InvestmentsMay 2 2013

Morning papers: Fed presses ahead with bond buys

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ByEleanor Lawrie

The Federal Reserve said it would press forward with an $85bn-a-month (£54.6bn) bond-buying program and hinted it might even dial it up if the job market or inflation figures fail to meet the Fed’s expectations, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The Wednesday pronouncement after a two-day policy meeting marked a shift in the US central bank’s public tone.

In March, with US labor markets apparently on the mend, central-bank officials started discussing how and when they might begin pulling back the bond programs. But the Fed, in a statement released after Wednesday’s meeting, evinced no sign it is leaning toward pulling back.

Shell chief executive Peter Voser to leave in surprise move

Peter Voser is to step down as chief executive of Royal Dutch Shell next year after four years in the post, in a surprise move that could herald a period of uncertainty at the Anglo-Dutch oil major, reports the Financial Times.

The announcement was made as Shell unveiled first-quarter profit of $7.5bn, a 3 per cent increase on a year ago.

Interest-only homeowners ‘face debt timebomb’

More than a million homeowners with interest-only loans face vast debts at the end of their mortgage term unless they take action now, the new consumer watchdog has warned. Some borrowers face shortfalls as early as 2017 and may have to sell their homes as a result, reports The Times.

Over the next two decades the mortgages of 2.6m interest-only borrowers will mature, but half “may not have enough money to pay off the loan”, the newly created Financial Conduct Authority said.

David Cameron to take on the ‘Ukip fruitcakes’ with EU referendum

The prime minister, who has described Ukip supporters as “fruitcakes”, said that he was prepared to introduce legal safeguards before the end of the current parliament to guarantee that a referendum takes place after the general election. Previously he has promised to call a vote only if he is re-elected in 2015, reports The Telegraph.

The legislation would be designed to demonstrate that he is committed to calling an in-out vote by 2018 after Ukip and other sceptics claimed that his pledge was meaningless.

Cameron ‘letting down a generation’ as youth unemployment ‘goes through roof’, says Labour

Youth unemployment has jumped by nearly 50,000 in the three years since the Coalition came to power, Labour said.

The number of 18 to 24-year-olds out of work for more than a year has jumped from 25,800 in April 2010 to around 73,500 now, the Opposition said.