World markets have welcomed a key jobs update from the United States showing the unemployment rate fell to a five-year low of 7% - brushing aside fears that it could prove the spark for a massive programme of central bank support to start being pulled away.
The payroll data was closely watched from trading floors across the globe by investors anxious about its impact on the US Federal Reserve's monetary policy.
Low interest rates and a quantitative easing (QE) programme in which the Fed buys up billions of dollars worth of assets every month have helped nurse the world's biggest economy back to health.
Royal Bank of Scotland said its websites were the victim of a cyber attack that left some customers unable to access their accounts in the group's second computer crash in less than a week.
The group's sites went down for about an hour today and yesterday evening after a "deliberate" surge in internet traffic aimed at its NatWest website, according to the lender.
Gas and electricity supplier E.ON is to increase prices for customers by an average of 3.7%, the energy firm announced today.
Chief executive Tony Cocker said changes announced by the Government earlier this week reduced the overall level of the rise that was necessary to cover extra costs.
House prices surged by 7.7% annually in November, marking the fastest rate seen in six years, Halifax has reported.
Halifax said the increase was the biggest seen since October 2007, as strengthened demand in the market combined with a lack of homes for would-be buyers to choose from.
Chancellor George Osborne may have difficulty in making his Budget sums add up, a leading economic think-tank has warned.
The Post Office made an operating profit of £53 million in the first half of the financial year, £8 million down on a year ago, new figures have shown.