UK consumers worry as weaker pound raises prices
British consumers turned less optimistic this month as sterling's slump began to eat into their disposable income, according to two surveys on Friday which will raise concerns about the strength of future spending growth. Britain's economy has performed better than most forecasts since June's referendum decision to leave the European Union, in large part thanks to strong consumer spending. Market research firm GfK said sentiment fell for the first time since the immediate shock of the Brexit vote.
UN says IS killed at least 232 people near Mosul last week
Islamic State group fighters slaughtered at least 232 people in and around Mosul last week as Iraqi troops advanced on the city, the UN rights office said Friday. Of these there were 190 former Iraqi Security Forces officers," rights office spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva. Shamdasani said the execution-style killings came as IS was pushing forward with its strategy of forcing people living near the northern Iraqi city into Mosul, the group's last bastion in Iraq.
South Africa's Zuma asks court to postpone Gupta report hearing
South African President Jacob Zuma has asked a court to postpone a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, when his application to delay the release of a report over allegations of political influence by his wealthy friends was due to be heard. Presidency spokesman Bongani Ngqulunga said Zuma's lawyers wrote to the court on Thursday saying he wanted the investigation to be re-opened so that he could question witnesses himself and give evidence. Brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, who are close friends of Zuma and run businesses ranging from media to mining, are the subject of the report by the then Public Protector on allegations that they influenced the appointment of ministers.
Syrian rebels launch Aleppo counter attack
By Ellen Francis and Angus McDowall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebels began a counter-attack in Aleppo on Friday with heavy shelling of government-held areas after a weeks-long Russian-backed offensive against besieged districts held by insurgents, rebels said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based group that reports on the war, also said that insurgents had set off several suicide car bombs on the western edge of Aleppo. The rebel-held eastern districts of Aleppo have been subjected to a fierce bombardment since the army declared an offensive to capture the area last month.
British Airways owner cuts profit forecast on pound slump
The parent group of British Airways on Friday lowered its annual earnings forecast for a second time since Britain voted for Brexit, blaming the downgrade mainly on a plunging pound. It follows a similar profits downgrade earlier this month from Irish no-frills airline Ryanair, highlighting the impact of Britain's sliding currency on companies that report in euros. International Airlines Group, owner of BA and Spanish carrier Iberia, said it expects full-year operating profit of 2.5 billion euros ($2.7 billion), or 7.0 percent higher compared with 2015.
Consumers, exports may buoy U.S. third-quarter GDP growth
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. economic growth likely accelerated in the third quarter as consumers maintained a strong pace of spending and exports surged, potentially keeping the Federal Reserve on track to raise interest rates in December. In addition to support from consumer spending and exports, the economy is also expected to have received a boost from a rebound in mining activity and inventory investment. "As long as you have consumer spending, some stabilization of capital spending, trade kicking in and inventories switching from being a significant drag, that balanced composition will make us confident that things are moving in the right direction," said Anthony Karydakis, chief economic strategist at Miller Tabak in New York.
Hong Kong regulators probe UBS on initial public offeringsHONG KONG (AP) ? Swiss bank UBS said Friday that Hong Kong regulators are investigating its work on some initial public offerings on the southern Chinese financial center's stock market.
Global shares trend lower, dollar gains ahead of US GDP data
TOKYO (AP) ? Global shares were mostly lower and the dollar made further gains Friday ahead of a report on U.S. growth in July-September. A weaker yen pushed Japan's Nikkei 225 index higher, as shares in exporters advanced.
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