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British house prices fell for a second straight month in December, taking the annual rate of inflation down to its lowest since May 2006, a survey showed on Friday, in further evidence of a housing market slowdown.
Bad news for financial markets isn't over yet and joint central bank action to ease the credit crunch may not be enough to stop a big slowdown in the world economy, Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said on Tuesday.
Britain's inflation rate held steady in November, wrongfooting analysts who had forecast a rise and giving the Bank of England more scope to cut interest rates should the economy weaken sharply.
British insurance company Norwich Union was fined 1.26 million pounds (1.76 million euros; $2.54 million) on Monday for a data-protection failure that allowed criminals to cash dozens of policies held by customers.
The UK labour market continues to look very healthy, with the claimant count falling for the fourteenth consecutive to take both the level and the rate to their lowest levels since 1975, official figures showed.
Emap, the publisher of magazines such as FHM and Heat, said Friday it agreed to sell its consumer media and radio units to Heinrich Bauer Verlag for 1.14 billion pounds (1.58 billion euros; $2.3 billion) and will return most of the proceeds to shareholders.
J Sainsbury and Asda, Wal-Mart's British supermarket unit, have admitted joining with other companies in fixing the price of dairy products in Britain, the Office of Fair Trading said Friday.
Britain would prefer a private sale of Northern Rock, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said on Wednesday, as officials played down a report that the government could nationalize the battered mortgage lender.
House prices in Britain fell for a third month running in November, according to the country's biggest mortgage lender, in a sign that the once red-hot property market is cooling fast.
The British Retail Consortium said the value of sales last month rose 1.2 percent on the year. This followed a 1.0 percent gain in October.
European Union regulators said Thursday they will investigate whether British telecoms company BT Group is getting unfair financial help from the British government because its state guarantee exempts it from normal company pension rules.
Compass Group, the world's largest catering company, said Wednesday that its full-year profit rose 81 percent as it focused on its core businesses and cut costs.
Diehard retail investors in Northern Rock would be asked to invest about 770 pounds ($1,600) in the company if a proposed Richard Branson-led rescue of the stricken mortgage bank proceeds.
HSBC Holdings, Europe's biggest bank, has stepped in to support its two structured investment vehicles -- Cullinan and Asscher -- with funding of up to $35 billion to prevent forced sales of assets.
British Airways will not exercise its option to increase its stake in Spain's Iberia it said on Monday, possibly ending its 3.4 billion euro ($5.05 billion) pursuit for the airline with private equity group TPG.
Britain's government unveiled plans to build a third runway at London's Heathrow airport, one of the busiest in the world, to increase its capacity.
U.S. buyout firm JC Flowers has submitted an offer for stricken British bank Northern Rock that would include an offer to its shareholders at a "nominal value," a person familiar with the situation said.
Shares in mortgage lender Paragon Group plummeted 46 percent in early trading Tuesday after it disclosed that it was having difficulties in securing new financing because of the impact of the subprime lending crisis in the United States.
A big fire at a warehouse sent out a pall of black smoke over east London on Monday, but there were no reports of casualties and police said there was nothing to suggest it was anything more than a fire.
British bank Barclays categorically denied rumors it was about to announce a $10 billion writedown and see its top management quit, after such market talk sent its shares tumbling over 9 percent.