At their regular monthly meeting, Chancellor Kenneth Clarke and Bank Governor Eddie George left interest rates unchanged.
The US Federal Reserve trimmed its short-term interest rates by quarter of a point to 5.75 per cent.
Abbey National made a pounds 285m agreed offer for FNFC, a finance company.
Contract caterer Compass announced it was poised to become the world's largest with the FFr4.5bn (pounds 580m) acquisition of Eurest International from Accor, the French hotel and catering group.
Seven years after the collapse of Barlow Clowes, the DTI inspectors' report on the saga was published. The inspectors recommended further regulatory tightening for the protection of investors.
Further doom and gloom descended on home-owners as the Halifax Building Society's house price index for June was published. Prices fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.4 per cent to a level 1.8 per cent lower than a year ago.Reuse content