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Today's Top Market Headlines – Sep 12, 2017
Apple set to unveil anniversary iPhone in major product launch

A decade after then-CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone, Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) on Tuesday is set to introduce a completely redesigned top-of-the-line iPhone along with two other new phones, as well as a big upgrade to the Apple Watch and a higher-definition Apple TV.

The splashy launch event will take place at the Steve Jobs Theater at Apple’s new Apple Park “spaceship” campus – widely considered to be the final product designed by Jobs, who died in 2011.

The new products and the holiday shopping season that follows are the most important for Apple in years. The company has sold more than 1.2 billion iPhones over the past decade and ushered in the era of mobile computing, but last year suffered a substantial decline in revenue as many consumers rejected the iPhone 7 as being too similar to the iPhone 6.

Apple hopes the new high-end phone, expected to be called the iPhone X, will silence critics who say the company has lost its innovation edge. It features an edge-to-edge display with richer colours and facial recognition to unlock the phone without the need for a fingerprint reader or physical home button.

By Stephen Nellis

Source: http://bit.ly/2jicmq0

UK inflation jump puts Bank of England back in spotlight on rates

British inflation hit its joint highest in more than five years in August as households paid more for fuel and clothing, complicating the Bank of England’s job of explaining why it is not raising interest rates.

The fall in the value of the pound since last year’s Brexit vote helped push up clothing costs which jumped by 4.6 percent in annual terms, the biggest rise since the consumer price index was launched in 1997, the Office for National Statistics said.

Consumer prices overall increased by 2.9 percent compared with a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday, above the median forecast in a Reuters poll of economists for a rise of 2.8 percent.

That took the CPI back to its level hit in May.

The bigger-than-expected resumption of the rise in the index – from 2.6 percent in June and July – comes ahead of the BoE’s next announcement on interest rates on Thursday.

The BoE targets 2 percent inflation, but most of its policymakers are expected to vote once again to keep rates at their all-time low of 0.25 percent as Britain prepares for the challenge of leaving the European Union in 2019.

Source: http://bit.ly/2h1dg5W

Carmakers face electric reality as combustion engine outlook dims

European car bosses gathering for the Frankfurt auto show are beginning to address the realities of mass vehicle electrification, and its consequences for jobs and profit, their minds focused by government pledges to outlaw the combustion engine.

As the latest such announcement by China added momentum to a push for zero-emissions motoring, Daimler (DE:DAIGn), Volkswagen (DE:VOWG_p) and PSA Group (PA:PEUP) gave details about their electric programs that could give policymakers some pause.

Planned electric Mercedes models will initially be just half as profitable as conventional alternatives, Daimler warned – forcing the group to find savings by outsourcing more component manufacturing, which may in turn threaten German jobs.

“In-house production is almost irrelevant to the consumer,” Daimler boss Dieter Zetsche told reporters on the eve of the Frankfurt auto show, in the midst of a German election campaign in which automotive jobs have loomed large.

By Laurence Frost and Edward Taylor

Source: http://bit.ly/2y1Vasb

Air Berlin says Tuesday's flight cancellations threaten its existence

Insolvent German airline Air Berlin (DE:AB1) said around 100 flight cancellations caused on Tuesday by large numbers of pilots calling in sick were threatening its existence and hurting its chances of saving jobs as it seeks investors for parts of the business.

“No company could possibly be seen in a worse light than Air Berlin today,” Chief Operations Officer Oliver Iffert said in a internal memo to staff seen by Reuters.

“We must return to stable operations. That is crucial in order to bring talks with investors to a successful conclusion,” he added.

Source: http://bit.ly/2xX76uw