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  1. FTSE 100 0.5% up at close
  2. US stocks close higher as America goes to the polls
  3. Reaction to M&S store closures plan
  4. Sports Direct denies knowledge of bugging device
  5. RBS sets up £400m small business compensation fund

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

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That's all folks

Thanks again for joining us at Business Live. We'll be back tomorrow with all the market reaction to the US presidential election result, and from the looks of things, there is going to be quite a lot of it. Until then, sleep well (if you can)!

US markets close higher on hopes of Clinton win

Despite trimming some of their earlier gains, US markets closed higher on expectations of a Clinton victory in today's US presidential election. 

The S&P 500 rose 0.38% to 2,139.53 points, the Nasdaq climbed 0.53% to 5,193.49 and the Dow Jones was up 0.4% at 18,332.43.

Big winners included Acadia Pharmaceuticals, which jumped 16.79%, miner Freeport-McMoRan, which climbed 7.17%, and equipment manufacturer Johnson Controls International, which rose by 5.7%.

Mike Baele, managing director at US Bank Private Client Reserve, told AP: "The market has been looking for the status quo result, and the polling in the last couple of days shows that result is a good likelihood. That's the reason why the market is bouncing here.''

888's money is also on Clinton

888's website

US election result in the balance

Buzzfeed UK's political editor tweets...

When Hillary began her campaign: –Ed Miliband was a likely PM –An EU referendum was just a policy pledge –Corbyn was an obscure backbencher

UK GDP 'increases 0.4%' in three months to October

The UK economy continued to grow in the three months to October, albeit at a slightly slower pace, according to The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).

Its monthly estimates of GDP suggest output increased by 0.4% in the period, after growth of 0.5% in the three months ending in September 2016. 

The Office of National Statistics is yet to publish its official figures for the period. 

Oriol Carreras, research fellow at NIESR, said: “Robust consumer spending growth continues to support the economy. Looking ahead, this contribution from consumers is expected to wane over the course of next year due to a substantial rise in the rate of inflation.”

The think-tank projects GDP growth of 2% per annum in 2016 and 1.4% in 2017.

AirBnB market share 'triples in London'

Getty Images

AirBnB may be facing regulatory challenges in the US, but its winning streak in London continues unimpeded. 

The firm's market share tripled last year, according to a survey by Colliers, which claimed AirBnB catered to 7.6% of all overnight stays in the capital last December - up from 2.8% in January.

Around 40% of those using the site were renting out their own homes - or space within it - with the remainder "AirBnB landlords" who rented out multiple properties. 

Indians scramble to exchange high denomination notes

Indians crowd a gas station, one of the few places still accepting the high denomination 1000 and 500 currency notes, in New Delhi, India
Indians crowd around a petrol station, one of the few places still accepting the high denomination 1,000 and 500 currency notes, in New Delhi, India.

Narendra Modi speaks

Indian residents queue to deposit money in a Cash Deposit Kiosk in Siliguri on November 8, 2016. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced late November 8 that 500 and 1,000 ($15) rupee notes will be withdrawn from financial circulation from midnight, in a bid to tackle corruption.
Indian residents queue to deposit money in a cash deposit kiosk in Siliguri, West Bengal.

India's highest-denomination currency notes have been withdrawn from circulation. The Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced the surprise move just hours before it came into effect. In a TV address he said it was aimed at cracking down on corruption and illegal cash holdings. 

"Brothers and sisters, to rid this country of the termite-like of corruption and black money, it has become essential to take one more tough step," he said. "Starting midnight tonight, that is, on the midnight of November 8, 2016, the current currency notes of denominations of rupees 500 and rupees 1,000, will no longer remain legal tender. These currencies will become legally invalid." 

'Vote-switching machines'

People cast ballots for the 2016 election at Fire Station 10 on November 8, 2016 in Arlington, Virginia
Getty Images

Reuters from the USA quotes Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, in an interview with Fox News, as saying there are reports of problems with voting machines in various places switching Republican votes to Democrat.

If any business live page readers in the USA can verify this claim, do let us know!

Before and after

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott waded into the Brexit debate earlier today:

View more on twitter

M&S - more of your views

M&S sign

Reader Cliff Baker says: "I find that there is a bewildering range of shirt and trouser fits such as "tailored", "slim" and "regular". These seem to be positioned on the same rails therefore quite difficult to find the fit you want. If they arranged these different sizes into separate sections it would be much easier."

David Symonds adds: "The ongoing decline in sales at Marks and Spencer boils down to one thing - the dramatic decline in general merchandise quality since 2000. Today the quality can only be compared with supermarket clothing, and yet supermarket clothing, which I am not knocking, is sold at approximately half the price." 

"This decline in quality runs in parallel with the move of production from the UK to overseas where it is so much more difficult to lay down quality standards and then monitor them. Clothing sales at M&S will continue to fall until the decline in quality is understood, accepted, recognised and reversed."

So there.

Withdrawal of Indian bank notes takes India 'completely off guard'

Simon Jack, BBC business editor in Delhi

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

Mr Modi has set his stall out as a modernising, anti-corruption crusade.

Scrapping notes that are very, very common is his biggest offensive yet. Most transactions in daily life are in cash and 45% of those are in notes in denominations of 500 rupees and over.

Not a single news agency seemed to know this was coming. I saw one news presenter produce a wad of 500s from his own pocket on air wondering whether these were now just pieces of paper - and also wondering if the bars of Delhi would see a sudden surge of business.

It has caught the country completely off guard. There will also be limits on cash point withdrawals over the next couple of weeks.

Read more here

US stocks climb

US markets opened down but have regained some momentum, suggesting they still believe Hillary Clinton - their favoured candidate - will win the day.  

In early afternoon trade the S&P 500 was up 0.71%, the Nasdaq was up 0.85% and the Dow Jones was up 0.75%. 

S&P 500
Dow Jones

What is 'shrinkflation'?

Ask Andy: What is 'shrinkflation'?

The recent fall in the pound, spurred by the UK's vote for Brexit, has pushed up costs for manufacturers. And loath to pass these costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices, some have reduced the size of their products as a way of protecting margins. 

Here, BBC economics correspondent Andy Verity explains the concept of 'shrinkflation' in more detail.

FTSE 100 closes 0.5% higher

The FTSE 100 closed higher as investors got over their nerves about the US presidential election result.

The blue chip index had climbed 36.23 points to 6843.13 by the end of the day, up 0.53%.

Among the biggest risers were Primark-owner Associated British Foods, which climbed 5.79%, and miner BHP Billiton, up 4.71%.

Marks & Spencer Group was the biggest faller, down 5.16%, after it announced plans to shut a large number of stores following an 88% fall in first-half profit.

Facebook sued over 'discriminatory' house and job adverts


Facebook is facing legal action over alleged bias in its housing and employment ads.

The claim, brought by a group of Facebook users, alleges the platform's "ethnic affinity" option is racially biased.

The option is there to enable marketers to exclude certain demographics and target others.

Facebook said the lawsuit was "utterly without merit" and that it would defend itself "vigorously".

Read more

'An M&S for the future'

'We want to make sure we've got an M&S for the future' says boss Steve Rowe

Many readers have been saddened by news today that Marks and Spencer will close a significant number of its UK and international stores. 

It follows a first-half profit fall at the group of 88%, largely due to disappointing fashion sales.

Here, M&S chief executive Steve Rowe tells the BBC why he had no choice but to reform the business. 

Mexico has 'no contingency plan' for Trump win

Mexican and US flags
Getty Images

Mexico's tourism minister has denied, to the BBC, that his country has a contingency plan in case Donald Trump wins the US presidential election. He did express his government’s concerns about any changes to free trade that may result from the election (both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have expressed concern about NAFTA, and Trump has proposed a 35% tariff on imports of Mexican goods).        

Speaking on GMT on BBC World News earlier, Enrique De La Madrid Cordero said: “I really do not think that there is a contingency plan, I’ve read some of the news. Really what we are is waiting for the results of the election, but we are also concerned in the sense that all these speeches against trade which are not only happening in the US but worldwide, I think they are far away from the facts, trade is something that is positive for nations, today the world is integrating more when they produce.”

The minister added that “the way is to continue to produce together, to construct cars, computers, among our nations and we are very positive that is something that is going to continue happen between the United States and Mexico in the years to come”.

How a traumatised dog inspired a sharing economy business

Aaron Hirschhorn and Rocky

Dog kennels, used clothes, power tools... It seems almost anything can be bought or borrowed from our peers in the new 'sharing economy'. 

But as recent legal challenges to Uber and AirBnB show, not everyone is happy about the sector's growth.

Read our take here

Readers continue to lament M&S closures plan

M&S store
Getty Images

We've had a flood of reader comments about Marks and Spencer's plans to shut 30 of its UK clothing and homeware shops, and 53 of its international stores. Here are some more:

David Hollins, Stamford

At the end of my MBA course in December 2002, I had to write an analysis of M&S based on their latest report. It was pretty simple - increase the profitable food side and dump the clothing. Strange how all these "very experienced" people have taken so long to realise what was obvious to a business student 14 years ago! 

Mike Wilson, Brettes, France

For nearly 50 years I considered myself an M&S man buying everything from shirts and trousers, sweaters and underwear to food and home products.

Now when I return to the UK - and I do regularly - I rarely buy anything from their stores. They offer very little that I like in the clothes line  - and I consider myself to be a reasonably smart dresser. What they do offer is often more expensive than comparable competitors, who win the sale.

Karen, Radcliffe

It is all very well [Marks and Spencer] saying that prices won't be passed on to customers, but does that mean that suppliers will be expected to absorb all of the price increases?  This in turn will eventually lead to those companies going out of business and job losses in the supply chain as there is only so much that these companies are able to absorb. 

Jan Everton, Walsall

I used to buy from M&S my work 'uniform' twice a year - two jackets, two skirts, two trousers and a few blouses. It was a great store where you could buy a range of beautifully tailored, co-ordinated ranges and accessories. It was faultless. Many of my friends and colleagues did the same too. 

Then bam!, someone decided to fix something that wasn't broken!! I wrote to M&S giving my view and received a reply that the market had changed. Not in my world it hadn't - I still wanted a range of co-ordinating, well made workwear that could be dressed up to go out after work. I sometimes nip in to a store to see if things have changed but - nope - still way off kilter... still.  It's FAR too expensive now, very drab. 

Tim Lock, Netherlands

The M&S in The Hague, The Netherlands is one thing that made moving back to this country pleasurable. My family shop there, especially for the food and I often buy gentleman's clothes there. 

Mrs Jones, Llandudno Junction

Very perturbed at the news from M&S as they are flagship stores in the towns where they exist. I have been a fan for many years, both of the clothes and their food. At one time their food lines became boring and predictable but now they are interesting and very often have new dishes, cakes etc. It is a sad sign of the times. Let us hope that they don't go the way of British Home Stores and Littlewoods.

Hertz shares crash

Hertz car return sign
Getty Images

Shares in car-rental giant Hertz plunged by over 50% in early trade on Wall Street before recovering slightly. 

It came after the firm reported a sharp decline in third-quarter profits, fell short of its cost-cutting targets, and slashed its profit guidance for the rest of the year.

Rival car-rental firm Avis Budget was dragged down by as much as 12% as well.

McDonald's sues city of Florence

City of Florence
Getty Images

McDonald's is suing Florence for €18m after it was blocked from opening a restaurant on one of the Italian city's most historic plazas.

The fast-food giant had its plans for an outlet on the Piazza del Duomo rejected by Florence's mayor in June.

The decision was upheld in July by a technical panel in charge of preserving the city's ancient heart.

But McDonald's - which modified its proposals to fit with city guidelines - claims it has been discriminated against, and wants to recoup the €17.8m it estimates it will lose over the next 18 years, according to Italian newspaper Firenze Today.

'Spot the difference'

BBC business features editor compares old- and new-look Toblerones

Iran oil deal demonstrates 'economic benefits of lifting santions'

Theo Leggett

BBC Business News Reporter

As we reported earlier, French energy giant Total and China National Petroleum Corporation have signed a preliminary agreement to develop a major offshore gas field in Iran - the first agreement of its kind since international sanctions were eased in January. 

BBC business correspondent Theo Leggett says: "Under this deal, which is expected to involve investment worth nearly $5bn, Total and CNPC will work with a subsidiary of the state owned National Iranian Oil company to develop part of the giant South Pars gas field in the Gulf. 

"Both companies have previously worked on gas projects in the region, but had to pull out of Iran as sanctions were tightened. Analysts say the scheme forms part of an attempt by Iran's president Hassan Rouhani to demonstrate the economic benefits of last year's deal with world powers to restrict its nuclear activities - which led to the relaxation of sanctions."

India tackling 'menace of fake notes'

BBC World correspondent Sameer Hashmi reports from Mumbai on comments from India's central bank chief, Urjit Patel...

View more on twitter

'A decisive step on black money'

Indian journalists react to the Indian prime minister's shock withdrawal of certain rupee notes

Narendra Modi takes a decisive step on black money scrapping Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes .....

In effect it makes the highest-denominated currency note in India the equivalent of $1.40 or so.…

So, these notes doing the rounds for few days are real. Welcome the new 2000 rupee note India
So, these notes doing the rounds for few days are real. Welcome the new 2000 rupee note India

So, these notes doing the rounds for few days are real. Welcome the new 2000 rupee note India

India withdraws larger banknotes in fight against 'black money'

500 rupee note

In a surprise announcement, India Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that 500 and 1,000 rupee notes will no longer be legal after midnight on Tuesday. 

In a nationwide address on television, Mr Modi said the move was aimed at tackling corruption and illegal cash holdings, or so-called black money. 

Airports, railway stations and hospitals will accept the notes until 11 November, and people have the chance to exchange their money at banks between 10 November and 30 December.

New 500 and 2,000 rupee notes will be issued, the government said. 

Wall Street dips on election day

Ballot booth

As the big day finally arrives in the presidential race, US markets are looking a little edgy.

The S&P 500 index ended a nine-day losing streak yesterday as investors started pricing in a win for Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton. 

But as America goes to the polls, it's back down 0.3% to 2,125.54 points. The Dow Jones is down a similar amount at 18,215.98, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq too at 5,152.11. 

Despite a lead for Clinton in the polls yesterday, traders remain wary, noting that most pollsters failed to predict the Brexit victory in June. 

"The Brexit effect is in play. However, unlike Brexit, if we get a Trump victory, I believe the effect will last a little longer," Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital, told Reuters.

EU to launch €1.6bn venture capital fund

It's no secret that there is a shortage of venture capital funding in Europe, and that this leads to many budding start-ups fleeing the continent for the US.

To tackle this, the European Union today said it would launch its own €1.6bn venture capital fund, earmaking €400 million of its own cash for the venture. 

Carlos Moedas, European Commissioner for research, science and innovation, said: "In Europe we have a problem - companies are created and are then bought by venture capital funds from other parts of the world.

"So the idea is to create a fund to allow them to be created in Europe and then stay in Europe."

He added there was no shortage of new companies created in Europe - the problem was scaling them up, and financing them in their early stages. 

Will Macron run for French president?

Emmanuel Macron

There have been conflicting reports over whether French ex-economy minister Emmanuel Macron has confirmed his bid to run for the French presidency. 

Agence France Presse quoted aides as saying he would. But Sylvain Fort, one of Macron's spokesmen, told Reuters earlier: "He is in the process of finalising his decision [and] will announce it between now and a big meeting on December 10."

The former banker has been a controversial figure in French politics, having resigned from the Socialist government in August allegedly to launch a centrist bid. 

Mr Macron was at the forefront of pushing through business-friendly reforms on behalf of President Hollande, in the face of fierce opposition from parliament and unions. 

He also founded his own centrist political movement, En Marche, earlier this year for which he was reprimanded by Mr Hollande.

'Not a lot's going to change at M&S'

M&S Stratford store

Tom Gadsby, an analyst at Liberum, says M&S shares are tumbling because investors have dug a bit more into today's turnaround plans.

"People have realised that not a lot's going to change," he tells the BBC. "The core business is still under pressure."

M&S "has it all to do" in the next six months to hit its targets. 

Beyond that, it also faces the problem that its clothing sales are becoming less profitable and are being cannibalised by online, he says.

Emmanuel Macron 'to run for French president'

#BREAKING Ex-economy minister Emmanuel Macron to run for French president: aides

UK job market ‘thriving’


The number of people placed in permanent jobs increased for the third month running in October, a survey claims.

The Markit/REC Report on Jobs, which draws on data from recruitment consultancies, said the rate of expansion was the steepest seen in eight months.

There was also a rise in vacancies, with demand for both permanent and temporary staff at its highest level since May.

Kevin Green, chief executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said: “Despite ongoing uncertainty the UK jobs market is thriving again in most areas of the UK. Job vacancies are back to levels not seen since April, and for the third consecutive month recruiters have reported an increase in the amount of people finding permanent jobs."

He added: “This is a great place to be but there are real threats coming over the hill. Candidate availability has been falling for three and a half years. There are more vacancies than there are people to fill them in many sectors, including engineering, construction and healthcare.”

Who shut all the pies?

A Business Live reader reacts to news that M&S will close its Brussels store...


M&S closing their Brussels store? Where now can I buy decent pies in Belgium??? It has only been open 12 months; maybe I can buy all the remaining pies in bulk and freeze them… Funny though; did they not make the same announcement 10 years ago? Wish they would make their mind up!

Traders in for 'sleepless' US election night

Getty Images

Neil Wilson, markets analyst at ETX Capital, says the firm is preparing for a "sleepless night" as its traders watch the counting in the US presidential election. 

He believes we could see some "wild gyrations" in share prices, making this potentially "the most turbulent trading session since Brexit". 

Much will hinge on results in key swing states: "If these start to lean towards Trump, we may see sizeable risk-off selling as investors flee to havens like the Swiss franc, Japanese yen and gold. US government bond yields could sink and gold would soar," Mr Wilson says.

However, if Florida - a pivotal swing state - gets called for Clinton we can expect a "pretty quiet night assuming that markets have largely priced in a win for the Democrat".

Tesla goes German

Theo Leggett

BBC Business News Reporter

Getty Images

Tesla said today it will buy German firm Grohmann Engineering, which specialises in highly automated manufacturing methods, for an undisclosed sum.

It will be the first significant acquisition made by Tesla and the start of substantial investment in Germany.

The company plans to build at least one - and possibly up to three - vehicle production and gigafactory facilities in Europe in the future. Tesla says economies of scale and automation of factories will be the key to making electric cars affordable.

It has "respect for British engineering talent" - particularly with regard to Formula 1 racing - and says a Tesla engineering group could be established in the UK in the future.

Your thoughts on M&S

M&S store

Jan Simms, Saltash

I was vastly disappointed with the winter range. I might be a granny, but I was also a child of the '60's full of fun, brilliant fashion full of colour and vitality. I like clothes that look great on granny shapes but have a bit of zing. Try to excite your core customers: grannies like to be seduced with colour....

Huw, Canterbury

There is a vacuum on the high street - there are no good quality, reasonably priced, fashionable clothes available. M&S quality is no better than any of their competitors and for this they've missed a trick.

Joyce, East Sussex

M&S should go back to more good, basic styles which they were well known for, as well as trying to be "with it" for the youngsters. 

Eric, Burnley

Once again the customer loses out all because big business does not listen. For years M&S customers have been telling the M&S management what sort of fashion they want and have they taken any notice. So we are now left with today’s announcement. Surprise, surprise.

More gimmicks please

M&S store

That slide in the M&S share price has gathered pace, with the stock now down 4.5% at 333.9p. 

Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell, says: “Investors clearly want to see more than gimmicks like buybacks and special dividends if they are to show interest in a stock which is trading at May 1992 levels."

“Cost-cutting will help to support earnings forecasts but this will only take M&S so far. To truly revive profits the company must get clothing and home right, and it is currently hard to argue that M&S has really found its fashion handwriting.”

American Apparel retreats from Europe

American Apparel store
Getty Images

As well as closing its 13 UK stores, all of American Apparel's European outlets will also cease trading. 

Jim Tucker, joint administrator and restructuring partner at KPMG, said: 

"The American Apparel group has been experiencing strong retail headwinds, which has culminated in the US parent deciding to stop inventory shipments to the UK. The UK business has experienced similar trading difficulties, resulting in the appointment of administrators.

"The 13 UK stores are well stocked and will continue to trade as usual in the lead up to the peak Christmas trading period. Whilst the UK business is not part of the US sale, a number of the UK stores are in prime high street locations, and we will also aim to sell individual stores following the Christmas trading peak."

In October 2015 American Apparel filed for US bankruptcy protection following falling sales, high debts and several management crises.