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  1. ECB keeps interest rates on hold
  2. Sharp rise in UK workers on zero hours contracts
  3. Micro Focus to become UK tech giant after HP Enterprise deal
  4. Apple shares fall after new iPhone launch
  5. Dixons Carphone reports 9% rise in quarterly sales

Live Reporting

By Bill Wilson

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That is all from us at Business Live today. Please join us again on Friday morning. 

US shares close down as Apple drops

A 2.6% fall in Apple shares, the day after it launched its iPhone 7, hit the three main US markets.

The Dow Jones fell 46.23 points, or 0.25 %, to 18,479.91. The S&P 500 lost 0.22% to 2,181.3 and the Nasdaq fell 0.46% to 5,259.48. 

US consumer credit jumps

Zero Hedge tweets...

Liberty Media takeover will give teams chance to buy shares in sport

More details about the F1 purchase

F1 cars
Rex Features

Formula 1 teams are to be given the chance to buy shares in the sport for the first time following a takeover by US giant Liberty Media.

The first stage of a buyout was completed on Wednesday, with Liberty taking 18.7% in a deal that values F1 at $8bn (£6.25bn).

The full takeover, which will see Liberty with a controlling 35.3% stake, is due to be completed by early 2017.

Liberty said teams "will be given the opportunity to participate in the investment", adding that some had expressed interest.

The leading Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren teams are considered the most likely to take up the opportunity.

Lynch talks tech

Autonomy founder on the Micro Focus deal...

Mike Lynch, the founder of Autonomy, has been commenting on today's big tech deal.

His company was bought by HP in 2011 and was part of the Micro Focus purchase announced today.

He told the Financial Times that "Micro Focus know what they're doing so it's a good thing. They can't really screw it up any more than it was. Hopefully there are still some gems there."

World Business Report examines the F1 takeover

ECB swipes Adidas to the boundary

England batsman Joe Root
Getty Images

The England and Wales Cricket Board today confirmed the conclusion of its agreement with adidas as Official Kit Supplier to the England teams at the end of the current agreement in March 2017. adidas became the ECB's Official Kit Supplier in 2008, providing match and training wear to all England teams including the men’s and women's Test, One-Day and T20 sides as well as the Lions and all four England disability teams. The ECB will start the 2017 domestic season with a new Official Kit Supplier, agreed under a five-year deal to be announced in the spring.

ECBCommunications department

'Not a game changer'

One analyst gives her response to the new iPhone:

"Overall, we thought that the phone was an improvement over previous models, but not a game changer that will reignite a significant upgrade cycle," Deutsche Bank analyst Sherri Scribner wrote in a note.

US market update

Apple shares fall

Getty Images

Stocks in the US continue to trade lower.

The Dow Jones is down 0.3% at 18,465

The Nasdaq has slipped 0.5% to 5,254

The S&P 500 has dipped 0.3% to 2,179

Shares in Apple have fallen, down more than 2%, presumably meaning that investors are unimpressed with its new iPhone 7, which it launched yesterday.

Wells Fargo fine

Wells Fargo - the biggest US bank by market cap - is paying $190m to settle a fraud case. 

Regulators accused it of pushing more than 2 million fee-paying accounts on to customers that they didn't need or request, as bank staff tried to reach certain sales targets.

The bank said: "We regret and take responsibility for any instances where customers may have received a product that they did not request."

Mastercard rebuffs £14bn legal claim

BBC Radio 5 Live


Mark Barnett, UK & Ireland President of Mastercard, has been on BBC Radio 5live to emphasise the firm will defend itself against a £14bn legal claim,

The claim has been filed against Mastercard on behalf of UK consumers seeking damages for what it is claimed were anti-competitive and "unlawful" card fees over a number of years. 

But Mr Barnett said that "UK consumers have benefited enormously from being able to make electronic payments, card payments".

He said electronic card payments were cheaper than using cash, which needs to be manufactured, guarded, transported, stored, and then physically counted and banked.

"We can't imagine how this could have damaged consumers in the UK," Mr Barnett added.

City 'must reinvent itself in the age of Brexit'

Iain Martin on the revolution for finance dealing with digital changes and Brexit.
Big Bang was the dramatic moment in 1986 when the City of London embraced a new type of global finance. 

Like it or loathe it, the City now contributes almost 12% to the UK's economy.  But what next for the Square Mile as it looks to a new, digital future in the wake of Brexit.

The journalist Iain Martin has written a book charting the history of the City and how it will face new challenges.

More on the FTSE today

The FTSE 100 was boosted by a big rise for Micro Focus following its $8.8bn (£6.6bn) software swoop.

The UK technology firm is acquiring the software arm of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, including the assets of former UK tech champion Autonomy.

Micro Focus, which entered the FTSE 100 last week, ended the day 14.5% higher after earlier jumping 21%.

British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines was up 4% after a positive broker's note and a hint from chief executive Willie Walsh that other airlines were keen to join the group.

Dixons Carphone also rose almost 4% after reporting an increase in first-quarter sales and "no detectable impact" from the Brexit vote.

Education publisher Pearson was the biggest faller, dropping almost 8%, following disappointing results from rival publisher John Wiley, which also provides US college textbooks.

On the currency markets, the pound was 0.3% lower against the dollar at $1.32990. Against the euro, it was 0.5% lower at €1.18100.

FTSE closes ahead


In London the FTSE closes at 6858.70, up 12.12 points, or 0.18%

Chancellor's warning

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

Philip Hammond
Getty Images

More from Philip Hammond. He's warned other European Union countries that attempts to break up London's role as a global financial centre in the wake of the country's Brexit vote would be a "huge mistake" for the EU. 

The Chancellor says London has a "very complex ecosystem" of banks and financial services firms and "to break it up or try to damage it in the pursuit of some very narrow and hypothetical national advantage would be a huge mistake for any of our European Union partners to follow".

The UK would also be open to allowing bankers from the bloc to work in the country after it leaves the EU, Mr Hammond adds.    

Hammond reassures

Daily Mail deputy political editor Jason Groves has been listening to the Chancellor giving evidence to the House of Lords economic affairs committee:

View more on twitter

Hanjin cargo all at sea - seeking funds after collapse

Hanjin Group
Getty Images

The failed Hanjin shipping group is desperately seeking funds to rescue $14bn (£10.5bn) worth of cargo stranded round the world following its collapse.

Hanjin filed for receivership in South Korea last week after attempts to bail out the indebted company failed.

Ports have refused to accept Hanjin cargoes without guarantees that port fees will be paid.

However, creditors, banks and the South Korean government are all reluctant to put up the cash.

Virtual Reality future for Star Trek?

Star Trek 1966
Getty Images

The Register is a website for IT professionals and technology enthusiasts. Marking the 50th anniversary of the Star Trek TV show, it has this thoughtful piece on the franchise.

It suggests the future of the Star Trek movies and shows could be in virtual reality (VR) - fans can already take charge of a starship Enterprise in an experience created by games company Ubisoft.

"Taking the helm of the enterprise in VR with a crew of friends as I did recently was exhilarating, but possessing a very un-Kirk like disposition I was sorely tempted to sacrifice each and every one of them like so many red shirts as soon as that Klingon ship appeared."

Sweaty Betty sales healthy after Brexit

Evening Standard

A woman in gym gear
Sweaty Betty

Retailer Sweaty Betty has told the Evening Standard that sales couldn't be better following Brexit.

Co-founder, Simon Hill-Norton said "July and August have been great months for us with same-store sales growth of 12% in both months."

Apparently 9 out of its 10 best-selling products over the summer were printed leggings.

It looks like its customers having been getting hot but not bothered about Brexit.

BreakingHammond announces Autumn Statement date

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has today (8 September 2016) announced that he will present his first Autumn Statement to Parliament on 23 November 2016. The Autumn Statement is based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility for the economy and public finances

HM Treasury
Penman Engineering

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says Scottish Enterprise is working with administrators to try to avoid redundancies at a military vehicle firm.

Read more

BreakingPost Office managers join strike

Post Office

Post Office managers who are members of union Unite will be striking for 24 hours on Thursday 15 September "in the dispute over pensions, job losses and the franchising of Crown post offices".

Unite’s 732 managerial members will be striking from 03.00 on the same day as the Communication Workers Union (CWU) is "taking industrial action on similar issues affecting the way the organisation, ultimately owned by the government, is run", Unite says. 

Who are Formula 1's new owners?

F1 driver
Getty Images

The acquisition by the US media conglomerate Liberty Media of the Formula 1 racing business for $4.4bn (£3.3bn) opens a new chapter for the motor sport.

The announcement may have ended the long-running saga over the future of the business, but it also raises some fresh questions.

Some wonder if it will speed up the eventual exit of Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone. Under the terms of the deal he remains as chief executive but he has run the sport for nearly 40 years and is now 85.

The new chairman of Formula 1 will be the elaborately moustachioed Chase Carey, the executive vice chairman of Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox.

Read more here.

Former Belgian PM gets Brexit role

BBC chief correspondent Gavin Hewitt tweets:

View more on twitter

How the ECB has trimmed economic projections

The FT tweets...

European markets fall on ECB decision

Dax index

The ECB's decision to hold off more stimulus and Mario Draghi's subsequent comments have seen European stock markets drop, with the German Dax down 1.45% and the French Cac down 1.3%.

But the euro is up, gaining 0.7% on the day against the dollar, to $1.1318, and up 0.7% against the pound to £0.84860.

Draghi on liquidity

Draghi: "Liquidity is a monetary tool we have to use....".

No helicopter money says Draghi

Mario Draghi says the ECB has not even discussed the possible option of "helicopter money".

That is, the idea that central banks create new cash and give it directly to citizens to spend on whatever they want.   

Getty Images

Jamie Robertson

Business reporter, BBC News

How Micro Focus rose in just five years from takeover target to a FTSE 100 newcomer and one of the UK's dominant software companies

Read more

ECB must take action to steady markets

Analysts predict that the European Central Bank will have to act sooner rather than later to support the eurozone.

Jennifer McKeown, an analyst at Capital Economics, said it "will need to announce further policy stimulus before long".

Nick Kounis of ABN Amro, said: "The central bank will extend the horizon before the end of this year." He added: "If the ECB waits too long, markets could get nervous."

ECB pledges to act to support economy

ECB president Mario Draghi said: "If warranted we will act by using all the instruments available within our mandate."

He adds that the central bank's governing council "will continue to monitor economic and financial market developments very closely".

Draghi says Eurozone subject to downside risks

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank, is giving his outlook on the economy following the governing council's decision to keep interest rates on hold.

View more on twitter
LinkedIn icon on a smartphone

Chris Baraniuk

Technology reporter

LinkedIn denies claims its search algorithm has been biased towards suggesting male versions of female names in searches on its site.

Read more

Why we're bad at decision making


Professionals, including doctors, project managers and judges are lousy at making consistent decisions, according to this article in Harvard Business Review. It is authored by some heavyweight researchers including psychologist Kaniel Kahneman.

It says: "The unavoidable conclusion is that professionals often make decisions that deviate significantly from those of their peers, from their own prior decisions, and from rules that they themselves claim to follow."

ECB interest rate to stay low into 2017

The ECB repeated its forward guidance that it expects its key interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time and well past the horizon of the net asset purchases.  

It also announced that it will not make any changes to its €1.74trn asset buying programme. It is expecting to carry on buying assets each month until March 2017.

BreakingECB holds interest rates

euro notes

The European Central Bank (ECB) has voted to keep interest rates unchanged.

The refinancing rate remains at 0% and the bank deposit rate at -0.4%.

The ECB was widely expected to keep its monetary policy unchanged until more economic data emerges following Britain's vote to leave the EU.

ECB president Mario Draghi is due to speak at 13:30 BST.

UK growth to slow says OECD

Oxford Circus

In its first monthly report since the Brexit vote, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development said it expects UK economic growth to slow this year before settling at a lower pace.

The Paris think tank, which suspended its monthly economic report following the vote, said: "Although there remains uncertainty about the nature of the agreement the UK will eventually conclude with the EU, the volatility in data that emerged in the weeks immediately following the referendum appears to have reduced."

It added: "Assuming this remains the case for the next 6 months, the current assessment for the United Kingdom points to growth continuing to slow, before stabilising around a lower rate towards the end of the year."

Pearson stumbles on US textbook concerns

University students

Publisher Pearson was the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 - down nearly 4% - in morning trade.

It's because of poor results for one of its US rivals, John Wiley, according to Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Laith Khalaf.

"Pearson have only reported to the end of June, and July is usually a big month for the sale of college textbooks, so Wiley’s results are being taken as a bad omen for other firms in the industry," he said.

The company is also in the "strange position" of suffering as a result of the strength of the US jobs market, which is tempting people away from education and into employment, he added.