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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Wall Street rebounds
  3. FTSE closes above 7,000
  4. Twitter jumps 15% after results
  5. WPP shares plunge
  6. Debenhams confirms 50 stores to close
  7. Lloyds Bank profits beat hopes
  8. European interest rates kept on hold

Live Reporting

By Jill Treanor

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night!

    That's all we have time for today on Business Live - thanks for reading as always.

    We are back bright and early tomorrow at 6am so do join us then.

  2. Amazon disappoints

    Natalie Sherman

    New York business reporter, BBC News

    Amazon worker

    A disappointing sales forecast for the Christmas season sent Amazon shares down more than 5% in after-hours trading in New York.

    The online giant said it expected year-on-year sales growth of 10% to 20% for the three months to 31 December.

    That would be a marked slowdown from the 29% jump in sales for the most recent quarter to $56.6bn.

    Amazon also made record profits of $2.9bn in the period, compared with $256m last year.

  3. Tariffs hit Whirlpool

    mixers

    Whirlpool, which makes appliances under brands such as KitchenAid, expects to incur about $300m of costs from higher raw materials prices and tariffs.

    It has been able to raise prices, however, and its shares jumped close to 7% in New York on Thursday.

    They have sunk more than a third year so far.

  4. Wall Street rebounds

    US flag

    Shares on Wall Street have closed higher, rebounding after a bruising trading session yesterday.

    Strong corporate results, including from tech firms Microsoft and Twitter, helped bolster the US exchanges.

    The Dow Jones ended 1.6% higher, the S&P 500 added almost 1.9% and the Nasdaq climbed more than 3%.

    The gains followed steadier trading earlier on European markets, which calmed investors after declines in Asia.

    London's FTSE 100 closed 0.6% higher, while the broader FTSE 250 added 0.7%.

  5. Southwest slides

    southwest airlines

    Southwest Airlines shares are down almost 10% in New York after rising costs at the airline spooked investors.

    The shares (whose ticker is LUV - awww) fell even though net profit reached a record $615m in the third quarter.

    Operating revenue also hit a record $5.6bn.

  6. Slowly does it

    Chart

    The gender pay gap has fallen to its lowest level yet, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has reported.

    In the year to April 2018, the gap for full-time workers was 8.6% - down from 9.1% in the previous year.

    In other words, the average female employee now earns 8.6% less than the average man.

    However, campaigners said the rate of improvement was too slow and was a missed opportunity for the economy.

    There's more here.

  7. Twitter boosted by sport

    Wayne Rooney playing football

    There's more here on Twitter's results which were boosted by coverage of major football and baseball games in the US.

    The social network said revenue jumped 29% to $758m in the period, beating analyst estimates.

    But its total number of users declined as it closed "spammy and suspicious" accounts, and it forecast further falls.

    Twitter streamed Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer games, as well as concerts in partnership with Live Nation.

    Wayne Rooney, above, plays for Major League Soccer team DC United.

  8. Banks build Brexit buffers

    Sam Woods

    Sam Woods, deputy governor of the Bank of England, has been speaking in London. He has touched on Brexit.

    "Just in case things go badly we have been working with firms to ensure they have in place liquidity sufficient to accommodate a severe dislocation in financial markets...We all need to be ready for a range of outcomes".

  9. Dow 450 points up

    Market update.

    The Dow Jones index is up 450 points at 25,034.09.

    Twitter's shares are holding on to their 15% rise.

    Amazon, due to report it results later, is up 6%.

    It is part of the FANG index which is up 5%.

    The pound is down around 0.5% at $1.2817.

  10. Over to the ECB...

    More on Italian banks.

    According to Italy's European Affairs Minister Paolo Savona the country's banks could be in a difficult situation if the spread between Italian and German bond yields rises.

    He said it would be up to the European Central Bank to step in.

    "If the responsibility of the banking system goes through the EU then it should be up to the ECB to indicate solutions to those problems ... and hence intervene should there be a crisis in the banking sector,"

  11. Czech billionaire buys into Le Monde

    Matthieu Pigasse and Daniel Kretinsky
    Image caption: Matthieu Pigasse (left) and Daniel Kretinsky

    A Czech businessman who made his fortune in the energy sector has bought a stake in Le Monde, France's most revered newspaper.

    Daniel Kretinsky, a 43-year-old billionaire, also owns the Central European energy group EPH as well as the publisher of the Czech tabloid Blesk and the AC Sparta Prague football club.

    He bought a 49% stake in a holding company owned by Matthieu Pigasse, who runs the French operations of investment bank Lazard, in a deal whose terms were not made public.

    That gives him an undisclosed minority holding in Le Monde, which was set up after the liberation of Paris in the Second World War.

    The influential afternoon paper had been making losses when Mr Pigasse and two partners took control in 2010 but returned to profitability last year.

  12. Statement from Sir Philip Green

    “I am not commenting on anything that has happened in court or was said in Parliament today.

    "To the extent that it is suggested that I have been guilty of unlawful sexual or racist behaviour, I categorically and wholly deny these allegations.

    “Arcadia and I take accusations and grievances from employees very seriously and in the event that one is raised, it is thoroughly investigated.

    “Arcadia employs more than 20,000 people and in common with many large businesses sometimes receives formal complaints from employees. In some cases these are settled with the agreement of all parties and their legal advisers. These settlements are confidential so I cannot comment further on them.”

  13. Second hack attack on BA website

    plane

    Read more on the BA hack, in which more than 185,000 people may have had payment card details stolen.

    BA only discovered the breach while investigating a breach of its website in September, which affected 380,000 transactions.

    BA owner IAG said both attacks seemed to have been carried out by the same group or gang.

  14. KKR hungry

    Flora

    Private equity company KKR - which bought Flora and ProActive from Unilever last year - could be getting ready to do more deals.

    That's according to Scott Nuttall, the co-chief operating officer.

    He has been speaking to investors after KKR reported its results, showing it has $60bn to invest.

    "Our teams have been waiting for a valuation adjustment to make some assets that they really like more attractive," he said.

    "The presiding emotion here is excitement that valuations have started maybe in the US to come down a bit".

  15. 'Drastic action' retailing threat

    Debenhams store

    Back to the news earlier in the day about the problems facing Debenhams.

    Begbies Traynor has found that the number of retailers in distress in the past year has increased from 29,727 companies to 30,123.

    "If this number continues to creep up, we could be seeing more companies taking drastic action to save their brands," said Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor.

    "A small amount of shops to shut was expected, but evidently, the new owners have stamped their authority on the troubled retailer already and made more drastic cuts than expected.

    "The losses of £500m are large, and in response it has decided it needs to strip back to the bare bones of the organisation if it is to grow life once again. Only time will tell whether this approach will work, but it appears to be that this is one of the few options it has to survive."

  16. US rebounds

    And a quick update on the US markets - which tumbled yesterday, eroding the year's gains.

    The Dow Jones index is now up 330 points at 24,913.60.

    The S&P is also higher, up 44 points at 2,700.54 - that's 1.7%.

    Twitter's performance is boosting confidence.

    Amazon and Alphabet, owner of Google, report later.

  17. FTSE closes above 7,000

    pound dollar

    The FTSE 100 has managed to close above 7,000 - only just.

    It has ended at 7,004.10, up 41.12 points, or 0.6%.

    But, a 13% fall in the shares of WPP and the weaker pound meant that the FTSE 100 did not rise as much as other stock markets in Europe.

    In Germany the Dax ended 1% higher at 11,307.12 and in France the CAC was 1.6% higher at 5,032.30.

  18. Pounded down

    chart

    The pound is down almost 0.5% against the dollar on continued political and Brexit uncertainty.

  19. Sir Philip Green's new battle

    Simon Jack

    BBC Business Editor

    Sir Philip Green built a fortune from a retail empire that included Topshop, BHS, Burton and Miss Selfridge. It was a fortune he didn't mind flaunting - inviting a few hundred of the world's most famous people - like Elton John, the Clintons, Liz Hurley and Kate Moss to celebrate lavish 50th and 60th birthdays.

    He portrayed himself as a rags-to riches businessman and his reputation as a great deal maker was further endorsed in 2010 when David Cameron asked him to review whether government procurement departments could get better value for money.

    The collapse of BHS saw his crown not just slide but hit the floor with a clang.

    He sold the business to a three time bankrupt Dominic Chappell - going so far as helping to finance him in order to offload the business and its massive pension scheme hole.

    BHS collapsed soon after leaving 12,000 people without a job and 20,000 people facing reduced pensions. During a series of testy encounters with MPs, throughout which he showed his famously volatile temper, he promised to "sort" the pension fund - which he eventually did - writing a check for £363 million. He hoped his reputation could be repaired following that payment.

    Today's allegations mean he has a new - and possibly bigger - battle to fight.