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  1. 'Dramatic deterioration' in UK economy in July
  2. Pound falls but FTSE 100 rises after PMI data
  3. Wall Street ends the week with further gains
  4. Vodafone shares surge after trading update
  5. IMF chief Christine Lagarde to stand trial in Tapie case
  6. UK fiscal policy could be 'reset' this year

Live Reporting

By Dan Macadam and Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night!

    That's all for this week - thanks for reading the Business Live page. Join us on Monday - live from 06:00 - when we'll have all the latest news and analysis including results from Ryanair and Aberdeen Asset Management.  

  2. Wall Street hits fresh highs

    After a rocky start US stock markets bounced back to finish in positive territory.

    The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to 2,175.03 - a new record high - as energy stocks and restaurant group Chipotle made gains.

    The Dow Jones gained 0.3% to 18,570.85, just shy of the all-time high it hit earlier in the week.

    And the tech-heavy Nasdaq was 0.5% higher at 5,100.16.

  3. UK finance firms will win EU rights, says Johnson

    Boris Johnson

    Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said he expects the UK to win the right for its financial firms to sell services across the European Union after Brexit, reports Reuters. 

    Speaking to journalists in New York, Johnson said he'd received assurances from international firms that Britain remained "very much part" of global business. 

    The UK has been approached by several countries interested in trade deals after the referendum result, he added.

  4. Walmart Mexico bribery lawsuit dismissed

    Walmart store

    A US appeals court has rejected a lawsuit from Walmart shareholders claiming key executives allowed alleged bribery in the company's Mexico division. 

    Chief Judge William Riley said it couldn't be inferred that the board of directors had learned of the suspected bribery. 

    The case came after a New York Times report that Walmart's Mexican unit paid millions of dollars in bribes to speed building permits and gain other favours. 

  5. Brexit negotiations 'complicated'

    Negotiations for a future deal on Brexit will be "extremely complicated", Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns says.

    However, it's important that the views from across the UK and the Republic of Ireland are taken into account by the negotiating team, he tells the BBC.

    Wales' first minister was speaking after an "extraordinary summit" of governments from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man.

    Video content

    Video caption: Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns said he will "make sure Wales' views are rightly heard at the centre"
  6. Hung up

    Phone booth

    Few people enjoy answering "robocalls" from telemarketers or scam artists - and neither does the head of the US telecoms regulator it seems. 

    Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, has called on US mobile operators to give customers free access to technology that blocks unwanted automated calls.

    He has written to the chiefs of companies including Verizon, AT&T and Sprint and wants answers "within 30 days with their concrete, actionable solutions to address these issues".

    The FCC gets hundreds of thousands of complaints annually about robocalls and unwanted text messages. 

  7. Boeing $2bn charge pushes shares down

    Boeing 787 Dreamliner

    Boeing is one of the biggest losers on the Dow Jones after announcing a $2bn charge that would hit second quarter profits.  

    The higher-than-expected costs affect the 787 Dreamliner aircraft, the 747 jumbo jet and the KC46 air tanker for the US air force.

    Shares initially fell 2.2% in early trading in New York before recovering some of the losses. 

  8. Take it easy

    Mark Carney

    Goldman Sachs analyst Andrew Benito says in a note that today's "exceptionally weak" July PMI data reinforces the likelihood of the Bank of England cutting interest rates when the Monetary Police Committee next meets on 4 August.

    "We continue to expect that policy easing will involve, in addition to a 25 basis point rate cut, implementing a credit easing policy and gilt purchases," he writes.     

  9. If you've got it...


    Business Live doesn't follow the Instagram accounts of footballers like Cristiano Ronaldo, but Tim Teeman of the Daily Beast has been doing it on our behalf. Players like the captain of the Euro-winning Portugal team are, of course, now brands in their own right.

    Ronaldo, 31, is only too aware that his career on the pitch will not last forever and is busy preparing for when that day arrives. As well as his own underwear brand, CR7, he is opening a five-star hotel today in his native Funchal on Madeira.

    Maybe that's why he's put up a few more poolside photos on Instagram this week?  

  10. No warnings for Ryanair?

    Ryanair plane

    Ryanair will be cautious when it reports results on Monday, but will avoid issuing a profit warning, according to Barclays analyst Oliver Sleath.

    The Irish airline will be hit by the Brexit impact on demand, uncertainty from terror attacks and a €50m cost from foreign exchange movements, he predicts. 

    But the company's summer bookings mean that it won't need to cut its profit guidance, Mr Sleath says.

    Other budget airlines have not been so fortunate, however. Wizz Air cut its profit outlook on Wednesday, while easyJet has been the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 for the past two days after it warned about the impact of a weaker pound

    Shares in easyJet have now fallen by a third since 24 June - the day when the EU referendum result was announced. Ouch.

  11. VW's plan to fix US diesels

    VW badge

    Volkswagen's plan to fix most of its two-litre diesel cars affected by the emissions scandal in the US includes a software update as well as a larger catalytic converter to trap harmful nitrogen oxide. 

    Two US car dealers said that some details of the plan were revealed last week by Volkswagen of America chief operating officer Mark McNabb. 

    One dealer said they were told that early testing of a small sample of repaired cars showed that the fix made "no discernable difference'' in the cars' mileage, horsepower or torque.

    Both said they were told more testing was needed and that the plans were yet to be approved by the Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board. 

  12. Mexico's president pushes free trade model

    Zoe Thomas

    US business reporter

    President of Mexico speaking with US Presidents

    On a visit to the US, Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto stressed the importance of free trade agreements for expanding economic opportunities in North America.

    The Mexican leader made his remarks at a joint press conference with US President Barack Obama. He said the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) was a "promising step toward deepening economic benefits".

    President Obama added that TPP had taken into account some of the weaknesses of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

    Mexico is the US' third largest trading partner.

  13. L'Oreal buys $1.2bn beauty brand

    IT Cosmetics products

    L'Oreal has announced it will buy IT Cosmetics, a fast-growing US beauty range developed with plastic surgeons, for $1.2bn in cash. 

    IT Cosmetics, which sells makeup and skincare products, had net sales of $182m in the 12 months to June, an increase of 56% on the previous year.

    Jamie Kern Lima, co-founder of IT Cosmetics, said its mission was to "make the world more beautiful through our products, through our actions and through our belief that every woman is beautiful and deserves to feel her most beautiful".  

    It joins L'Oreal's other beauty brands such as Lancome, Kiehl's, Yves Saint Laurent and Armani.

  14. Wall Street update

    A quick check on the US markets - it's a choppy session - they started out lower but then turned higher.

    The Dow Jones has gained 0.2% to trade around 18,545.02

    The Nasdaq is up by 0.5% to 5,099.56

    And the S&P 500 is 0.3% higher at 2,096.43

  15. US busts $1bn healthcare scam

    Zoe Thomas

    US business reporter

    Hospital bed

    US officials have charged three men in connection with the largest scheme to defraud Medicare, the US public health insurance service. 

    Describing it as an "intricate scam", the Department of Justice said the ringleader managed nursing homes in Florida but was billing Medicare $1bn for at-home care. 

    “Medicare fraud has infected every facet of our health care system,” said DoJ official Wifredo Ferrer.

  16. Business survey 'taken at height of post-Brexit Project Fear'

    BBC News Channel

    Professor Patrick Minford

    Figures showing a sharp drop in UK economic activity should be treated with caution, according to Patrick Minford, a professor at Cardiff Business School who argued for Brexit.  

    The Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) - which showed business confidence and activity at their lowest level since 2009 - was "taken at the height of post-Brexit 'Project Fear'", Professor Minford said.

    The Bank of England released a report pointing the other way earlier this week. Employment figures from May are also still very strong, he said.  

    "It's possible we'll have a bump in the third quarter, but we'll recover from it I think," he told BBC News.

    The PMI data were collected between July 12-21, when Theresa May had just become the new Prime Minister. 

  17. Sainsbury's dips after regulator clears Argos deal

    Sainsbury's supermarket sign

    Sainsbury's shares dropped nearly 1% after its £1.4bn takevoer of Argos owner Home Retail was approved by competition regulators.

    The clearance from the Competition and Markets Authority leaves the vote by Home Retail shareholders on 27 July as the only potential obstacle.  

    The supermarket said the deal was on course to close in September. 

  18. Oil prices slide

    Oil pump

    There was a time earlier this year before Brexit hogged the headlines when the oil price was all anyone talked about. 

    Just in case you were wondering, Brent crude sunk to two-month lows today following news of rising US stockpiles and potentially higher exports from Iran.

    Brent dropped to $45.36 - the lowest since 11 May - before recovering slightly to $45.52 in afternoon trading. US oil slipped 1.3% to $44.19. Both were on track for a weekly loss of about 4%.

    Falling prices in the United States have also encouraged traders to send US oil to Europe, adding to supply in the region.   

    US crude stocks are at a historically high 519.5 million barrels for this time of year.

  19. BreakingFTSE hits fresh 11-month high

    The FTSE 100 finished the day 0.5% higher at 6,730.48 points, topping the 6,728.99 it hit earlier in the week to reach its highest level since August 2015.

    The blue-chip index was pulled higher by Vodafone - which rose nearly 5% - as well as pharmaceuticals groups Hikma and AstraZeneca.

    The FTSE 250 - which has more UK-focused businesses than the 100 index - fell 0.4% to 16,983.46.

    Markets were reacting to data which suggested UK business sentiment is at its lowest since the aftermath of the financial crisis.