Elon Musk is taking legal action against the owner of the @ElonJet Twitter account - AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Elon Musk is taking legal action against the owner of the @ElonJet Twitter account – AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Elon Musk has said he is taking legal action against the owner of a Twitter account that tracks the movements of his private jet after suggesting a “crazy stalker” had managed to find a car with his son inside.

The Twitter chief executive tweeted that the car, carrying his son X Æ A-Xii, had been followed by someone who had thought Mr Musk was inside, “who later blocked car from moving & climbed onto hood”.

He also tweeted a video showing a man inside a car with a partially covered face appearing to film on his mobile phone.

Mr Musk, the world’s second richest man, said he was taking legal action “against Sweeney & organisations who supported harm to my family”.

Jack Sweeney, a student from Florida, had owned the @ElonJet account, which shared details of where the Twitter billionaire’s private jet had taken off and landed.

Twitter was last night flip-flopping over a decision to ban the account.

Mr Musk tweeted: “Any account doxxing real-time location info of anyone will be suspended, as it is a physical safety violation. This includes posting links to sites with real-time location info.

“Posting locations someone traveled [sic] to on a slightly delayed basis isn’t a safety problem, so is ok.”

Doxxing is the act of publicly providing personally identifiable information about an individual or organisation, usually via the internet.

Read the latest updates below.

09:36 AM

Gas prices jump as cold snap continues

European natural gas prices have risen on signs that another cold snap will hit the continent before Christmas, while international competition for liquified natural gas (LNG) starts to intensify.

Benchmark futures rose as much as 3.3pc, erasing an earlier loss.

While warmer weather is expected early next week, temperatures are then set to fall below the seasonal average in the Nordics and the UK, according to forecaster Maxar.

Meanwhile, competition for LNG is set to increase as Beijing pivots away from its zero-Covid policy, which is set to boost demand.

09:11 AM

Bank of England ‘to slow rate rises as inflation peaking’

The Bank of England is widely expected to increase interest rates by 50 basis points to 3.5pc at midday.

Barret Kupelian, senior economist at PwC, outlines why he thinks that is the case:

Inflation remains about five times higher than the Bank’s medium-term target of 2pc which means that the Committee members remain under considerable pressure to meet their medium-term mandate.

But for the first time in a long-time, a few data-points are indicating that we are in peak inflation territory and inflation should soon consistently be on a downward path, bar any additional surprises.

Yesterday’s CPI data release showed that the UK inflation subsided, mainly on the back of a strong US dollar. What was more encouraging was that core inflation, which excludes volatile items like food and energy, also stabilised.

Second, on the labour market, there are also signs of cooling. Vacancies remain extremely high but appear to be on a consistently downward trend since the summer, and we are also seeing a trickling back to the workforce of some of the people who became economically inactive at the beginning of the pandemic.

08:39 AM

Elon Musk offloads £2.9bn of Tesla shares as investors question commitment

Elon Musk sold another tranche of Tesla stock frustrating investors concerned about his level of focus on the electriccar maker since his £38bn takeover of Twitter.

The world’s second-richest man offloaded another $3.6bn (£2.9bn) of stock, taking his total for the year close to $40bn (£32.3bn).

He sold 22m shares in the world’s most valuable carmaker from Monday to Wednesday, a filing shows, with Tesla’s shares are wallowing at two-year lows.

It is the second big chunk of stock he has cashed out since his $44bn (£38bn) purchase of Twitter in October.

It is not clear if the sales are related to the Twitter acquisition, but they are annoying investors who are upset by a perception he is diverting his focus and resources to Twitter ahead of Tesla.

Tony Sycamore, an analyst at brokerage IG Markets, said: “It doesn’t put a lot of confidence in the business, or speak volumes for where his attention is at.

“It’s not a good situation. I’ve spoken to a lot of investors who have Tesla shares and they’re absolutely furious at Elon.”

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk at an opening ceremony for Tesla's China-made Model Y program in Shanghai this year - REUTERS/Aly Song

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk at an opening ceremony for Tesla’s China-made Model Y program in Shanghai this year – REUTERS/Aly Song

08:31 AM

UK markets dragged down by banks and energy companies

The export-driven FTSE 100 fell in early trading, dragged down by banks and energy firms, while traders avoided bets on risky assets ahead of the Bank of England’s monetary policy decision.

The blue-chip index fell 0.8pc, while the FTSE 250 shed 0.9pc.

The Bank is expected to announce a rate hike of 50 basis points at midday.

Energy stocks fell 0.5pc as crude prices slid after the US Federal Reserve said it would continue raising interest rates, while disappointing Chinese factory data piled onto demand worries.

Banks fell 1.1pc, bogged down by a 1.5pc drop in HSBC after a few Hong Kong-based investors sought support for a resolution, at the lender’s 2023 annual meeting, to restore the bank’s pre-pandemic dividend and spin off assets.

Among bright spots, British American Tobacco climbed 0.6pc on Swiss media reports of the closure of a cigarette manufacturing plant in Switzerland next year.

08:03 AM

Markets open the day lower

Stock markets have opened lower as investors await the Bank of England’s decision on whether to slow the pace of interest rate rises.

The blue chip FTSE 100 index was down 0.6pc to 7,458.14 while the midcap FTSE 250 was down 0.5pc to 18,949.79.

The Bank’s monetary policy committee is expected to reveal a 0.5 percentage point increase in interest rates when it announces its decision at noon, taking the rate to 3.5pc.

It comes after the Federal Reserve slowed the pace of its rate rises last night but signalled US interest rates would go higher than expected, fanning fears a recession is on the way.

07:46 AM

New car registrations rise nearly a quarter

New car registrations were up by 23.5pc on the same time a year earlier, new data show, although overall registrations are down 3.4pc so far this year.

Petrol vehicles accounted for the most new registations, up 15pc to 57,590 last month compared to the same time a year earlier, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

The largest growth was in mild hybrid electric vehicles, up 45pc to 17,929.

New car registrations - Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

New car registrations – Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

07:36 AM

British business boosts Currys despite loss

Technology retailer Currys has sunk to a loss after it faced lower demand and excess stock, leading to heavy discounting at its international stores.

However, profits in the UK and Ireland have jumped by 25pc in the first half of the financial year compared with last year, with adjusted earnings reaching £25m.

Currys acknowledged that its customers are facing cost-of-living pressures and it is trading in a tough environment which it does not expect to improve over the next six months.

The company added that it is on track to make £300m in cost savings in the UK and Ireland by 2023 to 2024, as it downgraded its full-year profit expectations.



07:30 AM

Foxconn eases zero-Covid rules at China factory

Foxconn, which assembles most iPhones for Apple, is easing most zero-Covid restrictions at its factory in Zhengzhou, China.

It is a significant step forward for the facility that had become a flashpoint in the country’s efforts to contain infections.

Foxconn — also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry — said it is now ending its “point-to-point” system, in which employees had to restrict daily movements to between their dormitories and the campus, according to a statement on its official WeChat account on Wednesday.

The company also reopened its on-site cafeterias and will no longer provide three free meals per day, it said.

The lack of access to cafeterias in what’s known as iPhone City had become a significant hurdle to keeping workers fed during the pandemic, sparking an exodus of thousands of employees.

Foxconn is easing restrictions at its factory in Zhengzhou, China - EPA/Qilai Shen

Foxconn is easing restrictions at its factory in Zhengzhou, China – EPA/Qilai Shen

07:24 AM

H&M sales beat forecasts

H&M - REUTERS/Mike Segar

H&M – REUTERS/Mike Segar

H&M, the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer, reported a 10pc increase year-on-year in September to November net sales, slightly exceeding market expectations of a 9.5pc rise.

Net sales for the period, H&M’s fiscal fourth quarter, stood at 62.5bn Swedish krona (£4.9bn), up from 56.8bn krona (£4.5bn) a year ago. The company said in a statement:

The H&M group’s operations in Russia and Belarus were wound up during the quarter, with the remaining stock being sold off and the last stores having closed on 30 November.

During the quarter around 25–50 stores in China were temporarily closed due to new Covid outbreaks.

H&M, which has struggled to keep up with bigger rival Zara, last month became the first big European retailer to lay off staff in response to the cost-of-living crisis as it tries to save 2 billion Swedish krona (£15.8bn) a year.

07:16 AM

FTX executive tipped off Bahamian regulators of possible fraud

Several days before FTX collapsed into bankruptcy, one of Sam Bankman-Fried’s most senior executives was tipping off Bahamian authorities to possible misuse of funds at the exchange.

Ryan Salame, the former co-chief executive at FTX Digital Markets, told island regulators on Nov 9 that client assets were transferred to Alameda Research to “cover financial losses” at the trading firm, court filings show.

Mr Salame further alleged that only three people had the ability to authorize such a transfer: Mr Bankman-Fried, former engineering executive Nishad Singh, and FTX co-founder Gary Wang, according to the court filings first reported by the Financial Times.

Salame indicated to the executive director of the Securities Commission of the Bahamas on a conference call that “such transfers were not allowed and therefore may constitute misappropriation, theft, fraud or some other crime,” the filings show.

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested and charged with defrauding investors this week - REUTERS/Dante Carrer

FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried was arrested and charged with defrauding investors this week – REUTERS/Dante Carrer

07:03 AM

Good morning

Tesla shareholders are concerned about Elon Musk’s level of focus on the company after he sold his second big chunk of stock in the electric carmaker since his takeover of Twitter.

Mr Musk’s 13.4pc stake in Tesla is down from about 17pc a year ago, according to Refinitiv data.

The Tesla chief executive offloaded another $3.6bn (£2.9bn) of stock, taking his total for the year close to $40bn (£32.3bn).

Tesla’s share price has halved this year, underperforming both automakers and the broader tech-heavy Nasdaq, which is down about 30pc this year.

Besides Tesla and Twitter, where Mr Musk’s management and tweets are attracting political attention and blowback, the world’s second-richest man also heads rocket company SpaceX and Neuralink, a start-up developing interfaces to connect the human brain to computers.

5 things to start your day

1) US Federal Reserve vows to continue lifting rates | The Fed’s chairman Jerome Powell insisted that the fight to contain surging prices is not over

2) New Year train strikes all but certain to go ahead as talks put on pause | Ministers to warn Lynch they will not back down over union’s hardline tactics

3) Musk flip-flops on block on Twitter account that tracks his private jet | The ban had come weeks after Mr Musk vowed to keep the account active

4) Price of Christmas favourites port and sherry to jump after tax raid | Plans to tax alcohol by strength could see duty on fortified wines go up by £1 a bottle

5) Brussels accused of corruption over ‘open skies’ airline agreement with Qatar | Senior MEPs to call for suspension of EU aviation deal with Qatari airlines

What happened overnight

Asian shares skidded after a retreat on Wall Street as markets registered their dismay over the Federal Reserve’s warning that still higher interest rates are in store following its latest increase.

Oil prices fell while US futures edged higher.

Japan reported its trade deficit in November surged to over 2 trillion yen (£11.9bn) as higher costs for oil and a weak yen combined to push imports higher. It was the 16th straight month of red ink and a record high for the month of November.

Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 lost 0.4pc to 28,051.70 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong sank 0.9pc to 19,498.32. The Kospi in Seoul gave up 1.3pc to 2,367.91.

The Shanghai Composite index edged 0.1pc lower to 3,173.21 and Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.6pc to 7,204.80.

Shares fell in Taiwan and Bangkok but rose in Mumbai.


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