City news: FTSE, Sports Direct and CBI

City News: FTSE, Sports Direct And CBIGETTY

Plunging oil prices had a major impact on markets in 2015

Alastair George, chief strategist at Edison Investment Research, said 2015 was “a difficult year for investors” and warned this year may not be much better.

But analysts at Killik & Co forecast the FTSE will rise to 6750 by the end of this year, lifted by a moderate pick-up in global growth, especially in Europe and Japan.

Plunging oil prices had a major impact on markets in 2015 and will continue to do so if Brent crude prices languish near 11-year lows.

China’s downturn also saw a number of firms on its stock market slump 45% since the start of the year, as the second biggest economy in the world was forced to devalue its currency several times due to slowing growth.

But there will be some winners in 2016.

Hargreaves Lansdown is backing insurer Prudential to make gains as its three core markets are healthy – middle class savers in Asia, the large US baby boomer generation and an ageing UK population.

Housebuilders in 2016 may also continue the good run they enjoyed last year, supported by record low mortgage rates and favourable government policy.

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Sports Direct store - City News: FTSE, Sports Direct And CBIGETTY

Sports Direct International has pledged to pay its employees above the national minimum wage

Sports Direct wage vow

UNDER-FIRE retailer Sports Direct International has pledged to pay its employees above the national minimum wage from January 1, a move which will cost it £10million.

The group, controlled by Newcastle United FC owner Mike Ashley, said it will apply to casual workers as well as its directly employed staff.

It comes after the company faced allegations about low wages plus claims it forces unpaid 15-minute searches of staff as they leave, while also docking wages for clocking in just one minute late.

Tesco 'low prices' sign - City News: FTSE, Sports Direct And CBIGETTY

Supermarkets will face particular pressure due to an ongoing price war

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Stores’ price pressure

CONSUMERS have little to complain about after a year of discounting, but the story is less positive for retailers.

Prices have fallen over the past 12 months, but customers are pocketing the benefits rather than spending on more items, according to analysts Kantar Worldpanel, equating to £1.5billion taken out of the market in the past year.

The CBI said retailers were expecting 2016 to start in “much the same vein”, with supermarkets coming under particular pressure due to an ongoing price war.

City News: FTSE, Sports Direct And CBI
City News: FTSE, Sports Direct And CBI
City News: FTSE, Sports Direct And CBI
City News: FTSE, Sports Direct And CBI

City News: FTSE, Sports Direct And CBI