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Summary

  1. RBS to charge for holding cash
  2. easyJet shares up 2% on bid rumours
  3. FTSE 100 ends lower
  4. Brent crude just under $51 a barrel
  5. UK's £1bn budget surplus down on last year

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night - and good luck...

    Chris Johnston

    Business reporter

    That's all we have time for today - and indeed this week - on Business Live. Thanks indeed for reading.

    As always we are back bright and early on Monday at 06:00, so do join us then.

  2. Wall Street falls

    Markets in New York have closed slightly lower, led by declines in shares of utilities as investors weighed prospects for an interest rate increase in the coming months. 

    The Dow Jones fell 0.25% to 18,552 points, the S&P 500 lost 0.15% to 2,183 points and the Nasdaq was almost flat at 5,238 points.  

  3. Lyft 'failed to find a buyer'

    Lyft logo

    Back to ride sharing for a moment. The New York Times is reporting that Lyft, the San Francisco-based ride-sharing firm, has tried to sell itself to companies including General Motors, Apple, Google, Amazon, arch rival Uber and China's Didi Chuxing, according to several people who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    The Times says Lyft’s discussions were most serious with GM - one of its largest investors. Still, GM did not made a bid and Lyft has so far failed to find a buyer.

  4. RBS makes news

    The weekend edition of the Financial Times leads with the RBS story we mentioned earlier - in the UK at least. 

    The international version of the paper opts for the basement story on fresh turmoil in Donald Trump's campaign.  

    View more on twitter
  5. Deere shares soar

    Tractors

    Shares in Deere & Co have jumped almost 14% on Friday after the world's largest farm equipment manufacturer posted a much smaller-than-expected fall in quarterly profit and highlighted its cost-cutting measures.

    The company also raised its outlook by $150m to $1.35bn as cost controls helped it weather a global agricultural recession and difficult market for its construction machinery. 

    Net profit fell 4.5% to $488.8m in the three months to 31 July, while revenue was down 11% to $6.72bn.

    S&P Global Market Intelligence analyst Jim Corridore said: "Revenues were worse than we expected, but Deere is doing a great job cutting costs."

  6. Time for a takeover?

    We mentioned earlier that easyJet shares have risen on vague rumours of a takeover bid by founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou. 

    Travel agent Ashley Quint has this to say:

    View more on twitter
  7. Mediaset vs Vivendi

    Silvio Berlusconi

    More from the wonderful world of broadcasting - this time from Italy. 

    Mediaset - the broadcasting company controlled by the family of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (pictured) - has asked a Milan court to enforce the agreed sale of its pay-TV arm to French media group Vivendi. 

    Last month Vivendi rejected the terms for its purchase of the unit, called Premium, saying its analysis of financial forecasts differed from those provided by Mediaset.   

    Mediaset said that it risked losing €1.5bn if Vivendi did not honour the deal struck in April. 

    The Italian company also estimates damages of €50m for every month of delay, starting from July 25.

    Vivendi declined to comment. 

  8. Massachusetts ride-hailing levy

    Uber app

    Interesting move by the state of Massachusetts, which is going to impose a 5-cent fee per trip on ride-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft to subsidise the traditional taxi industry. The move appears to be the first of its kind in the US.

    Republican Governor Charlie Baker signed the fee into law this month as part of a sweeping package of regulations for the industry. Unsurprisingly, ride services are not enthusiastic. 

    The law levies a 20-cent fee in all, with 5 cents for taxis, 10 cents going to cities and towns and the final 5 cents designated for a state transportation fund. It could raise millions a year because Lyft and Uber alone have a combined 2.5 million rides per month in Massachusetts. 

    However, some taxi owners think the law should have gone further. "They've been breaking the laws that are on the books, that we've been following for many years," said Larry Meister, manager of the Boston area's Independent Taxi Operator's Association. 

  9. Vevo seeks cash

    Vevo

    Vevo - the online music video site - has hired Goldman Sachs to raise up to $500m, the Financial Times reports

    Founded in 2009 by the major labels Universal Music and Sony Music, it aims to raise between $300m and $500m for international expansion, potential acquisitions and the development of new mobile and television services.

    Vevo, which is YouTube's top partner, is now working on a paid subscription service.

  10. Rig and roll

    Dearbail Jordan

    Business reporter

    oil rig

    More good news on the black stuff. US oil drillers added 10 new rigs this week - the eighth consecutive week of increases.

    That means America now has 406 oil rigs in operation – still somewhat lower than the 674 in use this time last year, according to Baker Hughes, but at least numbers are going in the right direction.

    Oil prices are bounced higher in recent days, buoyed by hopes that Saudi Arabia and other members of the Opec cartel may agree to freeze output in conjunction with the likes of Russia.

  11. Oil still higher

    Oil pump

    Brent crude is still above $50 at $50.67 - but down from an earlier high of $51.22 - the best it has been for almost two months. 

    US crude is flat at $48.22 a barrel after hitting $48.75 - its highest since July 5. 

    But will the black stuff be able to remain at these levels?

    Jim Ritterbusch, of oil markets consultancy Ritterbusch & Associates, is not certain: "We feel that this month's approximate $9 crude advance could easily be followed by an equivalent sized price decline next month. The US production factor has taken on a more bearish appearance as the oil rig counts have increased appreciably."

  12. RBS's negative futures

    Howard Mustoe

    Today business producer

    RBS logo

    More on Royal Bank of Scotland's decision to charge some large corporate customers to hold cash on deposit, as reported by the Financial Times. 

    RBS says the move will only affect very big customers that deal in futures - agreements to buy and sell assets at set prices at given times, in, as the name suggests, the future. Until now, the bank had a limit of 0% for deposits for such deals.

    When the deals are done, a clearing house, which sits between the buyer and seller, will require collateral – high quality assets such as cash or bonds – to be handed over as a guarantee. 

    If, say, these bonds already yield a negative rate, there is a cost to the clearing house and it is passed on to the customer. RBS says it will now pass on these costs itself. 

    The move could erode this collateral and behave like a negative rate. However, RBS says it is not the same as a negative rate on deposits.

    A spokesperson said: “Until recently RBS has applied a 0% floor to the overnight rate charged for deposits required by clearing houses for futures trades. However, due to the sustained low interest rate environment, RBS will now be passing the cost of holding such deposits onto a limited number of our institutional clients. Futures are entered into by sophisticated financial investors looking to hedge risk.”

  13. Jessops clicks on Leicester

    Peter Jones

    Camera retailer Jessops has returned to Leicester - where it first began trading in 1935.

    The company was set up by Frank Jessop and eventually expanded to 187 stores - but all closed when it fell into administration in January 2013. 

    Dragons' Den star Peter Jones bought the brand and has since reopened 52 stores - with another in Highcross opening today - which is also World Photo Day. 

    Mr Jones, Jessops chairman, said: "In just three years since I acquired the business we have doubled our number of stores proving there is still plenty of potential for growth and job creation on the high street. The next 12 months will continue to be an exciting time for Jessops as we plan to open new stores in key locations."

  14. Viacom boss 'to depart'

    Philippe Duman
    Image caption: Philippe Duman with his wife Deborah at the 2016 Academy Awards in Los Angeles

    More on Viacom: Bloomberg reports that chief executive Philippe Duman will leave the company on 13 September with a $72m payoff.

    That would amount to a victory for Shari Redstone, the daughter of Sumner Redstone. She had opposed Mr Dauman's elevation to executive chairman of Viacom earlier this year when her father gave up that role. 

    Since he started running Viacom in 2006, Mr Dauman has been one of the best-paid chief executives in the United States, earning more than $400m in that time, according to Equilar. 

    He has worked with Mr Redstone for more than three decades.

  15. Viacom deal mooted

    Sumner Redstone

    The Viacom saga could be reaching some kind of conclusion - sort of. 

    The US media giant, which owns the CBS network and Paramount Pictures, has been plagued by a long-running feud between 93-year-old founder Sumner Redstone (pictured) and chief executive Philippe Duman.

    It's being reported that Mr Duman has agreed to leave the company with a payout north of $70m - although there's nothing official as yet.

    Viacom shares are about 2% higher in afternoon trading in New York. 

  16. FTSE ends lower

    London's FTSE 100 has ended the week 10 points lower at 6,858.9 points despite a 2.5% rise for easyJet following bid rumours that do not seem terribly concrete.

    Miners Glencore and BHP Billiton were among the biggest fallers in fairly lacklustre trading. 

    "In light of an almost empty economic calendar today more of the same trading pattern appears likely... with the occasional round of profit-taking," said City of London Markets trader Markus Huber.

    On the continent Frankfurt's DAX 30 shed 0.5% and the CAC 40 in Paris pared earlier losses to end 0.75% lower. 

  17. RBS 'negative rates move'

    RBS logo

    The Financial Times reports that Royal Bank of Scotland will impose negative interest rates on some institutional customers for holding their cash from Monday. 

    They appear to be those using RBS for investment banking services - and there is no suggestion that negative rates are on the cards for personal customers.

    RBS has not responded to a request for comment.

    Laith Khalaf of Hargreaves Lansdown says:

    Quote Message: The move by RBS reported today would appear to only affect a relatively limited number of investment banking clients. We are still a long way from banks imposing negative interest rates on personal customers, which would be a deeply unpopular move, though clearly the direction of travel is concerning for savers. Banks now have access to a line of cheap funding from the Bank of England, which means they are less reliant on deposits from customers. We have already seen a spate of interest rate cuts for savers, most notably from Santander, and there are no doubt more in store."