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U.K. markets news

UK employment level hits joint highest since 1971
The pressure on employers to find skilled staff appeared to push up wages by more than expected in November as job vacancies reached a new peak.
UK unemployment falls to 1.44 million  BBC News
Record 32.2 million people in work but pay not keeping pace with inflation  BT.com
The Independent  
Countrywide boss resigns as shares hit new low
In a brief statement, the company behind high street chains including Hamptons and Taylors said Alison Platt, who joined in 2014, would be replaced by Peter Long, who will lead the company as executive chairman until a successor is appointed.
Countrywide chief executive quits after profit warning  Financial Times
Countrywide chief Alison Platt quits  The Times
Thousands of tons of UK plastic dumped across world
Thousands of tons of plastic scrap collected for recycling from British households have been transported and dumped on sites across the world, a Sky News investigation has revealed.
China's waste import ban upends global recycling industry  The Japan Times
LCQ14: Implementation of clean recycling policy  7thSpace Interactive (press release)
MPs to question senior Carillion executives over collapse
The former chief executive and the chairman of Carillion have been summoned by MPs to explain their stewardship of the company before it collapsed, putting public services and thousands of jobs at risk and leaving a large pension deficit.
Carillion bosses in firing line as MPs launch inquiry into collapse  The Independent
Carillion chiefs in the firing line as MPs launch inquiry  Belfast Telegraph
WH Smith sees 'flat' Christmas sales as spoof books falter
WH Smith saw a 4 per cent fall in like-for-like sales during the 20 weeks to January 20 as strong sales in its airport and railway station stores helped offset problems on the high street.
WH Smith high street sales fall over festive period  The Guardian
Lack of spoof books knocks sales at WH Smith  Telegraph.co.uk
First Solar Is Using Robots to Better Tap the Sun
Even before Trump's tariffs, the U.S. panel maker underpriced Chinese rivals with a spray-on, energy-absorbing metal and largely automated factories.
Trade Agency to Accept 'Requests for Exclusion' From New Solar Tariffs  Greentech Media
What could China do in a US trade war?  BBC News
Europe slaps €997m antitrust fine on Qualcomm
The European Commission has slapped a €997m (�872m) fine on Qualcomm for abusing its dominant market position - finding it paid billions to Apple to exclusively use its chips.
Qualcomm Gets $1.2 Billion EU Fine for Apple Chip Payments  Bloomberg
Qualcomm Is Fined $1.2 Billion by EU Antitrust Officials  New York Times
How your email address can see you pay more for car insurance
One of the country's largest car insurers has admitted that what email account drivers use could see them pay more. Admiral says people using a Hotmail account do pay higher premiums as data it has compiled shows certain domain names were “associated ...
Motor insurance premiums hit record high  Manx Radio
Motor insurance premiums rise again  Insurance Times
Co-op says it is slashing prices on 600 products so it can become Britain's ...
Co-op says it has slashed prices on some of its products by more than 40% in an attempt to beat “tight” high street competition.
Co-op slashes prices on 600 products  Retail Gazette (blog)
Co-op announces �50m investment  London Loves Business
Stripe in Bitcoin hype flight while fans blindly gobble up crypto-cash
Roundup Payment biz Stripe on Tuesday said it plans to phase out support for Bitcoin payments - citing declining interest among merchants and rising transactions times and fees.
Stripe to ditch Bitcoin payment support  BBC News
Online payments firm Stripe ends support for bitcoin  Irish Times