Opening Bell: UK rate cut expected, 600 Lidl jobs, Nike's golfing struggles

Get up to speed with today's breaking Irish and international business news

The Bank of England is expected to announce its first interest rate cut in seven years today, following a slowdown in economic activity in the UK after the Brexit vote.

Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney is forecast to halve rates, from 0.5% to 0.25% at midday.

Sharp declines in the UK's service, manufacturing and construction industries have increased pressure on the bank to take action.

The all-sector PMI suggested a 0.4% fall in GDP in the third quarter.

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German supermarket firm Lidl has promised to bring 600 new jobs to Ireland.

The chain which already employs 4,000 people here says the new roles will come on stream over the next two years.

Lidl has seen a huge boost to its Irish market share recently.

Recruitment is to begin immediately and the store's Maeve McCleane told us who they're looking for:

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Central Bank Governor, Philip Lane asked Department of Finance officials to not attend financial supervision meetings during the International Monetary Fund's (IMF) recent visit, according to today's Irish Independent.

He is reported to have cited "confidentiality obligations" when arguing that the department's officials should not attend 17 meetings, mainly related to banking and insurance supervision.

Civil servants said that exclusion from these meetings should be "clearly attributable to specific legal requirements."

Mr Lane said their presence would "prevent a full and complete response" during the talks. It was also argued that the involvement of department officials might compromise the independence of the Central Bank.

The newspaper cited messages exchanged between department officials and the Central Bank.

A spokesperson for the Department of Finance confirmed that its staff did not attend the meetings - but they received comprehensive briefs before and after. 

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Nike says that it will step back from making gear for golfers.

The US firm says that it will "accelerate innovation" in golf apparel and footwear - but it will stop making clubs and balls.

Last year the company's golf sales fell by 8% to $706m - that was the third year in a row of declining sales.

The company has invested considerable amounts in developing its golf brand, including a $100m sponsorship deal with Northern Irish golfer Rory McIlroy.