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Summary

  1. Dollar hits multi-year high as investors bet on Trump
  2. US markets trade lower
  3. FTSE 100 closes lower
  4. Volkswagen announces plans to cut 30,000 jobs globally
  5. Tesco warns suppliers over prices
  6. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Until next week

Thanks for reading Business Live this week, we hope you enjoyed our posts. We'll be back on Monday from 6am with more news and reaction on the markets. Hope to see you then.  

BreakingUS share markets close down

Each of the main US share markets has closed lower this afternoon. 

The S&P 500 was 0.24%, or 5.22 points, lower at 2,181.90 points, the Dow Jones was 0.19%, or 35.89, points lower at 18,867.93 and the Nasdaq was 0.23%, or 12.46 points, lower at 5,321.51.

Healthcare stocks led the declines as investors waited for clarity on the next US administration's policies.  

Big fallers included Procter & Gamble Co., down 1.29%, and Allergan plc, down 4.10%.

More than 133,000 customer accounts affected in Three breach

Three logo
Three

Some 133,827 customer accounts were affected following yesterday's Three data breach, the firm confirmed this evening. 

Dave Dyson, chief executive of Three, said: "On 17th November we were able to confirm that eight customers had been unlawfully upgraded to a new device by fraudsters who intended to intercept and sell on those devices.

"I can now confirm that the people carrying out this activity were also able to obtain some customer information. 

"In total, information from 133,827 customer accounts was obtained but no bank details, passwords, pin numbers, payment information or credit/debit card information are stored on the upgrade system in question." 

Mr Dyson said the primary purpose of this "was not to steal customer information" but to acquire new handsets fraudulently.

The firm said it was contacting all of these customers today to confirm what information had been accessed and allay concerns. 

It added that as an additional precaution "we have put in place increased security for all these customer accounts".

Job growth slowest in states that backed Trump

Electoral map
Getty Images

US states that backed Hillary Clinton in last week's US election saw stronger job growth in the previous year than states that supported Donald Trump, data released by the US Labour Department today shows. 

According to the data, the healthiest job gains in the 12 months to October were in so-called "blue" states: examples being Washington state, Oregon, Colorado, California and Nevada.   

In contrast, "red" states that voted for the Republican candidate saw the smallest gains, such as Pennsylvania, Ohio and Wisconsin.

The figures add further weight to the belief that economic concerns underpinned Mr Trump's shock victory. 

But there were exceptions to the trend: Florida, which supported Trump, saw hiring rise 3.1% - the third-highest total. 

Gap and Abercrombie & Fitch slump on unhappy holidays

Gap store sign
Reuters

Shares in two of America's largest clothing retailers plunged on Friday following disappointing third quarter sales and a downbeat forecast for the crucial holiday shopping season.

Gap shares sank after a seventh consecutive quarter of falling revenue and were down more than 16% this afternoon. 

Abercrombie & Fitch's stock has fallen almost 15% on poor sales and a weak outlook.

Both have been attempting to revitalise their brands, with limited success.

Read more.

Did you get your dream job?

A woman speaking to camera
BBC

The BBC asked people in London what they wanted to be when they were young, and what they do for a job now. The results? Depressing, surprising, and more than a little entertaining.  

Watch BBC Capital's video here.

US markets stay negative

The main US markets are all still in negative territory in late afternoon trade. The Dow Jones is down 0.13% at 18,878.55 points, the Nasdaq is down 0.17% at 5,324.80 and the S&P 500 is down 0.22% at 2,182.25.

Petrobras claws back kickbacks

Demonstrations in Brazil over Petrobras
Getty Images

Petrobras, Brazil's state controlled oil giant, is still knee deep in a corruption investigation but a glimmer of a silver lining emerged on Friday. 

Pedro Parente, the country's former energy minister who took over as chief executive this year, said Petrobras could receive up to 5.5 billion reais (£1.2bn) back as a result of the ongoing investigation. 

He estimated Petrobras lost roughly 6 billion reais due to a kickback scheme involving major politicians and executives. 

Petrobras has run up huge losses because of the far-reaching scandal but something is better than nothing.

US 'wrong' to criticise Malaysia PM

Malaysia's Prime Minister, Najib Razak, is facing to calls to step down amid allegations he misappropriated $700m from the state investment fund 1MDB. 

Malaysia's minister for economic planning, Abdul Rahman, tells the BBC's Business Matters why the US is wrong to criticise the prime minister and what Donald Trump's election means for the country.  

View more on twitter

Dell may pay for Mexican mix-up

Dell laptop
Getty Images

What a fine mess Dell has got itself into. 

Because of a software malfunction on an advert in Mexico, Dell may be forced to sell laptops worth £1,990 for just £29.

Read all about it at the BBC.

A journey without end

Spend hours on a train everyday, just to get to work. You are not alone.

View more on twitter

Obama freezes Arctic oil drilling rights

Arctic ice-breaker ship
Getty Images

The US government is blocking new oil and gas drilling in the Arctic Ocean for the next five years.

The plan by the Obama administration stops the sale of drilling rights for the Chukchi and Beaufort seas north of Alaska between 2017 to 2022. However, drilling can go ahead in Alaska's Cook Inlet southwest of Anchorage. 

The decision is a victory for environmentalists who feared industrial activity in the icy waters will harm marine mammals and exacerbate global warming.

US president-elect Donald Trump could re-write the plan, but it would likely be a long process.

Retail jobs affected by business failures at 'four-year high'

A Staples store in the UK
Reuters

The sale of Staples' UK arm (announced yesterday) has taken the number of retail jobs affected by business failures this year to almost 26,000 - the highest since 2012, the Guardian reports

In the year to date, 22 medium and large retailers employing 25,933 people have failed, according to data from the Centre for Retail Research, with the number of jobs affected almost four times that of last year. (This does not include cuts by companies that are still trading, including Tesco and Marks & Spencer.)

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the CRR, said the rate of failure was alarming because the economy had been growing for the past few years.

“Though there are fewer companies failing than a few years ago the impact is a lot bigger because the chains that are going have managed to survive since the recession. Many of them are quite large or they are people who, after years of clinging on for dear life, are saying it’s not worth bothering any more."

This year, a number of retailers have closed or said they will shut down their UK shops, including BHS, Austin Reed, American Apparel and Banana Republic.

The US owner of Staples sold the UK arm, which employs 1,100 people across 106 stores, to Hilco for a "nominal" sum. Hilco plans to phase out the stationers' British shops over the coming months.

Goldman's 2017 forecasts

Fiat Chrysler to recall nearly 89,000 cars

Dodge Durango
Getty Images

Fiat Chrysler is recalling nearly 89,000 vehicles to fix possible fuel leaks or problems with windscreen wipers. 

The most serious recall involves nearly 35,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs worldwide from the 2016 model year. 

A fuel tube may have been damaged in manufacturing, and that could cause a gas leak and fire - although no fires have been reported. 

The other recall covers more than 54,000 Dodge Dart cars in North America, again from the 2016 model year. An electrical glitch can cause the vehicle's wipers to fail, the firm said. 

Let's stay together

The US may be more divided politically than ever, but at least its couples are staying together.

According to data released yesterday, the US divorce rate fell for the third consecutive year in 2015, reaching its lowest level in more than three decades. 

The rate stood at 16.9 divorces for every 1,000 unmarried women aged 15 or older - down from 17.6 in 2014 and a peak of almost 23 in 1980.  

Marriage also increased to 32.3 per 1,000 from 31.9 last year. 

That was the highest level since 2009, suggesting that, after a decline lasting several decades, matrimony rates could be stabilising.

Eurozone recovery 'depends on loose money'

Mario Draghi
Getty Images

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has said the eurozone's still shaky recovery remains heavily reliant on the bank's ultra-loose monetary policy.

"We cannot be sanguine over the economic outlook," he said in a speech at a banking conference in Frankfurt today. 

Among the factors still threatening the eurozone's growth prospects are geopolitical risks, low inflation and an over-dependence on the ECB's easy money policies, he said. 

Nonetheless, the bank is "committed to preserving the very substantial degree of monetary accommodation" currently in play - a sign perhaps that it will extend its €80bn a-month bond-buying programme when the governing council next meets on 8 December.

S&P maintains negative outlook for HSBC

HSBC
Getty Images

Ratings agency S&P has opined on the creditworthiness of HSBC bank - and it's not all good news. 

On the upside, it has affirmed its A/A-1 ratings for HSBC Holdings, the group's non-operating holding company, as well as the subsidiaries HSBC Bank, the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corp, and HSBC Bank USA.

But it has also maintained its negative outlook for HSBC Holdings, to reflect "potential pressures... arising from the UK's referendum vote to leave the EU, China's economic adjustment, and the prolonged period of ultra-low interest rates". 

"Although HSBC's highly diversified business profile and strengthened capitalisation are significant mitigants, we nevertheless identify risks to revenues and asset quality that may challenge the current ratings," S&P said in a statement.  

"The negative outlook additionally takes into account HSBC's outstanding litigation cases, which include a US deferred prosecution agreement."

FTSE 100 closes lower

The FTSE 100 has closed lower after the surging US dollar hit commodities firms on the index.

The biggest fallers included miners Fresnillo, down 6.86%, Randgold Resources Ltd, down 4.85%, Anglo American, down 3.28%, and Polymetal International, down 3.3%.

The index ended the day 0.28%, or 18.94 points, lower at 6,775.77 points.  

Jimmy Choo's revenue walks tall in 'challenging' market

Jimmy Choo
Jimmy Choo

Many luxury brands are complaining that the economic slowdown in China has hit their sales - but not Jimmy Choo.

The brand seen on the feet of many celebrities and royalty said new store openings and trading in all areas had driven growth, especially in China.

Chief executive Pierre Denis said "continuing strength" in China put the firm on course for "another record year despite the challenging backdrop".

Investors liked what they heard, sending Jimmy Choo shares up 4.5%.

Read more.

Next CEO warns against Brexit immigration curbs

Simon Wolfson
BBC

The pro-Brexit head of Next has criticised the tenor of debate around immigration policy since the UK voted to leave the EU. 

Simon Wolfson told Bloomberg on Thursday that some government proposals -such as listing the number of foreign workers a company has (which was subsequently dropped) - would harm, not help the UK.

"It’s not about numbers, it’s about the quality of people we get in,” Wolfson said. “It would be an enormous mistake to cut ourselves off from some of the world’s best and brightest out of principle.”

Wolfson also said the weak pound would lead to an “inflation bubble” in 2017, although he didn’t expect that to continue into 2018.

Next will raise the prices of its clothes by no more than 4.5% next year to offset the higher cost of sourcing garments from factories outside the UK.  

Where VW plans to cut jobs

SSE customers should switch, says uSwitch

Commentators have continued to express doubt about SSE's offer to cap its energy prices until April 2017. 

Claire Osborne of price comparison site uSwitch.com said the announcement was to be welcomed, as it gave customers "peace of mind" about price hikes.

SSE had also "thrown down the gauntlet to rival large suppliers to follow its lead", she added. 

But she said: "SSE's standard variable plan, at £1,056 a year, is still £234 more expensive than the best deal on the market, so many SSE customers could be better off by switching – despite today's price freeze.

“Unlike standard tariffs, many of the best plans on the market are fixed for at least a year, meaning that consumers can benefit from lower prices for longer."

'SSE think the public are fools'

Earlier SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) said it would cap its prices this winter to protect consumers. 

But Will Hosdon of consumer group TheBigDeal.com is not impressed. 

SSE think the public are fools. Their standard deal is one of the most expensive tariffs in the country and they want everyone to be delighted that they aren’t raising its price. They charge £300 more than the cheapest deals on the market. SSE should be cutting bills not trying to claim credit for freezing them for a few months.

Nasdaq hits record high

BBC business reporter tweets

US dollar continues to surge

DXY/USD chart
Marketwatch

The dollar hit a fresh 14-year high earlier, as investors continued to bet inflation would rise next year under a Donald Trump presidency. 

The DXY/ USD index - which compares the greenback to a basket of six major currencies - hit 101.37 in the early hours of Friday morning (EST), its highest level since April 2003. It's now hovering around 101.1.

Meanwhile, the yield on 10-year US government bonds rose to 2.34% its highest since December. It is up about 51 basis points over the last two weeks.  

"What we're looking at is a broad shift of investment back to the US," Richard Cochinos, head of G10 currency strategy at Citi, told Reuters.

"There are expectations for tax cuts next year - which were part of the Trump campaign's promises - and then there's also the idea of what type of fiscal boost are you going to have. That's what's driving asset prices – it's people's expectations for the fiscal impulse next year."

Trading flat as Wall Street opens

NYSE
Getty Images

The main US share markets have opened broadly flat. 

In early trade the Dow Jones is down 0.11% at 18,883.71 points, the S&P 500 is down 0.02% at 2,186.69 and the Nasdaq is 0.18% higher at 5,343.77.

The dollar continued to climb, hitting its highest level in almost 14 years against a basket of currencies on Friday morning. 

US bond yields are also set for their biggest fortnightly rise in 13 years on bets US inflation and interest rates are headed higher.  

SSE to cap winter energy prices

SSE power station
Getty Images

This week, business secretary Greg Clark promised to investigate a claim that energy suppliers are making larger profits than they have admitted (at our expense).

The industry's trade body has disputed the allegations, but today Britain’s second-largest supplier, SSE, acknowledged that many consumers would be worried about prices this winter.

As such, it has promised not increase its standard household prices until at least April 2017.

“There’s lots more we can do to help – whether it’s energy efficiency advice, a tariff review, financial assistance or simply a manageable payment plan – so I’d encourage anyone who is concerned to let us know so we can assist,” added Will Morris, a managing director at SSE.

FTSE 100 pares earlier losses

FTSE 100 chart
BBC

Mining stocks dragged the FTSE 100 down this morning, but it has now bounced back. 

The blue chip index was trading broadly flat in early afternoon trade at 6,788.46 points, down 0.06%.  

Inequality 'flat since interest rates began to fall'

Telegraph associate editor offers his support for Bank of England deputy...

Bank deputy defends monetary policy

Ben Broadbent
Reuters

Deputy Bank of England governor Ben Broadbent has launched the latest salvo in the central bank’s defense of its monetary policy.

In a speech at the Society of Business Economists Annual Conference, he said income inequality was mainly down to wages rather than assets being affected by low interest rates:

"A decline in structural interest rates needn’t do much to the distribution of income, which is determined mainly by that of wages rather than asset income.

"At least in the UK, summary measures of income inequality... have been broadly unchanged since real interest rates began to decline a quarter of a century ago."

While the BoE has faced criticism for the impact of its decision to keep interest rates low and boost asset purchases in the wake of the UK’s vote to leave the European Union, Mr Broadbent said the bank has got the trade-off between growth and inflation “broadly in the right place”.

“We can tolerate high inflation because the alternative is a larger rise in unemployment, and weaker wage growth,” Mr Broadbent said.

The comments came within days of Governor Mark Carney launching a clear attack on lawmakers who he argued are engaged in a “massive blame deflection exercise” by focusing on monetary policy instead of reforms.  

Autumn Statement: The view from Worcester

The boss of a manufacturing company in Worcester says he would like to see more support for research and development (R&D) in the Autumn Statement. Nick Grey, chief executive of Gtech, told the BBC's Peter Plisner that tax credits for R&D have been "a good incentive".  

Autumn Statement: The view from Worcester

Trump called out over Ford Mexico tweet

Has US President-elect Donald Trump been stretching the truth a little? 

Trump has been called out over tweets he sent which seemed to suggest his personal intervention had stopped Ford from moving a Kentucky plant to Mexico:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

However, Ford has repeatedly said that while it plans to move some small car production to Mexico, US plants and jobs will not be affected, as it will use the US plants to build different cars.

Ford spokeswoman Christin Baker said the firm "confirmed with the President-elect that our small Lincoln utility vehicle made at the Louisville Assembly plant will stay in Kentucky".  

This is not the first time Trump's comments about Ford production have been called into question.

Last year, he took credit for Ford moving work from Mexico to Ohio, while the automaker had already made the decision in 2011 - long before Trump announced a run for president.

In a quandary over quantitative easing?

Associate editor, Daily Telegraph tweets

Next boss: immigration policy 'not about numbers'

The pro-Brexit boss of retailer Next, Simon Wolfson, has told Bloomberg he's concerned about the hard-line direction the process has taken and called on the government to maintain Britain’s tradition of openness.

He criticised the tenor of the debate over the U.K.’s post-Brexit immigration policy in an interview with Bloomberg Television, after members of Prime Minister Theresa May’s government floated the idea of tough new curbs. 

“It’s not about numbers, it’s about the quality of people we get in,” Wolfson said. “It would be an enormous mistake to cut ourselves off from some of the world’s best and brightest out of principle.”

Worth it for the headline alone...

Financial Times tweets...

Scots and Welsh can have say in Brexit court case

Supreme court justices
Supreme Court

The Scottish and Welsh governments are to be allowed to intervene in the Supreme Court battle over how Brexit should be triggered.

The government's appeal against the High Court ruling that MPs must vote on triggering Brexit will be heard in the Supreme Court from 5 December.

It will last four days, with the decision expected in the new year.

Theresa May has said she is "clear" she expects to start talks on leaving the EU as planned by the end of March.

Read more here.

Are financial traders using algorithms to make billions?

Happy Birthday Mr President dress sells for £3.9m

BBC World Service

Marilyn Monroe's dress
AFP

The dress worn by Marilyn Monroe when she sang "Happy Birthday Mr President" to John F Kennedy on his 45th birthday has sold for $4.8m (£3.9m) at auction in Los Angeles, reports BBC World Service.

The figure-hugging Jean Louis gown, containing 2,500 crystals, was bought by museum chain Ripley's Believe It Or Not, exceeding the $3m guide price. 

With its colour matching her skin tone, the dress was so tight that Monroe had to be sewn into it. Monroe died from a drug overdose just three months after the performance.