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  1. Bank of England holds interest rates again
  2. Inquiry into current accounts and business lending launched
  3. The morning's main business programmes are available on the Live Coverage tab

Live Reporting

By Edwin Lane and Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    That's it from us. We'll be back with more from 06:00 tomorrow. See you then.


    World Service

    "You know there's modern technology in Africa contrary to some people's understandings." The chief executive of Randgold, Mark Bristo, tells Russell Padmore how he ran his mining company from the back of motorcycle while on a month-long charity ride across the continent. Listen to the interview at 19:30 GMT on the World Service.


    World Service

    tweets: "Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow warns falling gold price will hurt many miners with huge debts. Listen:"


    ECB President, Mario Draghi

    The European Central Bank has kept interest rates unchanged. The benchmark rate remains at 0.05%. Attention now turns to the press conference of Mario's Draghi, the president of the ECB, at 13:30.


    The BBC's Richard Anderson reports on the shady underbelly of the drugs industry: "Pharmaceutical companies have developed the vast majority of medicines known to humankind, but they have profited handsomely from doing so, and not always by legitimate means."

  6. INDIA

    Simon Atkinson

    Editor, India Business Report

    Last day of the WEF India summit where the buzzword has been - er, "buzz". The finance minister told us there was a "buzz around India". Half the delegates we've interviewed said it too. Second most overused word, incidentally, "sentiment".


    BBC News Channel

    Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander is on the News Channel. He says the price of crude oil in pounds has fallen by 14% over the last six weeks alone. He wants retailers to pass on that fall to consumers.

  8. Via Blog


    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    blogs: "If the UK is pretty strict when handing out visas to impecunious refugees who fear persecution in their home countries, is it right and proper that there is a near-automatic green light when a £2m loan is made to the Exchequer?"


    Jeremy Paxman

    Jeremy Paxman is joining the Financial Times as a contributing editor to its weekend issue, reports the Guardian. Among his duties will be "lunch with the FT interviews". Sounds nicer than those late evenings in the subterranean Newsnight studio. "At last someone takes me seriously," he says according to the Guardian.


    As expected the Bank of England has kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5%. The QE programme remains unchanged too.


    BBC News Channel

    When will the first interest rate rise come? Keith Wade, chief economist at Schroders, points out that it will take about a year for the Bank of England's rate to feed through to the market, so the bank needs to thing about where the UK economy is going to be in 12 months' time. Even so, few analysts are expecting a rates rise before next summer.


    The European markets are showing signs of recovery ahead of interest rate decisions by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

    • The FTSE 100 is trading down 0.2% - up from earlier falls
    • The Dax is up 0.1%
    • The Cac 40 is back to its starting point after earlier falls

    The positive reaction of the financial markets to the Republican victory in the US mid-terms is explained on the front page of the Financial Times this morning, with the headline "Republicans push for pro-business reform". It says the agenda for the next two years includes tax cuts and a loosening of regulation for energy firms and banks.


    BBC World News

    Could the plummeting oil price put the US's fracking boom in danger? There are many concerns but little sign of a slowdown, says Michelle Fleury. She reports from Oklahoma, where the oil industry is resurgent thanks to new fracking technology. "Our margins are really strong, so we can continue at the same pace, even with oil prices much lower than $80 a barrel," says one executive.


    John Lewis has launched its Christmas advert, featuring a computer-generated penguin. The Independent reports that it comes as part of a £7m investment in its festive marketing campaign this year.

  16. Via Twitter


    Anthony Reuben

    Head of statistics, BBC News

    tweets: "Bit of a slap on the wrist for @hmtreasury for not being clear about which inflation measure it used for train fares…"


    Apple store Beijing

    New malicious software programs are infecting Apple desktop computers, iPhones and iPads in China, an online security researcher has warned. US-based Palo Alto Networks said "WireLurker" appears to have originated in China and is mostly infecting devices there. The malware spreads through apps uploaded from a third-party store and can steal information.

  18. OMAN OIL

    BBC World News

    Mark Lobel

    An amazing statistic from Mark Lobel who reports on Oman's oil industry for World Business Report. He says that paying the public sector wage bill consumes $50 from every barrel of oil the nation pumps. Falling oil prices are jeopardising the finances of Oman and other oil reliant nations, he says.


    Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

    Italian media is reporting that the former chairman of Ferrari, Luca Di Montezemolo (pictured), will be the next chief of Italy's national carrier Alitalia. In September Mr Montezemolo left Ferrari after 23 years at the company. His departure followed a clash with Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne. As head of Italy's main business association, Mr Montezemolo supported Etihad's rescue deal for Alitalia.


    Luxembourg's Premier Xavier Bettel has responded to those allegations that his country has signed hundreds of tax deals with companies looking to minimise their tax bills. "I want to underline that these rulings conform to international laws," he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. However the investigation, reported in today's Guardian, is not accusing the companies of acting illegally.


    Kamal Ahmed

    BBC Business editor

    I am sure the issue of "free in-credit banking" will be part of [the CMA's] review. If customers paid up front for accounts would they demand a better service? Would they be more likely to switch if they were not satisfied with their bank? If customers are charged for bank accounts, what does that mean for people on lower incomes, would they be priced out of full service banking?



    Morrisons has seen its shares rise more than 6% this morning, despite reporting another fall in sales. Investors appear relieved that the fall was not as big as the 7.4% reported six months ago, suggesting varoius turnaround intiatives in place may be beginning to bear fruit. Chief executive Dalton Philips says he doesn't expect to see a real improvement in sales performance until the second half of 2014-15.


    Welder, BAE Systems

    Manufacturing recorded healthy growth in September, up 2.9% compared with September 2013, according to the ONS. Transport equipment, computers, electronics and chemicals were the biggest contributors to growth. Overall industrial output rose 1.5% in September compared with last year.


    The Italian restaurant chain, Prezzo has agreed to a £304m takeover by the private equity group, TPG funds. Prezzo has 203 restaurants. The business has been run for 14 years by Jonathan Kaye who, along with his family, wanted to sell the business without "compromising its long term future", according to TPG.


    The markets in Europe are down this morning, after record highs at the close of the US markets last night.

    • The FTSE 100 is down 0.3% so far
    • The Dax in Frankfurt is down 0.1%
    • The Cac 40 in Paris is down 0.3%

    Morrisons share price is up 5.6% - the biggest riser on the FTSE - despite reporting a 6.3% slide in sales this morning.

  26. INDIA

    BBC Radio 4

    When is India going to be as rich and successful as China? "There's a lot of buzz about India... India which was falling off the global radar is back in the gaze of the global investor," the finance minister Arun Jaitley tells the BBC's Yogita Limaye. He says the new government's economic reforms mean "it's only a matter of time before you see the investment, the impact on the ground".


    The Guardian reports that an investigation has revealed tax avoidance on an "industrial scale" by companies that have struck tax deals with Luxembourg. "Complex webs of internal loans and interest payments," have allowed companies to slash their tax bills the Guardian says. The paper highlights deals by Dyson, drugs firm Shire and City broking firm ICAP. The probe was by 80 journalists working through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.


    BBC Radio 4

    Our business editor Kamal Ahmed tells Today that getting banks to charge for current accounts is being looked at as one way to improve transparency for customers. Current accounts are free, but you get charged in other ways to cover the costs. "Charging for bank accounts is one thing [the CMA] would look at," he says. "Currently it's very difficult to know ho much you're being charged for your overdrafts for example."


    The BBA has responded the the CMA inquiry: "All the banks will co-operate fully with any investigation. There are already substantial changes currently underway across the banking industry to strengthen competition, which improves choice and service for customers. Banks are pro-competition - they compete for business every day."


    For sale signs, York

    The housing market continues to cool, according to the latest figures from Halifax. House prices in the three months to October were 0.8% higher than the previous three months. But that is the third quarter in a row that the pace of price increases has slowed. Despite this Halifax says the healthy economy should continue to support the housing market.


    HSBC was among the banks that appeared unhappy with the Competition and Markets Authority's inquiry into current accounts and business lending. In its submission to the authority it said: "HSBC is concerned that the CMA has taken a backward looking view of both markets and has tended to draw negative inference about outcomes from what is in fact a very mixed evidence base."

  32. ADIDAS


    German sportswear firm Adidas says its sales have continued to grow this year, but will slow next year because there's no World Cup on. The firm has issued a series of profit warnings recently, and has struggled to keep pace with its larger US rival Nike. Adidas shares are up 0.9%.


    Dairy Crest milk

    Dairy Crest is selling its dairies to Germany's Muller for £80m. Dairy Crest will focus on its cheese and spreads businesses. It owns the Cathedral City cheese brand, Country Life and Clover spreads. Last year its dairies had sales of £944m, but profits of just £600,000.


    Jay Z

    Rapper and businessman Jay Z doesn't mess around. He likes Armand de Brignac champagne. In fact he likes it so much he's bought the label. The champagne brand was launched in 2006, shortly after which Jay Z discovered it and it featured in a music video.


    BBC Radio 4

    The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has decided to press ahead with an inquiry into current accounts and banking services for small businesses. It is concerned that the sector lacks effective competition. CMA boss Alex Chisholm tells Today there is "a lot of dissatisfaction at the moment" with the way current accounts work, and the lack of switching suggests customers find it hard to compare accounts.


    BBC Breakfast

    Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is on Breakfast. "Downright decrepit" is how he describes some parts of the transport infrastructure in the North of England. He says some of the older trains are "cattle carts on wheels". He is hosting a summit in Leeds today and is calling for improvements in northern roads and railways.


    BBC Radio 4

    Former BP strategist Nick Butler, a former strategist at BP, tells Today there will be a cut in petrol prices as a result of oil price falls. But he says Danny Alexander should think about cutting the huge duties on fuel if he really wants to see prices at the pump fall significantly.


    A rough quarter for Morrisons. The supermarket chain has reported a 6.3% fall in like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) for the 13 weeks to 2 November. Morrisons has been spending heavily on matching prices at Aldi and Lidl.


    Siemens wind turbines

    German engineering giant Siemens has been hit in its fourth quarter by problems at its wind turbine division. That unit picked up a €223m (£174m) charge for inspecting and replacing defective blades and bearings on wind turbines. Despite that total net income was almost €1.5n - up from €1.07 last year.


    BBC Radio 4

    Euro sign

    Later the European Central Bank will tell us what further actions, if any, it's planning to help the European economy. Expectations for "special measures" are high, says Richard Dunbar, from Aberdeen Asset Management. "Markets are expecting some action," he tells the Today programme. He says we could see some expansion to the ECB's version of quantitative easing.


    Radio 5 live

    Petrol pump

    Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander will call on petrol and diesel distributors to drop their prices further in light of recent declines in the cost of oil. But on Wake Up to Money oil analyst Amrita Sen says prices at the pump also reflect the cost of imported petrol and diesel. Those prices have not fallen as quickly as crude oil, she says.


    BBC Breakfast


    Steph McGovern is inside that new Netto store in Leeds. Retail analyst Kate Hardcastle tells her it could offer a good bridge between the lower end Aldi and Lidl and the big four. Sainsbury's is a partner, but she says there's less chance of sales being cannibalised because there aren't that many Sainsbury's stores in the North, where the new Netto stores will be opened.


    Radio 5 live

    Danish shoppers do half of their shopping at discount retailers says Per Bank, the chief executive of Netto owner Dansk Supermarket, on Wake Up to Money. He's hoping the British market will head that way. Germany has six discount supermarket chains he points out.


    Radio 5 live

    Bank of England

    The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5% today, following its policy meeting. The prospect of prolonged low rates has caused rates on fixed mortgages to "plummet" says David Hollingworth from London & Country Mortgages. You can even get a 10-year fix at 3.49% he says. The mortgage market is very competitive and prices are being driven down he says.


    Radio 5 live

    There's a new Netto store in Leeds and Adam Parsons is waiting outside for Wake Up to Money. Per Bank, the chief executive of Netto owner Dansk Supermarket, hopes to entice customers with Scandinavian treats like Danish pastries. They will open 15 stores in the UK, then sit down and assess the business with partner Sainsbury's.


    BBC World News

    New York Stock Exchange

    US markets closed at record highs yesterday after the Republicans took control of both houses of Congress. Samira Hussain in New York tells World Business Report that Republicans are seen as more likely to pursue corporate-friendly policies, and possible grid-lock between Congress and President Obama might even be welcomed be Wall Street, as it would mean a period of stability.

  47. Post update

    Ben Morris

    Business Reporter

    Good morning. There's a new supermarket chain on the block, more on that. You can email us at or tweet @BBCBusiness.

  48. Post update

    Edwin Lane

    Business reporter, BBC News

    Morning all, more company results, stats and all the business headlines to look forward to this morning. Stay with us until 13:00.