Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Pound drops after Prime Minister sets Brexit negotiation date
  2. Sterling hits three-year low against euro before recovering slightly
  3. FTSE 100 closes 1.3% higher
  4. Wonga admits double-charging customers
  5. UK manufacturing grows at fastest rate since 2014
  6. Dutch finance group ING to cut 5,800 jobs

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's your lot for another day. Please join us again tomorrow from 06:00.

'Don't delay rate hike' - Fed member

A member of the US Federal Reserve has warned about the risks of delaying an interest rate rise. 

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester suggested she would back a modest policy tightening next month.

"We have to be a little pre-emptive in making sure that we're moving the interest rate up so that we can keep the expansion sustained," Mester.

Speaking on Bloomberg Radio, she added that the case would "remain compelling" to back a rate hike at the next policy meeting were the economic data to come in largely as she expects. 

Wall Street close: Netflix up on takeover rumour

Netflix sign outside HQ
Getty Images

US stocks began the fourth quarter on a downbeat note, falling despite gains for Netflix and Twitter on takeover speculation. Analysts said that US investors were taking profit after Friday's strong session.

Netflix jumped 4.1% on speculation it could be acquired by Disney. Disney has also been mentioned as a potential buyer of Twitter, which also ended up 4.1%.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones stood at 18,253.85, down 0.3%. The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.3% to 2,161.20, and the tech-rich Nasdaq fell 0.2% to 5,300.87.

Oil jumps on Opec deal hopes

Oilfield pump
AP

Oil rose more than 1% on Monday, with Brent settling above $50 a barrel the first time since August and US crude hitting three-month highs.

What's behind the rise? Firstly, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called on other oil producers to join OPEC in supporting the market. 

Secondly, the dollar's retreat from session highs seems to have enticed more buyers into oil as greenback-denominated crude became less costly to holders of other currencies.

Short and sweet

For what it's worth, here's Krispy Kreme's response for a comment on reports that its UK stock market flotation has been abandoned: "It is a no comment."

Ericsson job cuts?

Tuesday could be bleak if you work for Swedish telecoms group Ericsson.

The country's SVT public television station is reporting that the company will announce job cuts of between 3,000 to 4,000.

SVT says the government has been informed. There is no news yet about where the cuts might fall. Ericsson employs about 116,000 people worldwide, including 15,000 in Sweden.

Last month, Swedish media reported that Ericsson planned to end manufacturing in the country.

Citi warning over post-Brexit jobs

Canary Wharf
ODD ANDERSEN

There's been another warning about lost jobs in London's financial sector after Britain leaves the EU. This one comes from the UK chief of Citi, the US bank.

James Bardrick, UK Country Officer for Citi, which has 9,000 UK employees, said that even if Britain negotiates access rights to European markets, banks were likely to reassess London operations.

"They may, for reasons of risk management, and having been reminded that things can and do change, may want to have a more balanced model," he told delegates at an event at the Conservative Party's annual conference.

"It's unlikely you that would see such a high concentration in UK to serve the whole of a region when the UK is not part of that economic region." 

Austerity isn't over

Read the BBC economics editor's latest blog:

US construction spending falls again

Building around News York's Freedom Tower
Getty Images

US construction spending fell in August for the second straight month to its lowest level in eight months, an unexpected drop driven by weakness across public and private sectors.

The successive declines suggest home building might not help economic growth in the third quarter. The Commerce Department said on Monday that construction spending dropped 0.7% in August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1.142tn, the lowest since December 2015. Economists had expected outlays to rise 0.2%. 

The government also revised downward its estimate for July, saying spending declined 0.3% rather than the initial estimate that outlays were unchanged. 

Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme doughnuts
BBC

The Telegraph and news agency Bloomberg are reporting that Krispy Kreme, purveyor of ultra-sweet doughnuts, is no longer planning to float itself on the London stock market. It looks like there will be a private sale.

More trouble in Greece

Greek riot policemen use tear gas as they try to disperse pensioners taking part in an anti-austerity protest against planned pension cuts, near the prime minister"s office in central Athens, Greece, 03 October 2016
EPA
Greek pensioners shout slogans during a demonstration against planned pension cuts, in Athens, Greece, October 3, 2016
Reuters

Greek riot policemen have used tear gas against pensioners who were protesting in Athens against more cuts in their state pensions.

French bosses try to change their image

The World Tonight on Radio 4 is broadcasting an item this evening from its reporter John Laurensen. He has been out with a group of French employers who are trying to change the image of the “boss class”. These entrepreneurs meet up monthly and put on pink helmets, blue capes and ride mopeds, to show they are just like the employees. It seems to be working, he reports.

Whatever next - rocking vicars?

Italian 50-year bond

Branch of bank UniCredit, Milan
AFP

Italy is widely derided as a submerging economy, as compared to an emerging one, thanks to its long-term economic stagnation.

Does the Italian government care about such opinion? Not a jot.

The FT reports the Italian Finance Ministry as saying that a 50-year bond (that's a glorified IOU to finance government spending) will be issued “in the near future”, to mature in March 2067.

Low inflation in the eurozone means its constituent countries can take advantage of very low, long-term interest rates to borrow cheaply.

Similar bonds have been issued recently by France, Spain, and Belgium.

Belgium: a month to forget

The news agency Agence France Presse reminds us that it has not been a great four weeks for Belgium. Dutch bank ING said today it would cut 7,000 jobs, with at least half of them in neighbouring Belgium. 

But that comes after US machinery giant Caterpillar announced the closure of a plant at Charleroi, destroying 2,000 jobs. French insurer Axa and US coffee maker Jacobs Douwe Egberts are also shedding hundreds of jobs.

Meanwhile, Germany's Lufthansa is taking full control of Belgium's only major air carrier, Brussels Airlines, with a restructuring looking inevitable.

Now people are wondering how long it will be before AB InBev, the world's biggest brewer and newly-merged with SABMiller, relocates its headquarters.

RBS in $120m toxic mortgage settlement

RBS sign outside building
PA

Royal Bank of Scotland Group will pay $120m to resolve a Connecticut state investigation into the bank's underwriting of toxic mortgage-backed securities ahead of the 2008 financial crisis.

The deal, announced by Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen, came as the bank has been seeking to resolve a series of probes and lawsuits over mortgage bonds.

Before the financial crisis, authorities said, the bank's RBS Securities unit was the lead underwriter on $250bn worth of residential mortgage-backed securities, an investment product backed by payments by thousands of homeowners.

When home prices collapsed, subprime mortgage borrowers whose loans were linked to the securities were unable to make payments.

FTSE 100 jumps

It was a good day for the FTSE 100, which jumped 1.22% to 6,983.5 points, helped by good manufacturing data and hopes that the pound's sharp fall will help exporters.

The top risers, however, were a mixed bag. Hotels group ICH and building materials group Travis Perkins both rose 3.1%, followed by Anglo American, 2.87% better.

The biggest fallers were ITV, down 1.8%, and Marks and Spencer, 1.5% lower.

Janus opens gates to Henderson

London-based asset manager Henderson Group is buying US rival Janus Capital Group in an all-share $6bn deal to cut costs and boost profits in the face of growing competition from index funds.

The combined company, Janus Henderson Global Investors, will be based in London and manage $320bn in assets, potentially making it the 39th largest asset manager. 

Henderson chief executive Andrew Formica told a media conference call that talks began at the start of the year and were not affected by the Brexit referendum.

Facebook tries again

BBC technology correspondent tweets:

Cath Kidston makes its biggest sale

Range of bags
Cath Kidston

Cath Kidston, the UK fashion firm whose striking floral prints have won global appeal, has been bought by a private equity group.

Baring Asia already owned a minority stake and has now taken full control. No financial details were disclosed.

Cath Kidston, the designer who launched the eponymous label, still has a stake in the company. 

She started out with a single shop in London's fashionable Holland Park, but the retailer now has outlets across the globe, including 133 in Asia. 

As part of the acquisition, former Gucci chief executive William Flanz will step in as chairman, replacing Paul Mason.

US car sales hit the brakes

US car sales had a difficult September, with Ford suffering an 8% fall year-on-year. General Motors saw an 0.6% drop, but managed to grow market share. Car sales, an important indicator of consumer spending, have been slowing over the summer despite low oil prices.

Wall Street starts the week on the back foot

Wall Street stock markets started the week in downbeat mood ahead of some important economic data over the next few days, including September jobs numbers, and also the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund.

A few minutes into trading, the Dow Jones was at 18,237.8 points, down 0.4%. The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.3% at 2,161.31, while the tech-rich Nasdaq lost 0.2% at 5,302.37. 

Facebook announces 'Messenger Lite' service

Facebook Messenger Lite
AP

Facebook has announced a "slimmed down" version of its Messenger app for countries where older smartphones and slower net speeds are more common.

The company said Messenger Lite had the "core features" of the full app such as the ability to share text and photos.

The app will compete with Facebook-owned WhatsApp, which the company says is used by more than a billion people.

One analyst said offering a stripped-back service for developing markets would "drive adoption of services".

Wonga admits double charging customers

Wonga website
PA

The UK's biggest payday lender, Wonga, has admitted that it double-charged 7,000 customers for their loans on Friday.

It says an internal system error resulted in extra payments being taken from bank accounts.

The customers affected have what are known as Flexi loans, which have to be paid off in three instalments over three months.

Wonga has promised that extra costs and charges incurred will be refunded.

All Talk Talk?

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones questions whether Talk Talk's new consumer-friendly offers will work

From my Twitter replies, @talktalk still has a job to do on repairing its brand, whatever its new broadband offers

Healthy trading?

BBC business journo Adam Parson tweets...

FSTE 100 'hits 16-month high'

The FTSE 100 hit a 16-month high this morning, according to Reuters, after the pound dived on news that the Prime Minister will trigger Brexit negotiations before the end of March.

In early afternoon trading the market was at 6989.44 - up 90.11 points on Friday's close - as investors priced in currency benefits for companies with business outside the UK. 

Among the top performers were InterContinental Hotels which climbed 2.8%, Royal Dutch Shell which was up 2.7% and Bunzl, up 2.6%. 

The pound was trading at €1.14530 against the euro after earlier hitting a three year low.

Pound slump

Pound chart
BBC

The chart shows how the pound has dropped in today's trading compared with Friday.

It's the first time sterling has slumped below €1.1450 against the euro in more than three years, Hargreaves Lansdown analyst Chris Saint points out.

The fall was prompted by Theresa May setting a date for the Brexit process and was compounded by speculation the UK could sacrifice access to the EU single market in return for greater border control, he says.

Call me 'Gary'

Thanks to customer feedback, we’re excited to introduce our new range of #Gary 🧀

Thanks to customer feedback, we’re excited to introduce our new range of #Gary 🧀

Sainsbury's social media marketing team have responded with aplomb to an internet troll who laid into the supermarket's new vegan cheeses.

In a lengthy tirade on Facebook, an unidentified woman said the coconut-based range should not be labelled as cheese but called "Gary or something" instead. 

"Go enjoy your cheese less life. Don't try and make up a substitute cheese and call it cheese," she added.   

After vegan customers showed their support for the supermarket en masse on Twitter, Sainsbury's joined in the fun - publishing a spoof photo-shopped advert in which it had rebranded the cheese "Gary".

The tweet has been liked more than 2,500 times. 

Samba style

Samba dancers at Rio de Janeiro parade
Getty Images

Brazil's in the grip of its worst recession in three decades, but that hasn't stopped its share index rising at one of the fastest rates in the world this year.   

The Bovespa Index of Brazil's biggest companies is up 90% as investors' appetite for South America's largest economy returns, according to investor guru Justin Urquhart Stewart. 

He said the share index's outstanding performance goes against warnings last year that investors should avoid emerging economies like Brazil. 

"This year's fashion fad tends to be next year's tank top and vice versa," he told the BBC.

Bank of England to bolster stress tests

Mark Carney
Getty Images

The Bank of England is to expand its stress tests of major banks next year to account for new threats to the economy.  

According to Bloomberg, it will run two tests on the country’s biggest lenders. 

It comes after the Bank's Financial Policy Committee noted that share prices in the sector were around 20% lower than at the start of the year, reflecting “challenges to future profitability”.

In light of Brexit uncertainty, it added: "[Banks will] require a level of resilience to be maintained that was at least as great as that currently planned, which itself exceeded that required by international baseline standards."

'Works for everyone'

With the chancellor's speech over, Mark Broad, a senior BBC economics producer, has totted up one of Philip Hammond's favoured soundbites.

View more on twitter

Business editor Simon Jack also spots some reassurance for the UK tech scene towards the end of the chancellor's speech.

View more on twitter

Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Engine

George Osborne in front of Northern Powerhouse sign
Reuters

Chancellor Philip Hammond has lent his support to two of the government's initiatives to bolster growth outside of London. 

He says the Treasury will continue to drive the Northern Powerhouse project - offering reassurance to the scheme's biggest cheerleader, George Osborne.

There's also support in Mr Hammond's speech for the so-called Midlands Engine. 

He jokes that the scheme, plus the outgoing John Lewis boss running for West Midlands mayor for the Tories, will mean the region is "never knowingly undersold". 

More of the same

George Osborne's former chief of staff predicts new chancellor Philip Hammond won't roll out a huge spending package today or in his Autumn Statement next month.

View more on twitter

Productivity puzzle

Chancellor Philip Hammond moves on to the efficiency of British business and how it lags France and the US. 

"Productivity should set political pulses racing," he says at the Conservative Party conference.

View more on twitter

Southern Rail issues union ultimatum

Southern Rail train
Getty Images

Southern Rail has given the rail workers’ union until Thursday to sign a new deal on proposed job changes.

The train operator wants to change the responsibilities of guards, and says no-one will be out of pocket through the move. But the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union disputes that. 

The union raised the stakes recently when it announced 14 days of strikes starting next week and ending in December. 

But Southern - which was plagued by strikes over the summer - has given conductors until midday on Thursday to accept the changes or face redundancy. 

Seeking support for its plan, Southern urged customers to tweet to the RMT this morning to show how unhappy they were with the strike action - but this resulted in a backlash on social media.      

This tweet has not gone well for @SouthernRailUK #understatementoftheyear twitter.com/SouthernRailUK…

'Whatever it takes'

Philip Hammond delivers speech
Reuters

Chancellor Philip Hammond says recent data shows the underlying strength of the UK economy, "but there is no room for complacency".

Businesses face uncertainty, and have understandable questions about the process of the negotiations, the deal that will be done, and what it will mean for their firms, he says.

"We are ready to take whatever steps are necessary to protect this economy from turbulence," he says.

'Robust' economy

More from Chancellor Philip Hammond's speech

'No ifs, no buts'

Philip Hammond at the Conservative Party conference
BBC

Chancellor Philip Hammond is delivering his speech at the Conservative Party conference. 

He says the key message from the referendum was on "control" - that the UK wants to take back sovereignty from the EU.

He goes on to reiterate there will be no second referendum. "No ifs, no buts, we are leaving the European Union," he says to applause in the room.

But the UK did not vote to become poorer. The country needs to protect jobs and living standards, he adds.

FTSE nears 7,000 points

FTSE 100 is at 6,986 after a 1.3% rise in morning trading