The 10 things to watch in business on Friday September 18

The White House is preparing new rules to ease embargo on Cuba; US Federal Reserve decides to leave interest unchanged

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1.US Federal Reserve kept its benchmark interest at 0 per cent, where it has been since December 2008. The announcement was highly anticipated as many were expecting the Fed to change its position for the first time since the financial crisis.

2. The eurozone’s current account data is out at 9am UK time on Friday. The data records whether a nation is a net lender to or a net borrower from the rest of the world.  Analysts expect the eurozone to have a surplus of €21.3 billion ($24.30 billion, £15.60 billion).

3. Asian markets are mixed. China's stocks are up, with Hong Kong's Hang Seng 0.51 per cent higher and the Shanghai Composite 0.86 per cent higher, but Japan's Nikkei is down 1.55 per cent.

4.Japan's financial regulators are investigating an Ernst & Young affiliate over its audit of Toshiba Corp after a $1.3 billion accounting scandal at the industrial and electronics conglomerate, the auditing firm said on Friday.

5. White House is preparing new rules to weaken the US trade embargo on Cuba. US companies would be allowed to establish offices in Cuba for the first time in more than half a century, according to a draft of the new rules seen by Reuters. The regulations could be announced as soon as Friday.

6. One of the biggest pension funds in the world is going on the offensive against Brian Moynihan and Bank of America. New York City's $165 billion pension funds will vote to strip Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan of his chairman title, a spokesman for the funds told Reuters on Thursday.

7. JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon says there's no point in slashing CEO pay. "It is true that income inequality has kind of gotten worse," Dimon said at a Detroit event, according to Bloomberg. “You can take the compensation of every CEO in America and make it zero and it wouldn't put a dent into it. What really matters is growth,” he said.

8. Rents are rising rapidly in the East of England, a survey suggest. Typical rent stood at £843 a month in August, 11.5 per cent higher than a year earlier, according to lettings agencies Your Move and Reeds Rains.


9. Lidl will pioneer the recommended living wage, becoming the first supermarket to implement the minimum wage as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. From October, Lidl UK employees will earn a minimum of £8.20 an hour across England, Scotland and Wales, and £9.35 an hour in London, the supermarket said.

10. NME - the magazine formerly known as New Musical Express - is reborn today as a free title. More than 300,000 copies will be distributed nationally each week at 500 outlets including stations, music venues and retailers such as HMV and Topshop.