Network Rail boss claims deal ‘within reach’ as ​​five-day strike begins – Business Live | Business

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Stocks, oil rise, while pound falls

In the market, shares are moving higher. London’s FTSE 100 rose 2.2 percent to 7,613, Germany’s Dax rose 1.4 percent, France’s CAC rose 1.3 percent and Italy’s FTSE MiB gained 1.5 percent.

Oil prices reversed earlier losses to trade higher, with global benchmark Brent crude up 33 cents, or 0.4%, to $86.23 a barrel, while U.S. light crude rose 0.5% to $80.64 a barrel.

Sterling was down 0.9 percent against the dollar at $1.1934, but was up 0.1 percent against the euro at 1.1311 euros.

Here’s our full story on Network Rail’s chief negotiator, Tim Shoveller, who claims a deal to stop rail strikes is “within reach” as drivers and workers fight off five days of national rail strikes A strike was held on the first day.

UK transport secretary denies blocking deal

UK Transport Secretary, mark harperarguing that the government is doing what it can to end rail disputes and strikes over wages, jobs and working conditions.

He denied the RMT union had accused the government of blocking deals between the union and Network Rail and the train operator. He said “fair and reasonable proposals” were on the table and rail workers needed to accept changes to working conditions.

He told BBC Radio 4’s Today program he met the RMT boss mick lynch, he said on Monday that the government was not “making a deal” but doing the opposite. Harper said:

I have tried to change the tone of the discussion, I have also ensured new and improved pay proposals are presented to the unions, and two unions have accepted Network Rail’s proposals. Disappointingly, the RMT has advised its members that they do not accept and continue to strike.

We had meetings and the Rail Minister met employers, train operators and Network Rail and unions before Christmas. We have more meetings scheduled for the next week, and we’re working very hard to facilitate a resolution of this dispute, not just sit on the sidelines.

He said the train operator had made a “fair and reasonable offer”.

What they have to do is to reform some outdated working methods through trade unions. It makes perfect sense to get rid of some outdated practices so we can get people signed up to work on Sundays and so we can provide a reliable service to rail users.

Asked whether rail companies could offer more compensation in exchange for the changes, or would they need permission from the government to do so, Harper said:

We are not going through these discussions to hammer out these reforms until the unions get off the picket line and come back to the negotiating table. But the offer made to them … has to be fair to the taxpayer.

He reiterated:

There must also be a fair and balanced offer for taxpayers. There is no bottomless pit of taxpayer money to spend on this problem. With a fair and reasonable offer on the table comparable to the kind of pay deal that people get throughout the economy, we have to do some reform of the industry.

He claimed he was “tough on both sides” when asked why he was so much tougher on unions than train operators, which have made £300m in profits during the pandemic, in recent months. The service quality of many carriers is poor.

Mark Harper in the Cabinet Office, 14 December 2022.
Mark Harper in the Cabinet Office, 14 December 2022. Photo: Tayfun Salcı/ZUMA Press Wire/REX/Shutterstock

In Financial Markets, Shore Capital Analyst peter ashworth Cautiously optimistic about this year:

2022 ends with a whimper, not the Santa Claus rally we had hoped for. Year-end reviews are frustrating. The FTSE 100 is “flat” for the year, maintaining a rally it has seen since mid-October. Markets have already priced in 9 rate hikes, 10.7% inflation (near a 40-year high) and a 0.3% GDP decline in 3Q22 through 2022.

Against this backdrop, the outlook for 2023 looks better, with interest rates peaking and inflation expected to decline. With modest valuations, we start the year with a bit more optimism. We want to keep a resolution.

Network Rail chief negotiator: Deal ‘within reach’

Tim SchoefflerThe chief negotiator for Network Rail, which maintains and operates the track, is optimistic a deal can be reached in the long-running rail dispute between the RMT and the Network Rail-led union. He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme:

What we say to the RMT is that we know what areas some of our staff and their members have misunderstood, and we want to make sure that we can now work with the RMT to clarify where there has been a misunderstanding and will address that again.

We just need the 2,000 people who voted no last night to change their votes and the deal will go through, so we think it’s within reach.

Meanwhile, RMT boss mick lynchOn the picket line at London’s Euston station this morning, he again accused the government of blocking a deal.

Investors should brace for another tumultuous year

Graeme Whedon

Graeme Whedon

Investors should brace for another turbulent financial market, economists warn, as central banks battle inflation, China reopens its economy after Covid-19 restrictions and the war in Ukraine pushes the global economy into recession Get ready for a year.

The first half of the new year could be volatile after global markets last year suffered their steepest losses since the 2008 financial crisis, according to Wall Street forecasts.

But the US S&P 500 is still on track to end 2023 slightly higher than it started the year. The average target of 22 strategists surveyed by Bloomberg is for the S&P 500 at 4,078 by the end of 2023, about 6% higher than by the end of 2022.

Economists predict the Federal Reserve will slow down its pace of rate hikes this year as the U.S. economic outlook deteriorates. U.S. inflation has eased from its peak last summer, while a series of rate hikes by the Federal Reserve in 2022 has also cooled the housing market.

“We believe a period of below-trend growth is inevitable, with recession risks high as the lagged effects of tighter monetary policy play out in the economy,” he said. brian rossSenior U.S. Economist at UBS Global Wealth Management.

Most UK train services stop running as five-day strike begins

Gwen Topham

Gwen Topham

The UK rail strike continues, with tens of thousands of rail workers on strike today as disputes over wages, jobs and working conditions remain unresolved. Our traffic reporter Gwyn Topham reports:

The first day of a five-day national rail strike has begun, shutting down much of Britain’s rail network and leaving only skeleton services for commuters on city and intercity lines.

Passengers are urged to try to travel only when necessary, with about 20 per cent of trains expected to run, with scheduled operations shortened to 7.30am to 6.30pm.

Members of Network Rail’s rail, maritime and transport unions and 14 train operators will strike twice for 48 hours, starting on Tuesday and again on Friday.

Most railways in Wales, Scotland and less populated parts of England will not run at all due to the strike by signalmen among the 40,000 RMT members, while services on major routes will normally be reduced to one train an hour.

The latest action was not immediately resolved, given the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and working conditions on the railways. The union claimed on Monday that rail companies were “desperate” with the way the government had handled the pay dispute, with the Treasury now effectively controlling the resolution that could be reached.

mick lynchThe RMT secretary-general said the government had remained “radio silent” since a meeting in mid-December.

Briefing: China factory slump intensifies; UK faces worst recession in G7, economists say

Good morning and welcome to our rolling coverage of business, financial markets and the world economy.

The new year begins with a warning from the head of the International Monetary Fund, Kristalina Georgieva, a third of the global economy will be in recession this year, and 2023 will be tougher than last year. Economists have warned that Britain faces the deepest and longest recession of any G7 country.

According to the FT’s annual survey of leading UK economists (a survey of 101 analysts), an overwhelming majority said the inflation hit from the Covid pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine would persist elsewhere in the UK For a longer period of time, the Bank of England will be forced to keep interest rates high and the government will tighten its finances. More than four in five expect the UK, which is already shrinking, to lag behind other major economies.

John Philpotan independent labor market economist, told the FT:

The 2023 recession will be worse than the economic impact of the pandemic.

In China, factory activity fell at a faster pace in December Surging Covid infections disrupted production and dampened demand after Beijing lifted most Covid restrictions, a survey showed.

The Caixin/Markit manufacturing purchasing managers’ index fell to 49 in December from 49.4 in November. For five months, the index has been below the 50-point line that divides growth from contraction. The reading was the lowest since September, but slightly better than expected. China’s larger official PMIM survey on Saturday showed a sharper contraction, with the activity index falling to its weakest level in almost three years.

In the first week of the year, we will have the minutes of the last Fed meeting (Wednesday), US jobs data on Friday, and the OPEC oil cartel meeting.

Some Asian shares rebounded from earlier losses, with Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 1.6% and the Shanghai Composite up 0.9%, while Japan was closed for a holiday. However, Australian shares fell 1.3 percent and South Korea’s Kospi fell 0.3 percent.

nam aslamThe chief market analyst at trading platform Ava Trade said:

Tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated further at the start of 2023 when missiles struck Russian military installations in occupied Ukraine, killing 63 soldiers. This is likely to provoke a more aggressive response from Russia. Overall, 2023 does not appear to start off with an easing of tensions between the two countries, and it is likely that things will actually get worse after the current events before getting better.


  • 8.55am GMT: German December unemployment rate (forecast: 15,000, 5.6%)

  • 9.30am GMT: UK S&P Global/CIPS December manufacturing PMI final (forecast: 44.7)

  • 1pm GTM: German December inflation (forecast: 9.1%)

  • 2.45pm GMT: U.S. S&P global manufacturing PMI final for December

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