Morning Round Up: Petrobras hit by oil prices, Osborne faces tough deficit, travel shares lead FTSE down

Petrobras hit by oil, post biggest loss

Brazilian energy company Petrobras has become the latest firm to see profits hit by the oil crisis, posting its biggest ever quarterly loss on Tuesday.

Petrobras’ net loss widened to 36.9 billion reais in the three months to December, after writing down billions worth of assets. At a press conference, its chief executive commented that it was an “extremely difficult year for the oil industry”, as oversupply caused prices to drop over 40 percent.

Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) shares fell by nearly 6 percent in after hours trading after the release of the results, but are currently up 1.35 percent at 5.64 (1130GMT).

Petrobras are also currently in the midst of a major corruption scandal involving several high-profile government figures.

George Osborne unlikely to hit deficit target

Chancellor George Osborne is close to missing his target for cutting the budget deficit in the current financial year, according to official data released on Tuesday.

Just days after releasing his 2016 Budget, figures suggest Osborne is unlikely to hit deficit goals for this year. His aim to bring the deficit down to £72.2 billion for 2015/16 will be difficult, as the budget already stands at 70.7 billion with one month to go until the end of the tax year.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in order to meet his goal borrowing in March would need to fall to its lowest level since 2004.

Travel shares cause FTSE to sink

Travel and leisure stocks led the FTSE downwards this morning, after several major explosions in Brussels.

The FTSE 350 Travel and Leisure sector was 1.6 percent down, with the FTSE 100 overall down 0.54 percent (1135GMT). Airlines IAG and easyJet were down 4 percent and 3.5 percent respectively, with Thomas Cook falling 5.4 percent and cruise operator Carnival down 3 percent.

Explosions at both Brussels International airport and a metro station in the city centre took place at rush hour this morning. Updates are still being given.



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