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Summary

  1. SpaceX rocket explodes at launch site in Florida
  2. Zuckerberg "disappointed" by Facebook satellite destruction
  3. Pound rises after UK manufacturing rebounds sharply in August
  4. Apple boss Tim Cook goes on the attack over $13bn tax ruling
  5. Wimpy owner buys Gourmet Burger Kitchen

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan and Dan Macadam

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night!

    Test Card F

    That's all for another day of Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 tomorrow - do join us then.

  2. Wall Street ends up ahead of jobs data

    US stocks capped a changeable day with the Dow Jones ending the trading session higher.

    The index closed up 16.91 points at 18,417 after seeing off market discomfort at economic data which showed manufacturing activity shrank in August - the first contraction since February. 

    Investors are looking towards Friday when figures are expected to show that US employers added 180,000 jobs in August. Strong growth could nudge the US Federal Reserve towards a rate rise.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq finished 13.9 points ahead at 5,227 despite major falls by the likes of Tesla, the electric car maker whose co-founder and major shareholder, Elon Musk, was dealing with the aftermath of the SpaceX rocket explosion.  

    The S&P 500 closed flat at 2,170.

  3. Oil slides on fading Opec hopes

    An oil pumpback in Sweetwater, Texas

    The price of oil continued to slide on Thursday.

    Brent crude shrank by more than 3% to $45.45, capping a week of falls for the black stuff. 

    Until recently, the price had been buoyed by hopes that Opec, the cartel of major oil producers, may agree to freeze output at an informal meeting later this month at the International Energy Forum in Algeria.

    However, optimism over a deal appears to be fading as stockpiles in the US are growing with data revealing that the country is grappling with a 2.3 million barrel stockpile. 

    "Talk is cheap," according to Harry Tchilinguirian, global head of commodity markets strategy at BNP Paribas, who told Reuters: "Reality will set in, and the market will realize that the agendas of various OPEC producers are not aligned."

  4. US Air Force commiserates over SpaceX explosion

    The Space and Missile Systems Center feels Elon Musk's pain.

    Lieutenant General Samuel Greaves of the center, which is part of the Air Force Space Command of the US Air Force, had this to say: 

    View more on twitter
  5. A special gift for the Pope

    Pope Francis meets Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg

    Speaking of Facebook and Aquila, that happens to be the name of the model of a drone that Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, presented to Pope Francis on Monday.

    You read that right - they gave the Pope a model drone.

    However, it does have a charitable purpose since it was developed under the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to "beam internet connectivity to places that don't have it".

    Pope Francis is on Twitter but not on Facebook. 

    Surely it is only a matter of time.

  6. SpaceX headache

    Jonathan Amos

    Science correspondent, BBC News

    SpaceX rocket explosion

    It is usual for SpaceX to do a "hot fire" test a few days before a launch.

    The procedure involves holding down the Falcon 9 on its launch pad and then igniting its Merlin engines.

    Clearly, though, on this occasion, something went catastrophically wrong. The entire rocket and its satellite payload were destroyed in an explosion.

    Undoubtedly, Launch Complex 40 as it is known, will have suffered significant damage. Twisted and bent metal was visible to long-range cameras.

    But the repairs to the pad are only a part of SpaceX's immediate problems.

    Its launch schedule will now be put on hold, perhaps for many weeks, as engineers try to understand what happened and to correct any procedural errors and hardware failures.

    That is going to be a headache for SpaceX's many customers who are waiting patiently for a ride.

    Click here to read more.

  7. Facebook satellite partner counts blast cost

    Facebook and Eutelstat satellite

    Eutelsat, the French satellite company which partnered Facebook, is already counting the cost of the SpaceX rocket explosion and it looks hefty.

    The company said the impact on its business from the satellite's destruction will be €50m. 

    Facebook and Eutelsat hoped to provide high speed internet access for sub-Saharan Africa by next year.

    That plan is now up in smoke.

  8. Zuckerberg 'disappointed' by SpaceX explosion

    Mark Zuckerberg responds as the SpaceX rocket blast destroys a satellite belonging to Facebook and France's Eutelsat. 

    The satellite was designed to provide internet access to Africa - where the Facebook founder is currently visiting.

    He is not happy.

    Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, makes statement on SpaceX explosion
  9. Uber drives on with English test challenge

    Uber app and black cab

    Taxi-hailing app Uber has won the right to challenge rules that would force its drivers to pass English tests. 

    The company said it has been granted a court hearing to challenge the Transport for London (TfL) plans. 

    TfL's licensing proposals - set to take effect on 1 October - would force thousands of Uber drivers to pass the language test before being able to work in the capital.

    They would also make Uber open a 24-hour call centre in London and notify TfL of any changes to its operating model.  

  10. Lagarde: Economic vigour only skin deep

    Christine Lagarde

    Christine Lagarde is warning that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may downgrade its global economic growth forecast for 2016 - again.  

    The IMF's managing director told Reuters that "on the surface", the economy looks relatively rosy - including the impact of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

    She said: "You could argue that Brexit is not really delivering the massive crisis that we had expected, you could argue that the Chinese transition is proceeding reasonably well, and you could argue that low commodity prices have gone up a little bit."

    Ms Lagarde added: "However, when you look deep down at the economic growth prospects, at the growth potential, at the productivity, we are not getting very good signals, and we will probably be revising down our forecast for growth in 2016."

    The IMF has already reduced its global outlook this year and before the Brexit in June, cut GDP forecasts to 3.1% for 2016 and 3.4% for 2017.

  11. Musk on rocket explosion

    Billionaire Elon Musk - the founder of SpaceX - says the explosion of its Falcoln 9 rocket had something to do with its "upper stage oxygen tank", although the exact cause is still unknown.

    View more on twitter
  12. 'Here is the truth'

    Tim Cook

    Apple chief executive Tim Cook says the European Commission is "picking on" Ireland and that "no one did anything wrong", but is he right?  

    In two Irish interviews, Mr Cook hit back at the Commission's "maddening" ruling that Apple's tax benefits in the country are illegal.

    The BBC has looked at some of Mr Cook's key claims to see if they were fair.  

    Click here for the full explainer.

  13. US car sales hit the skids

    A worker checks the new General Motors 2016 Chevrolet Camaro

    Some of America's largest carmakers reported steep falls in car sales for August. 

    General Motors (GM), one of the car manufacturers rescued by the Obama administration during the financial crisis, said sales tumbled by 8% compared to August last year. Ford reported a 5% fall and Nissan said it had sold 6.5% less cars.

    Volkswagen, still reeling from the emissions scandal, saw its US sales fall 9.1%.  

    In contrast, sales rose by 3% for Fiat Chrysler as drivers bought more of its Jeeps. 

    Manufacturers reported that people were paying more for cars. GM said the average price rose by $1,600 between July and August and $5,800 ahead of the industry average. 

    However, Tim Fleming, an analyst at KBB, recently warned that price rises might send customers to used cars, "which could mark a big departure from the new-car sales growth the industry has seen during the past five years".

  14. Smiler ride suffers 'temporary stoppage'

    Smiler ride stopped

    Alton Towers said its Smiler rollercoaster ride suffered a "temporary stoppage" earlier, but none of the 32 people suffered any injuries.

    It comes 15 months after a major crash on the Smiler, in which five people were seriously injured.

    An eye-witness said the theme park visitors were left sitting on the £18m ride at the Staffordshire attraction for at least half an hour on Thursday. 

  15. Crunch time for Campbell Soup

    Pile of carrots

    Campbell Soup disappointed today with a smaller-than-expected profit in the fourth quarter - and it is all the fault of the humble carrot. 

    It appears it was more expensive to get the little orange blighters out of the ground. And Campbell admitted the carrots were harvested too quickly, which meant they were smaller and led to customer dissatisfaction.

    The world's biggest soup-maker, which has a "fresh" division that houses the carrot business, reported adjusted profit down 6% to $253m.

  16. BreakingFTSE dips after pound rise

    The FTSE 100 gave up earlier gains to close 40 points lower at 6,741. 

    The blue chip share index was dragged down by drug makers and Vodafone, which saw two of its European rivals - 3 Italia and Wind Group - agree to merge. 

    Analysts said the rally in the pound - which rose 1% against the dollar - also scared investors off the FTSE 100 as it devalued the foreign earnings of multinational firms.

    The FTSE 250, which has more UK-focused firms, rose 0.6% to 17,849.63.

  17. Caterpillar cuts 250 UK jobs

    Caterpillar machinery

    More than 200 jobs are to be cut by US machinery manufacturer Caterpillar in Northern Ireland.

    The world's largest maker of heavy construction equipment, Caterpillar employs 1,800 people in Northern Ireland with factories in Larne, Newtownabbey and west Belfast.

    The firm has been hit by a global downturn in mining and oil exploration which has reduced demand for its products.

  18. Co-Op Energy raises bills

    Co-Operative Energy slogan

    Away from exploding rockets, and back among more domestic news, one of the UK's energy suppliers has announced a price rise. 

    Co-operative Energy said it would increase prices for both gas and electricity by 3% from 1 October. 

    Customers on the company's standard dual fuel tariff will see their bills rise by an average of £32 a year, making the supplier one of the most expensive on the market.

    It comes after figures released today showed the firm attracted the second-highest number of complaints of energy firms between April and June, at 850 per 100,000 customers.

    View more on twitter