19 December 2013 Last updated at 05:57

Business Live: Markets react to taper

  1.  
    0600: Pia Gadkari Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning and welcome. We'll bring you the reaction to the Federal Reserve's move to wind down its economic stimulus, and take a look at how the EU will deal will failing banks under its new plan. And much more to come. Stay with us.

     
  2.  
    0600: Anthony Reuben Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning. Stay with us until lunchtime as we watch the markets react to the Federal Reserve's decision to cut back the amount of money it's pumping into the economy each month. Do get in touch via bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweet @bbcbusiness.

     
  3.  
    UK TAX COLLECTING 0609:

    There's a critical report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee this morning about the way UK tax is collected. Margaret Hodge, who chairs the committee, says that HMRC "seems to lose its nerve" when chasing multinational companies for owed tax. She said the approach was firmer when HMRC was pursuing small businesses.

     
  4.  
    FEDERAL RESERVE 0619:
    Ben Bernanke

    Yesterday evening, the US central bank decided to scale back the amount of money it pumps into the US economy each month from $85bn (£52bn) to $75bn. The Federal Reserve said the US recovery had taken root, and cited stronger jobs growth as another reason for scaling back its support for the economy.

     
  5.  
    UK TAX COLLECTING 0620: Radio 5 live
    Heather Self

    HMRC disputes the findings of the committee of MPs. And speaking to Wake up to Money, Heather Self, a tax expert from law firm Pinsent Masons said: "I think the public accounts committee needs to lay off HMRC a bit. They are questioning their professionalism and that's not helping us have an efficient tax collecting system."

     
  6.  
    MARKETS UPDATE 0630:

    Markets responded positively to the Federal Reserve's announcement, which was something of a surprise given how negatively they reacted when the possibility of a pullback was mentioned over the summer. The Dow Jones in New York was up nearly 300 points, or just under 2% afterwards. At the moment, the Japanese Nikkei 225 is 1.9% up and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is down 0.1%

     
  7.  
    EU BANKING UNION 0631:

    Late last night, eurozone finance ministers finally agreed to a deal on how to deal with failing banks. They are going to set up a European rescue agency, which will be financed by a levy on banks that is supposed to raise 55bn euros ($76bn; £46bn) over 10 years. The agency will decide how to deal with any failing banks in the eurozone.

     
  8.  
    FEDERAL RESERVE 0633: Radio 4

    Ian Shepherdson, chief economist for Pantheon Economics, says some of the positive market reaction is down to the fact that the policy change announced by the Federal Reserve was very modest. "Also, I think the markets view the Fed's actions as a vote of confidence in their own forecasts that growth is going to get better," he says.

     
  9.  
    FEDERAL RESERVE 0644: Radio 5 live

    Cornelia Meyer from Meyer Resources has been speaking about the US economy on Radio 5 live: "It's an economy on steroids and instead of taking a lot of steroids you still take quite a few steroids."

     
  10.  
    FEDERAL RESERVE 0645:

    The Federal Reserve also indicated that it would keep shaving $10bn (£6bn) per month off its bond-buying programme, unless economic indicators suggested growth was stalling. So, by this time next year, the stimulus could have been completely wound up.

     
  11.  
    FEDERAL RESERVE 0650: Radio 4
    Mike Amey

    On Radio 4, Mike Amey from Pimco says the bond markets went down a quarter of a point in the wake of the Federal Reserve's decision to reduce its bond-buying programme. "Ultimately, if the biggest buyer in town starts to walk away, then you have to find a price at which other buyers are willing to step in."

     
  12.  
    WATERSTONES 0651: Radio 5 live
    James Daunt

    Waterstones chief executive James Daunt explains to Wake up to Money how important this time of year is for his business. "We run the shops effectively for 11 months of the year in order to enjoy Christmas."

     
  13.  
    WATERSTONES 0656: Radio 5 live
    Bookshelves in Waterstones

    Waterstones chief executive James Daunt says: "I think our supermarkets generally are ambassadors for reading. I think it's fantastic that we're putting books in front of people in that kind of environment. If you start reading the kind of things you will buy in a supermarket, which is from a relatively limited range, sooner or later you're going to end up walking through my doors."

     
  14.  
    INSTANT MESSAGING BAN 0703:

    JP Morgan Chase has sent a memo to its staff in corporate and investment banking banning them from participating in instant message groups that involve multiple banks or dealers. Instant messengers allow users to form groups and send messages to all members at the same time. They have been a focus of recent regulatory investigations into collusion between banks.

     
  15.  
    SPACE CAMERA 0714: Radio 5 live
    Gaia Satellite

    The Gaia satellite is due to lift off from French Guiana today, carrying a camera built in Chelmsford. Hans Faulks from E2V, the company that made the camera, tells Radio 5 live that the camera is so powerful that, "if you're standing on the Earth looking at the moon you would be able to see a coin".

     
  16.  
    FEDERAL RESERVE 0718: Radio 4
    George Magnus

    Economist George Magnus is analysing the effect of the Federal Reserve's "taper" on the UK. "It's all a little bit premature, in my view," he says, adding that the heads of central banks in the UK and the US have insisted interest rates will stay close to zero for a considerable amount of time. For the markets, that commitment to low interest rates is a "very very powerful tonic", he says.

     
  17.  
    ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS 0728:
    Office

    Business Secretary Vince Cable says the labour market needs zero-hour contracts because, despite evidence of abuse, they give employers "welcome flexibility". He's launching a 12-week consultation period to see if they can offer flexibility while also making sure people get a "fair deal".

     
  18.  
    UK TAX COLLECTING Via Email

    Reader Chris MacConnell e-mails to say: "I think HMRC would find more understanding from the public if they didn't seem to unfairly pursue honest taxpayers. I was told to pay over £300 of underpaid tax last year, but after disputing this with assistance from the Insolvency Service, was first told I was wrong and eventually told that HMRC had made a mistake and that I owed nothing. I was one of several hundred ex-Woolworths employees to receive this treatment."

     
  19.  
    WESTFIELD BRADFORD 0741:

    The Telegraph reports that a stalled shopping centre development that has left a big hole in Bradford city centre is finally to be restarted. The Australian property developer Westfield has said it will resume the construction project next month. The centre should open in time for Christmas 2015, with space for 70 shops. Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Topshop and Sainsbury's have all signed up.

     
  20.  
    BITCOIN FREEFALL 0742:

    The South China Morning Post is reporting this morning that the value of the virtual currency, Bitcoin, has plunged after a Shanghai exchange said it would not accept renminbi deposits. Earlier this week, the People's Bank of China banned third-party payment providers from processing transactions that involve digital currencies. The exchange in question, BTC China, handled 40% of all Bitcoin trading.

     
  21.  
    TOP STORIES
     
  22.  
    ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS 0756: Radio 4

    Business Secretary Vince Cable has just spoken to Radio 4 about zero hour contracts. He estimates about a million people have them, but there are no official figures available. He adds that many people may not know they have this sort of contract, because there are currently no rules governing how they should be structured. "It's not an accepted kind of contract," Mr Cable says.

     
  23.  
    BRITISH AIRWAYS 0759:
    BA plane taking off

    British Airways will today become the first European airline to allow customers to use handheld electronic devices during taxiing, take off and landing. The Civil Aviation Authority has cleared BA to allow passengers to use computers, phones and eReaders in flight safe mode. Presumably other airlines will continue to claim they interfere with navigation systems.

     
  24.  
    ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS 0804: Radio 4

    Business Secretary Vince Cable says two elements of zero hour contracts need to be looked at: he thinks so-called exclusivity rights - which stop employees from working for several firms - should go. He also wants more transparency, so workers understand the terms of their contract, and any entitlements they may receive.

     
  25.  
    RSA AUDITORS 0808:
    RSA logo

    The Financial Times reports that big shareholders in the insurer RSA are turning to its former auditor, Deloitte, for explanations of how the accounting irregularities at RSA's Irish arm were allowed to happen. RSA chief executive Simon Lee resigned last week after issuing three profit warnings linked to the Irish business. RSA replaced Deloitte as its auditor with KPMG in May.

     
  26.  
    AIRPORT EXPANSION 0817: Radio 4

    Business Secretary Vince Cable weighs in on whether Heathrow airport should be expanded. He says: "London is becoming a kind of giant suction machine draining the life out of the rest of the country." He calls for more balance, and more use of provincial airports. He adds that he doubts any expansion will actually take place at Heathrow.

     
  27.  
    AGENCY ACQUISITION 0825:
    Taylor Swift

    The Times reports that the William Morris talent agency has won a bidding war to buy its rival IMG for $2.3bn (£1.4bn). IMG's clients include Taylor Swift (pictured) and Justin Timberlake. It is also the world's largest independent producer and distributor of sports programmes.

     
  28.  
    MARKETS UPDATE 0831:

    Let's see how the European markets have reacted to the Federal Reserve's decision last night to slightly reduce the amount of money it's pumping into the US economy. The FTSE 100 is up 0.9%, while the Dax in Frankfurt is up 1.1% and the Cac40 in Paris is up 1.2%. Earlier, the Nikkei in Tokyo closed up 1.7%, but the Hang Seng in Hong Kong dropped 1.1%.

     
  29.  
    INSIDER TRADING TRIAL 0854:
    Michael Steinberg leaves court in New York

    In case you've been following, a senior employee at SAC Capital was found guilty of insider trading at a court in New York yesterday. Michael Steinberg (pictured above left) could go to prison over it. It's the latest in a series of such trials, and another former SAC employee, Mathew Martoma is due to go on trial next month.

     
  30.  
    EU BANKING UNION 0857: Via Blog Robert Peston Business editor

    blogs: "After 10 years, by 2026, the [rescue] fund will contain in its coffers 55bn euros. Does that sound like a lot of money to you? Well it's a pimple in the context of the monumentally huge balance sheets of eurozone banks. Here is one way of seeing how little it is. It is considerably less than the British government spent on propping up one bank, Royal Bank of Scotland."

     
  31.  
    ASTRAZENECA 0859:

    AstraZeneca has announced that it's expanding its stake in a diabetes joint venture for $2.7bn (£1.6bn), taking over the stake currently owned by Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS). There could be up to another $1.4bn in additional payments. There was speculation over the deal after BMS said it was ending diabetes drug research.

     
  32.  
    BANKER BASHING 0907:

    There's an open letter in the Independent to Sir Richard Lambert, the man in charge of coming up with new standards for the City, from Robert Jenkins, a former member of the Bank of England's banking watchdog. "To anyone with a bank bashing bent, banker behaviour is the gift that keeps on giving," he writes.

     
  33.  
    FEDERAL RESERVE 0921:

    A roundup of opinion following the Federal Reserve's policy change yesterday. At the Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard cheers the policy known as quantitative easing as a "magnificent success", saying it blunted the shock of budget cuts this year. The Wall Street Journal says, rather more soberly, the policy merely "outlived whatever small usefulness" it may have had.

     
  34.  
    UK RETAIL SALES 0933:
    Shoppers in London

    We've just had official retail sales figures from the Office for National Statistics. The quantity bought in November this year was 2.0% up on November 2012. The amount spent in the retail industry was up 2.7% on the same month last year.

     
  35.  
    CAR SALES 0937:
    Unveiling of new Mini

    British car making was up 4.5% to 1.42 million units in the first 11 months of this year, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. New models, such as the third-generation Mini, have helped push sales and the industry's output is due to hit a six year high. Further growth is expected next year, the car industry group says.

     
  36.  
    UK RETAIL SALES 0937:

    The proportion of sales made online increased 1.4 percentage points from last year to 11.9% of all retail sales (excluding petrol and diesel). Online sales at department stores rose particularly sharply, although the stores have warned that such sales detract from their in-store takings.

     
  37.  
    SAAB SHARES SOAR 0940:
    Saab JAS 39 Gripen jet

    The Swedish defence manufacturer Saab has seen its shares jump nearly 30% on Thursday after it beat out rivals Boeing and Dassault Aviation to win an order for 36 fighter jets from Brazil. The contract was finally awarded after a several-year delay. Weeks earlier, Boeing lost out to Lockheed Martin on a multi-billion dollar order for fighter jets from South Korea.

     
  38.  
    HOUSING MARKET Via Twitter Kevin Peachey Personal finance reporter, BBC News

    tweets: 'Bubble' watch: Mortgage lending will be higher than originally predicted this year, says CML, but not at the peak seen in 2007

     
  39.  
    CAR SALES 0953:

    The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has said there was a 24% rise in domestic market demand for cars in the first 11 months of the year, buoyed by attractive financing deals and a more favourable economic climate. There was also robust demand for new fuel-efficient cars, the group said. But it said production of commercial vehicles was down 21%, mostly because of weak demand in Europe.

     
  40.  
    UK RETAIL SALES 0955:
    Shopper on Oxford Street

    If you're a bit confused by this morning's retail sales figures, we have an explanation of how they work, written by the person at the Office for National Statistics who calculates them.

     
  41.  
    RETAIL SALES 1000: BBC News Channel

    Kate Davies, head of retail for the ONS, is talking to the News Channel about the latest retail sales figures. She says that although prices are rising, they haven't gone up enough to put people off buying. "The fact that prices are increasing but not as fast as other prices are increasing, that's actually helping the consumers to afford the products that they want to buy."

    Screen grab from BBC News channel
     
  42.  
    ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS Via Email

    Richard in Pickering emails: "Zero hours contracts gave us the confidence to take on some new staff without any repercussions in a volatile market place. We have now had three people on zero hours contracts employed constantly, full time, for a year now and the future work looks promising."

     
  43.  
    ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS Via Email

    Simon Rice-Birchall, a partner at the law firm Eversheds, says in an emailed statement: "It seems likely that the Government will seek to stop employers from unnecessarily banning zero hour workers working for another employer: so-called 'exclusivity' clauses. In practice, few employers demand such exclusivity and many will consider this a reasonable step in the circumstances."

     
  44.  
    CHOCOLATE PRICES 1038:
    Chocolate truffles

    Demand for chocolate is on the rise in Asia, with consumption in China doubling in the last 10 years. But combined with the biggest shortfall of cocoa in more than 50 years, prices for chocolate could be about to go up. In this video, an artisan chocolate maker in Singapore explains what it means for his business.

     
  45.  
    CHRISTMAS PANTOMIMES 1052:
    Su Pollard

    It's almost Christmas... Which means it's the season of pantomime. The BBC's Peter Day takes a look at this well-loved holiday tradition and discovers the long-running fixture of the festive season is crucial to making theatres financially viable for the rest of the year.

     
  46.  
    Via Twitter Adam Parsons Business Correspondent

    tweets: "At the Bank of England. It has cashiers' tills and paying-in slips like any high street branch...who knew?"

     
  47.  
    FEDERAL RESERVE 1110: World Service

    Today from the World Service, the Business Daily podcast asks what the US Federal Reserve's wind-down of quantitative easing means for China and other developing countries, and what it says about the US economy. Also in the programme, should everyone be entitled to a minimum basic income, guaranteed by the state?

     
  48.  
    UK TAX COLLECTING Via Email

    Reader Paul in Shropshire e-mails to say: Small businesses get non-stop phone calls from HMRC, debt collectors at the door, and forced to make payment, Yet in the press we read that large companies, national and international, get away with paying taxes two years after they are due, then do a "deal" with HMRC in how much in the pound they pay. Makes a shame of the tax system."

     
  49.  
    UK RETAIL SALES Via Email

    John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses says: "Rising retail sales will be warmly welcomed by our members, with many of them increasingly confident in this sector. The data showing the significant increase in spending in small stores compared to large stores will especially provide them with festive cheer."

     
  50.  
    UK TAX COLLECTING Via Email

    Chas Roy-Chowdhury, head of taxation for the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants, says: "It's easy to point the finger at HMRC and tell it to try harder. However, HMRC is facing a squeezed budget like so many other public sector bodies. It is up to government to clarify the rules and close any existing loopholes."

     
  51.  
    FAREPAK FINE 1127:
    Farepak sign

    The accountancy watchdog, the Financial Reporting Council, has fined EY (which used to be called Ernst and Young) £750,000 plus £425,000 in costs for the way it audited the Christmas savings club Farepak. Its auditor Alan Flitcroft was fined £50,000. Farepak stopped trading in October 2006, owing £37m to 120,000 customers, who had been saving for Christmas. Nice quick work from the regulator...

     
  52.  
    ZERO HOUR CONTRACTS Via Email

    Reader Richard in Pickering says: "Zero hours contracts gave us the confidence to take on some new staff without any repercussions in a volatile market place. We have had three people on zero hours contracts employed constantly, full time, for a year now and the future work looks promising." But Marc in Southend-on-Sea says: "Maybe we should put MPs on zero hour contracts!"

     
  53.  
    SELF-STORAGE FIRMS 1147:
    Best-selling Santa suit

    In the run-up to Christmas, staff at the e-commerce gift company Sent 4 U are parcelling up 12,000 items a day - toys, party goods, diaries, cards and its best-selling Santa outfits - and sending them all around the world. And they're doing it all from self-storage units. Find out more about tsmall firms run from self-storage.

     
  54.  
    UNEXPECTED SHEEP 1158:
    Sheep

    There appear to be some sheep in a pen outside Broadcasting House. Is it a One Man and his Dog Christmas special? Perhaps an unusually local Farming Today outside broadcast.

     
  55.  
    LIVING WITH PARENTS 1208:
    Alberto with his parents

    In Spain, where living at home into your 30s is traditional, hundreds of thousands of people have left the country since the financial crisis started in 2008. For those who have stayed in Spain, or even returned from abroad, moving back in with their parents can be a positive, and comfortable option. There's advice here on how to survive living with your parents as an adult.

     
  56.  
    ZUCKERBERG SHARES Via Twitter Dominic Laurie Reporter for Five Live

    tweets: "Mark Zuckerberg has sold 40 odd million shares in Facebook, worth around 2.3 billion dollars"

     
  57.  
    MIKHAIL KHODORKOVSKY 1231:
    Mikhail Khodorkovsky

    We're getting reports that Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former chief executive of the oil company Yukos, is to be pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr Khodorkovsky is currently due to be released in August 2014 after spending more than a decade in jail on fraud and tax evasion charges.

     
  58.  
    REPOSSESSION RISK 1240:

    The homeless charity Shelter has just released figures suggesting that one in every 105 households in England is at risk of eviction or repossession. The research is based on records from court proceedings. Apparently the most at-risk area is the London borough of Newham, where one in 35 homes is at risk.

     
  59.  
    MARKETS UPDATE 1250:

    At lunchtime, the European markets are still looking perky with the FTSE 100 up 1.1%, the Dax up 1.3% and the Cac 40 up 1.2%.

     
  60.  
    1300:

    That's all from today's Business Live page. We'll be back at 06:00 GMT tomorrow for the last live page of 2013. And we'll be sure to check on our way in whether shepherds have been watching their flocks by night outside the BBC. See you tomorrow.

     

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