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  1. FTSE 100 slips almost 1.5%
  2. HS2 boss resigns
  3. Travel firm Stagecoach to sell US division
  4. HS2 'expected to go over budget'
  5. Doubts continue over details of US-China trade truce
  6. Ryanair faces legal action over compensation
  7. Get in touch:

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Many US markets remained closed on Wednesday on the occasion of the state funeral of former President George HW Bush.

    With no figures from New York to bring you, Business Live is shutting up shop early.

    Thanks for tuning in. We'll be back at 6am sharp tomorrow, hope to see you then.

  2. Booming car market hitting the environment


    A booming global market for cars has helped drive CO2 emissions to an all-time high in 2018, say researchers.

    The main factor in the near 3% rise has been coal use in China, driven by government efforts to boost a flagging economy.

    But emissions from cars, truck and planes using fossil fuels continue to rise in all parts of the world

    Renewables have also grown this year, but are not keeping pace with the CO2 rise.

    Read more

  3. Tariff-driven price increases spreading - Fed


    Tariff-driven price increases have spread more broadly through the US economy, the Federal Reserve has said in its latest report on the economy.

    “Reports of tariff-induced cost increases have spread more broadly from manufacturers and contractors to retailers and restaurants,” the Fed said.

    President Donald Trump has slapped tariffs on hundreds of Chinese imports, prompting retaliation against US exports.

    The Fed, which recently signalled it would slow down its monetary policy tightening, said the US economy more broadly appeared to be growing modestly to moderately.

    However, central bankers are watching closely for signs that a global growth slowdown and the US-China trade war could be dragging on growth.

  4. Volkswagen targeting '€6bn of cost and efficiency gains'


    Could Volkswagen be heading the way of General Motors , which recently announced plans to cut 14,000 of jobs?

    VW will seek cost and efficiency gains of almost 6bn euros in an effort to raise its margin by 2023, German newspaper Handelsblatt has reported, citing company sources.

    Around 3bn euros in cost and efficiency gains would come from better pricing of passenger cars and a push to sell higher-margin models, a source close to the company told Reuters.

    The other 3 billion euros in savings would come from reducing the complexity of the cars on offer, and a cut in administrative costs, they said.

    Whether that might involve job cuts is unclear.

  5. Court rejects fresh push for workers' rights at Deliveroo

    Deliveroo driver

    The High Court has rejected the latest attempt by a British trade union to push for workers’ rights at food courier Deliveroo.

    The Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) wants to represent riders in the north London borough of Camden, hoping to secure rights such as the minimum wage, which they are not currently entitled to, due to being classified as self-employed.

    But on Wednesday the High Court dismissed a claim for judicial review made by the IWGB, in a move welcomed by Deliveroo.

    “The Court also carefully examined the question under European law and concluded riders are self-employed,” said the company’s UK Managing Director Dan Warne.

    “This a victory for riders who have consistently told us the flexibility to choose when and where they work, which comes with self-employment, is their number-one reason for riding with Deliveroo.”

    The IWGB union said it would appeal the verdict.

  6. Oil rises ahead of Opec meeting

    Oil rig

    Oil prices have inched higher ahead of a meeting of the world's biggest exporters who will discuss cutting output to help shore up prices and curb excess supply.

    Brent crude futures rose 0.5% to $62.39 a barrel, although that's still miles off highs of more than $80 in mid October.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), Russia and other producers will meet in Vienna this week to discuss a potential cut in production.

    Opec wants to avert a build-up in global oil inventories like the one that sent prices from late 2014 into a prolonged slump that brought Brent to below $30 a barrel at the start of 2016.

    "The market is expecting that OPEC is going to announce production cuts," said Regina Mayor, global and US sector leader for energy at KPMG.

    "There has been quite a lack of discipline of late. When you look at US shale production and Saudi production and Russia production, everyone has the pedal to the metal."

  7. Sanofi to cut 670 jobs

    Sanofi worker

    French pharmaceuticals giant Sanofi is planning to cut 670 jobs in France.

    The firm is looking to cut its costs having already slashed overheads by 1.5 billion euros.

    Sanofi, which employs 25,000 people, hopes the cuts can be achieved on a voluntary basis by the end of 2020.

    "This is a terrible loss of expertise. It will have consequences in terms of efficiency," said Thierry Bodin of the CGT union.


  8. FTSE 100 closes lower

    The London marker gave up more than 100 points at the close, following bruising losses on Wall Street and in Asia.

    It comes after the US-China trade truce appeared to sputter yesterday, with both sides contradicting each other in public statements about how negotiations would proceed.

    The FTSE 100 closed at 6,921.84 points on Wednesday, marking a 1.4% fall since the start of the day.

    The worst performers included equipment rental company Ashtead group, which fell 5.8%, engineering turnaround company Melrose, down 5%, and private healthcare provider NMC Health, also down 5%.

  9. Comcast firms up legal obligations to Sky News

    Sky News

    Sky says it has entered into legally binding agreement with Comcast that guarantees the continued operation and long term funding of an editorially independent Sky News.

    It follows undertakings given by both firms when Comcast agreed to buy Sky in May 2018, amid government concerns about media plurality.

    The pair committed to maintain inflation-adjusted funding for Sky News, to maintain Sky’s HQ in Osterley and not to acquire a UK newspaper for a period of five years.

  10. Allan Cook named new HS2 chair

    The DfT has announced that Allan Cook CBE will replace Sir Terry as chairman of HS2.

    Mr Cook is a chartered engineer with more than 40 years’ international experience in the infrastructure, automotive, aerospace and defence industries.

    Crossrail will appoint a new chair for the company as the project moves from construction to testing.

  11. Sadiq Khan thanks Morgan

    The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has thanked Sir Terry Morgan for serving as chair of Crossrail since 2009.

    It comes after Sir Terry cast doubt on the Mayor's claim to have been kept in the dark about the need to postpone the opening of Crossrail.

    Sir Terry Morgan this week insisted the Mayor was told in July that the royal opening of the crisis-hit rail line would have to be delayed until next year.

    Mr Khan said:

    For a while now I have had concerns about the effectiveness of Crossrail Ltd’s governance. Not only was I angry when Crossrail Ltd informed us that the project would be delayed, but historically there has been a lack of adequate information shared by the senior Crossrail leadership with the project’s joint sponsors - namely, the Department for Transport and Transport for London. Under new leadership, Crossrail must provide the joint sponsors and Londoners with the confidence that it has robust mechanisms in place to deliver a revised schedule, operating with a renewed sense of urgency and transparency across all parts of the project.

  12. BreakingHS2 boss resigns

    Sir Terry Morgan

    Sir Terry Morgan has resigned as chairman of HS2 and Crossrail, the Department for Transport has said.

    Mr Morgan, who took up the role only four months ago, had told the BBC over the weekend that he expected to be sacked.

    Speaking to PM on Radio 4 he said there was disappointment at Westminster about the delays affecting Crossrail.

    HS2 is the government's £55.7bn planned high-speed rail network.

    It will connect London to Birmingham and to Manchester and Leeds.

    Critics of the project say it will damage the environment and is too expensive.

  13. Takeda and Shire ink takeover deal


    In case you missed it, Japanese drug giant Takeda's mammoth £46bn takeover of Irish pharmaceuticals firm Shire has been approved by both sets of shareholders.

    The proposed purchase represents the biggest ever foreign takeover by a Japanese firm and should come into effect in early January.

    The deal, which will create one of the world's top 10 drug companies, caps a lengthy courtship by Takeda of its larger rival as it seeks to expand overseas.

    Analysts have said the buyout will help Takeda diversify but have also raised concerns that the Japanese firm could be overextending itself financially.

    Takeda plans to finance the buyout through issuing new shares in exchange for Shire stock, bank loans and bond issuance.

  14. Monzo hits crowdfunding target in three hours

    Monzo stuff

    Challenger bank Monzo has raised about £18m through a crowdfunding round, hitting the target in less than three hours.

    The mobile-only lender reached its goal after its million plus current account customers were able to buy shares in Monzo, in the largest ever crowdfunding round for a British fin-tech company.

    The firm raised £18m in two hours and 45 minutes, with about 36,000 of Monzo's customers investing. An additional £2m was raised from existing investors.

    Monzo, like rival mobile-only lenders Starling and Atom Bank, is aiming to take market share from traditional high street banks.

    The company is also one of Britain's few "unicorn" companies - an unlisted technology company valued at more than £1bn.

  15. Text alert for student loan countdown

    Kevin Peachey

    Personal finance reporter


    A text message system is being used to alert graduates that they are close to paying off their student loans.

    The system follows criticism of the Student Loans Company (SLC) that graduates continue to make contributions, even after their loan has been paid off.

    The texts invite people to move to a direct debit scheme, instead of money taken from a wage packet, and means that their repayments stop immediately when their loan is repaid.

    "Customers should keep their contact details up to date on their online account. This means we can get in touch when they are within 23 months of repaying their balance in full to invite them onto the direct debit scheme," said Steven Darling, from the SLC.

    If they continue to pay through PAYE then payments generally continue until the end of the tax year and they then get a refund of the overpayment.

    The SLC texted 30,000 customers in the last month.

  16. Paypal deal faces in-depth probe

    iZettle payment

    Paypal's $2.2bn (£1.6bn) takeover of Swedish financial tech firm iZettle faces an indepth competition probe from regulators.

    The Competition and Markets Authority said Paypal had refused to offer proposals to address its concerns on how the deal, Paypal's biggest ever, could hurt competition and could lead to higher prices for customers, or worse quality of service.

    The deal was first announced in May this year. iZettle, a Swedish mobile payments company, sells a card-reader aimed at small businesses.

    Founded in Stockholm in 2010, iZettle started out selling credit and debit card readers that could be plugged into smart phones and tablets.

    It has more recently expanded with an e-commerce platform which tracks items such as sales and inventory for its customers.