Morning papers: US banks worth double Brics resource groups

A stark shift in investor sentiment in global equity markets has accelerated this year with a widening gulf between the market value of big US banks and commodity companies in emerging markets, reports the Financial Times.

Five years ago, just ahead of the collapse of Lehman Brothers investment bank, the market capitalisation of US banks fell below the value of energy, materials and mining companies from the Bric countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Portuguese premier vows to keep bailout on track

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Portuguese prime minister Pedro Passos Coelho on Monday vowed to keep his government united and the country’s bailout on track in an effort to regain confidence from markets shaken by weeks of political uncertainty, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Investors responded positively, with stocks and government bond prices climbing sharply.

Asian markets hit six-week high

Markets have shown encouraging signs from Asia, where bullish talk from Chinese premier Li Keqiang and the Japanese government have sparked a share rally overnight, reports The Guardian.

Li tried to calm fears that the Chinese economy was stalling, telling businessmen in Shanghai that the country’s “bottom line” for economic growth is 7 per cent - it slowed to 7.5 per cent in the last quarter.

The comments came amid local reports that Beijing will drive investments in high-speed railways to help reduce overcapacity in sectors such as cement and steel.

Export orders boom for service sector firms

Export orders for Britain’s service sector, which drives more than three quarters of UK output, increased for 50 per cent of firms in the second quarter this year – the highest figure since records began in 2007 – according to data compiled by DHL and the British Chambers of Commerce, reports The Daily Telegraph.

The DHL/BCC Trade Confidence index rose to 118.12 in the quarter, compared with 114.8 in the previous quarter and a long-run average of 100.

Help to Buy sparks £1.3bn house sales

The UK housing market has been given a sharp jolt by the government’s flagship Help to Buy scheme, subsidising an estimated £1.3bn-worth of house purchases in the past four months, reports the Financial Times.

Nearly 7,000 new-build homes have been reserved through the scheme since its launch in April by George Osborne as a centrepiece of the chancellor’s 2013 budget moves to revive the economy. This is equivalent to more than a third of sales of such property over this period, according to estimates by industry insiders

Hackers target Apple developer website

Apple has admitted that one of its websites was hacked and software developers’ personal details possibly stolen in a serious security breach, reports the Times.

Fears that the company had come under attack were sparked over the weekend after they were unable to access the site for three days. The site remains offline while the company overhauls its security.

KPN agrees sale of German business

KPN, the Dutch telecoms group, has agreed the sale of its German business to Telefónica of Spain for €5bn in cash plus a stake in the enlarged group, reports the Financial Times.