FTSE 100 ends 2015 among world’s worst performing markets

London investors miss out on returns enjoyed by rival stock markets in Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai The FTSE 100 closed 5% down on the year, having hit a record high of 7,103.98 in April Photograph: Yui Mok/PA City investors are nursing losses after the FTSE 100 ended the year as one of the worst performers among global stock markets. ... Read More »

Facebook fights for free Internet in India, global test-case

Motorists ride past a billboard displaying Facebook’s Free Basics initiative in Mumbai, India, December 30, 2015. REUTERS/DANISH SIDDIQUI India has become a battleground over the right to unrestricted Internet access, with local tech start-ups joining the front line against Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg and his plan to roll out free Internet to the country’s masses. The Indian government has ... Read More »

China manufacturing shrinks again but stimulus gives boost to house prices

Despite a slight improvement in factory activity in December, the sector is still contracting as South Korea blames China for 12th straight drop in exports Trucks drive through a container depot at at Qingdao in eastern China’s Shandong province. China is heading for its weakest growth for 25 years. Photograph: AP Agence France-Presse China’s mighty manufacturing sector continued to shrink ... Read More »

Whole Foods pays $500,000 to settle overcharging probe

Upmarket US grocery chain Whole Foods has agreed to pay $500,000 (£338,000) to settle accusations by New York authorities that it routinely overcharged customers. The city’s Department for Consumer Affairs (DCA) said the firm had to meet standards on weighing and labelling. The deal means customers “are better protected from overcharging”, it said. Whole Foods admitted to making mistakes but ... Read More »

The little company that hit the Star Wars jackpot

HE’S not just the biggest star from The Force Awakens — BB-8 has rocketed one small company to a galaxy far, far away. Christmas shoppers would no doubt have seen the toy version of the adorable soccer ball-shaped droid on shelves in every electronics store around the country. At $249, he’s not cheap, but BB-8 is proving to be one ... Read More »

Wall Street rises as oil price edges higher

Wall Street closed sharply higher on Tuesday as oil prices recovered from Monday’s falls and big technology stocks made strong gains. The Dow Jones index was up 190.07 points, or 1.1%, at 17,718.34. The widerS&P 500 was also 1.1% higher, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.3%. Both Brent and US light crude were up $1.18, or 3.2%, a barrel. Following ... Read More »

Spain and Italy receive economic recovery boost

Spain’s shops hope the economic recovery will drive strong Christmas business Spanish shops are now hiring at pre-crisis levels, while business confidence is also holding up in Italy, according to official figures. Spain’s national statistics agency said retail hiring in November grew 1.8% on last year, the fastest rate since Spain entered a deep recession in 2008. In Italy, figures ... Read More »

Spotify hit with $206 million copyright suit

AN ARTIST has filed a $US150 million ($206 million) lawsuit against Spotify, alleging that the leader of the streaming sector has knowingly reproduced copyrighted songs. David Lowery, best known for leading alternative rock bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven, asked a US judge to allow a class-action suit on behalf of “hundreds of thousands” of potential plaintiffs he believes were ... Read More »

Barclays fined $13.75m by US regulators

Image copyrightPA Barclays investment bank is to pay more than $13.75m (£9.3m) over accusations it let US customers make unsuitable mutual fund deals over five years. The US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) said Barclays Capital will pay more than $10m in compensation to the customers affected. The bank will also pay a fine of $3.75m. Barclays has not admitted ... Read More »

Brazil’s deficit jumps sharply as recession bites

Brazilian consumers face tough choices in the midst of a deep recession Brazil’s deficit jumped in November to one of the highest levels on record as state finances came under increasing strain amid a deep recession. The public sector deficit – the difference between what the government spends and what it receives in revenues – rose to 19.6bn reais ($5.1bn). ... Read More »