesday. On Monday Brent surged by 14.6pc for its biggest one-day percentage gain since at least 1988.

US West Texas Intermediate futures were down 1.92pc to $61.69 per barrel in Asia following a 14.7pc surge on Monday, the biggest one-day gain since December 2008.

7:33AM

Agenda: Oil shock still driving markets

Spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition Colonel Turki al-Maliki speaks during a press conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh, on Monday Credit: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP

Good morning. Brent crude soared as much as 20pc yesterday, hitting a high of almost $72 a barrel in the biggest one-day rise since the first Gulf War in 1991, before retreating to just under $69. 

The rise came after a devastating drone attack on Saudi Arabian production facilities over the weekend.

5 things to start your day

1) The son of JCB billionaire tycoon Lord Bamford is racing to strike a deal to salvage “Boris Bus” maker Wrightbus. Jo Bamford is in talks to rescue at least part of the Northern Irish bus builder after a rescue attempt by local businessman Darren Donnelly collapsed on Monday.

2) The world’s biggest float — the $2 trillion listing of state-owned oil titan Saudi Aramco — is under threat in the wake of attacks on the desert kingdom that triggered the biggest spike in oil prices for almost three decades. Bill Farren-Price, chief executive of the Petroleum Policy Institute, warned: “It casts a big shadow over the recent push to get the IPO away by the end of this year. I think that’s unlikely to happen now, not least because it’s become clear due to the nature of these attacks that the oil infrastructure operated by Aramco is vulnerable.”

3) Purdue Pharma faces ongoing legal challenges despite slide into bankruptcy: US lawmakers have vowed further legal action against the maker of prescription painkiller OxyContin, which filed for bankruptcy on Monday as part of an agreement to settle thousands of federal and state lawsuits for its role in the deadly opioid crisis.

4) Britain has extended its lead as the biggest centre in the world for trading foreign currencies and interest rate derivatives, defying fears that the country could lose its status due to Brexit. The country has even seized a bigger share of the euro-denominated derivatives business, now taking 86pc of all those trades, despite EU authorities arguing these must be traded within the eurozone in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

5) Two current and one former precious metals traders at JPMorgan Chasehave been charged with manipulating futures markets in what prosecutors described as a massive, multi-year conspiracyrun out of the bank. The US Justice Department said three men ripped off market participants and even clients as they illegally moved prices for gold, silver, platinum and palladium. 

Coming up today

For Ocado, which is trying to be seen as a tech company rather than simply a food delivery company, Tuesday’s third-quarter trading update will be a key check on how it has bounced back from a major fire at its Andover warehouse site.

Despite the setback, the company is predicting growth of 10pc to 15pc across the second half. “We assume growth at the bottom end of this range in 3Q but expect stronger growth in 4Q,” say Barclays analysts.

Interim results: French Connection, Staffline Group

Trading statement: Ocado

Economics: Industrial production (US)