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Today’s market overview

According to official figures the UK economy grew by 0.6% in the three months to June; the figure was in line with market expectations, and is up from 0.3% growth in the previous quarter.
It is the first estimate for growth during the second quarter of 2013, and is based on about 40% of actual data on economic activity. The figures mean that the economy has now recouped almost half of its total 7.2% contraction during the 2008-09 recession, with output remaining 3.3% below its pre-recession peak. All four main industrial groupings within the economy (agriculture, production, construction and services) increased in Q2 2013 compared with Q1 2013. The services sector grew 0.6% in the three-month period, compared with the previous quarter, and was just 0.2% below the peak level it recorded in early 2008. The construction sector bounced back 0.9%, but still remains 16.5% below its peak, while manufacturing was up 0.4%, but still 10.2% short of its pre-recession level.

Royal Bank of Scotland has been fined £5.6million for failing to properly report almost 45 million trades.
The fine relates to the period between November 2007 and February 2013 when regulators found mistakes in more than a third of the bank’s transactions.

Plans to cut transaction fees on debit and credit cards in the European Union have been confirmed.
It wants to cap “interchange fees” to a maximum of 0.3% of a transaction. The fees involved are paid by shops and businesses to banks, every time a consumer uses his or her card.
Retailers say customers could ultimately benefit from lower prices in the shops as a result of the proposals, which could take years to implement. But banks argue that consumers will instead end up paying higher charges to use debit and credit cards.

According to official figures, Spain’s unemployment rate has fallen for the first time in two years; the rate stood at 26.3% in the second quarter of the year, down from a record 27.2% in the first quarter. The National Statistics Institute said the total number of unemployed had fallen to just below six million.

Shares in Facebook have leapt 18% as it beats earnings expectations with stronger than expected mobile ad sales. The company reported profits of $333m (£217m) in the second quarter.
Facebook saw $655.6m in revenue from mobile ads in the three months from April to June – more than 41% of the total $1.6bn it made from advertising overall, compared with 30% for the same period last year. The number of mobile users expanded 51% to 819 million

German business confidence rose for a third month in July, indicating that Europe’s largest economy is recovering as the 17-nation euro region tries to shake off its longest ever recession.
The IFO institute’s business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, rose to 106.2 from 105.9 in June, above expectations of 106.1.

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