LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin, the world’s first and most famous cryptocurrency, celebrates its tenth birthday on Wednesday. Its emergence has spawned a multitude of other digital currencies, brought blockchain technology to global attention, and vexed regulators worried about its crime misuse and weakness to hacking. The following are some major milestones in bitcoin’s first decade: Oct. 31, 2008 The still-unidentified Satoshi Nakamoto releases a nine-page academic paper that sets out how bitcoin would work. “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” also gives the first description of the blockchain decentralized ledger, the technology that underpins the digital currency. Jan. 3, 2009 Nakamoto mines the first “block” of bitcoins on the blockchain. Days later, Nakamoto sends bitcoins in its first ever transaction. Jan. 12, 2009 The first bitcoin transaction takes place between Nakamoto and developer Hal Finney. The transaction is recorded in block 170. Oct. 12, 2009..
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May won the backing of the most prominent Brexiteer in her government on Friday as she fought to save a draft European Union divorce deal that has stirred up a plot to force her out of her job. More than two years after the United Kingdom voted to leave the EU, it is still unclear how, on what terms or even if it will leave as planned on March 29, 2019. Just hours after announcing that her senior ministers had collectively backed her divorce deal, May was thrust into her premiership’s most perilous crisis when her Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigned on Thursday to oppose the agreement. Other mutinous MPs in her party have openly spoken of ousting her and said the Brexit deal would not pass parliament. But May, who has defiantly vowed to stay on as prime minister, got a rare boost on Friday when Michael Gove, the most prominent Brexit-supporting minister, gave his backing to her, saying he would stay on as environment minister. Asked if ..
LONDON (Reuters) - Average pay in Britain is rising at the fastest rate in nearly a decade, amid a record fall in the number of eastern European workers ahead of Brexit and business complaints about a shortage of qualified staff. Wages excluding volatile bonuses rose by an annual 3.2 percent in the three months to the end of September, the biggest increase since the final quarter of 2008, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday. But adjusted for inflation, the gains are less impressive. Pay is still lower in real terms than a decade ago, and the third-quarter rise of 0.9 percent was last higher in late 2016. Britain’s economy has lost momentum since 2016’s Brexit vote, and the pick-up in wages has not been matched by improving productivity, without which gains to living standards risk being eroded in future by higher inflation. Year-on-year growth in output per hour slowed to 0.1 percent in the third quarter from 1.4 percent the quarter before, Tuesday’s d..
OXFORD, England (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump’s former political strategist, Steve Bannon, said on Friday that the European Union was trying to thwart Brexit. Bannon, a former chairman of the right-wing Breitbart.com website and an architect of Trump’s 2016 election win, has set up a movement to elect right-wing nationalist and populist members in European Parliament elections next May. The EU’s elites, he said, did not want Brexit. “You see what’s happened. They have no intention of letting you guys leave - none. Zero,” Bannon said at the Oxford Union debating society, though he gave no evidence other than saying the EU had made the divorce negotiation difficult. “They’ve made it as hard as possible, they will continue to make it as hard as possible,” Bannon said. The United Kingdom is due to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. In the June 23, 2016 EU referendum, 17.4 million voters, or 52 percent, backed Brexit while 16.1 million, or 48 percent, backed staying in the bloc...
LONDON (Reuters) - Money markets on Friday were pricing in even less chance of a Bank of England rate rise in 2019 than on Thursday, with investors dialing back expectations of monetary tightening as Prime Minister Theresa May battles to salvage her Brexit deal. Investors now price in an 86 percent chance of a 25 basis point rake hike before 2020 BOEWATCH. That is down from a more than 90 percent chance priced in by money markets on Thursday. Markets had fully priced in a rate rise for next year before a wave of ministerial resignations on Thursday plunged May’s Brexit deal into jeopardy, sparking a sharp drop in sterling and a slide in British gilt yields.
(Reuters) - The Conservative Party’s deal with Northern Ireland’s DUP on Brexit is over unless Prime Minister Theresa May is replaced with a new leader, the Daily Telegraph reported. The DUP would vote down the withdrawal agreement in Parliament, adding that its support now “depended on who the leader of the Conservative Party is,” the newspaper reported, citing sources close to DUP leader Arlene Foster.
LONDON (Reuters) - Money markets no longer expect the Bank of England to hike interest rates in 2019, as investors slashed their bets on monetary tightening after Dominic Raab resigned on Thursday as Britain’s Brexit minister. Investors now price in a 25 basis point rate hike from the BoE in 2020, having priced out such a move for next year BOEWATCH. Money markets had previously priced in one hike - from current levels of 0.75 percent - before December 2019. Raab resigned on Thursday in protest at Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal, throwing her government into political turmoil. The re-pricing in money markets came as sterling fell sharply and British government bond yields tumbled.
LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Theresa May won the backing of her senior ministers for a draft European Union divorce deal on Wednesday, freeing her to tackle the much more perilous struggle of getting parliament to approve the agreement. More than two years after the United Kingdom voted in a referendum to leave the EU, May told reporters outside her Downing Street residence that she had won over her divided cabinet, which includes some senior Brexiteers. “The collective decision of cabinet was that the government should agree the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration,” she said, after a five-hour meeting. Speaking over protesters shouting anti-Brexit slogans from the end of Downing Street, she said the deal, 585 pages long, was the best that could be negotiated. “When you strip away the detail, the choice before us was clear: this deal, which delivers on the vote of the referendum, which brings back control of our money laws and borders, ends free mo..
LONDON (Reuters) - British inflation unexpectedly held steady in October, according to data on Wednesday that raises the prospect that the rate could return to target faster than the Bank of England expects. Consumer prices rose at an annual pace of 2.4 percent in October, the joint-lowest inflation rate since March 2017, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. A Reuters poll of economists had pointed to a reading of 2.5 percent. Food and clothing prices pushed down on inflation last month, offsetting a rise in utility bills and petrol prices, the ONS said. Sterling and British government bonds were little moved by the data. Slowing inflation would boost the spending power of British consumers, whose wages, excluding bonuses, rose at the fastest pace since 2008 in nominal terms during the three months to September. That backed up the Bank of England’s view that a long period of weak pay increases is ending, and that it will need to raise interest rates in response to keep in..
LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Charles celebrates his 70th birthday on Wednesday by attending public and private parties, while his office has released new photographs of the heir to the British throne with his close family. The Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth’s eldest son, Charles was born at Buckingham Palace on Nov. 14, 1948, four years before his now 92-year-old mother ascended to the throne following the death of her father George VI. To mark his birthday, he will attend a special tea party heralding 70 inspirational people who also turned 70 this year, before heading to a private function for friends and family hosted by the queen. As Britain’s heir apparent, Charles has waited longer than any of his predecessors to become monarch and would be the oldest king in a lineage that dates back 1,000 years. Charles has used his position to campaign on issues including climate change, architecture and farming, often raising prescient concerns about the environment, his supporters say...