Ah yes, record breakers.
These’ll get into the next Guiness Book of World Records:
Oil has traded at $100 a barrel for the first time.
Violence in Nigeria, Algeria and Pakistan, the weak US dollar and the threat of cold weather have all raised prices after the new year break.
Light sweet crude rose $4.02 to $100 a barrel in New York, prompting a drop in shares and a surge in gold prices.
There are concerns that the high price of oil will stoke inflation at a time when many central banks are trying to cut interest rates to stimulate growth.
US shares had already been hit on Wednesday by figures showing that the manufacturing sector was contracting.
The price of gold has soared to an all-time high of $855.10 an ounce driven by the weak dollar, rising oil prices and geopolitical concerns.
Gold, which becomes cheaper for holders of other currencies when the dollar weakens, is seen as a haven in times of uncertainty and oil-led inflation.
Other metals prices have also risen, with platinum also at a record high.
Gold prices rose more than 30% last year.
As for New Labour’s popularity with the British business class:
Business has substantially more faith in the economic competence of the Tories than Labour, after a sharp drop in confidence in the government during 2007, a poll published on Thursday suggests. Three-quarters of businesses said their confidence in the government’s ability to manage the economy fell last year, with only 3 per cent reporting an increase, a British Chambers of Commerce survey of 345 companies found.
The poll suggested widespread pessimism about the year ahead, with three-quarters expecting both the British and world economies to fare worse in 2008 than last year.
Asked whom they would trust most to deal with economic problems, fewer than one in five, 19 per cent, opted for Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling. More than twice as many, 41 per cent, backed David Cameron and George Osborne, although 30 per cent opted for neither of the duos.
Yes, the article does go on to say that Dave the Chameleon isn’t a dead cert to win the next election for the Tories…
The survey suggests Mr Cameron has “some way to go” to exploit this loss of confidence in Mr Brown and win back the traditional business support for the Tories, Mr Frost said.
He cited the fact that almost a third of respondents trusted neither of the two main parties on the economy as evidence of residual scepticism about the Conservatives.