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Live Reporting

Ian Pollock

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    1956 BBC TV test card

    That's it for today. Back at 06:00 tomorrow morning. Sleep tight.

  2. Wall Street

    Dow Jones graph

    On Wall Street, the Dow Jones average fell 34 points to 17,511.

    The S&P 500 dropped just 6 points to 2,097.

    And the Nasdaq index fell 32 points to 5,059.

    On the foreign exchanges the pound was little changed at 1 dollar 56.6 and 1 euro 42.

  3. German MPs votes on Greek bailout - tomorrow

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attends a Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU) party faction meeting in the Reichstag building before a parliamentary vote on a third bailout programme for Greece in Berlin, Germany August 18, 2015.

    The Greek bailout saga is far from over. Tomorrow (Wednesday) the German parliament will vote on Greece's third bailout plan. It is expected to pass the German vote, especially as the Finance Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, says he supports the deal. Parliaments in France, Finland and Latvia have already given their approval for the bailout deal. Estonia, Spain and Austria's parliamentary subcommittee are voting today (Tuesday).

  4. First Syriza privatisation?

    An exterior view of Mytilene airport Odysseus Elyitis, in the island of Lesvos, eastern Greece, 18 August 2015.

    The Greek government has approved in principle a deal, worth 1.23bn euros, for Germany's Fraport to run 14 regional airports in Greece. Fraport runs Frankfurt airport, among others. The plan was originally approved by the previous Greek government but was frozen after the Syriza party won the general election in January. Apparently there are more negotiations to come about the deal. But among the airports it includes are those at Thessaloniki, Hania in Crete, and other islands such as Mykonos, Corfu, Rhodes and Santorini.

  5. Greek emergency bank funding

    Pensioners wait outside a National bank of Greece branch in central Athens, Greece, 20 July 2015.

    The stress in the Greek banking system appears to have eased, very slightly. At the request of the Bank of Greece, the European Central Bank is reducing the amount of emergency funding which the Bank of Greece can offer to the commercial banks in its country. The cap for emergency lending is going down from 91bn euros to 89.7 bn euros.

  6. Qatar wage protection scheme delayed

    World Service

    The launch of Qatar's Wage Protection Scheme has been delayed. It would have ensured workers had their wages electronically transferred in to their bank accounts, after complaints that workers - including more than one and a half million migrant labourers - were not being paid on time. Mustafa Qadri from Amnesty International told World Business Report that the scheme may have been delayed because the government "were not ready" and "have started to realise the gravity of the problem and the deficiencies in their own system."

  7. Glencore may shut South African platinum mine

    Glencore website

    Mining firm and commodity trader Glencore is considering closing its Eland platinum mine in South Africa due to falling prices, it said on Tuesday. That's according to Reuters in Johannesburg.

    "Glencore has informed the Department of Mineral Resourcesand relevant unions of the potential closures," the company said. About 1,000 jobs are at stake.

  8. Annual inflation is up, at 0.1%

    Mike Amey, PIMCO

    Inflation is up, very slightly at 0.1%. So what? Mike Amey, managing director of the bond investment company PIMCO, gave this view on the BBC News Channel.

    "The discussion really is about whether inflation looks like it is going up - and it probably is going up a little bit," he said. "And if it does go up a little bit then that will make it much easier for the Bank of England to raise interest rates."

  9. Post update

  10. Where is it good to live, part 2

    or, Manchester, so much to answer for

    Manchester skyline

    More from that "global liveability ranking" from the Economist Intelligence Unit. The most shocking finding is that "Manchester beats London (46th versus 53rd)". That cannot be right, surely? *Lights blue touch paper, and runs away to hide*

  11. Via Email

    Land Registry stats: What does Simon say?

    Simon Gompertz

    Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

    For Sale signs

    House prices jumped by 1.7% in July, according to the Land Registry for England and Wales, one of the biggest monthly increases in recent years. House price measures are notoriously volatile: the Halifax Price Index registered a slight fall over the same month. However, the Land Registry's index is seen as important, because it includes cash purchases as well as those funded by mortgages.

    After spectacular increases in 2014, this year has seen the London market falter, with high value homes falling in value, and a mixed picture across the UK. But with wages rising and a shortage of homes available, some housing analysts are predicting further increases in the coming months. The Land Registry said house prices were 4.6% higher than a year ago, taking the average cost of a home to nearly £184,000.

  12. Financial markets

    FTSE-100 graph

    In London, the 100 share index closed down 24 points at 6,526.

    In Frankfurt, the Dax index also dropped 24 points to 10,916.

    And in Paris the Cac-40 index fell 14 points to 4,971.

    On the foreign exchanges the pound rose slightly to 1 dollar 56.6, and was up more than a cent to 1 euro 42.

  13. Via Twitter

    House builders' profits

    Pete Jefferys

    Tweet by Pete Jefferys

    tweet: Results from biggest 10 developers. They're making £3bn per year operating profit, or around £45k per home sold

  14. No impact on lending says Nationwide

    Those nice people at the Nationwide have been in contact to say that the banking tax will not, in fact, have any effect on their ability to lend to home buyers. "The financial impact of the bank tax changes will not impact Nationwide's ability to lend," they say, without quite saying why.

  15. Asda 'hits its nadir'

    Emma Simpson

    Business correspondent, BBC News


    The dire second-quarter sales figures from Asda are the worst since it was bought by Walmart in 1999. Chief executive Andy Clarke says: "We've hit our nadir but we're on the upward curve now."

    That suggests the third quarter will be a bit better and he maintains that the supermarket's strategy is correct. He is aiming for a profitable, sustainable business, Mr Clarke says.

    Asda recently lost its place as the UK's second biggest supermarket to Sainsbury's.

  16. Where is it good to live?

    Football fans purchase from an official merchandise tent in Federation Square as they make their way to the MCG to attend the International Champions Cup match between Real Madrid and Manchester City at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 24, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia.

    The Economist Intelligence Unit has published its latest annual "global liveability ranking". That's a horrible car crash of jargon words, but a very interesting topic. The ranking, it says, "provides scores for lifestyle challenges in 140 cities worldwide". So where is best to live and work?

    "Melbourne remains the most liveable with Vienna ranked second," says the Economist.

    "Paris sees a sharp fall in liveability. Attacks on Charlie Hebdo's offices affected the French capital's ranking, causing it to fall out of the top 20 cities into 29th place.

    "Athens slide continues. The impact of austerity and economic weakness rather than civil unrest has hindered other areas such as healthcare. The Greek capital, ranked 72nd, is the only city in Western Europe to fall outside the top tier of liveability," it adds.

  17. OMG! BuzzFeed gets $200m investment


    Comcast's NBCUniversal said on Tuesday it had invested $200m (£127m) in the news and cat-listicle website BuzzFeed and that the two organisations would also consider "strategic partnerships" in the coming months. The mind, like, boggles (pointless, irritating, upward inflection).

  18. House prices to keep on rising?

    BBC News Channel

    News Channel

    Henry Pryor told viewers to the News Channel a little earlier that house prices will keep on rising in the next 12 months.

    "Credit is relatively free and available, it's accessible to a lot of house buyers, and they are using that together with government initiatives like Help-to-Buy to continue to pay more for the houses that people are selling," he said.

    "I think we will see the housing market in the second half of this year very much reflect what it has done in the first half."

  19. Via Email

    Is the pound strong?

    Graph of pound v dollar, euro and Swiss Franc

    Livepage reader Michael Bamford draws our attention to this graph of the pound against various currencies for the past few years, and says: "Hear a lot about the strong pound in various reports. Don't know why so many specialist have this view unless it is to deceive, as the pound is trading at quite a low value compared with pre-08 levels."

  20. US house building

    In the US, the house building industry is in vibrant good health. The latest statistics show that the number of new house starts in July was at its highest for nearly eight years. New homes are being built at a rate of 1.21 million a year, said the Commerce Department.

  21. Will the Nationwide's mortgage lending be restricted?

    Nationwide branch

    Earlier today, the Nationwide said the forthcoming new banking tax would cost it £300m over the next five years. That would be enough to support £10bn of lending it said. The average new UK mortgage loan now stands at £174,000. So that might amount to 11,494 fewer loans per year from the Nationwide.

  22. House prices up says Land Registry

    For Sale signs

    We had the ONS house price data earlier today. Now the Land Registry for England & Wales has published its own headline (but not complete) house price figures for July. It says prices jumped by 1.7% in just that month, putting them 4.6% higher than a year ago. The average property in England and Wales now costs £183,861, it says. The full data will be out on 28 August.

  23. M&S executive takes leave


    Laura Wade-Gery, who is responsible for UK retail at Marks & Spencer - and a potential contender for the chief executive job if Marc Bolland ever leaves - is taking maternity leave from 1 September, the retailer told investors, today. "Woman has baby" is hardly big news, is it? But as she is a top executive, investors do need to know why she won't be around for a while.

  24. Via Email

    MOT chaos

    Peter Henley

    Political editor, BBC South

    Garage mechanic

    The government Driver Vehicle Safety Agency (DVSA) has confirmed that motorists across the country trying to get MOTs have been hit by a glitch in the computer system. Garages report chaos since early today. DVSA say slow running of the system may have affected thousands of appointments, it seems to be worse in some parts of the country than others.

  25. Music video age ratings

    Dizzee Rascal

    Our colleagues at Newsbeat report that online music videos will get age ratings in the same way films do, following a government pilot. Music labels Sony, Universal and Warner will send videos to the British Board of Film Classification before posting them on YouTube and Vevo. Of the 132 videos submitted to date, 56 were rated 12 and 53 classified as 15. Just one got an 18 certificate - Dizzee Rascal's Couple Of Stack. Having watched the video, in which Mr Rascal (copyright Jeremy Paxman) quite literally steals the heart of a teenage girl, perhaps the rating is warranted.

  26. Fracking contenders

    Our business editor tweets:

  27. London market update

    London's FTSE 100 is down again today, dipping 0.5% to 6,513 points. The top four falls are all miners: Antofagasta, BHP Biliton, Anglo American and Rio Tinto. Germany's Dax is 0.2% lower, while France's CAC 40 is down about 0.3%. A 6% drop for Chinese mainland stock markets has not helped market confidence.

  28. Fracking blocks announced

    Fracking map
    Fracking map

    The Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) - the UK's oil and gas regulator - has announced that 27 onshore blocks from the 14th onshore oil and gas licensing round will be formally offered to companies. A second group of 132 further blocks has been subjected to detailed assessment.

  29. Fracking licences

    Our business editor tweets:

  30. Asda sales keep sliding


    Asda, the supermarket owned by Wal Mart, says like-for-like sales for the 11 weeks to 30 June fell by a hefty 4.7%, which Asda chief executive Andy Clarke said was "disappointing, but a short-term picture". The UK retailer is cutting costs by £1bn and shelling out £250m on tarting up its stores.

  31. Big bank data from tweets?

    Some nuggets of wisdom from the Bank of England's blog Bank Underground. In preparing for the referendum on Scottish independence, the Bank wanted to find a way to detect potential bank runs - so it looked to Twitter. "Social media provides a rich vein from which to mine information, and text data more generally can reveal trends in people's opinions and sentiment on specific topics or events," says the blog. You don't say... Read the full post here.

  32. Inflation rise

    Via Email

    John Allan

    National chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses

    "The CPI has hovered around this level since the start of the year, providing businesses with a steady period of low inflation. Many small firms are benefitting from the continued downward pressure on oil prices and increased consumer spending. Household disposable income has been boosted by several factors including low food prices, rising real wages and the strong pound, which is making imports cheaper."

  33. MOT update


    For a second day running the computer system that allows mechanics to enter information gathered during a car's MOT has gone down, reports BBC transport producer, Jonathan Sumberg. This is affecting garages up and down the country, and while MOT certificates can still be issued, mechanics cannot then inform the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency about how individual cars fared. The DVSA say they are working to resolve the problem.

  34. Dilbert

    Time for a change of pace from inflation with Dilbert. It's about first impressions.

  35. Card protection recompense

    Via Email

    Simon Gompertz

    Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

    Two million people who were sold unnecessary card protection policies will be able to claim compensation from later this month. Some will have paid £25 a year for the policies for as many as ten years. So, including interest, they could receive up to £270 each. The compensation scheme is being financed by 11 top banks and credit card companies, whose customers bought card protection under a stable of brands from Affinion International Limited - brands including Sentinel, Safe and Secure Plus and Card Protection.

  36. Lindt aces sales

    Roger Federer

    Better than expected first-half profits from Swiss chocolate maker Lindt gives us an opportunity to bring you this glorious picture of Roger Federer at the company's "premium chocolate party" in New York two years ago. Sales, which have been helped by Lindt's acquisition of US rival Russell Stover, rose 17.4% to 1.4bn Swiss francs (£919m) in the six months to 30 June. Net profit jumped 15.6% to 65m francs (£42.6m).

  37. FTSE 100 down 30 points

    The inflation figures have not helped the FTSE 100 it seems, although weakening commodity prices hitting energy and mining stocks are also a factor. The blue-chip index is down 0.5% at 6,516.9 points in morning trading - about 1% lower than its level at the start of the year. Peter Cameron, of EdenTree Investment Management, said: "Brent crude has dropped below $50 a barrel and China, the world's largest exporter, is potentially now unleashing a new wave of deflationary forces around the world through the devaluation of its currency. In this context it's unclear why the Bank of England would consider raising rates anytime soon, even after today's inflation figures."

  38. Rail fares to rise 1%

    Waterloo station

    Rail passengers will face average season ticket price rises of 1% in January following the announcement of the July inflation figures. The new-year rises are based on the previous July's rate of Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation, announced by the Office for National Statistics. It will be the lowest rise since 2010, when fares actually decreased by 0.4%.

  39. 'Not all indicators are pointing south'

    Adam Chester, head of economic research and market strategy at Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking, comments on the July CPI inflation figure: 

    Quote Message: The surprise rise, especially in the core rate, has led to a knee-jerk spike higher in the pound and reaffirmed market expectations that UK interest rates could rise in the first half of 2016. The pound is trading nearly a cent higher against both the euro and US dollar, at around 1.4150 and 1.5650, respectively. While the Bank of England is unlikely to read too much into one month's data, the pickup in the core rate is a timely reminder that not all indicators of inflation are pointing south."
  40. ONS view

    ONS statistician Richard Campbell explains the small gain in July's CPI figure compared with the same month last year: "The slight increase is mainly due to clothing, with smaller price reductions in this year's summer sales compared with a year ago. Food and motor fuel prices continue to fall and have helped stop a larger rise in the rate of inflation."

  41. Inflation, Venezuelan style...

    Just to put the UK figures into context, Washington DC-based journalist Pedro da Costa points out the situation in Venezuela. 

  42. Don't panic...

    Newsnight's economics correspondent tweets:

  43. More on house prices

    Our Scottish business and economics editor tweets:

  44. Inflation forecast

    Samuel Tombs, senior UK economist at Capital Economics, tweets:

    Quote Message: The scale of the recent fall back in oil prices suggests that CPI inflation is still likely to turn negative again over the next few months. And while inflation should pick up at the very start of 2016 as the anniversary of the previous plunge in oil prices is reached, it still looks likely to remain well below the MPC’s 2% target next year."
  45. Summer sales

    Our economics editor tweets:

  46. ONS house price figures

    Our personal finance correspondent tweets:

  47. Foreign vs domestic

    Our economics correspondent tweets:

  48. Inflation explained

    Fun facts about CPI. It doesn't include housing costs such as mortgage interest payments and council tax, but RPI does. This, among other reasons, is why RPI is often higher. The main reason, though, is that the CPI calculation assumes that if a given product costs more, consumers will often stop buying it - or switch to something similar and cheaper. The Office for National Statistics prefers CPI, although it still calculates RPI. Read more here.

  49. CPI inflation since 2005


    Here's what CPI inflation has done over the past decade. How is inflation affecting you?

  50. BreakingInflation at 0.1% in July

    Breaking News

    CPI inflation for July has come in 0.1%. It had been expected to remain at zero - the same as June's figure. The measure is based on a series of items, chosen based on popularity, among other things. Items include liver, cheddar cheese, garlic bread, shoes and knitting wool. RPI is 1% again.

  51. Tough Mudder boss

    BBC World News

    Tough Mudder

    Will Dean, founder and chief executive of endurance sports promoter Tough Mudder, has been talking to Business Live on BBC World News and the News Channel. The company held its first event in 2010 in Pennsylvania and some two million people have competed in the gruelling 12-mile courses since then. He says Tough Mudder is about "teamwork and camaraderie. It's tough, but you don't need to be in super-shape." The US-based firm is moving into Mexico and is expanding into Asia in 2017, Mr Dean says.

  52. More from the papers


    The Financial Times reports that news and cat listicles site Buzzfeed is setting up a Japanese version with Yahoo! Japan. BuzzFeed has done its own thing in the past for its sites in the UK, Germany, India and Brazil, says the FT. BuzzFeed will own 51% with Yahoo! Japan having the remainder.

  53. Amazon claims

    The Times's technology correspondent tweets:

  54. What the papers say


    The Wall Street Journal reports that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her allies are stepping up their efforts to get the Greek bailout passed by the country's parliament. The Times says the government is thinking about a plan for instant refunds for rail passengers for delayed or cancelled trains.

  55. Bezos response

    Our technology correspondent tweets on the Amazon row

  56. Wood Group chief

    BBC News Channel

    Bob Keiller

    Wood Group chief executive Bob Keiller tells BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed that most of the 5,000 jobs the company has cut in recent months - including 1,000 in the UK - is a direct result of the sharp fall in oil prices this year. "We've had to cut our costs, which has had an impact on staff," he says. However, he says the oil services group has been through several downturns over the past four decades. Mr Keiller also says oil production from the North Sea has a future and recent tax and regulatory changes "should see a healthier tail".

  57. Rate rise clues

    Our economics editor tweets:

  58. Inflation and interest rates

    BBC Radio 4

    So given the benign inflation outlook, why is the Bank of England thinking about raising interest rates? Philip Shaw of Investec tells the Today programme the 0.5% rate we've had since the financial crisis is an "emergency rate and not a normal rate". "Central banks don't want people to be conditioned with rates at these levels or to think these are normal. That's a more subtle argument over the medium-term to lift rates." Mr Shaw adds: "There's no case for raising interest rates right now." Here his interview with Tanya Beckett here.

  59. Greek bailout votes

    The Economist Intelligence Unit's Europe regional director tweets:

  60. Oil holds back inflation

    BBC Radio 4

    Inflation came in at 0% last month and Philip Shaw, chief economist at Investec, tells the Today programme that little change is expected when we get the latest figures at 0930. That will be partly because commodity prices have fallen back, with oil about 20% lower than at the end of June. "Sterling has maintained its strength, so the likely picture is that inflation will still rise over the second half of this year, but at a slower pace," he says.

  61. Tuesday's Business Live at 0830

    Our business presenter tweets:

  62. Rail fares calculation

    Radio 5 live


    Sim Harris, managing editor of Rail News, has been on 5 live with some analysis on rail fares. The TUC estimates they have been climbing much faster than wages. The government uses the higher RPI measure of inflation to calculate fare increases, rather than CPI, which stands at zero. How come? Well, rail isn't fully privatised like a bank or supermarket, he says. The track is state-owned, so the government wants rail companies to make some money.

  63. Wood Group slashes jobs

    Our business presenter tweets:

  64. Chinese markets fall

    Chinese investors

    The Shanghai stock market is down more than 5% in late trading after failing to hold above the 4,000 point level amid ongoing concern about the Chinese economy, traders said. The Shanghai composite index slid 5.1% to 3,790 points, while the Shenzhen index fell 5.6% to 2,196.

  65. Persimmon profits soar


    Like Bovis Homes yesterday, the housebuilder Persimmon is making buckets of money. Pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 June is up 31% to £272.8m on revenues 11% higher at £1.33bn. Its shares are up 66% over the past 12 months and it is now worth £6.5bn.

  66. FCA drops Quindell probe

    Some (relatively) good news for insurance technology firm Quindell. City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority has dropped its investigation into the company - but only because the Serious Fraud Office has taken over, though. Its shares are down 44% over the past 12 months and it's now worth just £413m.

  67. Bank tax slugs Nationwide


    Nationwide, the UK's biggest building society, says a new banking tax will cost it £300m over the next five years, affecting its ability to lend. The UK's second-largest mortgage lender said the cost was equivalent to the capital needed to fund £10bn of lending.

  68. Wood Group suffers

    Wood Group chief executive Bob Keiller says "conditions in oil and gas markets remain very challenging" as the company reports its half-year results. Net profit fell $23.7m to $116.8m compared with the same period last year. Revenue dropped almost 20%, but the company has reduced costs considerably.

  69. Commodity price concern

    BBC Radio 4

    Thunder Horse platform

    Sue Noffke, of Schroders, tells Today that falling commodity prices are a concern for investors, particularly as about 20% of the companies on the FTSE 100 are in the energy or natural resources sectors. The fact that Wood Group, which reports results this morning, has been shedding jobs is no surprise, she says, given that companies are being forced to cut capital expenditure as oil prices continue to slide. The Aberdeen-based group designed the topsides of BP's Thunder Horse platform pictured above - the world's largest production and drilling semi-submersible.

  70. Peer-to-peer lending

    Radio 5 live

    So, is direct lending - rather than doing it through a bank - risky? "We diversify our lenders' money into very small amounts... no-one has lost any money," says Zopa chief Giles Andrews. He means in real terms, though. The rate of loan losses is about 0.5%, which has been absorbed by the rate of return so far, he explains. Mr Andrews tells Wake up to Money that he welcomes the forthcoming regulation of the industry: "Consumers trust regulated businesses more than unregulated ones."

  71. Peer-to-peer lending

    Radio 5 live


    Zopa, the UK's largest peer-to-peer lending platform, this week becomes the first in the industry to have lent £1bn. Peer-to-peer lending matches borrowers with savers - a bit like a stripped-down bank but without the protection for your deposits. Giles Andrews, Zopa chief executive and co-founder, says there is some risk attached, which is why better returns of about 5% are on offer.

  72. Oil prices

    Radio 5 live

    Professor Kemp adds that unemployment is a worry, particularly in Aberdeen, where oil and gas are a big employer. The effect on the local economy is much bigger from this perspective than the impact of cheaper fuel, he says. "The investment boom we had over the last four years was going to come down anyway," but with low oil prices the investment will drop much faster, Prof Kemp adds.

  73. Oil prices

    Radio 5 live


    "Next year will be quite tough," says Alex Kemp, a professor of petroleum economics at the University of Aberdeen on 5 live. He is talking about the effect of low oil prices on the industry. There is a "glimmer of hope", he says, in that late next year and in 2017, abandoned North Sea projects will probably be reassessed.

  74. Post update

    Howard Mustoe

    Business reporter

    Good morning everyone. What have we got for today? A study by the TUC suggests regulated fare prices jumped 25% between 2010 and 2015, while average pay rose 9% over the same period. We will hear how building society Nationwide and oil explorer Cairn Energy are getting on. And we expect some data on inflation. Stay tuned.