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Summary

  1. Pound slides to lowest level since 1985
  2. FTSE 100 just misses all-time closing high
  3. Ericsson to cut 3,000 jobs in Sweden
  4. Google expected to launch new phones
  5. Greggs helped by healthier options

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

That's all from the Business Live page for tonight. Join us again tomorrow from 06:00.

US regulators to review Wall Street 'living wills'

The Federal Reserve has received Wall Street plans for how to wind down big banks in the case of bankruptcy and regulators will begin reviewing that paperwork.

The 'living will' paperwork came from eight leading banks including Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.

The Fed and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp will decide whether the banks can feasibly be wound down in the case of a financial crisis or bankruptcy.

Any bank that does not meet the regulators' test may be forced to break itself into smaller lenders. 

Wall Street closes down after 'hard Brexit' concerns

Traders and financial professionals work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images

US stocks fell as investors fretted about Britain's exit from the European Union and the prospect of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike in coming months. 

Sterling slid to its lowest in more than three decades after British Prime Minister Theresa May said the country's divorce from the EU will not be "plain sailing" and that there would be "bumps in the road."

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.47% to 18,168.45 points and the S&P 500 lost 0.50%, falling to 2,150.49. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.21% to 5,289.66.

Theresa May insists UK economy can withstand Brexit turbulence

Theresa May
Getty Images

Theresa May has said the UK economy remains strong despite Brexit concerns which have hit the pound and seen growth forecasts for 2017 reduced.

Sterling has fallen to a 31-year low against the dollar while the IMF cut its GDP forecast for next year to 1.1%.

But, as the FTSE 100 rose to an 18-month high, Mrs May said the outlook was "more positive" than many expected.

The PM told the BBC's Laura Kuenssberg that her job was to make the process of EU exit as "smooth as possible".

Read more here.

Fitch cuts outlook on Wells Fargo to 'negative'

Credit rating agency Fitch has cut its outlook on Wells Fargo to 'negative' from 'stable'.

Fitch said the cut reflected potential damage to the company's "earnings profile" following recent regulatory actions.

Wells Fargo staff opened as many as two million accounts in customers' names without their authorisation, according to a $190m settlement with regulators reached last month. 

The pound's performance since Brexit

Exchange rate appreciation
IMF

Here's an interesting chart from the IMF. It shows how different currencies performed before and after the Brexit vote. The pound has plunged, while the Japanese yen has soared.

Google unveils new products for the home

Technology analyst Rupert Goodwins discusses Google's new products

BBC World Service

Susannah Streeter speaks to technology analyst Rupert Goodwins about Google's launch of a 'Home' personal assistant today, and the competition between Google and Apple.  

Yahoo 'secretly scanned emails for US authorities'

Yahoo
Getty Images

Yahoo secretly scanned millions of its users' email accounts on behalf of the US government, according to a report.

Reuters news agency says the firm built special software last year to comply with a classified request.

"Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States," the tech firm said in a statement provided to the BBC.

The allegation comes less than a fortnight after Yahoo said hackers had stolen data about many of its users.

Read more here.

Google Pixel phones and Home speaker take on Siri and Echo

New google gadgets
Google

Google has finally unveiled its new gadgets, placing a virtual assistant at the heart of its latest smartphones and offering us its first voice-activated speaker.

According to the BBC's tech desk, the two Pixel handsets are the first mobiles to trigger Google Assistant by pressing their home buttons, somewhat like Apple's Siri.

The Home speaker lets the same artificial intelligence tool be controlled without use of a touchscreen. It rivals Amazon's Echo speaker (and is somewhat cheaper).

Google also unveiled new virtual reality kit and a 4K media streamer.

Mastercard 'selfie pay' coming to UK

Mastercard Identity Check
Mastercard

Mastercard is launching an app in the UK which will accept selfie photos to verify IDs for online payments.

The credit card firm trialled the Identity Check Mobile app, better known as "selfie pay", earlier this year in the US and Canada.

A spokesman said Mastercard still needs to announce the UK banks that will offer the service, so consumers can’t use it just yet.

The app works by creating a digitised map of a user's face. The customer then take photos of themselves to prove their identity and authorise payments.  

IMF a 'failed racing horse tipster'

Economists for Brexit hits back at gloomy IMF predictions on UK growth issued today

Graeme Leach, a member of the campaign group, has said the IMF's previous negative forecasts hadn’t "come close to materialising" in the UK. 

He added: “If you look at the behaviour of the broad money supply, the UK economy seems to be strengthening, not weakening. Just today, construction PMI was positive, ahead of many gloomy forecasts. 

"Consumer spending is strong, with retail sales up 6% and car sales also growing. Employment is rising (1% up on a year ago) and unemployment continues to fall, all of which was happening well before the [Bank of England's] latest package of a rate cut and more QE.”

Earlier the IMF cut its growth forecast for the UK in 2017 to 1.1%, citing Brexit as an  influence. 

Row over 'discrimination' as airline weighs passengers

Yahoo 'secretly scanned customer emails for US intelligence agencies'

NSA headquarters in Maryland
Reuters/NSA

Yahoo last year secretly built custom software to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by US intelligence officials, the Reuters news agency reports.

The company complied with a classified US government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, Reuters says.

Google unveils 'chatty' Pixel

Ruining the FTSE party...

Howard Mustoe

business reporter

FTSE values
BBC

Just to ruin the FTSE party, my chart here compares the FTSE 100 over the past year in its native sterling (the white line), in dollars, which gives a flavour of the pound’s devaluation (in orange) and also the performance of the FTSE Local index in sterling (in yellow). This includes only firms which make 70% or more of sales in the UK. Both the dollar FTSE and the local FTSE are much sadder stories.    

FTSE 100 denied record - but FTSE 250 hits closing high

Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says of today's FTSE 100 and 250 performances:

"The FTSE 100 almost closed at a record high today. In fact, when the closing bell rang at 4.30pm it stood above its previous highest close of 7,104. However, in closing auctions it lost around 50 points to end the day at 7,074. Still, not a bad day’s work for the blue chip index, having gained 1.3% across the day.

"The FTSE 250 did make history by hitting a record closing level of 18,342, significantly beating its previous high of 18,263."    

Artificial intelligence 'core to Google's future'

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

What do you want to know about globalisation?

We asked you to send in questions about trade and globalisation for BBC Economics correspondent Andrew Walker to investigate.

We picked four questions. Tell us which one you would most like Andrew to answer.

View more on twitter

Theresa May: 'Currencies go up and down'

Theresa May
Getty Images

Prime Minister Theresa May has said of the fall in sterling that currencies "of course go up and down".

Sterling slid to its lowest in more than three decades on Tuesday after concerns a "hard Brexit" from the European Union and its single market  could hurt the economy.

"Currencies of course go up and down," Mrs May told the BBC. "If you stand back and look at the fundamentals of our economy, which are strong, if you look at the other economic data that has been around in recent weeks, if you look indeed at the most recent forecasts now coming out for growth in our economy this year, all of that is more positive than people had expected it to be and predicted it to be." 

FTSE closes near record high

The FTSE 100 has closed near to its record high of 7,103.98. The share index closed at 7,074.34, up 1.30%.

Sterling fell to its lowest in more than three decades after fears of a "hard" Brexit where the UK leaves the single market in favour of imposing controls on immigration.

With a cheaper currency promising to bolster earnings, the FTSE 100 index rose. 

Barclays sells Egyptian business

Barclays has completed the sale of its Egyptian business to Morocco's Attijariwafa Bank as part of its shift towards focusing on the US and Britain.

The UK bank is seeking to sell its African operations as part of a plan by chief executive Jes Staley to simplify its structure and improve shareholder returns.

Google 'set to spend $50m marketing new Pixel phone in UK'

Google logo
Getty Images

Google is expected launch new products later, including a smartphone.

The FT is reporting that the firm is looking to spend $50m ($40m) marketing its Pixel phone in the UK to challenge market leaders Apple and Samsung.

EE is thought to have won the Google contract to sell the phone, which will also be sold by Carphone Warehouse, the FT reports.

Google is also expected to launch a virtual reality headset.

Engineering 'job changed my life in India'

The BBC's Yogita Limaye went to Chennai - the Detroit of Asia - to hear one woman's story about how the expansion of car making is lifting people out of poverty.

Read more about her visit here.

Gold slides to lowest since Brexit vote

Gold bars
Getty Images

Gold is down more than 1% at around $1,288 an ounce, its lowest since Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

Forecast-beating US manufacturing data on Monday fed into expectations that the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates by the end of the year, driving the dollar higher.

CBI: Businesses won't welcome migration restrictions

Following Home Secretary Amber Rudd saying she is considering tighter controls on foreign workers and overseas students, the CBI has said it is "time to be clear about the value of migration to the UK".

"Businesses will not welcome further restrictions on high skilled migration from key trading partners around the world, especially as a series of changes were only announced earlier this year.

"At a time when we need strong links globally to seize new opportunities after the referendum, being seen as open to the best and brightest is vital. 

"And we should be clear that business does not see immigration and training as an either/or choice. We need both," the business lobby group said.

Why rising shares aren't a sign of joy

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

Trader
Getty Images

The explanation for the surge is pretty straightforward.

Big companies... make most of their money in dollars but report their profits in pounds.

As the pound falls to its lowest level against the dollar for 31 years, those dollar profits are worth more in pound terms.

A goldilocks scenario for big multinationals headquartered and listed in the UK: FTSE 100 rockets.

Simple.

But that is not the whole story. If you look further down the business league table, you will find that shares in midsize and smaller firms are also surging.

Fewer of them have foreign earnings so what's going on?

Read more here.

Wall Street opens higher as tech stocks rise

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images

US stocks have opened slightly higher as technology stocks rose and investors assessed the chances of an interest rate hike in the coming months.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 39.44 points, or 0.22%, at 18,293.29, the S&P 500 was up 3.5 points, or 0.16%, at 2,164.7 and the Nasdaq composite was up 16.98 points, or 0.32%, at 5,317.85. 

China growth 'stable' says IMF

Andrew Walker

World Service economics correspondent

The indifferent economic recovery after the global financial crisis has been a persistent theme in the IMF's regular World Economic Outlook reports.

The report warns of the danger of a pattern of underperformance becoming entrenched.

Weak growth can lead to lower investment, slower productivity growth and the erosion of what the IMF calls "human capital" - which means skills and expertise.

In one important area, the IMF's concerns have eased somewhat for the near term outlook. That is China, where growth has been stable.

There have been concerns that China's widely reported slowdown in growth would be much more abrupt than it has been. But there is a warning about the country's longer term prospects and the debt burden faced by many businesses.

"A still-rising credit-to-GDP ratio and lack of decisive progress in addressing corporate debt and governance concerns in state-owned enterprises raise the risk of a disruptive adjustment".  

UK 'will minimise Brexit risk to City'

David Davis
Getty Images

The UK government is trying to minimise any risk from Brexit to the City, and a successful deal should benefit the sector, Brexit minister David Davis has said.

Banks are keen to retain "passporting" rights which allow them to sell financial services across the EU from London.

"We will set about making sure that the things that people are worrying about like passporting are resolved, there's no question there," Mr Davis said, speaking at an event at the Conservative Party annual conference.

Mr Davis also said a good deal for Britain to leave the European Union should help car makers, saying firms such as Japan's Nissan - which has voiced fears over higher tariffs - should not worry.

"We want the car manufacturing industry to be doing better, we want the finance sector to be doing better, with no constraints on them," he said. 

IMF: Global economic recovery 'weak and precarious'

Andrew Walker

World Service economics correspondent

The global economic recovery remains "weak and precarious", the International Monetary Fund has warned

In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF predicts growth this year of 3.1%, picking up to 3.4% in 2017.

It warns there is a risk this "tepid growth" could become "self-perpetuating".

It goes on to say that the UK's exit from the European Union is "expected to have negative macroeconomic consequences".

World economy 'gone sideways' - IMF

IMF headquarters
AFP

The world's advanced economies will grow more slowly this year than previously forecast, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF now thinks they'll grow at 1.6%, down from the 1.8% it previously estimated, but that slightly faster growth in the rest of the world will make up the shortfall.

“Taken as a whole, the world economy has moved sideways,” said IMF chief economist Maurice Obstfeld.    

The US was one of the main economies to have its growth for the year downgraded, while the UK and eurozone were slightly upgraded.

'Greatly improved' detail about UK economy promised

STACK COINS
BBC

The boffins that produce official UK statistics are going to be making greater use of VAT data.

Today the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the first set of VAT turnover data. The ONS says it's an important new data source and will deliver "greatly improved" detail about the UK economy.

The ONS reckons it will get more detail on industries, geographic breakdowns and more information about small businesses.

The Blue Mopeds

Can French bosses change their image by riding mopeds and wearing blue capes?

Sticking with France for a minute, the BBC has this report on a group of French businessmen trying to change the image of the "boss class".

They meet up monthly, don pink helmets and blue capes, and ride mopeds - all to provide some light relief and improve France's poor industrial relations.

John Laurenson speaks to some of them at the 'Meules Bleues' - or Blue Mopeds - Grand Prix.

Reprieve for historic French train factory

Alstom plant
Getty Images

The first TGV train was made in Alstom's factory in Belfort, eastern France. But last month Alstom told employees that the plant would close, with the loss of 400 jobs.

However, it appears that the plant has received a reprieve, with a government order for 15 high-speed trains, 30 regular trains and 20 rescue locomotives.

Alstom and the government will invest €70m euros to modernise the plant.

The French government owns a 20% stake in Alstom.

Argy bhaji

Financial Times journalist Katie Martin has another reason why the pound is at a record low.

View more on twitter

The last time sterling was this low

The pound is currently lower against the dollar than it was on Black Wednesday in 1992 and the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2001-2.

You have to go back to 1985 when £1 bought fewer dollars. Then, it was less a story of pound weakness and more to do with a very strong dollar.

Pound vs dollar chart
BBC

Mercedes-Benz motor racing cuts losses

Lewis Hamilton driving for Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team
Getty Images

Motor racing is an expensive business, but it helps if you are winning.

Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix cut its losses to £22.3m in 2015, from a loss of £76.9m in the previous year. 

More sponsorship and more money from the organisers of Formula One helped boost sales.

Last year Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton won his third world championship, with fellow Mercedes driver, Nico Rosberg finishing runner-up.

How low can the pound go?

A bad day for the pound is leading to a good day for the FTSE. In morning trading sterling hit its lowest level against the dollar since 1985 and it hasn't recovered much since then.

"Sterling/Dollar stumbled to fresh 31 year lows at 1.2736 during trading on Tuesday as the horrible combination of Brexit anxieties and a resurgent Dollar encouraged bears to install repeated rounds of selling," said Lukman Otunuga from currency traders FXTM.

The pound dropped to $1.05 in 1985 so it's got a way to go before it beats that record.

View more on twitter