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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

Our roundup this week includes the result of the US presidential election and its impact on the dollar, as well as the announcement of a profits loss for M&S, attempts by the UK to boost trade links with India and a cyber heist affecting 20,000 Tesco Bank customers. 


Dollar falls after Donald Trump elected President

The US dollar fell in early trading on Wednesday as it emerged Donald Trump had defeated Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election. US stock futures tumbled by 5% at one point amid concerns that a victory for the Republican candidate would lead to economic and global uncertainty.

Mr Trump's victory was a shock result for many and represents an end to eight years of Democratic rule in the White House. He passed the 270 electoral college votes needed to secure the presidency with victory in Wisconsin, which followed a string of surprise wins in states such as Florida, North Carolina and Ohio.

Following the victory, Mr Trump said: "Now it is time for Americans to bind the wounds of division... it is time for us to become together as one united people... I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans.

M&S announces profits fall and store closures

Marks & Spencer (M&S) has reported an 18.6% fall in first-half profit and a drop in quarterly clothing sales. The retailer, whose shares have tumbled 22% so far this year, also announced it is to close around 30 clothing and home stores in the UK, as well as 53 overseas.

Chief Executive Officer Steve Rowe, who was appointed to the role in April, is aiming to revive the company by placing less emphasis on clothes and homeware ranges and more focus on food. He said: "These are tough decisions, but vital to building a future M&S that is simpler, more relevant, multi-channel and focused on delivering sustainable returns."

The move will also involve the opening of around 200 new Simply Food stores, which Mr Rowe claims will result in more towns having an M&S of their own. 

May 'looks to improve trade links with India'

Prime Minister Theresa May is attempting to improve the UK's trade links with India as the nation prepares for its departure from the European Union following the referendum result earlier in the year.

Ms May has hinted to an improved visa deal for India and said the potential of the relationship between the two nations is "limitless". A caveat of an improved visa deal, however, would also involve Indians who have outstayed their visas.

Following talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ms May said: "The UK will consider further improvements to our visa offer if, at the same time, we can step up the speed and volume of returns of Indians with no right to remain." 

20,000 Tesco bank customers suffer in cyber heist

Money has been taken from around 20,000 Tesco Bank customer accounts in a cyber heist that has been described as a "systematic, sophisticated attack". Benny Higgins, Chief Executive of the supermarket giant, said that the bank is aware of what the attack was, but this cannot be disclosed at present because a criminal investigation is being conducted.

All customers affected by the attack are to be refunded and, as a temporary measure, the bank is blocking current account customers from using their debit card to make payments online.

However, customers can still use their card to make chip and pin payments and to withdraw money, while direct debits and bill payments are not affected.