Pound hits three week high against dollar on rate hike talk – business live

Sterling higher ahead of this week’s inflation data and prime minister’s Brexit tour

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s UK inflation figures, and the rising cost of living puts more pressure on real wage growth. Jack Coy, an economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, said:

On Tuesday, ONS data are expected to show that Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation increased to 2.1% in February, a fourth consecutive monthly rise. With upward pressure from the weak pound and higher global oil prices than a year ago, inflation is showing no signs of plateauing. Such a rise would bring inflation just below nominal wage growth. Real wages are now growing negligibly and may begin to shrink in the coming months.

Vodafone has agreed a long awaited move to merge its Indian operations with those of Idea Cellular.

The move will create the country’s biggest telecoms operator, and comes after new entrant Reliance sparked increased competition and a price war. Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said:

Vodafone’s decision to combine its Indian unit with Idea will create the largest mobile operator in India, with around 400 million customers. That makes it four times the size of Reliance Jio, the challenger operator that has upset rivals by offering free data for the last six months.

A sensible move by Vodafone as it just doesn’t have the appetite to fight a long and bitter price war on its own…

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