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Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    The livepage is closing down earlier tonight due to staffing problems. Please join us again tomorrow at our usual time of 6am.

    Thanks for reading us.

  2. Post update

    Google self-driving car

    A bid to convince sceptical Americans of the value of driverless cars is being made by Google's parent company Alphabet.

    Alphabet's self-driving car unit Waymo is teaming up with Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the National Safety Council, and the Federation for Blind Children in a campaign called "Let's Talk Self-Driving".

    The marketing campaign comes as Congress considers how to regulate driverless car technology.

    Critics have been arguing that Congress is moving too fast and not ensuring enough safeguards.

    Waymo chief executive John Krafcik said in a blog post: "There's great enthusiasm and curiosity about self-driving cars - and there's some confusion, too."

    He added that the "technology can help address some of the biggest safety challenges on our roads today".

  3. Two-year Brexit transition 'assured'

    Theresa May

    Theresa May has told business leaders that they should treat a two-year transition period after Brexit as assured as she tries to ease concerns that the UK could crash out of the EU without a deal, Reuters reports.

    The prime minister met chief executives from GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone and HSBC and other major companies on Monday to hear what they want from talks on Britain's relationship with the EU post-Brexit.

    Businesses have become increasingly alarmed by the slow progress of negotiations and the prospect that the country could leave the EU without a new trading arrangement in place in 2019.

    "From her point of view, the transitional agreement is non-negotiable ... business should think of the two-year period as assured. It will happen," a source said.

    A spokeswoman from Mrs May's office said she restated her position "that the government's goal is for a smooth, orderly exit in which there is only one set of changes for businesses and people".

  4. Strike gets green light

    Hands on a driving wheel

    Workers at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency have voted to go on strike in a dispute over working time, travel and the introduction of new working practices.

    Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS) backed industrial action by 84%, on a 70% turnout.

    The union said the vote sent a clear message that the DVSA must think again before "forcing people to work longer, harder and for no pay".

    PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "The actions of the Department for Transport in trying to force detrimental changes onto our members has backfired. Members have sent a clear signal that these changes are unacceptable. It's time now for ministers to listen to this result and scrap these plans."

  5. North Sea oil find

    oil platform

    Statoil has reported that a new discovery in the North Sea could contain up to 130 million barrels of oil.

    The Norwegian group said at least 25 million recoverable barrels had been proven in the immediate vicinity of the Verbier sidetrack well in the outer Moray Firth.

    It added there could be "significant remaining potential" in the basin.

  6. Wall Street update

    Wall Street looks to be stagnating in early afternoon trading after getting off to a brisk - and another record-breaking - start.

    The Dow Jones is now down 0.01% at 22,770.6 points, the Nasdaq is up 0.02% at 6,591.5, and the S&P 500 is down 0.05% at 2,548, which is just about 4 points shy of its record high.

  7. LVMH revenues jump

    Louis Vuitton purse

    There's no sign that the wealthy are tightening their belts if latest figures from the world's biggest luxury goods company are a guide.

    LVMH has just reported a 12% rise in like-for-like revenues in the third quarter of 2017, beating estimates after a strong showing from its clothing and leather goods division.

    All divisions saw double-digit growth, except wines and spirits, which saw only a 4% increase.

    LVMH owns fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior as well as Moet & Chandon champagne and Hennessy cognac.

  8. Royal Mail: CWU union digs in

    The CWU union says it will defend its Royal Mail members in the courts and in the workplace over plans to stage industrial action over pay and pensions.

    "We will defend our members through whatever means necessary,” says CWU Deputy General Secretary Terry Pullinger.

    The comments came as Royal Mail went to the high court on Monday to halt a planned strike later this month.

    Mr Pullinger said: “Our members voted by 9-to-1 to back their union. This underhanded act from the employer is a deliberate attempt to misinterpret and use the agreement to stop postal workers exercising our right to strike and will only anger members further.

    "This union is not going away and will stand up for our members in the court room and in every workplace across the UK. This dispute was never about Christmas, it’s about protecting our members and this great public service and it will take as long as it takes. We will defend our members through whatever means necessary.”

  9. Sterling gains ground as the FTSE 100 closes down

    FTSE 100 graph

    The pound rose strongly, regaining some of the ground it lost last week. Sterling ended the day up 0.47% against the dollar at $1.3130 and 0.42% higher against the euro at €1.1184.

    Sterling had hit a one-month dollar low on Friday, amid uncertainty over Theresa May's future following the prime minister's mishap-strewn speech at the Conservative Party conference.

    As the pound rose, the FTSE 100 share index slid 14.98 points to 7,507.89.

    The FTSE 100 often falls when sterling rises, as the stronger currency cuts the value of companies' overseas earnings when they are brought back to the UK and converted back into pounds.

    Shares in Smith & Nephew were among the biggest fallers on the index, down 1.5%, after the medical devices maker said its chief executive, Olivier Bohuon, intended to retire by the end of 2018.

    On the FTSE 250, shares in hotels group Millennium & Copthorne jumped 22.9% after Singapore's City Developments offered to buy the remaining shares in M&C that it does not already own. City Developments already controls about 65% of M&C. The offer values the hotels group at about £1.8bn.

  10. Real world economics

    Economics Nobel prize goes to US academic

    Toilet bowl

    How did Prof. Richard Thaler's 'nudge' theory help keep toilets a little more sanitary?

    Read more here.

  11. KPMG: another client drops the firm

    South African retailer TFG has become the latest company to drop KPMG, the global accountancy firm ensnared in a scandal involving business friends of President Jacob Zuma, as its external auditor.

    TFG cited "concerns recently raised" for its move.

    KPMG's own investigation had found flaws in work it did for the national tax agency and the Gupta family, accused of using links with Zuma to win government contracts. The Guptas and Zuma deny wrongdoing and say they are victims of a politically motivated witch-hunt.

  12. Unite wants BAE job cut talks

    Typhoon jet

    Britain’s largest union, Unite, has issued a statement on growing fears that BAE Systems is about to cull 1,000 jobs.

    Nothing's been confirmed, although the UK's biggest defence firm could make an announcement tomorrow.

    Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner says: “The UK government can end the uncertainty surrounding the future of thousands of British BAE defence jobs at a stroke by committing to building the next-generation fighter jets here in the UK.

    “BAE must also come clean on its plans. Unite is demanding urgent discussions with the company.

    “If these job cuts materialise it will significantly undermine our nation’s sovereign defence capability and leave us reliant on foreign powers and foreign companies for the successor to the Typhoon and the defence of the nation.

    “Once these jobs are gone, they are gone for a generation and with them the skills and ability to control our own defence and manufacture the next generation of fighter jets and other defence equipment in the UK."

    The ripple effects down the supply chain would be immense, Mr Turner adds.

  13. Breaking75% of Monarch passengers back

    Monarch plane

    About 80,000 Monarch passengers who were abroad when the airline went bust have returned to the UK, Chris Grayling has said.

    The transport secretary told the Commons this represents almost 75% of the 110,000 passengers affected by the largest airline failure in UK history.

    Mr Grayling revealed the latest figures as he updated MPs about Monarch's collapse, adding that the event was "hugely distressing".

    The government is now seeking redress from the airline's creditors for the cost of the repatriation flights.

  14. ARM hires 1,000 after Softbank deal

    Dan Macadam

    BBC business reporter

    ARM chip

    UK chip designer ARM Holdings has brought in an extra 1,000 staff since Japan's Softbank bought it for £24bn a year ago.

    To help clear the deal, the Japanese firm promised to more than double ARM's staff over the course of five years. ARM designs chip technology used in Apple and Samsung smartphones, and is one of Britain's biggest tech companies.

    A report prepared by Softbank for the UK Takeover Panel has shown that staff numbers grew from 1,749 to 2,173 in the UK in the year since the deal, while overseas employees have increased from 2,220 to 2,845.

  15. Not so Great Wall

    Chris Johnston

    Business reporter, BBC News

    Fiat Chrysler logos

    You may remember a few weeks ago the car industry got very excited that China's Great Wall Motor had supposedly expressed interest in buying some or all of Fiat Chrysler - its Jeep brand in particular.

    No actual bid had been forthcoming, however, and chief executive Sergio Marchionne says today he is not sure that such a deal would be welcome.

    He says there are "sensitive issues associated with trans-national mergers" that have not been thought through yet.

  16. Air Berlin braced for landing

    Air Berlin

    Air Berlin, the bankrupt German airline, is preparing to end flights by the end of October.

    In a letter to employees, it said flights under the code AB will "no longer be possible after October 28 at the latest", German media reported.

    Flights operated by subsidiaries Niki and LG Walter, which are not insolvent, will continue.

    Air Berlin collapsed in August following years of losses and the decision of its biggest shareholder, Gulf airline Etihad, to cease financing. It is in talks with Lufthansa and Easyjet about selling parts of its business.