Biden advisers fear Trump will return to Twitter before next election - live updates

Twitter - REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
Twitter - REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo  
  • Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44bn

  • Social media site locks down changes in effort to stop rogue staff actions

  • What Musk plans to do to Twitter - and whether it will work

  • FTSE 100 rises as stocks bounce back from China sell-off

  • Ben Wright: Get ready for a row over the Bank of England's mandate

  • Sign up here for our daily business briefing newsletter

US democrats are reportedly concerned that Donald Trump will soon return to Twitter following Elon Musk's $44bn takeover.

The social media giant has blocked its junior staff from making changes to its website, amid reports the atmosphere at the social media giant is "absolutely insane".

Tweaks to the platform code will need approval from senior staff, according to reports, as the buyout by the world's richest man sent some staff into despair.

"I feel like I'm going to throw up," one staff member told the New York Times, adding "I hate [Musk], why does he even want this?".

02:54 PM

Tesla shares tumble after Twitter takeover

Tesla is the biggest fallen on the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq today after boss Elon Musk's Twitter takeover.

The world's richest man will make up about $12.5bn of the $44bn with money backed by pledging some of his Twitter stock.

02:29 PM

Spain's richest man buys Glasgow office for £200m

Spain's richest man has dropped £200m on a commercial building in Glasgow, expanding his portfolio of European real estate investments.

Amancio Ortega, who runs Zara-owner Inditex, bought the site at 177 Bothwell Street, home to BNP Paribas, Virgin Money and Aecom.

The site has a rooftop terrace and more than 300 spaces for bicycles.

02:07 PM

Brussels: Musk has to comply with our digital rules

Thierry Breton - JOHANNA GERON/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Thierry Breton - JOHANNA GERON/POOL/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock  

Brussels has fired a shot across Elon Musk's bows, warning the the proud new owner of Twitter that he will need to comply with EU content rules or face hefty fines.

The Financial Times reports:

02:03 PM

Tech stocks fall sharply at open in US

Wall Street day trading has been running for about half an hour, and it's pretty ugly at the moment. The benchmark S&P 500 is off about 1pc, despite a rally in Europe:

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down about 2.2pc:

01:43 PM

Biden officials worried Trump will return to Twitter - CNBC

Joe Biden - Marcin Obara/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Joe Biden - Marcin Obara/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock  

Senior Democrat officials and strategists are concerned that Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter is paving the way for the return of Donald Trump, CNBC reports.

The US broadcaster says:

It's arguably something of an odd fear given Biden comfortably beat Trump back in 2020 despite the Republican candidate having access to Twitter then.

01:29 PM

World Bank: Commodity prices will stay high until 2024

Grim news on the inflation front: Soaring food and energy prices, pushed even higher by the war in Ukraine, could remain elevated until the end of 2024, the World Bank has warned.

Bloomberg reports:

12:56 PM

Lefties lash out as Musk gets Twitter

Elon Musk - BRITTA PEDERSEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images
Elon Musk - BRITTA PEDERSEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images  

Left-wing celebrities and activists have expressed their horror over Elon Musk's takeover of Twitter, claiming his commitment to free speech will trigger an outpouring of "bigotry and misogyny".

My colleague Helen Cahill reports:

  • Read more: Left-wing celebrities shun Twitter after Elon Musk takeover

12:33 PM

PM spokesperson: Twitter must remain 'responsible'

Downing Street has joined in with the Twitter takeover fallout, saying the social media giant must remain "responsible" and shield users from "harm" under its new ownership.

Via PA:

"Regardless of ownership, all social media platforms must be responsible," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

They added that deciding whether to re-activate Donald Trump's account was "entirely a matter for Twitter".

11:55 AM

FTSE holds steady gain

We're well past the halfway point of the trading session, and the FTSE 100 is holding solidly in the green, up around 0.8pc at present. It's something of a rebound from yesterday's fall, but HSBC is still adding a fair amount of drag.

11:40 AM

IWG falls on costs warning

Office space provider IWG is the biggest faller on the FTSE 250 today, down 5.3pc after having dropped as much as 9.2pc earlier.

The company, which operates the Regus brand, warned on inflation in an update this morning, saying:

The company added it will:

11:22 AM

Murdoch's TalkTV beats rival on launch night

Rupert Murdoch's TalkTV beat the BBC, Sky News and GB News on launch night after 400,000 people tuned in for Piers Morgan's fractious interview with Donald Trump.

My colleague Ben Woods reports:

  • Read more: TalkTV trumps rivals as 400,000 tune in for Piers Morgan Uncensored

10:53 AM

National Express shares jump as revenue returns to pre-pandemic levels

National Express - JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images
National Express - JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images  

Shares in National Express are up more than 11pc at present, with the coach operator popping higher after analysts praised a rebound in revenues.

The group said revenue was back at 2019 levels, following a 30pc increase on last year's levels. March's revenues were higher than the same month before the pandemic began.

National Express reiterated confidence in its guidance, for overall income this year to match 2019 levels.

10:46 AM

Dogecoin jumps after Twitter takeover

Dogecoin, the meme-based crypto token previously endorsed by Elon Musk, has popped after the Tesla founder's takeover of Twitter.

It's the top-performing crypto asset today according to Coinbase, stood 29pc higher at time of going to pixel.


10:34 AM

MPs: Trade secretary 'running scared' of trade deal scrutiny

MPs have accused trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan of running scared of scrutiny after she refused to commit to allowing a select committee to complete its scrutiny of the UK/Australia trade deal before it is presented to the Commons.

In a letter to the International Trade Committee, Trevelyan refused to commit to giving the cross-bench group time to publish the findings of its enquiry into the pact ahead of its tabling.

She wrote:

In December, she had said "we wish to ensure that there is sufficient time for the relevant Select Committees to produce reports".

The ITC said "rowing back on this commitment is a severe discourtesy to Parliament".

They added:

Its chair, Angus Brendan McNeil, said:

Trevelyan will appear before the Committee tomorrow at 10am.

10:22 AM

Meanwhile, Twitter staff are taking things well

A New York Times reporter tweets…

10:18 AM

Will Elon Musk's plans for Twitter work?

Elon Musk has described himself as a "free-speech absolutist", and protested when former United States president Donald Trump was banned from the site.

So what will his plans for the platform look like? My colleague Laura Onita has been taking a look.

She writes:

  • Read more: What Elon Musk plans to do to Twitter - and whether it will work

09:56 AM

Walgreens sets mid-May deadline for Boots bids - Sky

The owner of Boots has set a mid-May deadline for bids to take over the high street chemist, Sky News reports.

The broadcaster says:

09:30 AM

HSBC shares knocked as cash pile dwindles


The biggest drag on the FTSE 100 today is coming from HSBC, after the bank warned further share buybacks look "unlikely" following an unexpected decline in its financial buffers.

The lender's adjusted pretax profit fell 25pc compared with a year ago, but this decline was actually smaller than analysts feared.

More significantly, its CET1 capital ratio - the proportion of comparatively liquid holdings including cash and stocks that it holds - fell to 14.1pc, from 15.8pc at the end of 2021. Jefferies analysts Joseph Dickerson said this level was "far below expectations".

HSBC's target for this measure is 14pc to 14.5pc, so it's unlikely to dip into the CET1 cash pile to buy back more shares.

09:09 AM

Taylor Wimpey: Hot housing market will offset inflation hit

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey is leading FTSE 100 risers today, after a confident update this morning.

The group says sales in the first quarter of this year were in line with the same period in 2021, despite the stamp duty holiday that was in place then.

It said the resent increase in interest rates "has not impacted customer appetite", adding:

Asking prices for UK homes hit a record high in April, according to data released by Rightmove on Monday. There's a severe shortage of homes coming onto the market, on top of Britain's long-standing housing shortage.

08:57 AM

Money round-up

Here are some of the day's top stories from the Telegraph Money team:

  • Retirees owed £1bn in state pension payments being 'cut off' by government call centres: Pensioners worried they have been underpaid their state pension are being turned away by government call centres, according to MPs.

  • Bank branch and cash machines closures leave seven constituencies as 'cash deserts': More than half a million people have been left with no access to bank services after half of Britain's branches and nearly a quarter of free-to-use cash machines closed.

  • Fines waived for a million families caught up in HMRC trust clampdown: The taxman will waive fines for a million families who unwittingly faced being caught up in a clampdown on trusts.

08:38 AM

Upcoming hearings on Aussie deal and competition reform

If you like your talk radio to have an interrogative, discursive, policy-y bent, then there are two hearings in Parliament today that may be of interest:

  • At 10am, MPs on the International Trade Committee will hearing from witnesses over the impacts of the UK/Australia trade deal. First up, Trade and Agriculture Commission head Lorand Bartels will talk about his panel's report into the deal. Then, from 11am, food and drink sector representatives will be up to talk about standards and competition. Link.

  • At 10:30am, former competition watchdog chair Lord Andrew Tyrie will be answering questions from the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee about the Government's planned post-Brexit changes to the UK's competition and consumer policy regime. At 11:30am, business minister Paul Scully will enter the hotseat alongside a couple of senior civil servants. Link.

08:20 AM

Pound falls for fourth day running

The pound is falling against the dollar for the fourth day running in the wake of this morning's public sector net borrowing figures.

Most of the move is likely coming from the dollar side, with the US currency strengthening over recent days as inflation fears rattle markets and investors brace for the Federal Reserve to crank up interest rates in the coming months.

08:12 AM

Primark-owner ABF stumbles on margin warning

Associated British Foods, the owner of Primark, is leading fallers on the FTSE 100 today after warning the discount clothing store will begin raising some prices and disappointing analysts with its margin outlook.

George Weston, its chief executive, said:

Jefferies analyst James Grzinic said ABF's first-half results were in line with expectations, but said its second half outlook was "unsurprisingly circumspect".

Shares fell as much as 7.4pc, and are now about 4.2pc lower.

07:49 AM

Maersk: Profits to climb 25pc as container market stays hot

Maersk - Mario Tama/Getty Images
Maersk - Mario Tama/Getty Images  

Maersk, one of the world's biggest shipping companies, has said it expects operating profits to rise 25pc over its current financial year as container prices remain elevated.

The Denmark-headquartered group said lower overall trading volumes (which disrupt global supply chains) are pushing container prices to remain higher for longer.

It forecasts a 2022 underlying profit of $30bn, up from the $24bn predicted back in February.

The group's shares rose 9pc in Copenhagen, but it's still down about 16pc this year, having doubled in price across 2020 and 2021.

07:38 AM

FTSE rises at open

The FTSE 100 has cooled slightly after a solid start, but is still up 0.6pc at present to claw back some of the ground lost during yesterday's sell-off. London's blue-chips are mildly outperforming the European benchmark.

07:33 AM

Food inflation could cost households £271 per year

Back in the real world, the latest UK supermarket data from Kantar comes with a nasty inflation warning. The analytics company is warning grocery price inflation reached 5.9pc in April, the highest since 2011 - potentially costing the average household £271 a year.

Kantar adds supermarket sales rose 5.9pc over the past 12 weeks, in a sign price increases may be prompting shoppers to tighten their belts.

Fraser McKevitt, its head of retail and consumer insight, says:

Kantar noted a boom in demand for vegetable oil as the sector faces what can perhaps be called an omnicrisis, with supplies of sunflower, rapeseed, soybean and palm oil all currently under pressure. From McKevitt:

Aldi was the fastest growing retailer during the period, with sales up 4.2pc, followed by Lidl at 4pc.

07:24 AM

Amazon's Bezos muses on China influence over Twitter

The world's second-richest man, Jeff Bezos (net worth $170.3bn), has waded in on the spending of richest man, Elon Musk (net worth $257.3bn). Bezos, boss of Amazon, is wondering whether the close relationship Musk's electric car purveyor/crypto investor Tesla may give Beijing some influence over Twitter.

The verdict from Bezos (who, as owner of the Washington Post newspaper, has somewhat of a stake in the free speech sphere): no, probably.

07:01 AM

Founder Dorsey: Saving Twitter from Wall Street is 'correct first step'

Jack Dorsey, Twitter's founder, has had an on-off relationship with the social media app he launched back in 2006. But he seems pretty positive about Elon Musk's takeover, in a string of tweets (what else?) this morning that begin with a reference to the opening track from Radiohead's second-best album:

06:58 AM

Twitter pauses product changes

Here's more detail on Twitter locking down changes to its platform, in an effort to see off any attempts at rogue action by its staff (courtesy of Bloomberg, which is citing sources):

06:55 AM

Agenda: Twitter in lockdown

Good morning. Twitter has locked down changes to its website in an effort to stop unhappy staff 'going rogue' and making unauthorised changes in the wake of Elon Musk's $44bn takeover.

Elsewhere, public sector net borrowing came in under forecast in March, with £18.1bn added to the debt pile.

5 things to start your day

1) Can Elon Musk save Twitter from liberal narcissism? Billionaire entrepreneur faces battle to broaden site's appeal beyond its elite metropolitan audience

2) Climate campaigners urge Michael Gove to scrap coal mine If approved, the Cumbria project would be the first new colliery in decades

3) 'No evidence' of sustained hit to UK exports to EU since Brexit trade deal Sales into Europe remained strong, experts find

4) Rupert Murdoch's TalkTV braces for potential advertising boycott The channel is wary of facing similar backlash that struck GB News following pressure from Left-wing campaign group

5) Jacob Rees-Mogg warns over 'huge cost' of net zero drive Climate targets will hold back plans for a bonfire of red tape, says Brexit Opportunities Minister

What happened overnight

Asian markets were mixed on Tuesday as investors scrabbled to recover from the Monday's rout. Hong Kong and Shanghai edged up but made only small dents in the massive losses suffered the day before. Tokyo, Seoul and Jakarta also ticked higher, though Sydney, Singapore, Wellington, Taipei and Manila fell.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: Puretech Health (full-year results); Associated British Foods, Elementis, Hochschild Mining, HSBC (interims); IWG, Jupiter Fund Management, National Express, Taylor Wimpey (trading update)

  • Economics: Public sector net borrowing (UK), durable goods orders (US), non-defence capital goods orders (US), house price index (US), consumer confidence (US), new home sales (US)


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