In this article, we reveal our favourite and most trusted free and premium news sources for financial information. We regularly use these financial news websites ourselves when researching stories, and keeping abreast of developments in the financial markets. The best financial news sources are not free, so unfortunately you may need to stump up for a subscription to hear the latest financial news as it breaks.
We’ll introduce you to five different sources in this comprehensive guide, so we’ll group them into categories for ease and highlight which news organisations focus on the UK or run a large journalistic operation in the UK.
Best financial news sources: a summary
Breaking financial news (covered in this article)
- Reuters (UK)
- BBC News (UK)
- Financial Times (UK)
- Wall Street Journal (Global)
- Bloomberg (Global)
Other great sources of financial information (not featured in this article) include:
Financial data & company financials
Topical analysis & comment
Best financial news sources
Reuters is a London-based international news organisation, now a part of Thompson Reuters, which is one of the largest news agencies in the world. A news agency will source news which it will sell to other media organisations, such as TV channels and newspapers.
Thompson Reuter’s team of 2,500 employees collate news stories on all news topics, (not just business and finance topics), but their business > finance newswire is particularly popular. Sub-topics include US markets, Europe Markets, Currencies and Funds.
Link to financial news via Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/business/finance/
The BBC is a long-standing media institution in the UK. Primarily funded by the taxpayer, via a £159 annual TV license fee. This fee is charged to all UK residents who watch live TV, whether through terrestrial or digital TV or via online streaming platforms.
The BBC has a considerable news wing, which has an international footprint and many international correspondents based overseas.
The Beeb, as it’s also known, has a famous neutrality stance which requires it to present factual reporting. Analysis is a necessary part of news coverage, particularly when information is patchy or an official source is providing misleading statements. But the BBC tries to walk the tightrope of reporting accurately and avoiding taking a political stance on issues of the day.
It does this by reporting with a factual tone and inviting credible guests onto the show to represent both sides of an issue where practical so that an audience hears both sides of a contentious debate.
This platform helps to shore up reliable financial news reporting. The BBC puts out less financial content (by volume) than the Financial Times or Bloomberg, but the content it produces is universally easy-to-read and uses layman terms in favour of financial jargon.
Link to financial news via BBC News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business
The Financial Times is arguably the highest quality financial newspaper in the world. Alongside Wall Street Journal (covered later), the Financial Times is one of the few physical newspapers offering delivery in international markets.
Financial Times is owned by Nikkei Inc (nikkei.com), a Japanese financial data and media business. It was founded in London in 1888 and has provided coverage of the London financial markets and the companies listed there for over 130 years.
The modern FT is widely read online, as well as its iconic salmon-pink broadsheet newspaper. The Financial Times produces written content, but also a slew of explainer videos, commentary and UK investment podcasts.
The Financial Times focuses on politics, company news and financial markets. Its weekend edition expands this remit to include lighter topics such as arts & culture, travel and a lavish ‘How to Spent It’ supplement.
While Financial Times has a good reputation for reporting accuracy, it appears to have a political agenda in the sense that it leans strongly in favour of capitalism and economic liberalism generally.
This is common with many finance-specific outlets and this will be accepted by most readers. The bias could be driven by the naturally close ties its team maintains with the finance sector as a whole via its news sources but also the capitalistic mindset of the average reader.
For timely and detailed reporting on even relatively small businesses, the Financial Times is an excellent financial news source.
The flipside is that most FT content is obscured behind a paywall. The FT has over a million paying digital or print subscribers. A digital-only subscription costs about £309 for a year, although you may pay less through an introductory offer.
Link to financial news via Financial Times: https://www.ft.com
The Wall Street Journal
The Wall Street Journal, or WSJ for short, is another internationally renowned financial newspaper.
The WSJ is ultimately owned by News Corp, the media group owned by Australian media mogul Rupert Murdoch.
Its content has a US focus. It ceased publication of a print copy of a Europe and Asian edition of the newspaper in 2017. The price of an annual basic digital subscription starts at £180.
Link to the best financial news via Wall Street Journal: https://www.wsj.com
Bloomberg is a news wire service, similar to Reuters, but founded in the US by ex-New York Mayor and one-time independent presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
Beyond standard reporting, Bloomberg is well-known within the financial services industry for its live feeds of market pricing data and news, delivered through the ‘Bloomberg terminal’, on as many as 6 screens at a time. Bloomberg terminals are behind the classic ‘trader’ wall of screens with streaming quotes and blinking green and red upticks and downticks.
Quartz reported in 2013 that an annual subscription would set you back a staggering $20,000 per year. At this price, subscriptions are limited to professional subscribers such as the best hedge funds, the trading desks of investment banks, or large independent day traders.
For those with less generous pockets, Bloomberg offers its news stories through an annual subscription for about £200.
Link to financial news via Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com
Specialist financial news sources for investing tasks
The best financial news source for company details
The best news source for UK company information is Companies House. Companies House is the government-linked organisation that holds the filing for every private and public limited company registered in the country of the UK.
As we explain in our full guide to finding company information, Companies House is now an open and free-for-all. Begin by searching for a company on the register, then look for ‘company filings’. The most information filings are the annual financial statements of a company.
The financial statements of a small private company will disclose far less information than the financial statements of a large FTSE 100 corporation. That’s because the level of disclosures are determined by company size and whether they are listed on a stock exchange.
Companies House is the best source of information because it’s a reliable primary source. An industry of websites exist to provide company information, but many of them charge you money for re-packaged data which was originally scrapped from Companies House. If you need to perform a wide analysis on the financial information of tens or hundreds of companies in an industry then you may require a secondary information service such as this as it can be very time consuming to extract this information yourself.
The best financial news source for wide-coverage of stories moving the markets
Our favourite source of financial news is The Financial Times. The annual subscription works out to less than £1 per day, which is affordable to anyone who invests a sizeable pot or has an active interest in finance. The Financial Times is an excellent vehicle to develop your commercial awareness, financial terminology and generally increase your investment savvy.
We recommend sitting back and reading the financial pages of a newspaper such as the FT for a year before you begin investing to just passively watch the markets do their thing.
The best financial news source for share prices and indices
We personally use Google Finance to look up historical share price information and other financial market data, such as equity indices and the exchange rates between currency pairs.
Google Finance draws data from a host of different sources and brings it together in a concise and easy-to-read series of screens for each public company. Google Finance has UK data as well as international, although it is limited to publicly traded companies.
For the primary source, you could use the London Stock Exchange website, however in our opinion, the LSE web interface isn’t quite as click as Google Finance, and Google goes to effort of publishing supplementary (but useful) information beyond share prices, such as:
- The flat dividend yield
- High or low share price over a period
- Summary company financial information
Don’t forget that some of the best stockbrokers include pricing data in their trading platforms. This might even include level 2 market data (which shows more than just the best quote available or the latest traded price). Even simple investing apps can often include excellent charting software to give traders the confidence to take positions.
In summary: there are countless financial news sources
You will be drowning in choice when searching for the best financial news sources because this is a competitive industry. We’ve shared some of our favourites in this article, please leave a comment below to explain which sources you trust for reliable and timely updates.
The consumers of financial news tend to have deep pockets. While this has led to the creation of paywalls that can place simple news out of the hands of the average retail investor, this influx of cash into the sector has its upsides. One benefit is that, unlike traditional print journalism, financial journalism is still thriving. And many organisations have the cash to invest in real investigative reporters to provide rolling coverage of the financial issues that matter.
By making use of free trials, or simply stumping up the money for a premium subscription, you will feel like you have the world’s financial data and news at your fingertips.