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  1. FTSE 100 falls 0.25% but FTSE 250 ends higher
  2. Pound jumps against dollar and euro
  3. Bank of England holds interest rates at 0.5%
  4. Theresa May shakes up Business Department

Live Reporting

By Dan Macadam

All times stated are UK

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Good night!

That's it for tonight. Join us tomorrow for figures showing the health of the Chinese economy over the last three months, as well as results from First Group and Citi. 

Pushing into the queue?

President Obama with David Cameron

President Obama's administration has started preliminary talks with the UK about how they might pursue a trade deal following Britain’s exit from the EU, according to the Financial Times.

The newspaper quotes Washington’s top trade official, Mike Froman, and says it coincides with a growing push by Republican Brexit supporters for the President to quickly launch talks on a commercial pact.

It also highlights how swiftly the President has backed away from his warnings before the referendum that Britain would be at the "back of the queue" if it voted to leave the EU, the FT reports.   

BreakingDow and S&P hit new record highs

US stocks have notched new record highs on the back of big gains for financial stocks. 

Strong results from KFC owner Yum Brands (whose shares rose 3%) and Delta Air Lines (shares up 4%) also helped to fuel optimism among traders.

The Dow Jones finished 0.7% higher at 18,506.41, while Nasdaq gained 0.6% to 5,034.06, and the S&P 500 closed 0.5% up at 2,163.75.

Pop stars' earnings double to $800m

Beyonce at Croke Park, Dublin

Pop stars' earnings have nearly doubled in the last four years to $800m (£600m), according to Forbes.

Pop music - driven by global stars like Beyonce - is the only genre to see its earnings grow steadily over that period, the US magazine reports.

However, the genre’s overall growth may be slowing, as global markets begin opening up to newer genres like electronic dance music and foreign pop scenes like K-Pop, Forbes adds.  

View more on twitter

FT: Hammond and Carney plot course

Pound holds onto gains

Pound and dollar notes

A quick look at the currency markets, and sterling is holding its ground after strong gains against the dollar and euro. 

The pound shot up after the Bank of England's decision not to cut interest rates this month. 

It's currently 1.4% higher against the dollar at $1.334, and is trading at just under €1.20 after rising 1.2% against the euro today.

Lagarde warns of 'inward-looking forces' after Brexit vote

Christine Lagarde
AFP/Getty Images

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde says at an event in Washington... 

It did not take the Brexit vote to understand that low growth, rising inequality, and a lack of jobs have combined with social and geopolitical concerns to fuel the rise of populism and inward-looking forces. The greatest challenge we face today is the risk of the world turning its back on global cooperation - the cooperation which has served us all well."


After BP puts its total bill from the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster at nearly $62bn, BBC New York Business Editor John Mervin tweets...

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Line shares surge in trading debut

Line rings opening bell at New York Stock Exchange

On its first day of trading, shares in Line - an Asian messaging app similar to What's App and Facebook Messenger - jumped more than 25%.

It's seen as the biggest US stock market listing so far this year.

Executives had been worried that the $7.3bn company's listing would be derailed by market turbulence following the Brexit vote.

However, shares have traded strongly all day and are currently at around $41.70 - compared with the listing price of $32.84.

US market update

Trader on New York Stock Exchange floor
Getty Images

Wall Street is still trading at record highs as we go into the final hour.

Bank stocks are leading the way after JP Morgan reported higher profits than expected. Its shares are up 2.8%, while Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are each 3% higher.

"Optimism is starting to creep into the market," said Brad Sorensen, director of the Schwab Centre for Financial Research.  

The Dow Jones is up 0.7% to 18,505.42.

The S&P 500 is up 0.5% to 2,163.93.

The Nasdaq is 0.6% higher at 5,033.73.

BP: Deepwater oil disaster cost nearly $62bn

Oil slicks from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster
AFP/Getty Images

BP has put the total pre-tax cost from the enormous oil spill at the Deepwater Horizon rig at $61.6bn (£46.2bn).

The oil firm said it has made "significant progress" in recent months resolving outstanding claims from the 2010 disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

That includes a charge of around $2.5bn after tax in its second quarter results this year. 

The explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 men and led to more than 125 million gallons of oil spewing into the Gulf.  

Business department gains energy policy

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark
Getty Images

Theresa May's new Conservative government revamps the Department of Business, which will be led by Greg Glark.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark

Business department gains energy policy

Theresa May's new Conservative government revamps the Department for Business, which will be led by Greg Clark.

Read more

How does Theresa May's cabinet look?

Theresa May's new cabinet

Microsoft wins email case against US government

Microsoft logo

The US government cannot force Microsoft to turn over customer emails stored on servers outside the United States, a federal appeals court has ruled. 

It is a defeat for the US Department of Justice, but a victory for privacy advocates and technology companies offering cloud computing, Reuters reports. 

One of the three judges, Susan Carney, said communications held by US service providers on servers located outside the United States are beyond the reach of domestic search warrants. 

'Lots to do'

Sajid Javid, the new Communities and Local Government Secretary, tweets:

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Still no tweets from his successor as Business Secretary Greg Clark since this one on 5 July though:

View more on twitter

Next 'not stopping UK investment'

Next boss: 'Set a clear path for Brexit'

A bit more from Simon Jack's interview with Next boss Lord Wolfson, who is a leading pro-Brexit voice.

He says fears about the effect on UK businesses of leaving the European Union have been overdone.

Brits win Emmy nods

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

Idris Elba
Getty Images

Plenty of nods for UK actors and shows in the Emmy award nominations announced today. The gongs are dished out in Los Angeles on 18 September. 

The final series of Downton Abbey gets a nod in the best drama series category. 

BBC drama The Night Manager is nominated for best limited series. 

Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba (pictured) are nominated for Sherlock and Luther respectively in the actor in a limited series or movie category, while Tom Hiddleston also get a nod for The Night Manager.

Welsh actor Matthew Rhys is up for best actor in a drama series for his turn in The Americans.

The UK also has two runners in the variety talk series category in the form of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (an HBO show broadcast in the UK on Sky Atlantic), and The Late Late Show with James Corden.

Games of Thrones, which is sort of British given it's partly shot in Northern Ireland, leads the pack with 23 nominations. See the full list here.

Next boss on boardroom reform

Next boss: 'Boardroom reform won't make an enormous difference to economy'

Next chief executive Lord Wolfson says Theresa May's plans to put consumer groups and unions on company boards "won't make an enormous difference to the economy".

Business department gains energy policy

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark
Getty Images

Theresa May's new Conservative government revamps the Department of Business, which will be led by Greg Glark.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark

Business department gains energy policy

Theresa May's new Conservative government revamps the Department for Business, which will be led by Greg Clark.

Read more

Monsanto shares rise after improved Bayer bid

Greenhouse with crops
Getty Images

Shares in Monsanto have gained 3% to $104 after German pharmaceuticals giant Bayer said it had made an improved offer for the genetically modified crops-maker.

The stock is still trading below the $125 that Bayer has offered, suggesting the market doesn't think it's a done deal yet.

Bayer boss Werner Baumann said: "We are convinced that this transaction is the best opportunity available to provide Monsanto shareholders with highly attractive, immediate and certain value. 

"Bayer is fully committed to pursuing this transaction." 

Monsanto rejected Bayer’s $62bn bid in May, saying it was “incomplete and financially inadequate”, but that it was open to further discussions.   

Onward and upward?

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

Boris Johnson
Getty Images

New Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said that although Britain had voted to leave the European Union, it could play an even greater role in Europe - a view he said was shared by the United States. 

"There's a massive difference between leaving the EU and our relations with Europe, which if anything I think are going to be intensified," he said. 

"I was very pleased to receive a phone call from Secretary [John] Kerry of the United States, who totally agreed with that analysis. His view was that post-Brexit and after the negotiations what he really wants to see ... was more Britain abroad, a greater global profile." 

Game over

A word of warning from police as the Pokemon Go craze hits the UK...

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US Treasury Secretary meets Chancellor Hammond

Philip Hammond meets Jack Lew outside Number 11 Downing Street

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew has met with new Chancellor Philip Hammond in Downing Street.

Mr Lew noted it's "an important period of change" for Britain, and said the US remained fully committed to maintaining strong, historic ties both with the UK and the EU, according to a statement. 

He also repeated the message he gave to EU ministers earlier this week that both sides should aim for "smooth, pragmatic, and transparent" separation talks.

Gauke promoted to Chief Treasury Secretary

David Gauke
Getty Images

David Gauke, a Treasury minister, has been promoted to Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

The role is often seen as the number 2 to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. He replaces Greg Hands who tweeted congratulations to his former colleague.

Have much enjoyed being Chief Secretary to the Treasury under CX @George_Osborne. Best wishes friend & successor @DavidGauke & the new Govt.

Bayer raises offer for agriculture giant Monsanto

Monsanto company sign
Getty Images

German chemicals behemoth Bayer has raised its offer to take over US seeds and pesticides maker Monsanto. 

Monsanto rejected a $62bn bid from Bayer in May. Bayer is now offering $125 per share, up from $122, and a $1.5bn fee if the deal breaks down.

BreakingFTSE 100 ends lower after rates decision

FTSE 100 Index

The FTSE 100 finished the day lower after the Bank of England's decision to hold interest rates.

The blue-chip index hit a buoyant 6,743.42 points in morning trade before dropping sharply when the Bank's decision was released at midday.

After making back some ground, it then dropped again in the final half hour to close 0.2%, or 16 points, lower at 6,654 points.

Energy abolition 'raises urgent questions'

Cottam Power Station
Getty Images

However, not everyone is happy to see energy policy being rolled into the Business Department.

Angus MacNeil, chairman of the energy committee in parliament, said he was "astonished" at the Prime Minister's decision to abolish the standalone Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). He said...

DECC’s disappearance raises urgent questions. To whom falls the central statutory obligation, contained in the Climate Change Act 2008, to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions by 80% from their 1990 baseline? Which Department will take responsibility for the energy and climate aspects of negotiations to leave the EU? Who will champion decarbonisation in Cabinet? Who will drive innovation in the energy sector?"

Clark embraces new-look Business Department

Greg Clark leaves 10 Downing Street

I am thrilled to have been appointed to lead this new department charged with delivering a comprehensive industrial strategy, leading Government’s relationship with business, furthering our world-class science base, delivering affordable, clean energy and tackling climate change.”

Greg ClarkSecretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

ECB will 'buy some time'

European Central Bank

Analysts at ING have tipped the European Central Bank to take a similar approach to the Bank of England and "keep its powder dry" at a key meeting next week.

There has been some speculation the ECB will pump more money into the eurozone to help support the economy in the wake of the UK's referendum vote. 

Obviously, next week’s ECB meeting will be dominated by the Brexit vote. However, as the meeting comes too late for any imminent ECB action to calm markets but also too early to have a real view on the short-term economic damage, we believe the ECB will simply try to buy some time by sounding dovish. Any real action will likely not happen before September."

Carsten BrzeskiING economist

Qatar buys stake in Italian airline

Akbar Al Baker (left) and Marco Rigotti
Qatar Airways

Cash-rich Qatar Airways continues to expand its network of airline investments across the world. Qatar, one of the Middle East's biggest carriers, has announced a deal to buy 49% of Italy's second largest operator, Meridiana.

Qatar's chief executive Akbar Al Baker (left) sealed the deal today at the Farnborough Airshow with Marco Rigotti, chairman of Meridiana's parent company Alisarda.

On Tuesday, Qatar announced it was buying 10% of South America's largest airline, Latam. The Middle East carrier already holds 15.24% of IAG, which owns British Airways and Spain's Iberia.

The cabinet reshuffle in memes

Theresa May GIF

Here's how the reshuffle is panning out in the land of online banter.

Theresa May GIF

The cabinet reshuffle in memes

Here's how the reshuffle is panning out in the land of online banter.

Read more

Manufacturers back Biz change

EEF, the manufacturers' organisation, has supported Theresa May's decision to roll Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy together into a new-look department.

This is a welcome move and demonstrates a new, serious purpose to this Government reflective of the times. Now that energy and business policy are merged, we have the makings of an industrial strategy that will focus on UK competitiveness and will provide support to our sector as it seeks to overcome the challenges and seize opportunities from the decision to leave the EU.

Terry ScuolerEEF chief executive

Rate cut 'a matter of time'

Pile of pound coins
Getty Images

Meanwhile, analysts at French bank BNP Paribas think the Bank's decision simply delays an interest rate cut, or some fresh quantitative easing, until the next meeting on 4 August.

"We do not expect sterling to rally much further following the BoE’s decision to leave rates unchanged," Sam Lynton-Brown at BNP Paribas says. 

"We continue to think that the BoE easing is only a matter of time."

BNP believes the Bank's moves will see the pound fall back to $1.28.

A short while ago, sterling was 1.5% higher against the dollar at $1.3342.

'Wise' Carney

Some wisdom from Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, on the Bank of England's decision to hold rates.

Given that Theresa May is still without a fully-appointed cabinet, and the fact that the actual referendum happened barely three weeks ago ... the Bank of England’s decision not to set the cat among the already flustered pigeons was probably wise. Some may criticise Mark Carney for teasing action in the aftermath of the referendum only to once again go back on his pseudo-promises ... but there seems to be a relative consensus in the City that a lack of rash, relatively uninformed decision-making was wise."

Coach collapse costs 300 jobs

GHA Coaches
GHA Coaches

Back in the real world for a moment, more than 300 people in Wales risk losing their jobs after a bus company went into administration.

Ruabon-based GHA Coaches employed 320 people and operated 230 vehicles on school and bus routes across north Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire.

Its closure has caused major disruption for passengers.

Jason Bell of administrators Grant Thornton said: "We will explore all options in terms of bringing any part of the business back to life."

The company recently received a winding-up petition from HMRC in respect of unpaid taxes.

Read more here.

Bradley gets Culture Sec

Karen Bradley
Getty Images

Karen Bradley, a former Home Office minister, has been appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Downing Street said.  

John Whittingdale was sacked from the position this morning.

BIS becomes BEIS

At the start of the day there were rumours flying around that the Department for Business, Skills and Innovation (BIS) was for the scrapheap. The speculation only got stronger when the "Skills" bit was moved to the Education Department.

However, the new Prime Minister has kept the Business department, and instead added "Energy" (which used to be its own ministry) along with the idea of "Industrial Strategy", giving us BEIS.

The Guardian's Graham Ruddick tweets:  

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BreakingGreg Clark becomes Business Secretary

Greg Clark
Getty Images

Greg Clark is the new Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

He's swapping with Sajid Javid, who goes the other way to the department for Communities and Local Government.

Reports had suggested the Business Department would be axed, along with Energy; but the new Prime Minister has bundled them together instead.

US market update

A quick check on the US markets - which have been pretty cheery in the opening hour or so. Gains in banking stocks are seeing them add to already record-high levels. 

The Dow Jones has gained 0.8% to 18,516.65.

The S&P 500 is up 0.7% to 2,167.86.

The Nasdaq is 0.8% higher at 5,037.96.

BreakingJavid sidelined

Sajid Javid
Getty Images

Sajid Javid has been demoted from business secretary to take a less prominent role as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.