Tuesday business round-up: Five key stories of the day

BP's profits plunged 40% in the third quarter. Picture: AP/Amy Sancetta
BP's profits plunged 40% in the third quarter. Picture: AP/Amy Sancetta
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Here are five of today’s key business stories in one handy package.

BP said its capital spending will be sharply lower than previous targets as it revealed a 40 per cent slump in third-quarter profits to $1.8 billion (£1.2bn) amid lower oil prices. Organic capital spending will be in the range of $17bn to $19bn a year through to 2017, with a figure close to $19bn this year. Expectations for 2015 capital expenditure were $24bn to $26bn a year ago.

Oil and gas company Maersk Oil confirmed it would axe about 220 jobs in the UK. The Danish operator said it was reducing its workforce by between 10 and 12 per cent globally as part of a drive to cut operating costs by 20 per cent by the end of 2016.

Growth in the UK economy slowed to 0.5 per cent in the third quarter, down from 0.7 per cent in the previous three-month period. The Office for National Statistics said the dominant services sector expanded by 0.7 per cent in the three months to September, but output in the construction sector fell by 2.2 per cent.

Supermarket chain Morrisons said it would pilot convenience food stores in five petrol filling stations owned by Scottish oil tycoon Alasdair Locke’s Motor Fuel Group. The shops, operating under the Morrisons brand, will open by the end of the year and will allow the grocer to supply branded and own-brand food.

Swedish state-owned power group Vattenfall, which has two onshore wind farms operating in Scotland, reported higher profits for the third quarter but said it needed to cut more costs in response to tough market conditions.