Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. US markets close on mixed picture
  2. FTSE 100 closes 1.43% lower
  3. Amazon drivers 'work illegal hours', BBC investigation finds
  4. Alibaba posts record Singles Day sales
  5. Get in touch:

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Until next week...

That's all from me folks, and thanks again for reading Business Live. We'll be back next week with more news and views on the world of business and the markets. I hope you have a good weekend. 

BreakingUS markets close on mixed picture

The major US markets were a mixed picture at close as investors continued to digest the election result.

The Dow Jones shrugged off earlier losses to close 0.21% higher at 18,847.66 points - another all-time high after yesterday's record performance. The Nasdaq was also up, by 0.54% at 5,237.11. 

But the S&P 500 finished 0.14% lower at 2,164.45 despite paring earlier losses. 

Causes of Brexit and Trump win 'not just economic'


In recent days, many commentators have attributed Mr Trump's election win to the disenfranchisement of middle and lower income Americans. But in this interesting FT article, professor John Kay of the London School of Economics says "there is something in this explanation but not enough". 

"While it is true that neither Brexit nor Mr Trump would have won without attracting the support of disaffected working-class voters in depressed areas, many of those who voted for either were not economically disadvantaged. 

"Polls have shown that the average income of Mr Trump’s voters was above that of Hillary Clinton supporters. The strongest predictors of voting behaviour have been ageeducation level and ethnicity - not income."

He adds that the evidence on "inequality and globalisation is far more nuanced than so many would have guessed".

More important, he says, is the inadequate political response to the financial crisis, which has left a vacuum for populists to fill. 

An inconvenient truth

In this interesting blog, commentator Zero Hedge outlines what he sees as the drivers behind Donald Trump's victory using several handy graphs. 

"The intent is to highlight, through the use of a few charts, that the nation’s economic policy for the last 30 years has failed greatly and hollowed out the middle class," he says.

"The consequences have been accumulating for years but have been camouflaged by ever increasing, but unsuccessful attempts to reignite economic growth." 

Here are few of the charts. 

Real median income
Zero Hedge
Wage growth
Zero Hedge
Manufacturing employment
Zero Hedge

JC Penney cuts sales forecast

JC Penney
Getty Images

Department store chain JC Penney has cut its revenue forecast for the year after seeing sluggish clothing sales in the third quarter.

It is trying to recover from an ill-judged restructuring plan under former chief executive Ron Johnson that caused sales and profits to tumble in 2012 and 2013. 

It is also trying to adjust to changing shopping patterns, as consumers shift their spending away from clothing and towards experiences like beauty treatments or towards furnishing their home. As such, the group is trying to promote more appliances and homeware in its stores.  

In the third quarter JC Penney reported a loss of $67m compared with a loss of $115 million in the same period last year. 

It now expects to see an increase of 1-2% in full year sales - down from its original forecast of 3-4%.

BreakingUS markets remain volatile

The main US markets opened down this morning but trading has been volatile since then.

The Nasdaq is currently up 0.3%, while the Dow is flat and The S&P 500 is down 0.33%, as these charts show. 

Dow Jones
S&P 500

Pound hovers at $1.26

Pound vs the dollar
Hargreaves Lansdowne

It's been a good week for the pound and today the currency passed the $1.26 mark for the first time in five weeks. This chart shows you how it's done since 7 November. 

Egypt gets some money

An Egyptian street vendor walks on El-Moez Street in Fatimid Cairo, Egypt

Egypt is to be given a $12bn bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), spread over three years.

The Central Bank of Egypt has received the first $2.75bn tranche.

The loan "will help Egypt restore macroeconomic stability and promote inclusive growth," the IMF said.

In other words, to help it out of its deep economic crisis.

BA strike ballot next week

BA aircraft at Heathrow

Two thousand British Airways' cabin crew will be balloted for possible strike action in a dispute over pay.  

Members of Unite will start voting next week, with the result due in mid December. 

Unite said the crew, part of BA's so-called "mixed fleet", had rejected a 2% pay offer. 

They are staff who work at Heathrow and have joined the airline since 2010.

Tata tries to oust Cyrus Mistry from subsidiaries

Cyrus Mistry

The bitter feud at the top of India's giant Tata industrial empire is continuing in full spate.

Tata Sons, the holding company, is now trying to force out its former chairman, Cyrus Mistry, from all parts of its vast business.

It is trying to remove him from the boards of several subsidiaries such as Tata Motors, Tata Chemicals, and Tata Steel.

Mr Mistry was sacked as overall chairman last month, out of the blue.

The surprising move soon exposed a saga of bitter disagreement at board level, with claim and counterclaim thrown around to the general astonishment of onlookers.

Read more

Brazil challenges US steel tariffs

Brazilian steel mill

Brazil has launched a complaint at the World Trade Organisation against a US decision to levy punitive tariffs on imports of cold- and hot-rolled steel flat products from Brazil.

The United States has imposed anti-subsidy duties on the products but Brazil says that it broke WTO rules by doing so, according to the WTO.

The United States now has 60 days to settle the dispute or Brazil could ask the WTO to adjudicate.  

Pound recovers ground after US election

Pounds and dollars

The pound has continued to recover ground following this week's US election result.

The news will bring some respite to businesses that import goods, and to holidaymakers buying foreign currency.

For the first time in five weeks sterling is worth around $1.26, having sunk as low as $1.21 a month ago. That is a rise of about 4%.

Against the euro, the pound has risen by more than 6% over the same period, up from €1.09 to €1.16.

Read more.

Singles Day sales settle at $18bn, says Alibaba

Jack Ma
Getty Images

Chinese shoppers splashed out almost $18bn during Alibaba's Singles Day sale on Friday, the e-commerce giant has claimed. 

Rival e-commerce giant, which focuses more on electronics, said its sales total - which it did not specify - surpassed last year's figure at 1:33 pm China time. 

However, it's worth remembering that some have questioned the accuracy of Singles Day sales, amid claims of inflated sales data at Chinese online retailers.

Police open investigation into football bribery

Football boots

Police have opened a criminal investigation into an allegation of bribery after reviewing material from the Daily Telegraph's investigation into suspected corruption in football.

Sam Allardyce left his post as England boss after the newspaper investigation claimed he offered advice on how to "get around" rules on player transfers.

He had been in charge of England for one game before his exit.

But police said Allardyce "is not part of the investigation".

Read more.

Italian borrowing costs jump following Trump win

Matteo Renzi
Getty Images

Shock waves from Donald Trump's election have been felt in Italy today, as sovereign borrowing costs shot up, Reuters reports

Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is holding a referendum next month on the Italian constitution, but some fear a populist revolt -  akin to the one just seen in the US - will defeat him.

Concerned this will create political upheaval, investors shied away from an Italian bond auction today, sending yields to their highest levels since mid-2015.

"Today's auction, with weaker demand at the longer end of the yield curve, is probably one of the first signs of rising tensions on Italy's debt ahead of the referendum," IG strategist Vincenzo Longo said.  

BreakingFTSE 100 closes 1.43% lower

The FTSE 100 has closed 1.43% lower at 6,730.43 points.

The biggest fallers were miners and banks, which had made gains on Wednesday and Thursday following Donald Trump's victory.

The worst performers were miners Fresnillo and Randgold Resources Ltd - down 8.95% and 6.73% - and Standard Chartered bank, down 6.34%.

The best performers were BT Group, up 3.78%, and Marks & Spencer Group, up 3.28%.

'Crazy' to say Facebook helped Trump win - Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg
Getty Images

Facing criticism that fake news on Facebook aided the rise of Donald Trump, founder Mark Zuckerberg has strongly defended his network.

Speaking on stage at Techonomy, a technology conference in California, Mr Zuckerberg said Facebook should not be held responsible.

"The idea that fake news on Facebook influenced the election in any way is a pretty crazy idea," he said.

"If you believe that then I don't think you have internalised the message Trump supporters are trying to send in this election."

Some data has shown that fake stories were being far more widely shared on the platform than follow up stories debunking the claims.  

Read more.

Singles Day 'shows change in Chinese economy'

Scarlett Johansson and Jack Ma
Getty Images

Sales at Alibaba's Singles Day - or 11.11 - have reached 103bn yuan ($15bn; £12bn) in the first 20 hours of the sale - easily topping the previous record set last year of $14.3bn. 

Alison Paton, investment communications executive at Aberdeen Asset Management, says the online shopping event shows how China's economy is changing. 

The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is a bit of a bellwether for the country’s consumer and their [Singles Day] revenue exceeded 10 billion yuan within seven minutes into trading. This is half the time it took to reach the same figure last year. China is trying shift the economy away from a reliance on investment and manufacturing towards one driven by consumer spending and services. It’s not been plain sailing. Growth has taken a significant hit. So events like Singles Day are important indicators to feel the pulse of China’s economy. Today alone isn’t enough to sustain the Chinese economy. It will take time for it to re-balance around the consumer. The Chinese authorities need to keep reforming, and allow entrepreneurs and independent institutions to flourish to sustain the transition.”

$1tn 'wiped off' global bond market

Bond market value chart

More than $1tn was wiped off the value of bonds around the world this week on fears that Donald Trump's policies will boost spending and quicken inflation, Bloomberg reports

The market value of Bank of America’s Global Broad Market Index, which tracks more than 24,000 bonds globally, has slumped by $1.14tn this week to $48.1tn. Meanwhile global stocks gained $1.3tn.

“We do view the election of Donald Trump as a game changer,” said Adam Donaldson, head of debt research at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. 

“[Mr Trump's] strong bias toward fiscal expansion and inflationary policy represents a stark change to the malaise of recent years. This opens the door for the Fed to hike [interest rates] in December, but also more quickly in 2017 and 2018 than previously expected."  

It could be worse...

Toblerone bars
Anthony Reuben

British consumers were miffed at news 400g and 170g Toblerone bars had got smaller (but not more expensive) due to the recent fall in the pound.  

But Business Live reader Anthony Reuben suggests things could be worse. In Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, a 360g bar will set you back a whopping €8.30 (£7.15) while you can buy two on special offer for €11.50.

In Heathrow by contrast you can buy one bar for £3.99 or three for £10.

BreakingFTSE trading 1.5% lower

UK trader
Getty Images

The FTSE 100 has slipped further, trading 1.5% lower at 6,727.07 points. 

Miners and banks, which have enjoyed Trump-inspired gains this week, are falling back. 

The worst performers include miner Fresnillo, down 7.99%, Standard Chatered bank, down 6.63% and packaging and paper group Mondi, down 4.9%.   

Lowering expectations

Philip Hammond
Getty Images

Chancellor Philip Hammond will give his first Autumn Statement on 23 November and is expected to boost spending on infrastructure to offset a possible Brexit slowdown.

However, property consultancy Colliers says business shouldn't get its hopes up.

“Despite pledges of increased infrastructure spending, there has been some back-pedaling in the last few weeks as Philip Hammond seeks to quash expectations about the scale of any such investment," says chief Economist Walter Boettcher.

"The commitment to devolution and The Northern Powerhouse, as well as the several local combined authorities that are in formation, is for now, secure. The next question is; will they receive the financial support they expect to push forward their own regional development agendas?

He also does not expect a VAT rate cut, changes to business rates or a corporation tax cut. In fact we may not see any meaningful changes until the Budget in March 2017.

BreakingUS markets open lower

Wall Street has opened lower as the volatile trading seen yesterday looks set to continue. 

In the opening minutes of trade, the S&P 500 was 0.35% lower at 2,159.98 points, the Dow Jones was down 0.13% at 18,784.32 and the Nasdaq was 0.38% lower at 5,188.82.

Commodities rally may be 'hope over reality'

Capital Economics doubts Trump-inspired upswings

A steel mill
Getty Images

The price of commodities like copper have rallied in recent days as markets warmed to Donald Trump's infrastructure spending plans.

But Capital Economics thinks the jubilation is premature. 

In a note it said: "Commodity markets seem to believe US President-elect Trump will quickly deliver the one thing that he probably can’t – a surge in infrastructure spending – and are ignoring all the bad stuff that perhaps he can." 

"What’s more, any increase in US infrastructure spending is likely to be back-loaded and its impact on global demand for metals over the next year or two could easily be offset by a renewed slowdown in China. It may also prove a mixed blessing for commodity prices if increased government spending crowds out private sector activity, especially if borrowing costs rise, and if the US dollar surges."

It expects the recent gains in the prices of industrial metals to be short-lived and gold to rally again.

Indian bank stocks hit by currency saga

Old rupee bills

Indian bank shares dived today as customers struggled to get hold of new high-denomination bank notes introduced on Thursday.

It follows the government's shock decision on Wednesday to withdraw 500 and 1,000 rupee notes from circulation, and replace them with new 2,000 rupee bills. The move, which is designed to tackle graft, led to huge queues at banks as people rushed to exchange their money. 

Today ICICI Bank plummeted by 5.32% while State Bank of India slumped 3.09%. Bank of Baroda closed down 2.49% and the Central Bank of India slid 2.98%.

"The sudden announcement has caused a problem for banks but the sector will eventually benefit from the de-monetisation drive," Sujan Hajra, chief economist at Anand Rathi securities, told AFP.

Buffett upbeat

Warren Buffett
Getty Images

America's favorite billionaire investor is taking a positive view of the new president.

Warren Buffett says he is still optimistic about America and that the stock market reaction will be positive in the long-term.

Mr Buffett was critical of Donald Trump during the election campaign and backed Hillary Clinton, choosing to appear at a campaign rally with the Democratic presidential candidate in Omaha.  

"The stock market will be higher 10, 20, 30 years from now, and it would have been with Hillary, and it ... will be with Trump," he told CNN. 

Asked if he felt optimistic about America, Mr Buffett added: "100% ... the market system works. It doesn't work for everybody. It works in aggregate." 

Markets warm to Trump

Most traded shares
TD Direct

TD Direct says Thursday was another very busy day, with more trading than Wednesday as investors continued to react to the election of Donald Trump.

"The markets (at least) are warming to the idea of a Trump administration, with expectations of infrastructure investment and a higher interest rate/lower regulation financial market driving moves in US and European stock markets on Thursday."

The FTSE 100 is still down 1% at 6,757 points as a sell-off in emerging markets took its toll in London.

Sterling maintains gains

Sterling and the US dollar
Getty Images

The pound held onto gains this lunchtime to remain above $1.26, lifted by better-than-expected construction figures and concerns about president-elect Trump.  

Sterling is up 0.6% to $1.263 against the US dollar.

Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK, said: "The pound as a top FX gainer this week bucks the trend of Brexit-induced weakness seen over the past few months.

"There's an element of simply a shift in focus behind this. The phenomenon of Donald Trump as US President-elect has put Brexit on the back-burner, allowing the pound to creep higher." 

Barclaycard says adios to Spain

Barclays has completed the sale of its Spanish and Portuguese credit card business as the bank presses ahead with asset disposals. 

The bank said that its £1.2bn Barclaycard consumer payments business was "sold at a small premium" to Spanish online bank WiZink - previously known as Bancopopular-e - which is owned by Varde Partners and Banco Popular. WiZink will gain nearly 800,000 customers.

Barclays has been working to sell down and dispose of its hinterland business as quickly to focus on core US and UK operations. 

The sale, which was first announced in April, has been given the green light by regulators. 

Miners hit with damages for Brazil tragedy

Minas Gerais, Brazil
Getty Images

BHP Billiton, Vale and their joint venture, Samarco, have been ordered to pay $356m in damages for the fatal collapse of a dam in Brazil that claimed 19 lives.

A court ruled that the mining companies must also present evidence within 90 days that they have stopped a leak at a nearby dam.   

The Fundao dam-burst disaster in November 2015 caused a deadly mudslide and polluted a river.

A report commissioned by BHP Billiton and Vale found that a change in the dam's design led to led to less efficient water drainage leading to the collapse.

You've got mail

Royal Mail
Getty Images

It is all going swimmingly at Royal Mail. 

The company has beaten targets for delivering both first and second class post by the next day. 

In a Quality of Service report for the six months to June, Royal Mail said it delivered 93.4% of first class mail by the next working day. The target was 93%.

For second class, it delivered 98.9% by the following day against a target of 98.5%.

However, special deliveries - the service that leaves those irritating "sorry we missed you" cards on doormats - fell a little short of a 99% goal. It delivered 98.6% by the next day.

House market defies Brexit vote

A house for sale
Getty Images

Redrow is upbeat on today's construction figures from the Office of National Statistics.

The FTSE 100-listed builder said that a trend showing a rise in new private housing matches its experience of the post-Brexit market.

Chief executive John Tutte, says: "Demand for homes is still incredibly high, a trend even Brexit has failed to dampen in our recent experience, and we have geared up our business for growth in response."

However, he called for more action to tackle the housing crisis. Housing minister Gavin Barwell admitted on Friday that the government will miss its target to build one million homes by 2020. 

Deliveroo off the boil

Deliveroo couriers
Getty Images

It hasn't been a great week for Deliveroo.

The food delivery business, known for its ubiquitous bike couriers, has reported an £18.1m loss for 2015. That compares with a £1.3m loss for the previous year. 

Earlier this week, it emerged that a group of Deliveroo drivers were taking legal action to gain union recognition following an employment tribunal victory for two Uber drivers who successfully argued they were workers, not contractors.  

Deliveroo workers do not get paid leave or the right to the minimum wage.