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  1. US markets edge lower
  2. Third quarter US GDP figures revised upwards
  3. Italy lines up rescue for its oldest bank, Monte dei Paschi
  4. Government promises broadband boost for remotest parts of UK
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Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodnight

    Thanks for joining us for another day of Business Live. We'll be back at 6am tomorrow, tune in if you can. 

  2. US markets close down

    NYSE trading floor

    As expected US markets closed lower on Thursday, as the Trump/ Santa rally of recent weeks continued to lose steam.

    The Dow Jones shed 0.12%, or 23.08 points, to 19,918.88 points, leaving it even further away from a new 20,000-point record.

    The Nasdaq dropped 0.44%, or 24.01 points, to 5,447.42 while the S&P 500 dipped 0.19%, or 4.22 points, to 2,260.96.

  3. 'I hope everybody has a good Christmas' - McCluskey

    Mr McCluskey adds: "Fortunately people have thrashed out a new deal and these strikes are suspended, so I hope everybody has a good Christmas. 

    "But most importantly I am looking forward to our members giving us an indication as to what they they think that the new deal offers them". 

    He also says: "Innocent members of the public always suffer when there's a dispute. 

    "Any dispute is only brought about because there is a failure between management and the industrial relations within that company." 

  4. 'New offer will be put to members'

    Len McCluskey

    There is a "new offer on the table", says Len McCluskey and Unite will take this back to its members. 

    However, he is not "recommending the offer" and will instead leave it up to members to decide whether it is acceptable. 

    In the meantime, Unite has suspended the strike set for Christmas and Boxing day - but a "lasting peace" is as yet unsecured.

  5. Fourth quarter US growth 'looking soft'

    The US grew at the fastest rate in three years in the third quarter, it was confirmed earlier, but it might not do as well in the fourth.

    Data shows that consumer spending increased only modestly in November as household income failed to rise for the first time in nine months.

    That said, new orders for capital goods rose last month and the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits remained at historically low levels.

    Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics, told Reuters: "The fourth quarter is coming in soft. The economy is going to end the year on a disappointing note, but we should see growth accelerate in the first half of 2017."

  6. BreakingBA Christmas strike suspended

    BA plane

    A BA cabin crew strike on Christmas Day and Boxing Day has been suspended, according to the Unite union. 

    The strike would have seen up to 4,500 crew at Heathrow Airport walk out, potentially disrupting holiday travel.  

    View more on twitter
  7. Bitcoin hits highest level in three years


    The web-based “cryptocurrency" Bitcoin hit its highest level in three years on Thursday, according to Reuters. 

    The price of one bitcoin reached $875 on the Europe-based Bitstamp exchange, its strongest level since January 2014, after more than doubling in price this year. 

    That meant the total value of all bitcoins in circulation surpassed $14bn (£11bn).

    The currency - which can move money across the globe quickly and anonymously - is still way off the peaks it scaled in late 2013, when it traded as high as $1,163 on the Bitstamp exchange.  

  8. US sues Barclays for mortgage securities fraud


    The US Department of Justice has sued Barclays for fraud in the sale of mortgage securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.

    The law suit, which was filed in Brooklyn, alleges that Barclays repeatedly deceived investors about the quality of loans underlying tens of billions of dollars of mortgage securities between 2005 and 2007. 

  9. Pricier Teslas

    A Tesla car

    If you are thinking of buying a new electric car, do it now. Both the Guardian and the Financial Times are reporting that the Californian company Tesla is upping its prices in the UK market come next year. 

    Tesla hasn't issued a press release. But it has apparently been sending emails to people it's identified as prospective customers.

    It's the fall in the value of the pound that's prompting them to nudge prices 5% higher.

    Other, mass-market manufacturers have already announced similar (though smaller) moves. 

  10. Every mushroom cloud...

    Earlier Donald Trump called for the US to "greatly strengthen and expand" its nuclear arsenal, hours after Russia vowed to do much the same thing. 

    While that prospect may petrify many people, it has at least benefited investors in Uranium producer Uranium Resources, whose shares have been blown sky high.  

    View more on twitter
  11. Italian crisis 'a problem for the EU'

    Investors have shied away from supporting a plan to save the debt ridden bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena, which means the Italian government may be forced to bail it out. 

    A former Chief Economist of the Italian Treasury, Lorenzo Codogno, tells World Business Report the Italian crisis is a problem for the EU, as well as for Rome.

    View more on twitter
  12. Saudi budget projects big oil price increase

    Petrol pump

    Do we think the oil price will go up or down in 2017? 

    The Saudi budget for next year that was announced earlier today is based on a "conservative" scenario according to energy minister Khalid al-Falih. But Reuters also reports that he was optimistic that the price would go up "in coming years".

    There are no specifics about the precise assumptions underlying the Saudi's budget calculations for next year, but it looks like the Saudi government are glass half full people: overall oil revenues are projected to increase 46%.

  13. Nokia shares slide

    Nokia phone

    Investors have decided a patent row between Nokia and Apple is bad news for the Finnish company. Shares in Nokia slid 5% on Thursday.

    Nokia is accusing Apple of violating some of its technology patents and Apple is complaining its being overcharged for.

    The trouble is, if they can't resolve their problems, come the end of the year when Nokia's patent licencing agreement with Apple comes to an end, royalty payments for the Finnish company could suddenly dry up or at least be delayed.

  14. Icahn says 'get trade war with China over'

    Carl Icahn being interviewed

    Carl Icahn talked to CNBC about the prospect of trade war with China.  

    He said: "If you get into a trade war with China, sooner or later we'll have to come to grips with that. That's not my decision at all."

    He added: "I remember the day something like that would really knock the hell out of the market. But maybe if you're going to do it, you should get it over with, right?"

    Donald Trump has threatened to impose a tax on Chinese goods and has labelled the country a "currency manipulator".     

  15. Icahn wants to slash environmental red tape

    Carl Icahn

    Excessive red tape is hurting American businesses and should be cut, billionaire investor Car Icahn has said, a day after being appointed as a special advisor to Donald Trump.  

    In an interview with CNBC, he said environmental and banking regulations had become particular obstacles to investment and would be reformed.

    He also denied that his extensive business interests would pose a conflict of interest to his advisory role.

    Mr Icahn owns a stake in the oil refinery business CVR.

  16. Pound falls on strong US GDP figures

    Pound and dollars

    Sterling lost ground against major currencies on Thursday after an upward revision to US GDP growth figures boosted the dollar. 

    The pound hit a seven-week low against the US currency, falling 0.5%, but recovered some ground to trade 0.41% lower at $1.230. 

    Euro strength also hit sterling, which fell 0.66% to €1.177 as markets priced in the prospect of a bailout for Italy's Montei dei Paschi. The bank earlier this week suggested it could collapse under the weight of its bad loans. 

  17. Hygge boosts demand for spices


    Hygge - the Nordic art of cosiness - has taken off in many countries this year and as a byproduct seems to be driving up demand for spices.

    The FT reports that the prices of cinnamon, vanilla, cardamon and clove have all risen in 2016 - largely due to climatic conditions in producer countries, but also the need for such ingredients in Scandinavian baking recipes and other crafts. 

    “Since hygge took off, we’ve been selling a third more of cakes and buns,” says Jonas Aurell, manager of the ScandiKitchen café in London. 

    "[And] when we say ‘use cinnamon on the buns’, we don’t just add half a gram. You use a lot,” he says.

  18. US markets slip further

    US stock broker

    US markets have slipped further as investors wind down before the Christmas break. 

    The Dow Jones index is now at 19,897.41 points - down 0.22% - thanks in part to weak performances from Walmart, General Electric Co. and American Express. 

    The S&P 500 is down 0.31% at 2,258.19 while the Nasdaq has lost 0.57% to 5,440.2. 

  19. Buckinghamshire pub to be replicated across the Far East

    Video content

    Video caption: Buckinghamshire pub to be recreated in Far East

    A village pub made famous by the visit of China's President Xi Jinping and then Prime Minister David Cameron is set to be replicated across the Far East after being bought by a Chinese firm.

    SinoFortone bought The Plough at Cadsden, near Princes Risborough in Buckinghamshire, in November 2016.

    Mr Cameron took Mr Xi there during the state visit to the UK in October 2015.

    Now the MD of SinoFortone Peter Zhang plans to build a chain of similar pubs across the Far East. He says he will have 50 by the end of 2017 and a further 50 in 2018.