China's exports boom gives boost
Hopes that growth in the Chinese economy is not letting up were boosted by data showing exports rose faster than expected in September. Exports exports were up 9.9%, sharply up on the 2.7% growth rate seen in August. Imports also rose 2.4% after three months of falls. Analysts at HSBC said the bouceback suggested fears of a major slowdown were overblown.
Some relief at last for battered BAE
BAE Systems has been granted regulatory approval for its plan to plug a massive pension fund gap, in a rare piece of good news for the UK defence contractor. Last week, BAE's audacious £28bn megamerger with Airbus-owner EADS was scrapped after Germany effectively pulled the plug on the deal. Solving the pensions crisis could boost BAE's hopes of another merger.