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  1. FTSE 100 rises; pound slips
  2. Government says rate for calculating personal injury claims will be 0%-1%
  3. European Central Bank leaves rates and bond-buying programme unchanged
  4. Jaguar Land Rover says all new vehicles from 2020 will be electric or hybrid
  5. Bovis Homes to return £180m extra to shareholders over next three years
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Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

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

  2. Guardian: Bell Pottinger 'could go under within days'

    Things aren't looking so rosy for embattled PR firm Bell Pottinger, which has been trying to sell itself since being expelled from the industry trade body for a campaign stirring racial divisions in South Africa.

    According to a report in the Guardian, the firm could go into administration within days.

    The article adds that even tobacco giant Imperial Brands, a long-time client of Bell Pottinger, may abandon ship.

    "We have a long-standing relationship with our UK account team, none of whom were ever involved with the Oakbay account,” an Imperial Brands spokesman told the Guardian.

    “Having said that, Bell Pottinger’s conduct in South Africa was clearly unacceptable and, as you would expect, we are therefore currently reviewing our relationship with them."

  3. Wall Street mixed at close

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 closed slightly down as investors kept an eye on Hurricane Irma, which may hit Florida by the weekend.

    The Dow dipped 28.07 points, or 0.13%, to 21,779.57, while the S&P 500 fell 0.76 points, or 0.03%, to 2,464.78. However, the Nasdaq Composite added 2.66 points, or 0.04%, to 6,395.98.

  4. Storm Jose strengthens

    Jose strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale and is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

    Jose was about 660 miles east of the Lesser Antilles with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour, the NHC said.

    Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours, the NHC added.

  5. Greenwoods goes into administration

    Deloitte has been appointed administrators for men's retail chain Greenwoods, which has been in operation since 1860.

    It has 65 stores and about 318 staff, of which 292 work in stores, 15 at the head office and 11 in the warehouse.

    Adrian Berry of Deloitte said: “We are currently assessing the options available to the company, including a potential sale of the business, and are continuing to trade it in the meantime.

    "No redundancies are being announced at this stage and we are grateful to the employees for their support at this difficult time.

    "This is a challenging time for the UK retail sector, which has affected the company.”

  6. Disney shares fall, then media shares have a rough ride

    Mickey Mouse

    Disney shares have dropped more than 4% after chief executive Bob Iger said full year profits would be roughly in line with last year.

    Analysts had predicted a slight rise.

    Meanwhile, shares in cable operator Comcast fell about 6% after it said it could lose 100,000 to 150,000 subscribers in the current quarter due to competition and storms.

    Media shares in general then had a bit of a rough ride.

    CBS was down 2.3%, Fox dropped as much as 4.4% before recovering to 2.7%, Viacom fell 3.4%, Discovery was down 2%.

    Media stocks, including Comcast and Fox, were among the top losers on the S&P 100 and Nasdaq 100.

  7. Twitter to brief Congress on Russia propaganda

    Mark Warner

    Twitter is expected to brief US congressional investigators soon on whether Russia used its advertising platform to promote divisive social and political messages during the 2016 US presidential election, Senator Mark Warner (pictured front left) has said.

    On Wednesday Facebook said an operation probably based in Russia had placed thousands of US ads with polarising views on topics such as immigration, race and gay rights on the social media site during a two-year-period until May 2017.

    "It was my belief that the Russians were using those sites to interfere in our elections, and the first reaction from Facebook was, 'No. You're crazy.'" Mr Warner said at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance conference in Washington.

    "I think what we saw yesterday in terms of their brief was the tip of the iceberg," Mr Warner added.

  8. Chicago plans to submit bid for Amazon second headquarters

    Chicago skyline

    Chicago plans to submit a formal bid asking Amazon to open its second headquarters in the city.

    Amazon, which is headquartered in Seattle, said earlier in the day that it would build a $5bn second headquarters in North America.

    Amazon is looking for a favorable tax structure and local government subsidies.

    Its announcement kicked off a competition between cities and states to offer incentives and tax cuts that could bring 50,000 new jobs.

    The mayor of Toronto said Canada's largest city was working to make sure it has an attractive bid for Amazon.

  9. US tax overhaul 'by end of year'

    Steven Mnuchin

    Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan have expressed confidence that Congress will pass reforms of the US tax code by the end of the year, a major but elusive goal for President Donald Trump and the Republicans.

    "We want America to wake up on New Year's Day 2018 with a new tax system," Ryan said, adding that his goal was to have a US corporate tax rate at or below 22.5%, down from the current 35%.

    "I think it's still very viable to get it done this year," Mr Mnuchin said, calling the tax overhaul his and Trump's top priority. "We don't need to set a specific date. We're going to get this done as quickly as we can."

  10. Richard Branson's home destroyed in hurricane

    Hurricane Irma storm

    Richard Branson's luxurious Necker Island home in the Caribbean has been left "uninhabitable" following Hurricane Irma.

    His son, Sam Branson, posted on Instagram that the Virgin Group boss survived the storm with friends and family by bunking down in a concrete wine cellar.

    "Glad to say that all humans on Necker are OK although a lot of buildings destroyed and main house in uninhabitable," he wrote.

  11. Georgia governor issues mandatory evacuation order

    Georgia governor Nathan Deal has issued mandatory evacuation order for coastal areas including the city of Savannah beginning on Saturday.

    "The state is mobilizing all available resources to ensure public safety ahead of Hurricane Irma," Mr Deal said.

  12. Florida nuclear plants to shut ahead of Irma

    Energy firm Florida Power and Light (FPL) says it would shut its two nuclear power plants before hurricane-force winds from Irma hit the state, but did not say when it would do so.

    FPL, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc, generates enough power for about 1.9 million homes at its Turkey Point and St. Lucie plants, which are both along Florida's Atlantic Coast, about 20 feet above sea level.

    "We will safely shut down these nuclear plants well in advance of hurricane-force winds, and we've finalised plans for that shutdown," an FPL spokesman said.

    The company will adjust the plans as necessary "depending upon the path of the storm," he added..

  13. Bovis to reduce land bank

    Bovis houses

    UK house builder Bovis, which has been subject to two failed takeover bids, will reduce its land bank by putting half of the plots at two of its biggest sites into a joint venture with a partner, chief executive Greg Fitzgerald has said.

    "We'll take our land bank down by about 1,600 plots... so that will in one fell swoop deal with those two very, very large sites," he said.

    The sites are in Wellingborough and Sherford.

  14. Caribbean and Gulf oil companies brace for Hurricane Irma

    Caribbean and Gulf Coast energy infrastructure is shutting down due to Hurricane Irma, even as recovery operations from Hurricane Harvey were underway.

    BP evacuated non-essential personnel from its Thunder Horse platform in the Gulf of Mexico and its associated drill ship West Vela.

    Dominican Republic refinery Refidomsa declared force majeure on fuel deliveries. It closed its docks due to Irma.

    NuStar Energy said its Statia terminal in St. Eustacius was damaged.

    Buckeye Partners has shut ship traffic to its Borco terminal in the Bahamas, and shut its Yabucoa oil terminal in Puerto Rico.

    Irma ranks as one of the five most powerful Atlantic hurricanes in the last 82 years and the strongest Atlantic storm recorded by the US National Hurricane Center outside the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico.

  15. Unions demand BA talks

    Unite and GMB unions have said they want to have "urgent talks" with British Airways after the carrier said it plans to close its main defined benefit pension scheme.

    “Unite and GMB within British Airways must express on behalf of our members and in the strongest possible terms, both our dismay and bitter disappointment at the news...

    “Thousands of loyal and long serving staff, who have helped build British Airways into a world class flag carrier for this country and one of the most recognisable global brands, now face uncertainty in their retirement...

    "Both unions jointly demand urgent talks to discuss both the impact of this announcement, if a solution can be found and, if not, the consequences the airline may face."

  16. BA plans to close defined benefit pension scheme

    BA planes

    British Airways has said it plans to close its main defined benefit pension scheme.

    "We have informed colleagues today that we will be proposing new pension arrangements that will improve benefits for the majority of UK colleagues," it said in a statement.

    "The proposals will be part of a consultation that will include addressing the significant and growing funding deficit faced by the New Airways Pension Scheme (NAPS).

    "If the proposals are implemented, NAPS would be closed to future accrual.

    "The proposed changes would help protect the pension benefits NAPS members have already earned and improve the company’s ability to invest in the customer experience."

  17. 'The ECB is worried about the stronger Euro'

    Investors haven't yet taken on board Mario Draghi's warning earlier about volatility in the euro, says Pantheon Macroeconomics chief eurozone economist Claus Vistesen.

    "The ECB is worried about the stronger euro, but markets aren’t listening…yet," he says.

    "Mr Draghi was quick to admit in his opening statement that the euro’s strength could potentially be an issue for growth and price stability... we think investors should notice that Mr. Draghi openly admitted that the stronger euro is inconvenient, and that it directly translates into a lower inflation forecast," he adds.

  18. Opioid use 'explains part of drop in US labour force participation'

    The use of opioid drugs (which are either derived from opium or are synthetic opiates) accounts for a fifth of the decline in US labour force participation among American men, according to a study by by Princeton University economist Alan Krueger.

    "The opioid crisis and depressed labor-force participation are now intertwined in many parts of the US," Mr Krueger wrote.

    While most of the decline in US labour force participation is due to an aging population and more young people choosing to stay in education, addiction to prescription painkillers also plays a part, Bloomberg reports.

  19. Wall Street flat as Irma in focus

    Hurricane Irma graphic

    Wall Street is flat after the European Central Bank kept its monetary policy unchanged and while investors keep an eye on Hurricane Irma, which could hit Florida by the weekend.

    The ECB confirmed that asset purchases would continue at 60bn euros per month at least until December, and said it could even expand or extend the bond buys, defying some expectations for policymakers to drop a reference to bigger bond purchases.

    Hurricane Irma has killed eight people on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, and will become the second major hurricane to hit the US mainland in as many weeks after Hurricane Harvey

    That storm claimed about 60 lives and caused property damage estimated at $180bn in Texas and Louisiana.

    "As the hurricane moves, investors are looking for a better grip on the damage that can be done. There are far-reaching implications now that we have back-to-back ones," said Andre Bakhos, managing director of Janlyn Capital.