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Equilibrium's finance and investment news roundup

This week's finance and investment news roundup includes a drop in shares for Samsung Electronics following safety concerns regarding its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, an increase in UK retail sales in September, another fall for sterling amid continued Brexit concerns and a survey revealing that many travelers are receiving less than one euro to the pound in airports.


Samsung's shares drop after Galaxy Note 7 fire concerns

Shares in Samsung Electronics closed down 8% on Tuesday after the tech giant stopped sales of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 following reports of the device catching fire. The move has led to Samsung considering halting sales of the smartphone permanently, which could cost the company up to $17 billion (£15.38 billion).

Around $18.8 billion was wiped off the company's market value on Tuesday as a consequence. More than two million smartphones were replaced by Samsung in September following reports of exploding batteries, but there have since been reports of the replacement devices catching fire as well.

Customers with either the original Galaxy Note 7 or replacement device have been advised to stop using the phone and the company stated: "Because consumers' safety remains our top priority, Samsung will ask all carrier and retail partners globally to stop sales and exchanges of the Galaxy Note 7 while the investigation is taking place." 

UK retail sales 'picked up in September'  

UK retail sales recovered from a 0.3% drop in August to pick up again in September, new figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) have shown. Spending climbed by 1.3% in September compared to the previous month; however, concerns remain that Brexit could negatively impact sales in the months to come.

It was revealed that the average growth in total sales of 0.9% that has been recorded over the past year has been the slowest since 1995, when the Retail Sales Monitor was first set up by the BRC. 

The consortium has called on Prime Minister Theresa May to minimise the impact of Brexit on the economy. Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the BRC, commented: "The BRC will be ensuring that in the forthcoming Brexit talks government negotiators have their sights set firmly lowering import costs as well as avoiding any increase in tariff costs as the UK leaves the EU." 

Sterling falls below $1.23 as Brexit fears persist

Sterling has dropped below $1.23 as fears mount regarding the UK's economic position as it leaves the EU following the recent referendum. The pound was down 0.61% at $1.2290 against the dollar in early morning trading on Tuesday, while it also fell against the euro, dipping 0.33% to €1.106.

The latest drop has come amid fears that a 'hard Brexit' could result in the UK losing £66 billion of tax revenues each year. It comes after sterling fell by more than 6% last Friday.

Worry among some investors has also increased following a Financial Times report hinting that Russian bank VTB may relocate its European hub from London to Paris, Vienna or Frankfurt. 

Survey: Many airport travellers receiving less than one euro to the pound

A new survey has found that many people who choose to buy foreign currency at airports in the UK are currently receiving less than one euro to the pound. Conducted by travel money company FairFX, the poll found that the average rate available at 17 airport bureaux de change now stands at 99 cents to the pound.

The dip has come following the pound's sharp fall in value after the Brexit vote in June, while the average US dollar rate at airports has also tumbled to $1.08 to the pound.