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Stubborn inflation in the UK prompts Bank of England to diverge from the Fed and hold interest rates steady (The Financial Times £).

The Bank of England kept rates steady at 5.25% on Thursday as governor Andrew Bailey warned there was “still some way to go” before inflation hit its target (The Financial Times £).

The Bank of England has held interest rates for the third meeting in a row at a 15-year high of 5.25% but policymakers warned that borrowing costs were unlikely to be lowered imminently, and left the door open to further rate rises (The Times £).

The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged at an all-time high of 4% today, following in the wake of similar decisions taken by the Bank of England and Federal Reserve (The Times £).

Christmas dinner could cost 13% more than last year, with everything from turkey to sprouts rising sharply in price, reflecting high energy bills and poor growing conditions for vegetables, according to Good Housekeeping magazine’s Cost of Christmas Dinner survey (The Guardian).

Campari is to buy Courvoisier Cognac from US-Japanese spirits group Beam Suntory for $1.2bn as global sales of the drink stutter (The Financial Times £).

The spirits group said cognac would now become the fourth major part of its business, alongside aperitifs, bourbon and tequila (The Times £).

The billionaire owners of Asda have denied setting up companies in Jersey for tax purposes amid an ongoing inquiry into their sprawling business empire (The Telegraph £).

An investigation by The Times (£) reveals how tobacco giants are bankrolling secret pro-vaping campaign.

The Times (£) also has a story on the Chinese Elf Bar entrepreneur who has made hundreds of millions of pounds selling disposable vapes in the UK that are popular with children.

The soaring cost of takeaway coffee has caused an upsurge in demand for at-home espresso makers (The Telegraph £).

UK consumer confidence rose for the second consecutive month in December, according to research company GfK, suggesting households could be more inclined to spend this Christmas (The Financial Times £).

Christmas cheer has improved consumer confidence, delivering a small but much-needed boost for retailers (The Times £).