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Live Reporting

Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's all for tonight from the Live page.

    Please join us again tomorrow from 06:00 for all the latest news, views and analysis from the world of business.

  2. US economy under Trump: Best in history?

    President Trump

    Is the US economy under President Trump the best it has ever been?

  3. Deal or no deal - how are EU countries preparing?

    Brexit no deal illustration

    The French parliament is debating preparedness for a no-deal Brexit - what are other countries doing?

  4. Wall Street inches higher

    Wall Street trader

    US stocks closed higher, as strong earnings and the easing of trade tensions helped lift the market, but trading volumes were light as uncertainty about the outcome of US mid-term elections kept investors on the sidelines.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 25,638.47, a rise of 176.77 points or 0.69%.

    The S&P 500 was up 10.81 points or 0.39% at 2,749.12.

    And the Nasdaq Composite rose to 7,375.96, gaining 47.11 points or 0.64%.

  5. Exit fees scrapped by Interactive Investor

    Fees on wooden blocks

    DIY investor platform Interactive Investor has scrapped exit fees.

    The move comes ahead of a decision by the UK financial regulator over a proposed ban on the charges.

    Richard Wilson, chief executive, said: "We have made our position clear with the Financial Conduct Authority, during its recent Platform Review, that while competition should be free it should also be fair, and the only effective solution to remedy today’s shoddy practices is to ban exit fees altogether."

  6. Former Keydata execs lose fines battle

    Keydata screen grab

    The former head of now defunct investment products company Keydata has lost a battle against the British markets regulator over a record fine and a ban from performing any role in regulated financial services.

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that acourt had upheld its decision to fine and ban Stewart Ford and Mark Owen, the former chief executive and sales director respectively of Keydata Investment Services.

    The Tribunal directed the FCA to fine Mr Ford a record £76m and Mr Owen £3.24m after Keydata sold complex structured products backed by life settlements based on misleading brochures and without properly assessing whether the products could meet their promises, the FCA said.

  7. Qatar 'agrees to buy Grosvenor House hotel'

    Grosvenor House

    Qatar has agreed to buy London hotel the Grosvenor House as energy revenue enables the wealthy Gulf state to go on a buying spree despite a blockade by its neighbours, Reuters reports.

    The acquisition of Grosvenor House - located on Park Lane in Mayfair - was agreed on Tuesday with the vendor, private US real estate investment firm Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp, the news agency said.

    The price was not disclosed.

  8. Rory scoots about

    Video content

    Video caption: Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones gets on his bike. Well, scooter actually.

    The Californian electric scooter business Bird is launching a pilot service on London's Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

    It is illegal to ride powered scooters on public roads or pavements in the UK but Bird hopes to get the law changed within 12 months.

    The company, which operates in around 40 American cities, believes that its pilot scheme - on private land - will demonstrate the usefulness of this hop on, hop off form of transport and its environmental benefits.

    The scooters are unlocked with an app, and will only be available between 7am and 9pm.

    More here.

  9. Michelin workers' shock at factory closure

    Michelin factory

    Dundee Michelin factory workers have spoken of their shock after the company announced its intention to close the plant, with the loss of all 845 jobs.

    The tyre factory will close by mid-2020 after the French firm deemed it "unsuitable" in the current climate.

    Scotland's economy secretary Derek Mackay said he will convene an action group to "explore all options to secure a sustainable future for the site."

    Workers were sent home until Thursday following a meeting at the factory.

    Read more here.

  10. Barnier: No Brexit deal without Irish backstop

    Michel Barnier

    The European Union will not conclude an exit agreement with Britain and or give London a transition period after Brexit without a deal that prevents a "hard" border in Ireland, the bloc's main negotiator has said.

    Michel Barnier said he would seek to agree the whole 100% of a draft Brexit accord with London. "We are still not at the 100%," Mr Barnier said. "What is missing is a solution for the issue of Ireland."

    "Without an operational backstop there will not be an accord and there will not be a transition period. That is certain."

  11. Disney gains EU approval for Fox deal

    Mickey Mouse on a building

    Disney's $71.3bn (£55bn) offer to buy Twenty-First Century Fox's entertainment assets has won approval from the European Commission, subject to Disney selling interests in factual TV channels in Europe.

    The EU competition regulator said that Disney had committed to divest its interests in channels including History and Lifetime in the European Economic Area (EEA) to avoid harming competition after its purchase from Fox.

    "The decision is conditional on full compliance with commitments offered by Disney," the Commission said.

    The channels it must end its interest in are A+E Television Networks, History, H2, Crime & Investigation, Blaze and Lifetime channels - currently owned by A+E Television Networks, a joint venture between Disney and Hearst.

    Disney secured approval from the US Justice Department for the deal in June on the condition it sells Fox's 22 regional sports networks.

  12. Dundee Michelin factory closure 'hugely disappointing'


    The boss of the Michelin Tyre Factory in Dundee has been talking about why it's been earmarked for closure over the next two years.

    The site, which opened in 1971, employs more than eight hundred workers.

    John Reid, who manages the factory, blamed demand for larger tyres and competition from Asia.

    He said the decision had to be taken despite the millions of pounds which had been invested there.

    "It's hugely disappointing for all of us that all the hard work we've put in over the years, supported by the Scottish Government, Scottish enterprise and the workforce, we've come to this point.

    "We have supported an investment programme which was about building our capacity in sixteen inch and below, however, as I said earlier on, that market has fundamentally changed, that change has taken place very quickly, really within the last three years, so at the time when we built this project and signed off on those investments, the context was completely different.

    "The business case is very difficult, I've looked at the business case, it's going to be difficult for anyone to find a way through this in terms of continuing to manufacture tyres in Dundee. The scale of the problem is just so big."

  13. Dollar slips

    Dollar bills

    The dollar has slipped as US voters go to the polls.

    Investors are focused on whether congressional elections could make a difference to the dollar's upward momentum.

    The Democratic Party may win control of the US House of Representatives, and the Republicans may retain their Senate majority.

    A Democratic win in one or both chambers is likely to be seen as a repudiation of President Donald Trump and his policies, some of which are viewed favourably by the markets.

    The dollar is down about 0.30% against the pound at £0.7644. The pound has benefited from more investors betting the UK will get a Brexit deal.

  14. FTSE 100 closes down as sterling gains

    London Stock Exchange

    The FTSE 100 has closed down after gains in sterling and mixed earnings reports.

    Sterling rose after hopes that a Brexit deal could be brokered, up about 0.30% against the dollar at $1.3082.

    The FTSE 100 closed down 0.89% at 7,041 points.

  15. EU 'could impose Italy sanctions'

    Pierre Moscovici

    The European Commission could impose sanctions on Italy as a last resort if they cannot reach an agreement over Rome's rule-breaking budget, but Brussels wants to avoid that option, the EU's economics commissioner has said.

    Last month, the Commission rejected Italy's budget, saying it was in blatant breach of European Union fiscal rules and could further increase the country's pile of public debt.

    "I was never in favour of sanctions. Sanctions are always a failure," Pierre Moscovici told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of EU finance ministers.

    But when asked about Italy, the eurozone's third biggest economy, he added: "I want a dialogue, but sanctions can be finally applied if we cannot reach an agreement."

  16. EU digital tax plan flounders as states ready national moves

    Tech firm logos

    A European Union plan to tax big internet firms like Google and Facebook on their turnover is on the verge of collapsing after several EU governments rejected it and announced national initiatives instead.

    Under a proposal from the EU's executive Commission in March, EU states would charge a 3% levy on the digital revenues of large firms that are accused of funnelling their profits to the bloc's low-tax states.

    The plan is aimed at changing tax rules that have let some of the world's biggest companies pay unusually low rates of corporate tax on their earnings.

    But it requires the support of all 28 EU states and is opposed by a number of them, including small, low-tax countries like Ireland that have benefited by allowing multinationals to book profits there on digital sales to customers elsewhere.