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Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    Test card image

    Many thanks for joining us for another day of Business Live coverage.

    We hope you'll click on us again tomorrow morning from 06:00, when we'll bring you all the latest news, reaction and analysis from the world of business.

  2. IMF warns on financial stability

    Andrew Walker

    World Service economics correspondent

    Asian stock market ticker boards

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says in a report published on Wednesday that the risks to global financial stability in the near future have declined, but it warns of increasing risks over the longer term.

    The report says that stronger economic growth is reducing the immediate danger of financial turbulence. It means that borrowers are less likely to get into difficulty and lenders are at less risk of incurring serious losses.

    But the IMF also has a warning. The very low interest rates and other central bank policies that have underpinned the economic recovery have also led many investors to seek better returns by buying riskier assets.

    And as policies return to normal and interest rates are increased there's more danger of borrowers struggling and causing their creditors a problem.

  3. Wall Street stocks close at record highs

    Shares on Wall Street clawed back earlier losses to finish ahead on Wednesday, with all three main indexes hitting record closing highs.

    The Dow Jones rose 42.21 points to close at 22,872.89, while the S&P 500 went up 4.6 points to 2,555.24.

    Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 16.3 points to 6,603.55.

  4. Trump wants to be 'very creative' with Nafta

    President Trump said negotiations with Canada and Mexico on NAFTA could go either way.

    Quote Message: It's possible we won't be able to reach a deal with one or the other. But in the meantime, we'll make a deal with one. But I think we have a chance to do something very creative that's good for Canada, Mexico and the United States. from US President Trump
    US President Trump
  5. Trump: 'We'll see what happens with Nafta'

    More from that meeting between Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and Donald Trump.

    President Trump was asked if Nafta was dead. This is what he said.

    Trump and Trudeau walking
    Quote Message: We'll see what happens. It's possible we won't be able to make a deal, and it's possible that we will. We have a relationship now as two countries, I think that's as close as ever. But we'll see if we can do the kind of changes that we need. We have to protect our workers, and in all fairness, the prime minister wants to protect Canada and his people also. So we'll see what happens with Nafta. But I've been opposed to Nafta for a long time in terms of the fairness of Nafta. I said we'll renegotiate. And I think Justin (Trudeau) understands this - if we can't make a deal, it will be terminated and that'll be fine. They're going to do well, we're going to do well. But maybe that won't be necessary, but, it has to be fair to both countries. from US President Donald Trump
    US President Donald Trump
  6. US-Canada trade pact minus Mexico?

    Justin Trudeau and President Donald Trump

    President Trump says he could envisage a new trade pact with Canada that might exclude Mexico, reports BBC World Service.

    Speaking at the White House with the visiting Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, Mr Trump said US workers had to be protected.

    On Tuesday the Mexican Foreign Minister said that if the US tore up the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which covers the three countries, cross-border relations, including cooperation in the war on drugs, would suffer badly.

    NAFTA oversees a trillion dollars in annual trade.

  7. MPs launch inquiry into chicken supplier

    Raw whole chicken

    The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee (EFRA) says it is to inquire into the allegations of food safety breaches at the 2 Sisters Food Group.

    Earlier this month 2 Sisters - one of the UK's largest supermarket chicken suppliers - suspended operations after an investigation allegedly exposed food safety breaches.

    The 2 Sisters Food Group said staff at its site in the West Midlands will need to be "appropriately retrained" before it starts resupplying customers.

    The move came after allegations that workers had changed slaughter dates to extend the shelf life of meat.

    Among other things the MP's inquiry will look into the "potential ramifications of the allegations made against 2 Sisters for the poultry sector and the wider food chain", the committee said in a statement.

    Later this month, it will take evidence from 2 Sisters boss Ranjit Singh Boparan, the Food Standards Agency, Assured Food Standards and the British Poultry Council.

  8. US Federal Reserve debates inflation

    Natalie Sherman

    New York business reporter

    Federal Reserve building exterior

    Lagging inflation rates and what they mean for future increases in interest rates were a focus of the most recent meeting of the US central bank.

    Federal Reserve policymakers are puzzled by the slow pace of price and wage increases, which they have attributed to temporary factors such as lower priced cell phone plans.

    Changes in future months will be hard to interpret because of the impact of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

    But several members now expect it to take longer than previously forecast to hit the Fed's 2% target rate for inflation, according to minutes released on Wednesday.

    Many expect the Fed to raise interest rates one more time before the end of the year.

    But the minutes showed that several said they want to have more confidence that inflation is picking up before taking further action. A few said they thought further increases should be deferred until higher inflation is confirmed.

    "All agreed that they would closely monitor and assess incoming data before making any further adjustment to the federal funds rate," the minutes said.

  9. Watch: 'Superyacht' hotel opens

    A new £25m luxury hotel built to resemble a superyacht has opened in Southampton.

    It is hoped the 85-bedroom Harbour Hotel on the waterfront at Ocean Village will gain a five-star rating.

    Video content

    Video caption: A new £25m hotel has opened at Southampton's Ocean Village
  10. Trump's threat to NBC

    President Donald Trump

    US President Donald Trump has raised the prospect of challenging media licences for NBC News and other news networks after unfavourable reports.

    He took aim at NBC, which made him a star on The Apprentice, after it reported he wanted to boost America's nuclear arsenal almost tenfold.

    Mr Trump labelled the report "fake news" and "pure fiction".

    NBC also angered the White House last week when it said the secretary of state had called Mr Trump "a moron". Read more here

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  11. How the Chancellor is preparing for a 'no deal' Brexit

    Video content

    Video caption: Money to be spent on 'no deal' Brexit at 'very last moment'
  12. More metres for your money?

    Map showing average price per square metre in England and Wales

    Blaenau Gwent homes are on average the cheapest per square metre in England and Wales, new figures have shown.

    Homes in the south Wales county were worth £777 per sq m in 2016, versus £19,439 in the most expensive council area, Kensington and Chelsea.

    The Office for National Statistics figures showed the average home in Wales was worth £1,408 per sq m, compared to £2,463 in England.

    The most expensive place to buy in Wales was in Cardiff. Read the full story here

  13. Centrica 'welcomes' Ofgem's tariff plans

    Hand on knob of an oven

    More from Centrica on its response to Ofgem's report (see post at 3:12pm).

    Ofgem said it would have to wait for new legislation before it could take action on Standard Variable Tariffs - the sometimes expensive price plans that have led to the most anger over energy bills.

    In its statement Centrica said with more than 50 energy suppliers in the UK there was "intense competition in the market".

    However it added: "We agree more can be done to improve the functioning of the market, particularly regarding default tariffs and the nature of the Standard Variable Tariff.

    "We therefore welcome Ofgem's intention to change the default mechanism at the end of fixed contracts, and to permit different default tariffs other than the Standard Variable Tariff.

  14. Facebook fault hits users

    Facebook logo

    Trending on Twitter #facebookdown.

    Thousands of people are reporting on social media that they can't access their Facebook or Instagram accounts.

    A Facebook spokesperson told the BBC: “We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing Facebook and Instagram. We’re working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”

  15. Monarch owner 'expects PPF to be paid in full'

    Ian Pollock

    Business reporter

    Greybull Capital, which has owned Monarch for the past three years, has put a more optimistic gloss on its indebtedness to the Pension Protection Fund.

    The owners of Monarch say that if the administrators of the insolvent airline can sell its valuable landing slots at airports for enough money then there should be enough available to pay the PPF the £7.5m it is owed.

    In a statement Greybull said: “The administrators are working to maximise the proceeds from the sale of assets. If the recovery on assets is as speculated on in the press, we expect the PPF loan note to be paid in full.”

  16. PPF 'owed £7.5m' from Monarch

    Ian Pollock

    Business reporter

    Sign at airport saying Monarch was ceasing to trade

    The Pension Protection Fund has confirmed that it is owed £7.5m from the now-collapsed Monarch airline.

    When the airline was sold for £1 back in 2014, the PPF agreed to take on the Monarch pension scheme and has been fully responsible for paying the pensioners since last year.

    At the time, Monarch agreed, among other things, to pay £7.5m to the PPF in three annual instalments – £2.5m this year, in 2018 and in 2019.

    That money may not now be paid, and the PPF has become a secured creditor joining the queue at the airline’s administrators KPMG.

    The PPF expects eventually to receive just a few pence in the pound.

    But the loss of the £7.5m would be small beer.

    The assets which support all the pension scheme members it has rescued over the years – including those of Monarch – stand at more than £30bn.

    And that PPF fund has a surplus of £6bn, bolstered each year by a levy on solvent employers, who this year will pay in a further £615m.

  17. Wall Street in positive territory

    Wall Street sign with flags behind

    Let's check in on how shares are doing in the US now - and whereas at the open the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were in negative territory, things are looking a big more positive now.

    The S&P 500 is now up at 2,552.67, that's 2 points or 0.08% higher.

    And the Nasdaq has also risen to 6,595.50, 8 points or 0.13% up.

    Meanwhile the Dow Jones has extended its gains and is now at 22,850.67, a rise of 20 points or 0.09%.

  18. Old £1 good in Aldi for further fortnight

    Old and new £1 coins

    Shoppers have been expressing their annoyance at receiving old £1 coins in change, ahead of the 15 October deadline when businesses can refuse to accept them.

    Tesco has already said it will take them for a week after the deadline.

    Now Aldi has gone even further.

    Quote Message: We’ve been ready to accept the new £1 coins since they first came into circulation in March. To make the transition as easy as possible for our customers, we will continue to accept the old £1 coins as payment across our stores until the 31st of October.
    View more on twitter
  19. Whitbread up and Mondi down at London close

    London Stock Exchange logo

    The FTSE 100 was slightly lower at the close of trade on Wednesday at 7,533.81, that's a fall of 4 points or 0.06%.

    Whitbread shares were up by 3.4% - the strongest gainers - after the company paid £35m to take full control of its Costa Coffee joint venture in China.

    The biggest decline was seen by packaging and paper products maker, Mondi, which warned on profits earlier today. Its shares finished the day 7.8% lower.

    The FTSE 250 edged up a tad to 20,167.78, that's 21 points or 0.11% higher.

    Homeware retailer Dunelm saw the the biggest rise on the mid-cap index. Its shares rose by 6.3% on Wednesday after it said like-for-like sales jumped 9.3% in the 13 weeks to 30 September.

  20. Hurricane not as bad as thought for Delta


    US airline Delta weathered the effects of Hurricane Irma to post better-than-expected earnings.

    The carrier posted $1.7bn (£1.29bn) pre-tax profits for the three months to 30 September, $182m (£138m) lower than last year.

    It was forced to cancel flights when the hurricane hit the Caribbean, Florida, Georgia and Delta’s hub in Atlanta.

    Ed Bastian, Delta’s chief executive officer, said: “We faced a number of challenges this quarter, including multiple hurricanes and an earthquake in Mexico.

    "I am proud of how Delta people responded and still delivered an outstanding performance this quarter."