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  1. Wall Street higher as Dow moves towards 20,000 points
  2. Next posts poor Christmas trading
  3. Trump thanks Ford over Mexico plant
  4. BA cabin crew plan new strike
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Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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Good night

That's all from the Business Live page for today. Join us again tomorrow from 06:00 for more business news.

The Great Football Dream of President Xi

Cristiano Ronaldo
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An interesting piece in the New York Times charts Chinese football ambitions.

European and South American players are being offered even more vast sums of money than usual try to to lure them into the main Chinese league.

For example, Real Madrid was offered £250m for Cristiano Ronaldo by an unnamed Chinese club, his agent said last week.

Apple confirms $1bn investment in SoftBank tech fund

Apple logo
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Apple has confirmed plans to invest $1bn in a tech fund being set up by Japan's SoftBank.

SoftBank has said it is investing at least $25bn in the fund and has been in talks with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund for an investment that could go up to $45bn. 

Deutsche Bank to pay $95m to resolve US tax case

Deutsche Bank has agreed to pay $95m to resolve a US government lawsuit accusing the German bank of using shell companies to evade significant tax liabilities in 2000, according to court papers.

The US had sought more than $190m. 

Wall Street holds onto gains after release of Fed minutes

Wall Street held onto gains at the close after minutes from the Fed's December meeting showed policymakers were concerned that quicker economic growth under President-elect Donald Trump could require faster interest-rate increases.

US stocks have been boosted over the past two months by expectations that Mr Trump will stimulate the economy.

But investors worry that could raise inflation and push the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates faster than anticipated.

The Dow was up 0.30% to 19,942.16 points and the S&P 500 had gained 0.57%, rising to 2,270.75. The Nasdaq Composite added 0.88%, finishing at 5,477.00. 

Trump's trumpet

US President-elect Donald Trump has tweeted about a number of companies since winning the US election.

What has happened to the share price of some of those companies since those tweets, asks Reuters?

View more on twitter

Peso drops to a new low

US dollar exchange rate is seen on the board of a bureau de change in Ciudad Juarez
Getty Images

Mexico's peso has dropped to a new low, falling more than 2% after concerns about protectionist policies by US President-elect Donald Trump.

The peso fell as low as 21.624 per dollar, after pushing past the previous bottom of 21.395 set on 11 November, soon after Mr Trump's surprise 8 November presidential election victory.

NY train derailment: 'I started flying to front of train'

Pence: Obamacare replacement to be decided through legislative process

Vice President-elect Mike Pence
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US Vice President-elect Mike Pence has said the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act will be decided by the legislature after criticism by Democrats over dismantling the health care programme without an alternate plan.

"The architecture of the replacement of Obamacare will come together, as it should, through the legislative process in the weeks and months ahead," Mr Pence said after a meeting with Republicans on Capitol Hill.

Fed may need to speed up rate hikes if Trump policies boost US

Donald Trump
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Federal Reserve officials, who put up a key interest rate last month, said they might need to accelerate future rate hikes if a faster-growing economy makes the unemployment rate to fall farther than currently expected.

Minutes of the Fed's December meeting showed that Fed officials discussed the impact of Donald Trump's proposed economic program of tax cuts, deregulation and increased infrastructure spending.

The Fed officials attributed the surge in stock prices, the increase in bond rates and the stronger dollar following the election to enthusiasm among investors about Trump's plans to bolster economic growth.

The minutes said that Fed officials believed they could maintain plans for gradual rate hikes but would need to be ready to hasten those increases if necessary to fight inflation. 

France orders duck and goose cull to contain bird flu

Ducks in south-west France
Getty Images

It's not a particularly good time to be a duck in south-west France.

The agriculture ministry is trying to contain an outbreak of bird flu, and has ordered a cull of free-range birds.

"The principle is to quickly kill the species most affected to date by the virus," the ministry said, saying these were ducks reared by foie gras makers. 

Around 800,000 ducks and geese, out of a total population of around 18 million in the south-west, will be culled in the coming week, said Marie-Pierre Pe from foie gras makers group Cifog.

Le Pen calls for France to leave the euro

Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's far-right National Front party, has outlined plans for France to leave the euro should she win this year's presidential election.

But she proposed Europe could return to a parallel Ecu-like common unit in a bid to soften the economic impact.

Read more here.

Sir Tim Barrow to be appointed EU ambassador

Can we change our minds about Brexit?

BBC Newsnight

Tesla begins battery cell production


Tesla has started making its own batteries for electric cars and to store energy from renewables.

It said its Gigafactory near Reno has started mass-production of lithium-ion battery cells.

This is quite a big deal for the firm, says BBC North America technology reporter Dave Lee, because it "removes a big time and cost barrier" for Tesla.

"It had to import the batteries from Asia before now," he says.     

Has the government got a clue? The business view.

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

Sir Ivan Rogers
Getty Images

There is a lot at stake for business in the upcoming Brexit negotiations so when there is a crack between government and the civil service it's perhaps not surprising that businesses express concern.

I don't know exactly why Sir Ivan Rogers resigned but what I do know is that his recent warning that a trade deal with the EU could take 10 years to thrash out is not seen as outlandish in some sectors.

Read more here.

FTSE hits another record high

The FTSE 100 has managed to secure another record close, rising to its fifth consecutive all-time closing high. 

The blue-chip index closed up 0.17% to reach 7,189.74 points, edging past the previous record close of 7,177.89 which was set on Tuesday. 

The strong performance comes despite the terrible performance of retailer Next whose shares closed over 14% lower  after it warned profits were expected to drop by 3.6% in the year to January 2017. 

Donald Trump nominates lawyer as head of US financial watchdog

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President-elect Donald Trump plans to nominate Jay Clayton, a partner with law firm Sullivan & Cromwell as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission financial watchdog. 

At the firm Mr Clayton worked on Clayton worked on bank rescues and bailouts. 

"Jay Clayton is a highly talented expert on many aspects of financial and regulatory law, and he will ensure our financial institutions can thrive and create jobs while playing by the rules at the same time," Mr Trump in a statement.

"We need to undo many regulations which have stifled investment in American businesses, and restore oversight of the financial industry in a way that does not harm American workers." 

Wall Street still not quite at 20,000 mark

Wall Street stocks are still trading at just below the 20,000 point mark with the Dow Jones at 19,905.5, up around 0.20% from the start of the day.

US car shares rev up

Ford factory, Flat Rock
Getty Images

Ford shares have jumped more than 3% in morning trading. It said earlier that US December sales totaled 239,854 vehicles, up 0.3%.

Yesterday the giant car-maker said it was scrapping plans to open a $1.6bn plant in Mexico, saying instead it would expand its facility in Flat Rock, Michigan.

Meanwhile, General Motors shares are up more than 4% after it said December sales had risen 10% to 319,108.

Reality Check: Would leaving customs union create 400,000 jobs?

Faraday Future shows off electric car prototype

Faraday electric car

Electric vehicle start-up Faraday Future has showed off a prototype car in Las Vegas as the China-backed company strives to win credibility in the crowded sector.

The car has an "enormous amount of connectivity" said Nick Sampson, senior vice president of engineering and research and development.

Norway's salmon bonanza

Norwegian salmon farm
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Norway sold a record $7.8bn worth of farmed salmon and trout last year. That was up by almost a third on 2015 according to the Norwegian Seafood Council.

Amid a global shortage, salmon prices jumped 40% last year and analysts expect further price rises this year.

Wall Street edges towards 20,000

Wall Street stocks have opened higher as investors wait for the minutes of the Federal Reserve's December meeting in which it raised interest rates.

The Dow Jones is edging towards the 20,000 point mark, up around 0.26% at 19,932.80. The S&P 500 is up around 0.46% at 2,267.62 and the Nasdaq is up 0.50% at 5,455.43.

Commuter train derails in Brooklyn

Brooklyn train derailment
Getty Images

At least 37 people have been injured in a New York commuter train derailment, according to the New York Fire Department.

The train came off the tracks during peak morning commuting hours at Atlantic Terminal in Brooklyn.

Happy Fat Cat Wednesday

More firms expecting price rises

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

Credit problems? Ask Money Box

BBC Radio 4

Money Box presenter Paul Lewis tweets:

View more on twitter

Cruise losses sunk All Leisure

Grant Thornton has been appointed administrators of All Leisure Holidays as well as its related companies Group Air Realisations and Group Surface Realisations.

The assets of Group Air and Group Surface have been sold to Canadian tour operator G Adventures, saving about 200 jobs. Their operations under the Travelsphere and Just You brands will continue with no disruption.  

However, the administrators said that All Leisure - which employed 150 people and provided holidays under the Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery brands - would cease trading.

Eddie Williams of Grant Thornton said: "The cruise operations have been significantly loss-making over a number of years and the ongoing cost of funding these operations by the tours operations has created significant cash issues for the entire group which has ultimately lead to the administration of all businesses."  

Trump to Ford: 'Thanks'

The US president-elect tweets:

View more on twitter

Amazon's wild ride

Amazon box
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There are some eye-popping figures in this piece by wealth manager Michael Batnick.

Since going public in 1997 Amazon shares have risen by 38,155%.

But he points out that any investor holding shares over that period would have needed nerves of steel.

"Amazon’s path to a 38,000% return was filled with heartache, despair, and a nauseau," Mr Batnick writes.

For example on 107 occasions Amazon shares have fallen 15% in just three days. That has got to be bad for the blood pressure.

Will Greggs bring home the bacon?

Greggs shop
Getty Images

Although shares in some retailers are taking a bit of a hammering today, independent retail analyst Nick Bubb tells us that his 2016 share tip - the online fashion seller - was a spectacular success, rising a rather impressive 264% last year.

"Just as our gut feel in 2016 was to go for an online stock, our gut feel about 2017 is to go for a food retail stock, given the likely benefit from higher food price inflation. Tesco is obviously one for the short list, but our eye has been drawn to Greggs, which, after a stellar 2015, underperformed in 2016 (minus 26% at 970p) and we are going to play safe and go for that as our 2017 tip, so come on you Greggs!" he writes.

This lunchtime the shares are trading at 977.5p - down 2p.

Le Pen calls for 'common currency' structure

Marine Le Pen
Getty Images

Eurozone countries should retreat from the euro and return to a "common currency" structure, French National Front leader Marine Le Pen (pictured) said, evoking the ECU monetary system that previously existed. 

Ms Le Pen, who hopes to be elected president of France, also said that French national debt would be denominated in a new national currency under her administration. 

She has long said that France should exit the euro, but in the past has not offered details about how that could happen.

Alibaba sues counterfeiters

Leisha Chi

Business reporter

Alibaba founder Jack Ma
Getty Images
Alibaba founder Jack Ma

China's Alibaba is taking legal action against counterfeiters for the first time - and claims it won't be the last.

The e-commerce giant has sued two vendors for allegedly selling fake Swarovki watches on its Taobao platform. 

Alibaba's lawsuit is seeking 1.4m yuan (about $200,000; £165,000) in damages.

The move comes less than two weeks after US authorities reinstated Taobao to its "notorious marketplaces" blacklist for allowing fake and pirated goods to be sold widely on its sites.

Alibaba rejected the ruling, saying it was caused by rising US protectionism.

Alan Greenspan: Hero to zero

Biographer Sebastian Mallaby on the life and times of the influential central banker.

Alan Greenspan spent nearly 20 years as chairman of the US Federal Reserve, becoming one of the most influential figures in global economics before his reputation was tarnished by the financial crisis. 

Author Sebastian Mallaby tells Ed Butler about Mr Greenspan's promotion to the peak of the US financial system - the subject of his new biography, The Man Who Knew.  

More bad news for Southern rail users

BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott tweets:

View more on twitter

New Southern strike dates

The Aslef union says drivers on Southern Railways will now take strike action on:

Tuesday 10 January

Wednesday 11 January

Friday 13 January

Tuesday 24 January

Wednesday 25 January

Friday 27 January

Deutsche's financial crime head departs

Deutsche Bank logo
Getty Images

Deutsche Bank's head of fighting financial crime and money-laundering, Peter Hazlewood, is leaving his post after just six months, a source familiar with the matter tells Reuters. 

Germany's biggest bank is seeking to settle money-laundering allegations in Russia, faces further investigations into alleged US sanction breaches in Iran and elsewhere, and into suspected manipulation of foreign exchange rates.

Manager Magazin, which first reported the news of Hazlewood's planned departure, said he had taken a more aggressive approach than his manager, global compliance officer Sylvie Matherat. 

Two weeks ago, Deutsche Bank agreed to a $7.2 billion settlement with the US Department of Justice over its sale and pooling of toxic mortgage securities in the run-up to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.  

Cruise collapse affects 7,000 people

Simon Gompertz

BBC personal finance correspondent

The collapse of All Leisure means 7,000 holidaymakers who had booked cruises with Swan Hellenic and Voyages of Discovery will have to claim refunds. 

It was covered by the Atol scheme under which customers can obtain a full refund.   

Most of the 400 people who are overseas on holiday were ending their cruise today and can use the airline tickets already booked for them to get back to the UK.

The Civil Aviation Authority said the small number of remaining passengers were on back-to-back cruises. Their holidays will be cut short, with the second cruise cancelled, and they will be brought back to the UK at no extra cost. 

The CAA said said no one would be left stranded abroad and people would return "shortly". 

Concern about the holiday brands had been mounting this week after cruises to Tenerife and in South East Asia were cancelled.