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Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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Good night

That's all for another Business Live page for tonight. Please join us again from 06:00 tomorrow.

Wall Street close higher after tech stocks rise

US stocks have made modest gains at the close after technology stocks rose.

Rises in shares of Apple, Microsoft and Alphabet provided the biggest boost to the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.1% at 21,553.09, while the S&P 500 was up 0.19% at 2,447.83. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.21% to 6,274.44.

Racist AirBnB host fined for refusing Asian

Dyne Suh

A racist AirBnB host who discriminated against an Asian guest has been fined $5,000 - and told she must attend a course on Asian-American studies.

Tami Barker cancelled Dyne Suh’s booking, telling her in a message: "One word says it all. Asian.”

The fine was imposed due to a new agreement between AirBnB and California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).

It lets the DFEH examine hosts that have had discrimination complaints.

Read more

'US demands more traveler data or nations face sanctions'

The US State Department will require all nations to provide more extensive data so it can vet visa applicants even more and determine whether a traveler poses a terrorist threat, Reuters reports.

Countries that do not comply with the new protocols or take steps to do so within 50 days could face travel sanctions, it says.

Brexit: UK could be 'associate' of EU nuclear body

US Senate committee asks Donald Trump Jr to testify

Gary O'Donoghue

Washington Correspondent

Donald Trumps
Getty Images

One of the Committees in the United States Senate investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia has asked the President's eldest son to testify.

Donald Trump Jr has acknowledged meeting a Russian lawyer, apparently offering information that could have damaged Hillary Clinton during the election campaign.

His actions have been defended by the President, who described Donald Jr as a "wonderful young man".

The Senate Judiciary Committee is just one of a number of congressional bodies looking into Russia's interference in the US election, and while it has already questioned some high profile individuals, an appearance by Donald Trump Jr would be true box office.

It could happen as early as next week.

He has already defended his decision to meet the Russian lawyer, dismissing it as a "nothing", and saying she had no meaningful information.

And today his father, the President, speaking in Paris, said most people would have taken the meeting as part of opposition research.

The Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Republican Chuck Grassley, didn't say whether the invitation had been accepted, and declined to say whether he'd be prepared to issue a subpoena if Donald Trump Jr refused to appear.

And the winner is...

Identity theft leads to bankruptcy for Securitas chief

Alf Goransson
Getty Images

Swedish security services group Securitas says its chief executive Alf Goransson fell victim to identity theft which led to him being declared legally bankrupt.

"The incident has been reported to the police and the decision will be appealed to the Court of Appeal immediately today," the company said.

His identity was used for a false loan application in March, Bloomberg reported.

US budget deficit reaches $90bn for June

The US Treasury said the federal government posted a $90bn budget deficit for June versus a year-earlier surplus of $6bn as receipts failed to keep pace with growth in outlays.

The June deficit exceeded analysts' estimates of a $35bn deficit.

Brexit: Repeal bill faces challenges

Theresa May with flags

Ministers hail a historic moment - but Labour and the Scottish and Welsh governments are unhappy.

EU flag outside Parliament

Brexit: Repeal bill faces challenges

Ministers hail a historic moment - but Labour and the Scottish and Welsh governments are unhappy.

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Who would want to fill Travis Kalanick's shoes?

Travis Kalanick
Getty Images

Quite a few people would like the Uber chief executive job, according to the New York Times.

The firm has its share of issues, including a series of scandals about sexual harassment, a macho culture and the recent departure of senior executives.

So who is up for consideration? Well, Susan Wojcicki, the chief executive of YouTube; Twitter former chief operating officer Adam Bain; former Virgin America chief executive David Cush; former Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer; and former Disney chief operating officer Thomas Staggs, the New York Times says.

'Something could happen with respect to the Paris accord'

Oil gains despite downbeat IEA report

Oil traders are banking on growing demand from China to offset higher oil production from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) exporters.

Benchmark Brent crude futures has risen 1.4% today despite a downbeat International Energy Agency (IEA) report.

The IEA said the oil market could stay oversupplied for longer than expected due to rising production and limited output cuts by some members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"Each month something seems to come along to raise doubts about the pace of the rebalancing process," the IEA report said.

"This month, there are two hitches: a dramatic recovery in oil production from Libya and Nigeria and a lower rate of compliance by Opec with its own output agreement."

However, China's appetite for oil seems to be growing.

"We are definitely seeing robust demand growth [in China]," said Neil Beveridge, senior oil analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein.

UK sets out post-Brexit nuclear plan

Nuclear waste facility at Drigg
Science Photo Library

The government says it wants a new nuclear safeguards regime as it prepares to leave EU body Euratom.

Nuclear waste facility at Drigg

UK could be 'associate' of EU nuclear body

Brexit Secretary David Davis says an "arbitration body" will be agreed to govern the new arrangement.

Read more

EE to expand Sainsbury's store presence

EE concession

EE is to expand the number of its concessions in Sainsbury's and Argos to more than 100 stores by 2019, and says it wants to create 400 retail jobs.

The mobile giant, which is owned by BT, has been trialling concessions in 21 Argos stores and 16 Sainsbury's stores.

It's also going to have more pop-ups in shopping centres, and EE vans will drive to remote areas to sell mobiles and packages.

There's also going to be pop-ups in shipping containers in remote areas should customers have a problem that needs to be dealt with in-store, a spokesperson says.

EE mobile shop

'MAGAnomics' - the IMF view

'Make-America-Great-Again-onomics' as written about by President Trump's Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney could be difficult to achieve.

The Trump administration wants sustained US economic growth of 3%.

But the latest annual health check on the US economy by the IMF had this to say:

"It should be said at the start that, even with an ideal constellation of pro-growth policies, the potential growth dividend is likely to be less than that projected in the budget and will take longer to materialise.

"The US is effectively at full employment. For policy changes to be successful in achieving sustained, higher growth they would need to raise the US potential growth path.

"The international experience and US history would suggest that a sustained acceleration in annual growth of more than 1 percentage points, as projected by the administration, is unlikely."


Mick Mulvaney
Getty Images

The Trump administration wants to achieve a target of sustained US economic growth at 3%.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Mr Trump's Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney introduced a new acronym that seems a little, well, clunky - "Make-America-Great-Again-onomics" or MAGAnomics for short.

"MAGAnomics is for everyone, but especially for those who left for work this morning in the dark but came home after their kids were asleep.

It’s for those who are working part-time but praying for a full-time job. It’s for folks whose savings are as exhausted as they are.

This president hears you. He knows America’s greatness doesn’t spring from higher taxes or unnecessary regulations or broken welfare programs.

It doesn’t come from government at all. It comes from you.

If we enact the president’s broad agenda—if MAGAnomics is allowed to work—we will have set the stage for the greatest revival of the American economy since the early 1980s," he wrote.

Yellen: 3% GDP growth over next two years 'difficult'

Trump administration plans for tax reform could have a favourable impact on US productivity growth - but not by much, Fed chair Janet Yellen said.

Speaking to senators on Capitol Hill, Ms Yellen said:

"Appropriately designed tax reform could have a favourable effect on productivity... There is scope there to have a favourable impact on long-term economic growth," she said.

But it depends on the reforms, she added, also giving the caveat that "productivity growth is very hard to move".

If it move a few tenths of a percent, "you would probably regard that as a very good payoff" she said.

US productivity growth, which is a major component of GDP growth, has average about 1% since the 1970s.

Ms Yellen was asked whether it was possible to achieve 3% GDP growth in five year period.

She said this would take productivity growth of about 2%, which "would be wonderful to accomplish - but I think it would be quite challenging."

She was then asked whether this was possible in next two years?

"That would be quite difficult," she said.

Fed 'prepared to act against Wells Fargo directors'

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen
Getty Images

Fed chair Janet Yellen has said the central bank is prepared to take enforcement action against directors of Wells Fargo if an investigation finds it appropriate.

Regarding the bank's creation of millions of fake accounts, Ms Yellen told Democrat senator Elizabeth Warren: "We do have the power to remove directors... We need to conduct a thorough investigation to look at the full record ... We are certainly prepared to take enforcement actions."

New chief puts shine on Tiffany shares

Alessandro Bogliolo
Getty Images

US jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co's shares are up nearly 2% after the firm named former Bulgari executive Alessandro Bogliolo (pictured left) as its new chief executive.

Mr Bogliolo was most recently chief executive of fashion firm Diesel.

Brick that stolen phone?

Brexit: Repeal bill published by the government

Theresa May and EU flags
AFP/Getty Images

MPs must "work together" on Brexit, the minister in charge of the UK's EU exit has said, as he published a bill to convert EU law into British law.

The legislation, known as the repeal bill, will ensure the same rules apply in the UK after Brexit, while giving the UK Parliament power to change them.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said he would "work with anyone" to make it a success, but he faces opposition.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron told the government: "This will be hell."

Read more here.

BP and Royal Dutch Shell shares fall

Getty Images

Shares in BP and Royal Dutch Shell are about 0.9% lower as crude oil futures hover around $47.87 per barrel.

Oil prices are flatlining after Opec said it expected demand to decline next year as rivals pump more.

TTIP talks 'unlikely'

Aslef strike 'disappointing' says DfT

Aslef drivers are "again set to disrupt passengers on the Southern network", a Department for Transport spokesperson says, which is "disappointing".

"This action is completely unnecessary, particularly considering they turned down a near £12,000 pay rise offer from GTR – taking their salary to £60,683 for a 35-hours week - the very same deal that their own members on Thameslink have accepted," the DfT spokesperson adds.

Aslef Southern train drivers vote for more strikes

Southern Rail trains
Getty Images

Members of the Aslef union on Southern Railways and Gatwick Express have voted to strike over pay.

Strike dates are set for Tuesday 1, Wednesday 2 and Friday 4 August.

This is a separate dispute from a Southern overtime ban, which is down to proposals for driver-only operated trains.

Formula 1 and Snap announce partnership

F1 racer
Getty Images

Formula 1 and Snap have announced a new global partnership to cover upcoming Grand Prix races on Snapchat's editorial platform.

The deal with Snap will officially kick-off with coverage of 2017 Formula 1 Rolex British Grand Prix on Sunday through Snapchat's Our Stories.

France and Germany to develop new jet fighter

Details are coming through from the joint meeting of the French and German cabinets that's been taking place in Paris. The two countries say they've agreed to develop a new European jet fighter system to replace their current planes. The French presidency said a "joint roadmap" for the project would be finalised by mid-2018.

FCA lambasted over Aramco rule change

City of London landscape

Plans by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to overhaul stock market rules are continuing to attract controversy. The City watchdog is proposing a new category of listing that would allow Saudi state-owned oil firm Aramco to float on the London market.

The latest adverse comment on the plan comes from Royal London Asset Management's Ashley Hamilton Claxton, who says: "It looks like the FCA is consulting on amending the existing listing rules to accommodate the peculiarities of one company, which is not a very effective strategy for regulating the market as a whole.

"If the proposals in this consultation document are implemented, it will be bad news for London and will reverse the progress we have made in recent years to uphold strong governance and protect minority shareholders.

"In our view, the listing rules should apply for any premium listing, regardless of whether the controlling investor is a private individual, a consortium or a sovereign state."

Reeves sees sustainable growth as priority

Rachel Reeves

The newly elected chairwoman for the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy select committee has been setting out her priorities for the job.

The successful candidate is Labour MP Rachel Reeves, who served as shadow work and pensions secretary from 2013 to 2015. She said that under her, the committee's priorities would include "ensuring that we develop sustainable growth and climate change policies that help create new and well-paid jobs".

She added: "Scrutinising the government’s approach to the challenges of the ‘gig economy’ and the growth of self-employment and how to deliver fairness and flexibility in the British labour market should also be an area of interest for the committee."

UK attracts record levels of tourism

Tourists in London

The first three months of this year saw a record number of foreign visits to the UK, up 9.9% on a year earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Tourists flocked to the UK to benefit from the weakness of the pound since the country's vote to leave the European Union.

Visits from North America were up 18.7% on the previous year in the same period. There was also a record number of visits from China, up 27% on last year at 54,000.

Delta sees 20% quarterly profit fall

Delta plane
Getty Images

Delta Air Lines is not flying quite as high as it was this time last year. In the second quarter of this year, it made a profit of $1.22bn, which sounds pretty healthy until you realise it's 20% down on the same period last year, when its net income was $1.55bn.

Delta, the number two US airline by passenger traffic, has made a virtue in recent years of not just playing the low-cost airlines' game. It says it sees itself as "a carrier of choice", with better service, seating, in-flight entertainment and loyalty programmes, rather than just trying to compete on price. So is that strategy paying off? Keep watching the skies...

Burberry investors disgruntled by executive pay levels

As we predicted earlier, many shareholders at luxury goods brand Burberry's AGM were indeed up in arms over executive pay. Nearly one-third of investors declined to back the company's remuneration package for its top people, although 68.5% voted in favour.

The discontent centred on the pay of Christopher Bailey, Burberry president and chief creative officer, and that of the chief financial officer Julie Brown, who has waived some of the money she was originally offered.

Markets buoyant as lunchtime looms

Lunchtime is approaching and City traders' tummies are rumbling, but all looks moderately rosy on the markets right now. The FTSE 100 has clawed its way into positive territory, albeit by a wafer-thin 0.12% at 7,425.53, led by BT, which is a healthy 3.5% to the good.

At the same time, the pound is holding on to its gains. Sterling is up 0.27% against the dollar at $1.2919, while against the euro, it's 0.4% higher at 1.1336 euros.

City rules set to change in Aramco listing bid

Oil refinery

City watchdog the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is proceeding with controversial plans to overhaul stock market rules.

It is proposing a new category of listing that would allow Saudi state-owned oil firm Aramco to float in the City.

It would be the biggest initial public offering (IPO) in history.

There has been an outcry over the move, as investors and governance groups have accused the regulator of bending stock market rules.

Uber in Russian tie-up

Uber app
Getty Images

Word has reached us that Uber's Moscow operation is joining forces with Russia's Yandex to merge their respective ride-hailing and food delivery services in Russia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The two firms will sink their joint assets into a new company.

If you're not in the habit of seeking out a taxi in the former Soviet Union, this news might leave you as cold as the Siberian steppes.

But it did give us the chance to learn that Uber's boss in Europe, the Middle East and Africa is one Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, who sounds rather like the product of a Franco-Russian merger himself. Call me a cab? Certainly, you're a cab...

Banks set to cut back lending?

£20 notes being counted

It could be trickier for households to find cheap credit card deals and low-deposit mortgages in the months ahead, according to a survey by the Bank of England.

Its latest Credit Conditions Survey of banks and building societies found lenders were likely to rein in lending as they become more cautious about the state of the economy.

Lenders expect a slight reduction in mortgage availability to house buyers with deposits of less than 25%, and "in particular" those with a deposit of below 10%.

The survey also found that lenders expected to cut the length of interest-free periods on credit card balance transfers.

Listen: Southern rail 'held to account'

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Southern rail 'held to account' with £13m fine

The £13.4m fine for Southern rail's owners shows they are being held accountable for heavy delays on the line, says the boss of the Rail Delivery Group.

Paul Plummer, who represents the rail industry, tells Today it was "the most congested railway in Britain and in Europe" and needs further investment.

Footballer turns cognac maker

Olivier Tebily playing for Celtic
Getty Images

Former Ivory Coast international Olivier Tebily has uncorked a post-playing career as a Cognac maker.

Cognac is home to some of France's - and the world's - most celebrated vineyards.

The 41-year-old ex-Celtic and Birmingham City player bought his first vineyard in his late teens.

Read more here.