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Summary

  1. Black Friday shopping spree starts
  2. Retailers report surging sales
  3. ONS: Business investment up since June
  4. Heathrow expansion 'will breach emissions limits'
  5. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight

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Thanks for following Business Live. We'll be back bright and early on Monday at 6.00am to bring you all the breaking news from business and economics. Goodnight and have a great weekend.

Black Friday online sales set to top expectations

For anyone who's hunted around for a Black Friday online bargain - you're not alone. 

The online retailers association IMRG forecast before today that online sales for the day would rise 16% on last year.

Andy Mulcahy, editor at IMRG, which tracks online sales, told the BBC: "It seems a safe bet from what we've seen today that our forecast of £1.27bn will be met."

Wall Street stocks end higher

In a day of thin trading, the Dow Jones industrial average still managed to reach a new high, closing 68.96 points ahead at 19,152.14.

The S&P 500 also made gains, up 8.63 points at 2,213.35 while the technology-heavy Nasdaq ended 18.25 points up at 5,398.92.

Oil prices slid ahead of a key meeting next Wednesday between members of Opec.

The oil cartel is hoping to reach an agreement with non-Opec members to cap output to support oil prices.

However, it emerged on Friday that Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, has decided not to attend discussions about the deal before the Opec meeting takes place on Wednesday.    

Brent crude fell 4.3% to $46.90 a barrel. 

Is Britain set for a Brexit dividend?

Union Jack and European Union flags
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As we come to the end of the week, now might be the time to chew over the Autumn Statement.

Will there be a £32bn "Brexit dividend". And if so, what will it be spent on? BBC Reality Check investigates

Lights out on Black Friday

Piccadilly Circus
Getty Images

It is Black Friday in more ways than one.

The famous lights at London's Piccadilly Circus have gone out, plunging shoppers, theatre goers and tourists into darkness.

UK Power Networks said that "engineers are now on site" and have started investigations in to the cause of the blackout. 

Some theatre performances in the surrounding West End areas have been cancelled including Aladdin the Musical, Thriller Live and Jersey Boys.

Tata Steel 'to commit to Britain'

Tata Steel worker
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Some good news for the UK steel industry.

Lord Bhattacharyya, founder and chairman of Warwick Manufacturing Group and a close adviser of Tata Steel, told The Guardian that the company is set to commit to its operations here for at least 10 years.

It would secure future of 11,000 Tata Steel workers' jobs.

'Heart' of Skyscanner still in UK

Gareth Williams chief executive
BBC

Skyscanner chief executive Gareth Williams says it does not matter that the company is not UK-owned any more. 

The firm was acquired by China's Ctrip this week, but he tells the BBC its investor base was already diversified with funds coming from "all around the world".

"What's more important is where's the heart of the company and what is the mission."

Mr Williams adds that the culture at the firm "won't change one bit".

Belgium joins Tintin in space

Tintin
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Tintin made it to the moon and now it looks like his homeland is about to embark on its own space mission.

The Interfederal Space Agency of Belgium will be set up next year, according to the country's science minister, Elke Sleurs.

The hope is that it will help Belgium retain its 5% share of the European Union's €7bn a year space industry in the face of competition from the likes of India and China.

Ms Sleurs says: "If we just keep the status quo, we risk losing out on space contracts."

Chinese enjoy weak pound in sales rush

Black Friday
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Chinese shoppers have been taking full advantage of the weak pound to score bargains on Black Friday. 

Topcashback, the consumer website, says that it has seen a "big spike" in sales coming from China because of the value of sterling. It also reports that total spending on Black Friday rose by 43% compared to last year, with over £10,000 a minute being spent on its site. 

Barclaycard reckons its customers have shelled-out 4.4% more compared to 2015, with all purchases totalling £2.9bn.

It says the peak time for shopping was between 12pm and 1pm when Barclaycard processed a record 791 transactions a second - an 8% increase on Black Friday last year.

For all the tea in Cornwall

Tea doesn't just come from far flung places. Britain's very own Cornwall is growing its own.

View more on twitter

Ed Balls finds 'inner Beyonce'

Ed Balls
BBC

With Ed Balls making an unlikely waltz through the rounds of Strictly Come Dancing, it's easy to forget he was once tasked with being the main opponent to the government's economic policy.

We've already heard plenty of gags from ministers about his dancing. And this latest admission from Mr Balls - that Strictly has taught him he has an "inner Beyonce" - feels like it might well feature in a few more scripted jokes in the House of Commons.

Ed Balls

Ed Balls finds 'inner Beyonce'

Ed Balls says Strictly has taught him he has an "inner Beyonce" - and that he is already thinking of getting to the final of the dance contest.

Read more

South Africa nuclear plans hit snag

South Africa nuclear power station
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It hasn't been a great day for South Africa.

Earlier, Fitch, the ratings agency, downgraded its outlook for the country from stable to negative on concerns that political risks could hurt growth.

Now it has emerged that a proposed site for a new power plant may be at risk of surge storms and tsunamis.

South Africa has the continent's only nuclear power station and now wants to build another to meet growing electricity demand.

The site at Thyspunt, where South African power provider Eskom hopes to build the plant, is on the Indian Ocean coastline.   

Maarten de Wit, a professor at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University who wrote a report on the proposed site, says: "If you are going to build anything on that, it's pretty prone to storms, sea level rises and tsunamis."      

However Eskom's chief nuclear officer, David Nicholls, insists: "We have defined the height at which we have to build the plant to ensure that we ... avoid those tsunamis."

Black Friday from America

BBC New York business correspondent, Michelle Fleury, steps inside Macy's, the giant US department store, to report on this year's Black Friday sale where handbags are a big hit.

Shoppers flock to Macy's on Black Friday

From big pharma to little pot

While we're on the subject of pharmaceuticals, here's an interesting tale of a businessman who went from the company that makes OxyContin to one that specialises in medical marijuana.

View more on twitter

Actelion confirms J&J approach

Actelion, the Swiss biopharmaceuticals company, has confirmed that it has received an approach from America's Johnson & Johnson about a takeover.

The company specialises in drugs for lung disease and analysts expect Johnson & Johnson's move to prompt offers from rivals.

Eric Le Berrigaud, an analyst at Bryan Garnier, tells Reuters: "We should then see many other [companies] interested [in Actelion]. That will probably include at least one of the two other Basel-based companies," referring to Novartis and Roche.

Shares in Actelion rose 16.7% following its confirmation.  

Shares subdued at week's end

Stock market trader
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It was a quiet end to the week for the FTSE 100 index of leading shares, which closed 11.55 points higher at 6,840.75.  

Sky led the risers, with its shares up 3.8% to 787p. Standard Life topped the day's biggest fallers, down 2.2% to 345.8p.

The FTSE 250 also finished marginally ahead, up 12.8 points at 17,603.42.

In France, the CAC 40 closed 7.71 points higher at 4,550.27 and Germany's Dax ended 10.01 points up at 10,699.27.

Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, says: "It’s been a pretty sluggish end to the week; despite the Thanksgiving break being confined to the US, it helped sap a lot of energy from the European markets, which have become increasingly dependent on the Dow and dollar for momentum.

"Next week should be a bit more exciting however, a string of important data culminating in the final non-farm Friday before December’s all important Fed meeting."

Monte dei Paschi shares tumble

Monte dei Paschi di Siena
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Shares in Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world's oldest bank, have plunged as doubts grow over whether it will find investors for its latest recapitalisation.

Late Thursday, shareholders in Italy's largest bank approved a €5bn (£4.2bn) fund raising plan - Monte dei Paschi's third cash call in three years.

However, on Friday its shares slumped by nearly 9%.

The bank's stock is supposed to go on sale around 7 or 8 December just after a referendum vote on a constitutional reform that may rattle financial markets by prompting Italy's government to resign.

If Monte dei Paschi is unable to raise the funds, it may have to seek state support. 

But Italy's economy minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, is confident the plan will work.

He says: "It's clear that we are in a phase of uncertainty, but the market is already taking into account that uncertainty, to some extent they have priced in that uncertainty, so in reality the markets are giving less worrying signals than it might seem."

Strong dollar hits British shoppers

Macy's chairman and chief executive, Terry Lundgren, says there has been a noticeable drop off in British shoppers because of weak sterling against the strong dollar.

Speaking as the department store opened its doors to Black Friday bargain hunters, Mr Lundgren says there was a sharp fall in UK sales the day after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

Macy's boss says number of UK visitors has dropped off

Where does the term 'Black Friday' come from?

A New York Times report from 1975
BBC
A New York Times report from 1975 locates the phrase "Black Friday" as a bit of Philadelphia slang

Black Friday is now known as the biggest shopping day in the US, but its roots go way back as this BBC article from a few years ago explains. 

The event gradually evolved as a shopping day directly after Thanksgiving, but wasn't given its name until the 1950s.

Police officers in Philadelphia, frustrated by the congestion caused by shoppers on the day, started referring to it derisively as "Black Friday".

Unsurprisingly, retailers weren't happy to be associated with traffic and smog, so they tried to rebrand the day "Big Friday" - although that term didn't stick.

The phrase 'Black Friday' remained a Philadelphia quirk until the late 1980s when it began to spread. Linguist Benjamin Zimmer, executive editor of Vocabulary.com, told the BBC: "It didn't become widespread until the mid-90s."

Macy's sales 'off to a good start'

Terry Lundgren, chairman and chief executive of Macy's, describes what it was like opening the department store's doors to 16,000 eager shoppers ahead of Black Friday. 

Macy's boss says families turn out on Black Friday