Traders are making record bets against the euro, underlining the mounting alarm over the region's debt crisis.
Market players have staked almost £5bn on declines in the value of the currency, the largest ‘short position' since it was launched, the Daily Mail reports.
European governments have been drawing up plans for a possible bail-out of Greece, amid fears it could be spiralling towards debt default.
Fears over public finances are also spreading to other countries where speculators believe the states will fail to honour agreements with lenders.
More than 40,000 deals have been made betting against the single currency, according to analysis of figures from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Read more...
HIGH STREET SALES in January were the worst since records began 15 years ago, sparking fresh fears Britain may already be succumbing to a "double-dip" recession, the Telegraph reports.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) attributes last month's sudden and unexpected collapse in retail sales to the VAT increase coupled with extraordinary weather conditions, the Telegraph reports.
The BRC sales monitor registered a 0.7% drop in like-for-like sales last month, compared with a year before - the steepest January fall since the survey began in 1995, and in stark contrast to economists' expectations of an increase of 0.5%. Read more...
THE TREASURY needs new powers to force banks to improve the flow of finance to businesses, according to a Whitehall report published today, the Scotsman reports.
The committee of public accounts say the banks' poor performance has triggered "widespread dismay".
RBS and Lloyds Banking Group have faced the harshest criticism for not meeting "legally binding" targets on business lending, including an additional £39bn to homeowners and businesses in the year to February 2010. Read more...
MARRIED British couples on modest incomes pay a third more in tax than their counterparts in other countries, a report suggests today, the Daily Mail reports.
The proportion taken from middle-income families has more than doubled in 40 years, despite having stayed the same for single people, says the report, from the Christian social policy charity CARE. Read more...
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