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Today’s news briefing: Lenders ditch new mortgages

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Today's news briefing: Lenders ditch new mortgages

CTN NEWS – Spooked by the turmoil facing the pound, banks last night withdrew mortgage deals in anticipation of a rate rise from the Bank of England.

Halifax, Virgin Money, and Skipton were among lenders to take the step after a day of wild swings in currency markets as the pound fell to a record low against the dollar.

Early today, the pound steadied in Asian markets as it began to recover some of its losses.

Yesterday’s chaos led the Treasury to issue a statement pledging to set out its approach to managing the public finances, followed by the Bank of England saying it would not hesitate to increase rates at its next meeting.

Tim Wallace writes that Andrew Bailey failed to convince

Deputy economics editor Tim Wallace writes that Governor Andrew Bailey failed to convince markets he can avoid an emergency interest rate rise.

Traders predict rates will hit 6pc mid-way through next year, which would add £800 to the monthly cost of a typical mortgage. It comes as Sir Keir Starmer will today paint Labour as the party of “sound money”.

Conservative peer Lord Frost said the fallout to the mini-Budget had been an “overreaction”, but some Tory backbenchers have expressed disquiet about the handling of the economy in the first month of a premiership.

The last time the pound was trading at these levels, Margaret Thatcher was halfway through the second term of her premiership, the miners’ strike was reaching its end and EastEnders had just debuted on BBC One.

Before this week, the sterling’s nadir against the dollar came on February 26, 1985. Britain was, in many ways, far removed from the country it is today – but, as Simon Foy discovers, with some enduring similarities.

Lenders: Nasa spacecraft’s historic test to protect humanity

It has been compared to the plot of the Hollywood movie Armageddon. Nasa has today successfully crashed a spaceship in the first-ever “planetary defence test” – clearing the way to perhaps one day save humanity.

It was the first attempt to prove that it is possible to change the course of any future doomsday space rock threatening to obliterate Earth.

A spacecraft called DART, which was about the size of a large fridge and moving at 14,000mph, was sent on a 10-month kamikaze journey.

Early today, it ploughed into an asteroid called Dimorphos, which is about the size of a football stadium. US editor Nick Allen reports on the outcome of the historic mission.

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