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Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    Test card image

    That's it for Thursday's Business Live - thank you for staying with us.

    We'll be back again at 06:00 tomorrow, so do join us again if you can to get all the news, views and analysis from the world of business, money and economics.

  2. VisitScotland to shut 39 tourist offices

    Portree's tourist information centre
    Image caption: Portree's visitor centre will be extended

    Nearly two-thirds of Scotland's tourist information centres are to close as part of "radical" plans to change the service.

    VisitScotland said 39 of its 65 centres would shut over the next two years, leaving 26 "high-impact regional hubs".

    Explaining the decision, VisitScotland said there had been a 58% drop in the number of tourists visiting their information centres over the past 10 years. Two out of three visitors to Scotland now get their information online, so they would be investing £10m in digital activity and the new regional hubs.

    Staff affected by the centre closures are to be offered redundancy packages or the chance of redeployment.

    The centre at Portree on Skye is one which will be extended into a regional hub.

    The centres and Edinburgh and Glasgow Airports will be among those due to close.

    Read more here including which centres will close and where the new hubs will be located.

  3. Bank woes drag down Wall Street

    What a difference a day makes.

    On Wednesday, all three key US share indexes hit record highs.

    On Thursday, they all closed lower, following lacklustre quarterly results from JP Morgan and Citigroup.

    The two banks beat profit and revenue estimates, but reported a fall in trading revenue. JP Morgan shares were down by 0.88%, while Citigroup lost 3.43%.

    The Dow Jones closed down 0.14% at 22,841.01, while the broader S&P 500 fell 0.17% to 2,550.93. The tech-heavy Nasdaq shed 0.18% to close at 6,591.51.

  4. Trump: Puerto Rico aid can't continue' forever'

    Damaged roads in Puerto Rico

    US President Donald Trump has griped about emergency relief efforts in hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, saying federal aid cannot continue "forever".

    In tweets, he accused Puerto Rico of a "total lack of accountability", adding that "electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes".

    The island, whose 3.4 million residents are US citizens, is 90% without power, some three weeks after Hurricane Maria.

    Congress is weighing a multi-billion dollar aid package for the territory.

    Lawmakers are expected to approve $36.5bn (£28bn) in emergency storm relief for Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and the US Virgin Islands, as well as wildfire-ravaged California.

    In Thursday's tweets, the US president noted it was up to "Congress to decide how much to spend".

    But he added: "We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!" Read more here

  5. Rare Rolex fetches £230,000

    Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Wristwatch in box

    A Rolex watch which was once rescued from a cement mixer has sold for £230,000 at auction.

    Auctioneers said the watch, which was originally purchased in 1965, was one of the "great rarities".

    Lockdales Auctioneers said bidders had flown over from Italy, the USA and the Netherlands to take part in Wednesday's sale at Martlesham Heath, Suffolk.

    Its estimated value was £8,000. The auctioneers said the market for vintage watches "seems to be very hot". Read full story here

  6. Sausage factory

    View more on twitter

    Who knew: Germany has around 1,200 different types of sausage - just one of the fascinating facts BBC Radio 4 has dug up.

    Frankfurters, Bratwurst, Munich Weisswurst and hundreds more. Germany’s varieties of sausage far outnumber the many kinds of French cheese.

    Current estimates suggest that France can now offer around 400 cheeses. This is still outnumbered three to one by German sausages. Read more here

  7. Goldman buys 'flipping' lender

    Natalie Sherman

    New York business reporter

    Goldman Sachs

    Home-flippers looking for cash to fuel their businesses have a new bank: Goldman Sachs.

    The Wall Street Journal reports that Goldman has purchased Los Angeles-based Genesis Capital, which provides short-term loans to investors that buy, renovate and quickly resell distressed, single-family homes.

    Such rehabbers have relied heavily on private, non-bank lenders since the financial crisis, as banks shied away from risky investments.

    Goldman has been working to build up new revenue streams, as traditional money-makers such as bond trading face challenges. The firm also started an online bank for consumers.

    Other major Wall Street firms, including affiliates of Blackstone Group and Fortress Investment, have made similar moves. Alternative asset manager Oaktree Capital Management previously invested money in Genesis.

    Wall Street's interest in rehabbers comes as a new paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research argues that real estate investors were largely responsible for the rise in mortgage defaults in the US during the run-up to the financial crisis.

  8. Scottish Widows buys Zurich business

    Edinburgh-based Scottish Widows is to take over the UK pensions and savings division built up by Zurich.

    The long-rumoured deal was announced on Thursday by Scottish Widows' parent company Lloyds Banking Group.

    It adds £15bn of assets under management to the £124bn already under management from the Edinburgh office. It also adds 500,000 customers.

    Two hundred Zurich employees in Cheltenham are expected to transfer to Lloyds.

    Zurich sign
  9. Treasury Secretary 'applauds' Trump over Obamacare

    Quote Message: I applaud the President for taking this important step to relieve the American people of the burdens of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This executive order will empower individuals and small businesses to improve their healthcare coverage, and unleash the power of the free market to increase accessibility, affordability, and options. By reducing the regulatory barriers that limit choice and competition, we will make sure that Americans have access to the healthcare coverage they deserve. from Steve Mnuchin US Treasury Secretary
    Steve MnuchinUS Treasury Secretary
  10. Trump signs order to weaken Obamacare

    President Trump signing order

    US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order allowing the sale of health insurance plans that are exempt from some Obamacare regulations.

    The order directs federal agencies to consider easing rules allowing small businesses and some individuals to buy cheaper plans with fewer benefits.

    Consumers could also buy short-term policies that would skirt protections in place for pre-existing conditions.

    The order comes after Congress has repeatedly failed to repeal the law.

    Mr Trump said the White House was "starting the process" of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, in announcing the executive order at a news conference on Thursday.

    Read more here

  11. Facebook 'fully committed' providing details of ads

    Sheryl Sandberg

    Let's get a bit more detail on Facebook boss Sheryl Sandbeg's comments about ads bought in Russia during the US election (see post at 2:38pm).

    On 11 October, Ms Sandberg and others from Facebook appeared before US congressional panels looking into reports of Russian interference in the election.

    Today she told the news site Axios that Facebook was "fully committed" to providing detailed information about the ads.

    The ads, pages they linked to and who they were targeted at have been given to investigators, said Ms Sandberg.

    The ads and the fake accounts used to get them on Facebook had been found and removed, she said.

    However, she added, if the ads had been placed by real accounts, Facebook would not have removed them.

    Read the full story from our technology team here

  12. Swiss investigate former FIFA boss again

    BBC World Service

    Jerome Valcke

    Prosecutors in Switzerland say they've opened a second criminal investigation into the former Secretary General of football's world governing body, FIFA, reports BBC World Service.

    They're investigating Jerome Valcke on suspicion of receiving what they call undue advantages from two businessmen over the awarding of media rights for forthcoming World Cups.

    One of the men has been named as the Qatari, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, who's the chairman of Paris St-Germain football club. Mr Valcke is the subject of another Swiss investigation that began last year. He denies wrongdoing.

    Mr Khelaifi has yet to respond to the allegations.

  13. Equifax sit faces another attack

    Natalie Sherman

    New York business reporter

    Equifax logo with padlock and credit cards

    Equifax has taken down a customer help web page amid reports of another attack on the credit reporting giant.

    The firm said it took down the link for credit report assistance temporarily "out of an abundance of caution".

    It said its IT and security teams are investigating the incident. Equifax is still reeling from its discovery of a breach that compromised personal data of more than 145.5 million Americans and about 8,000 Canadians.

    Equifax has also said a file containing names and birthdates of 15.2m people in the UK were accessed.

    The new attack involved a webpage that asked visitors to download fraudulent Adobe Flash updates, according to Ars Technica.

    The issue was first publicly identified by an independent security analyst. "We are aware of the situation identified on the website in the credit report assistance link," spokesman Wyatt Jefferies wrote. "When it becomes available or we have more information to share, we will."

  14. Pound jumps against the euro

    pound euro graphic intraday Thursday 12 October 2017

    The pound also jumped against the euro following the reports in the German newspaper Handelsblatt that the EU could offer the UK a transitional Brexit deal (see previous post).

    A short while ago the pound was at 1.1193 euros.

  15. Pound hits eight-week high against dollar

    Pound dollar graphic intraday Thursday 12 October

    Sterling jumped by more than a cent to reach an eight-day high against the dollar on Thursday.

    Reports said it was buoyed by a report in Germany's Handelsblatt newspaper that the European Union could offer Britain a two-year transitional Brexit deal.

    Earlier the pound had fallen sharply after the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said negotiations about the UK's divorce payment had become deadlocked.

    The pound subsequently went down to $1.3122, but after the Handelsblatt report it rebounded to reach $1.3267, a rise of 0.3%.

  16. Starmer: Brexit deadlock a 'serious failure'

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    Video content

    Video caption: Shadow Brexit Secretary says deadlock in EU talks means UK will miss Brexit of March 2019

    The shadow Brexit secretary has said that the deadlock in the talks with the European Union over the UK's withdrawal is "a serious failure to hit a very important deadline."

    Sir Keir was talking as the European Union's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier confirmed insufficient progress had been made for discussions on a future trade deal to begin. The Brexit secretary, David Davis, insisted considerable headway had been made.

    Sir Keir told Radio 4's World at One that "it's blindingly obvious that we're not going to reach a full agreement by March 2019 and unless there's a transitional arrangement in place soon, then companies are making plans about what they will do in the event of a no deal". He added "a no deal is very bad for Britain and for the EU".

  17. Ryanair recruits pilots

    Last month Ryanair announced it was cancelling thousands of flights blaming a mix-up over pilots' holiday rotas.

    At the time past and present Ryanair pilots blamed a lack of pilots.

    Ryanair boss Micheal O'Leary insisted there was no shortage.

    Nevertheless, the airline is tweeting about how well its pilot recruitment is going.

    View more on twitter
  18. FTSE's 'winning streak' continues

    FTSE 100 close graphic Thursday 12 October 2017

    More on the FTSE 100's record high close ... The index often benefits from a fall in sterling, as a weaker currency increases the value of companies' overseas earnings when they are brought back to the UK and converted back into pounds.

    "The UK stock market continues its winning streak despite concerns over economic performance and the unfolding Brexit process," said Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

    "The question is whether the market's strong run means it's fit to burst."

    He added that it was "vital to recognise that the level of the Footsie is not a measure of value in UK stocks, seeing as it doesn't take account of the level of earnings of companies in the index.

    "Basing investment decisions on the level of the FTSE is therefore like deciding whether to buy something based on its price, without actually knowing what the item is," he added.

  19. Why is the FTSE 100 at record high?

    Analysts say the FTSE 100's record high is mainly to the fall in the pound.

    Quote Message: The bullish move was achieved for the wrong reasons, as the dip in the pound on the back of the stalled Brexit talks helped the British index. from David Madden Market analyst, CMC Markets UK
    David MaddenMarket analyst, CMC Markets UK