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Summary

  1. Pound falls against dollar and euro
  2. Thomas Cook pilots call off strikes
  3. New car sales slump in September
  4. British Gas boss warns on price cap
  5. Sofa seller DFS' profits drop sharply
  6. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Good night!

    That's all from Business Live for today - thanks for reading.

    We're back bright and early at 6am tomorrow, so do join us then.

  2. Ryanair woos pilots

    Ryanair plane

    More on Ryanair: it is promising pilots significant improvements in pay and conditions, saying it would exceed rates paid by rivals and improve job security, according to a letter to pilots seen by Reuters.

    The Irish airline has announced the cancellation of thousands of flights in recent weeks, saying it did not have enough standby pilots.

    Ryanair will deliver "significant improvements to your rosters, your pay, your basing, your contracts and your career progression over the next 12 months", chief executive Michael O'Leary said in the letter addressed "to all Ryanair pilots".

    The letter said Ryanair would exceed the pay and job security offered by rivals such as Jet2 and Norwegian Air Shuttle and that it would negotiate on any differences in conditions between Ryanair's Irish contracts and those offered by local laws at European bases.

  3. BreakingMore record highs for Wall Street

    NYSE

    Wall Street hit new record highs again amid growing confidence in US corporate results and the prospects of President Donald Trump's tax cut plan.

    All three major indices finished at new peaks for the fourth consecutive session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 0.5% to 22,769 points.

    The S&P 500 gained 0.6% to 2,551.6, while the Nasdaq Composite jumped 0.8% to 6,584 points.

  4. Suds at dawn

    Samsung washing machine

    The US International Trade Commission has found that US washing machine makers are being harmed by South Korean imports.

    The case, brought by Whirlpool, calls on the ITC to impose restrictions to stop Samsung and LG from flooding (sorry) the US market.

    The commission will make recommendations to President Donald Trump by late November and a final decision is expected early next year.

    The protectionist message was central to his populist campaign to become president.

    Last month the US opted to impose a tax on Bombardier jets that could put thousands of UK jobs at risk, which trade secretary Liam Fox said was protectionist.

    So we wonder: what will Mr Trump's decision possibly be?!

  5. Russia and Saudi Arabia cosy up

    Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud takes his seat during a meeting with Russian President at the Kremlin in Moscow

    This week's visit by King Salman to Russia, the first by a Saudi monarch, will see a slew of deals.

    Moscow and Riyadh worked together to secure a deal between Opec and other oil producers to cut output until the end of March 2018, helping support prices.

    Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said Saudi Arabia was "flexible" regarding Moscow's suggestion to extend the pact until the end of next year.

    The news pushed up Brent Crude by around 2%.

    Plans for a $1bn joint fund to invest in energy projects are also expected to be finalised.

    State oil giant Saudi Aramco is to sign several non-binding MoUs with Russian companies Gazprom , Gazprom Neft, Sibur and Litasco.

    Mr al-Falih said memorandums of understanding would be signed with Russia's state nuclear agency Rosatom for the peaceful use of nuclear energy, alongside other deals for military industries and marine development.

    The Russian Direct Investment Fund will sign an MoU with Aramco and the kingdom's Public Investment Fund for investments in energy services and manufacturing.

  6. Oxfam 75 years on: What role do charity shops play on our high streets now?

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Oxfam, Broad Street, Oxford

    Today marks the 75th anniversary of the first meeting of the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. Oxfam would then go on to open the UK's first charity shop at 17 Broad Street in Oxford, which is still there today.

    Since then, the number of charity shops has soared.The Charity Retail Association estimates there are now around 11,200 such retailers in the UK; Oxfam still runs the most.

    But their growing presence in town centres divides opinion. A report from the cross-party think tank, Demos, released last month found that charity shops continue to be a lifeline for struggling town centres, but half of the people surveyed said that a 'healthy' high street should contain fewer charity shops.

    It can be a tricky balance to achieve for council officials, like Steve Brunt from the market town of Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

    Speaking to 5 live, he said: "Every application is judged on its merit.

    "(But) we encourage them... it's about recycling, and people can volunteer."

  7. Spain to make it easier for Catalan firms to jump ship

    Spain's government will issue a decree on Friday making it easier for firms to transfer their legal base out of Catalonia, two sources told Reuters, in a move that could deal a serious blow to the region's finances as it considers declaring independence.

    The decree is tailor-made for Spanish lender Caixabank, sources familiar with the matter said, as it would make it possible for the bank to transfer its legal and tax base to another location without having to hold a shareholders' meeting as stated in its statutes.

    "The government is working on changing the law so that it's no longer need to have a shareholders' meeting, which would delay a change of the legal base in a case of emergency," one of the sources told Reuters.

  8. Pound tumbles amid political uncertainty

    The pound fell to its lowest level against the US dollar since early September amid political uncertainty and concerns over the health of the UK economy.

    Sterling was trading lower by 0.8% at $1.312 versus the dollar, marking its lowest point since 7 September.

    Neil Wilson, a senior market analyst at ETX Capital, said:

    "The pound is now off by a cent against the dollar and with firming US data combining with ebbing confidence in the British economy and government, could give up more ground."

    "Clearly there are concerns about political risk subsequent to Theresa May’s speech."

  9. Caixa board to meet

    Caixa Bank

    The board of Caixabank will meet tomorrow to study a possible transfer of its legal base away from Catalonia because of political uncertainty in the region, a source familiar with the situation says.

    Caixabank is Spain's third-largest bank and the biggest Catalan company by market value.

  10. Sabadell 'to transfer legal base to Alicante'

    Catalonian bank Sabadell is to transfer its legal base to Alicante, a spokesperson said.

    The board made the decision to move in an extraordinary meeting called in light of the political uncertainty in the region.

  11. Bank shares higher after Fed appointment

    Randal K. Quarles

    JP Morgan and Bank of America shares are both more than 1.5% higher after Randal Quarles was confirmed as vice chair of the Federal Reserve.

    The banking sector widely expects Mr Quarles to play a key part in US President Donald Trump's efforts to ease regulations.

  12. US stocks scale fresh highs

    Wall Street traders

    The three main U.S. indexes climbed to fresh record-highs for the fourth day in a row on Thursday, fueled by gains in technology stocks, including Microsoft and Amazon.

    Data on Thursday indicated underlying strength in the economy despite the recent hurricanes, with the trade deficit narrowing in August and jobless claims falling more than expected last week.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 96.21 points, or 0.42%, at 22,757.85, the S&P 500 was up 12.93 points, or 0.51%, at 2,550.60, and the Nasdaq was up 37.79 points, or 0.58%, at 6,572.02.

  13. BreakingRoyal Mail says CWU strike action 'would be unlawful'

    The Royal Mail says: "We believe any strike action before the dispute resolution procedures have been followed would be unlawful strike action".

    Earlier it said it would any legal means necessary to try to stop a postal strike called by the Communication Workers Union.

  14. Sabadell 'to move HQ from Catalonia'

    Danny Aeberhard

    Europe analyst, BBC World Service

    Sabadell offices

    One of Spain's biggest banks, Sabadell, has decided to move its legal base from Catalonia.

    Sources say the board made the decision in an extraordinary meeting, called in light of the political uncertainty in the region.

    It comes as the separatist Catalan leadership seem intent on making a unilateral declaration of independence.

    Sabadell has so far refused to officially confirm or deny the move.

    That's believed to be because it has yet to get the approval of the regulatory authorities.

    It's not the only bank to have been unnerved by the political crisis.

    Another of the region's biggest lenders, CaixaBank, is understood to be considering a similar move if Catalonia unilaterally declares independence.

    They want to limit risk to shareholders.

    It may give separatists pause for thought. But, having prepared for a high-stakes gamble, the Catalan regional authorities may yet roll the dice.

  15. Uber profits rev up, but London row casts a cloud

    Uber taxi

    Uber saw its UK profits surge 65% last year after rising demand, but the taxi-hailing app is still facing an uphill battle to keep its service running in London.

    Pre-tax profits surged 65% from £1.8m to more than £3m, while its tax bill rose from £410m to £551m, according to accounts filed at Companies House.

    The company said its UK operations raked in £36.9m in revenue for the year to December 31, up 59% from £23.3m a year earlier,

    Uber went from operating across 20 UK cities at the start of 2016 to around 40 by year the end of the year.