SPECIAL EDITIONS of the national newspapers are likely to have been produced in the early hours of t...
SPECIAL EDITIONS of the national newspapers are likely to have been produced in the early hours of this morning, as news spread that the war with Iraq had begun.
That said, the main story today concerns mortgages, as providers are beginning to withdraw some of the cheaper loans and products.
The FT says MORTGAGE PROVIDERS - such as the Woolwich, Coventry, National Counties and Lambeth Building societies - have been forced to remove some products from the market because of rising money market rates.
Swap rates, and the two-year swap rate in particular, have climbed significantly over the last week and the two-year rate has gained 0.35% to 3.85%, forcing Woolwich to withdraw its two-year fixed-rate 3.59% deal and the five-year fixed-rate 4.24% offer.
A SECOND report in the FT says there is relief for BMW workers and pension scheme members as the final salary scheme is now likely to stay.
To protect the fund from further falls, the assets of the fund have been switched from equities to bonds, placing 80% in bonds and switching wholesale in 2000.
OFFICIALS in Washington and Tokyo have also agreed a joint plan to intervene in currency and stock markets if the war in Iraq sparks a global financial crisis, according to the Telegraph.
Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and Japan's former finance minister Haruhiko Kuroda will both take actions if investor panic seems to spiral, in the hope it will better protect the currencies.
Further falls on the Japanese stock market - which has recently hit 20-year lows - could push the dollar down further and increase pressure of Japanese exports.
THE MINIMUM WAGE is likely to increase to £4.85 over the next years, Patricia Hewitt yesterday declared, after revealing the minimum wage will first increase to £4.50 per hour.
News in the Daily Telegraph says the increase could make Britain's minimum wage among the highest in the world, although the highest hourly wage is £4.82 in the Netherlands.
GORDON BROWN is also likely to have to increase government borrowing over the coming months to cover the liabilities now arising across the public sector and with the continuing economic decline, continues the FT.
According to a comparison of forecasts by independent economists published by the Treasury, government borrowing would have to rise to 28.1bn in 2003-04, increasing to £31.3bn in 2004-05.
This is substantially higher than the £24bn proposed in November, which is supposed to reduce to £19bn in 2004-05.
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