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Live Reporting

Dan Macadam

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    Test card F

    That's all for this evening and this week - thanks very much for reading. Do join us on Monday when we'll be back from 06:00am.

    Here's a quick recap of the main developments today:

  2. Wall Street finishes on a high note

    The Dow Jones index ended the week up around 0.49%, or 117.68 points, to 24,329.16

    The S&P 500 closed up 0.55% to 2,651.50, a rise of 14.52 points.

    The Nasdaq also ended on a high, at 6,840.08, up 0.340% or 27.24 points for the session.

  3. Rates to rise under Powell?

    Jerome Powell

    The markets overwhelmingly expect the US Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a meeting next week.

    And one analyst says the next hike is likely to come when Jerome Powell takes over from Janet Yellen as chair of the central bank early next year.

    "By the time the Fed meets in March, we expect to see sub-4% unemployment, accompanied by a clear uptick in wages and no softening in the payroll trend," says Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

    "We think Mr. Powell's first meeting will bring a rate hike."

    Mr Powell, a multi-millionaire lawyer-turned-investment banker, still needs official approval from Congresss, although he took a step closer this week when he was backed by a Senate banking committee.

  4. Bitcoin steadies after rollercoaster ride

    Bitcoin price

    The chart above shows the wild day of trading for Bitcoin - in which it's crossed $17,000 but also dropped $3,000 in a matter of hours.

    Since then the digital currency has steadied a bit, and is now hovering at around $15,000.

    Bitcoin - which many see as a speculative investment rather than a currency - went through a similar hairy ride last night, as warnings of a bubble continue to mount.

  5. 'Kicking the can down the road'

    Union Jack umbrella

    What are analysts saying about sterling falling back to levels seen before the Brexit breakthrough?

    "There's a sense here that we're just moving on to the next issue. Have we really done anything more than kicking the can down the road a little bit?" said Societe Generale macro strategist Kit Juckes.

    But it's also "just a December Friday - no one's going to go in and buy lots of pounds. We've had a decent run and nobody wants to enter the weekend with a lot of risk on the table".

    RBC strategists said Brexit negotiations aside, the economy remained in a fragile state.

    Figures from the ONS this morning showed construction output unexpectedly fell by 1.7% in October, although manufacturing performed better, rising by 0.1%.

  6. US economy gets better and better?

    The all-new 2018 Ford Expedition SUV goes through the assembly line at the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant October 27, 2017 in Louisville, Kentucky

    Analysts at Fitch Ratings offer a rosy picture of the US economy in the new year.

    In a report published Friday, Fitch says it expects US economic growth to accelerate to 2.5% next year, after "outperforming expectations" in 2017.

    "Consumption is growing steadily, supported by improving labour markets, and global trade conditions have been supportive." a report published Friday said.

    It says a package of tax cuts promised by Republicans will provide a boost - and add to the debt.

    But that's not likely to knock the US from its position as the most highly indebted nation with its top AAA rating, given demand for the dollar, Fitch adds.

    "it would take a significant shock to affect the US rating," the report says.

  7. Watch: Beware Christmas knock-offs

    Video content

    Video caption: Millions of pounds of fake goods seized ahead of Christmas
  8. Oil rallies

    Oil pumpjack

    Oil prices are up by more than 1% on Friday after sliding backwards for most of the week.

    Brent crude is nearly a cent higher at $63.10 a barrel on the back of rising Chinese crude demand and threats of a strike in Nigeria, Africa's largest oil exporter.

    But prices are still on track for weekly losses amid concerns that rising US production could undermine the supply cuts masterminded by oil cartel Opec.

  9. Sterling slides further


    The pound has now fallen back below €1.14 and $1.34 - the levels it was at before last night's breakthrough in the Brexit talks.

    Analysts said the pound remains volatile as traders try to weigh up the potential pitfalls in the next round of negotiations.

    Sterling is down 0.6% against the dollar at $1.33950, and has fallen 0.5% against the euro to €1.13910.

  10. Brexit deal: How the night unfolded

    Jean Claude Juncker receives Theresa May

    A dramatic dawn breakthrough saw the prime minister secure a last minute deal to move Brexit talks onto the next phase.

    Reports overnight - and then the confirmation this morning - saw the pound rise against the dollar and hit a six-month high against the euro, before easing back this afternoon.

    A night of telephone diplomacy finished with Theresa May and David Davis heading to Brussels, where they had this breakfast meeting with Jean Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier.

    You can read the full story of what happened here.

  11. This week's FTSE winners

    Costa coffee

    It's been a tricky week for the FTSE 100 index, as it slumped to a 10-week low on Thursday before an impressive rebound on Friday meant it finished the week just below 7,400 points.

    Here were the companies which gained the most this week:

    1. Whitbread +12.4% The owner of Costa Coffee and Premier Inn hotels saw its shares surge after an activist investor took a stake in the business. Recent reports suggested Whitbread could face pressure to unlock more value from the company by spinning off Costa into a separate business.
    2. Berkekley Group +7.7% The house builder jumped up the leaderboard after reporting a 36% rise in pre-tax profits and upgraded its long-term forecast.
    3. Mediclinic International +7.12% The South African hospital operator appointed a new chief executive last week - its chief clinical officer, Carel Aron van der Merwe. It also benefited from a fall in the South African rand.
    4. Sky +6.8% The broadcaster gained on the back of reports that 21st Century Fox - which owns 39% of the business and is seeking to buy the rest - is in talks to be acquired by Disney.
    5. Ashtead Group +6% The machinery hire firm was upgraded by analysts from Numis, RBC and Deutsche Bank ahead of its half-year results next Tuesday.
  12. Who bought the $450m Da Vinci?

    Video content

    Video caption: Leonardo da Vinci artwork sells for record $450m

    It was one of the mysteries in a story that was already like a blockbuster novel.

    The buyer of the Salvator Mundi painting, which sold for a record $450m last month, has now been revealed.

    Abu Dhabi has confirmed it bought the world's most expensive artwork for the state's new Louvre gallery.

    The Louvre Abu Dhabi museum - which opened earlier this month and cost an estimated £1bn to build - said it was looking forward to "displaying the painting".

    The 500-year-old artwork of Christ is believed to be the work of Leonardo da Vinci.

    In 1958 it was sold at auction in London for a mere £45.

    At the time it was generally reckoned to be the work of a follower of Leonardo, but most scholars now believe it was by the Renaissance master himself.

  13. FTSE gains from pound pain

    Union jack and UK coins

    The UK's 100 share index put on a spurt in afternoon trading to finish 1% higher at 7,393.96 points.

    The FTSE 100 hit a 10-week low yesterday on the back of gains in the pound.

    Today it was the opposite story, with falls in sterling giving the index a boost.

    Many of the firms on the FTSE 100 make their profits abroad. When sterling falls, those overseas earnings are worth more when converted back into pounds.

    "The early positive momentum in sterling ran out of steam and then the pound turned negative – which propped up the FTSE 100," said David Madden of CMC Markets.

  14. Apple fixes smart home flaw


    It's not what you want really if you have a "smart home".

    A bug in the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system could have let criminals unlock internet-connected doors or control their lights.

    The tech giant says it has now fixed the security flaw in its HomeKit system that could have let unauthorised people control smart home gadgets.

    It has disabled remote HomeKit access for shared users, as a temporary solution to the problem.

    Read more from the BBC tech team here.

  15. Check-in?

    London skyline

    There's another twist in the ongoing battle for control of UK hotel chain, Millennium & Copthorne Hotels.

    Singaporean billionaire Kwek Leng Beng's investment vehicle has upped its offer for the company - which has seven hotels in London, including the Millennium at Chelsea FC's Stamford Bridge stadium.

    Millennium & Copthorne has agreed to the improved offer, which values it at about £2bn.

    And investors seem to like the deal. The FTSE 250 company's shares are almost 5.5% higher in late trading in London to 612 pence - slightly less than the offer from Kwek Leng Beng's CDL Group.

    View more on twitter
    View more on twitter
  16. 'Raise UK rates to stop overheating'

    Steel making

    The UK economy grew at 0.5% in the three months to November, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), following stronger manufacturing data for October.

    Economist Amit Kara says: "If, as we expect, the economy continues to expand around this pace and inflation remains elevated, there is a case for the Bank of England to gradually raise the policy rate to stop the economy from overheating.”

  17. So, did 'soft Brexit' just win?

    Kamal Ahmed

    Economics editor

    'No hard border' billboard

    Here's an extract from Kamal's blog on today's first-round Brexit agreement. For the full article, click here.

    If Britain does become a "third country" - that is trading with the EU as other non-EU countries outside the single market and the customs union do - then border controls will be necessary.

    And that open border will become very much more closed.

    There is at least a partial way around this conundrum. And it necessitates the comprehensive free trade deal the British government has said it wants.

    And at least closely mirroring customs arrangements we presently adhere to as members of the EU's customs union.

    That equates for many with a "soft Brexit" and is the trajectory many economists argue would be best for the UK economy.

  18. Trump takes aim at Wells Fargo

    Donald Trump has got his smartphone out again (unless his lawyer has been given the password again...).

    Wells Fargo shares have shrugged it off - they're up 0.8% at $59.84 a share.

    View more on twitter