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Summary

  1. Next jumps 4% despite sales slipping
  2. FTSE 100 falls 0.6%
  3. House prices unchanged in October
  4. Oil falls 3% after record US weekly inventory rise

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

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

  2. What happens next in the BHS enforcement action?

    The next stage of the process is to give the respondents - Sir Philip Green, Dominic Chappell, Taveta and Retail Acquistions - time to respond to the Pensions Regulator warning notices.

    The case could then go to an arms length body called the Determinations Panel. If this happens, it's likely to be at some point in 2017.

  3. MP: 'BHS pensioners deserve security'

    Some MPs have been quick to criticise Sir Philip Green.

    Shadow business secretary Clive Lewis said: "Four months after Sir Philip Green promised to make good the pensions deficit created by his shoddy management of BHS, and weeks after MPs voted unanimously to strip Green of his knighthood, tens of thousands of pensioners are still waiting to find out the fate of their pensions.

    "Let's hope that, by stepping up their investigations, the Pensions Regulator will finally hold Philip Green to account and give those pensioners the security they deserve."

    In October MPs backed a call for Sir Philip to be stripped of his knighthood.

  4. Enforcement notices different for Chappell and Green

    The Pensions Regulator stressed the warning notices issued to Sir Philip, Taveta Investments Limited and Taveta Investments (No. 2) Limited are different to those issued to Mr Chappell and Retail Acquisitions Limited. 

  5. MP Frank Field 'not surprised about BHS pensions enforcement'

    Frank Field , who chairs the Work and Pensions Committee of MPs that has been scrutinising the collapse of BHS, has said he is "not surprised" that the Pensions Regulator has launched enforcement action against former BHS owners Sir Philip Green and Dominic Chappell.

    Mr Field said: "We are not surprised that the Pensions Regulator has, like all the rest of us, lost patience with Sir Philip Green’s excuses and empty promises. His answer throughout our inquiry was always that he was going to “sort” the disastrous position he left the pension fund in when he sold off BHS  to Dominic Chappell for £1. We are glad to see TPR is now calling his bluff and instigating enforcement proceedings. It seems clear Sir Philip would rather kick the can down the road and avoid responsibility than come up with any fair, sustainable settlement for BHS pensioners.”

  6. BreakingPensions regulator begins BHS enforcement action

    Shoppers walk past the boarded up BHS store on Oxford Street

    The Pensions Regulator has begun enforcement action to try to get redress for 20,000 BHS pensions scheme members.

    The regulator has sent "warning notices" to Sir Philip Green, Taveta Investments, Dominic Chappell, and Retail Acquisitions.

    The regulator's chief executive Lesley Titcomb said: “We have been clear in our public commitment to make significant progress by the end of 2016 and the issue of these notices meets that commitment.

    “Our decision to launch enforcement action is an important milestone in our work to attain redress for the thousands of members of BHS schemes who have been placed in this position through no fault of their own."

  7. Facebook income soars as mobile ad revenue rises

    Facebook logo

    Facebook's net income for the third quarter rose 166% to $2.4bn, the social media firm has said.

    Mobile ad sales accounted for 84% of revenue compared with 78% a year earlier.

  8. Wall Street closes down after election uncertainty

    The S&P 500 ended lower on Wednesday for a seventh straight session, its longest such streak in five years, as the Federal Reserve signaled it could hike interest rates in December and the uncertain US election continued to cloud the market's outlook.

    The Dow Jones industrial average fell 76.91 points, or 0.43%, to 17,960.19, the S&P 500 lost 13.76 points, or 0.65%, falling to 2,097.96 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 48.01 points, or 0.93%, to 5,105.57.

    The S&P 500 closed below the 2,100 level for the first time since 7 July.  

  9. Facebook mining 'almost as accurate as asking a spouse'

    BBC business reporter Russell Hotten writes...

    Soooo, how would Facebook profiling help Admiral set premiums?

    The real skill is devising a computer programme to extract personal data for commercial use. And is it accurate?

    Dr David Stillwell of Cambridge University, who has developed an algorithm to mine Facebook, tests data with people's family, friends and work colleagues.

    He says: “Given that the average person has about 225 Facebook ‘likes’, you can more accurately predict their psychology better than friends… It is almost as accurate as someone’s husband or wife.”

    As for work colleagues, we might spend 8-10 hours rubbing shoulders with people all day but algorithms are far accurate predictors of personality, he says. “Indeed, work colleagues are surprisingly inaccurate.”

    Nor does he think trying to massage Facebook profiles just before applying for insurance would work. Everything you do on Facebook has a timestamp, and algorithms can spot if you are trying to cheat the system.

  10. Facebook mining 'remarkably accurate'

    BBC business reporter Russell Hotten writes...

    BBC Radio 5 live

    A head

    Admiral's bid to mine Facebook data has raised not just privacy concerns (although users would have to give consent) but bemusement over the accuracy of the information.

    But Dr David Stillwell, deputy director of Cambridge University’s Psychometrics Centre, says the algorithms used are remarkably accurate. 

    He should know – he developed one. 

    He’s been trying to explain it all on 5 Live. “Someone who likes bungee jumping or skydiving: they are much more likely to be a sensation-seeking person, and that is the kind of person that you are less likely to want to insure because they are more likely to drive fast.”

    Even the way you write a Facebook post is telling. People who use lots of exclamation marks or words like ‘sooooo’ are more extroverted, he says.

  11. US stocks narrow losses after Fed rate decision

    US stocks have narrowed losses, but are still in negative territory after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged.

    In its last policy decision before the US election, the US central bank said the economy had gained steam and job gains remained solid, and expressed more optimism that inflation was moving toward its 2% target.

  12. May: UK should boost trade with fast-growing economies

    British Prime Minister Theresa May

    The UK should become "a global champion of free trade" after Brexit, and boost trade with fast-growing economies such as Colombia, Prime Minister Teresa May has said.

    Britain and Colombia announced a new oil and gas partnership during a state visit to the UK by President Juan Manuel Santos.

    It's the first UK state visit by a Colombian leader, and is being used by UK officials to highlight Britain's international focus as it prepares to leave the European Union.

  13. Sterling hits three-week high as Trump worries drag down dollar

    US dollar and British pound bank notes

    The pound jumped to its highest in three weeks against the dollar on Wednesday, as investors sold the greenback after worries that Donald Trump could win the US presidential election next week.

    With opinion polls narrowing, investors are rethinking bets on an 8 November victory for Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    They are concerned that a Trump victory could delay the rise in US interest rates they expect the Federal Reserve to deliver in December, which would weaken the dollar.

    Sterling went as high as $1.2355 earlier in the day, after Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK government would do its best to secure a good Brexit deal for farmers.

  14. US central bank holds interest rates

    The US Federal Reserve has held interest rates.

    Analysts had not expected the central bank to raise interest rates a week before the US election.

     "The committee judges that the case for an increase in the federal funds rate has continued to strengthen but decided, for the time being, to wait for some further evidence of continued progress toward its objectives," the Fed said in a statement. 

    The Fed has held its target rate for overnight lending between banks in a range of 0.25% to 0.50% since last December, when it raised borrowing costs for the first time in nearly a decade.

  15. How much could it cost the UK to compensate car makers for Brexit?

    Workers leave the Nissan car plant

    The UK government could be faced with multi-million pound bills to compensate car makers for post-Brexit tariffs on exports, according to Reuters analysis.

    In fact, the bill to compensate the firms could outstrip how much they pay their UK employees, Reuters says.

    With a 10% trade tariff - the level the EU imposes on cars imported from outside the bloc - the cost of compensating Nissan, which has £2.9bn of annual EU exports, would be £290m a year. Its UK wage bill in 2015 was £288m.

    This pattern is followed across the UK car industry.

    Last week, Nissan agreed to build new models in the UK after Prime Minister Theresa May assured it the government would provide support.