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Summary

  1. UK promises to Nissan revealed in letter
  2. Denmark expels Huawei staff
  3. FTSE 100 closes 0.2% up.
  4. Patisserie Valerie attracts offers, administrators say
  5. Ryanair reports third quarter loss
  6. UK construction sector 'loses momentum'
  7. 'Ground-breaking' deal for Hermes staff
  8. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    Thank you for following Business Live today.

    We will be back at 6.00am tomorrow morning - we look forward to you joining us then.

  2. Alphabet shares fall

    Shares in Alphabet, the parent company of Google, fell in after hours trading after the company published its fourth quarter results.

    Its share price fell 3.2% despite the group reporting a rise in both revenue and operating profit.

    For the full year, Alphabet's revenue rose to $136.8bn from $110.8bn in 2017. Operating profit was marginally higher at $26.3bn.

  3. BreakingGoogle-owner Alphabet sees revenues rise

    Google logo

    Alphabet, the parent company of Google, has a rise in fourth quarter revenues at $39.2bn compared to $32.3bn in the comparable three months.

    Operating profit reached $8.2bn, up from $7.6bn.

  4. Wall Street closes up

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed 0.70%, or 175.54 points higher at 25,239.43

    The Nasdaq ends 1.1% ahead at 7,347.54.

    The S&P 500 has finished up 0.44% at 2,718.35.

  5. Tesla buys battery tech firm

    Elon Musk

    Tesla is to buy energy tech firm Maxwell Technologies for $218m (£167m), a move that could help the electric carmaker extend the driving range for its vehicles.

    Tesla is facing increasing competition in the sector and electric carmakers are looking for ways to extend their driving range between charges.

    "We are always looking for potential acquisitions that make sense for the business and support Tesla's mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy," the company said.

    Maxwell, a maker of various kinds of batteries, claims to have a proprietary dry electrode system which it says can create "breakthrough technology that can be applied to the manufacturing of batteries".

  6. Oil prices dip

    oil pump

    Oil prices have fallen after disappointing US factory data sparked fresh concerns about a slowdown in the global economy.

    Brent crude futures dropped 0.2% to $62.6 a barrel, and US West Texas Intermediate fell 1.4% to $54.48 a barrel.

    Weighing on oil markets, US government data showed new orders for US-made goods unexpectedly fell in November, with sharp declines in demand for machinery and electrical equipment.

    Oil prices had been buoyed by a new round of supply cuts from Opec and its allies.

  7. Tech giants tackling hate speech faster, says EU

    Apps

    Internet giants have more than doubled the rate at which they fight hate speech online than in 2016, EU officials have said.

    Firms such as YouTube, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook are now assessing 89% of flagged content within 24 hours and removing 72% of content deemed illegal, the officials said.

    That compares to 40% and 28% respectively when the firms signed up to a voluntary EU code of conduct in 2016.

    "The results show that the platforms have taken their obligations seriously," the EU's justice and consumer affairs commissioner Vera Jourova said, but added: "The fight against illegal hate speech online is not over."

  8. Ineos attacks fracking rules

    Fracking protest

    Energy giant Ineos has urged the UK government to relax the "unworkable" regulations on tremors caused by fracking.

    Current rules on the process for extracting shale gas, which involves pumping liquid at high pressure deep underground to fracture rocks and release gas, halt work when seismic activity above 0.5 local magnitude is detected.

    Shale firm Cuadrilla, the only company to start fracking in the UK, has been forced to pause operations in Lancashire on a number of occasions when seismic activity above thresholds have occurred.

    Ineos, which also hopes to frack for shale gas in the UK, said the 0.5 limit is thousands of times lower than levels set in the US and called for it to be raised.

    The company's chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said the typical limit in the US of 4.0 magnitude was one the American Environmental Protection Agency "feels is safe and will not lead to any damage to land, property or people".

    "The government's position is unworkable and unhelpful. They are playing politics with the future of the country. We have a non-existent energy strategy and are heading towards an energy crisis that will do long term and irreparable damage to the economy."

  9. Tech pushes Wall Street higher

    Tech stocks are driving Wall Street higher ahead of the release later of earnings numbers from Google's owner Alphabet.

    Alphabet is up 1%, while Apple and Microsoft are 2.5% ahead.

    The Dow Jones is up 0.15% at 25,101.6 points and the S&P 500 is up 0.33%. The Nasdaq is 0.9% ahead at 7,329.4.

    Pharma firm Allergan dropped about 4% after the FDA regulator approved Evolus's cheaper version of blockbuster Botox. Evolus jumped 14.8%.

  10. Vale: Court orders suspension

    Mud engulfs car

    A Brazilian court has ordered miner Vale to suspend production at its Brucutu mine in Minas Gerais, which has an annual capacity of 30 million tonnes of iron ore, according to O Globo newspaper’s website.

    Vale is the owner of the Brumadinho dam which ruptured last month, killing more than 130 people. Almost 200 are still missing.

    Brucutu is Vale’s largest mine in Minas Gerais state.

  11. Nissan statement

    That's the end of Greg Clark's Nissan statement and the MPs' debate.

    Not sure we learned too much that was new. But there's clearly a clash between those MPs who think Brexit was at the core of Nissan's decision and those who say it has more to do with falling diesel sales and changes in the Japanese company's global strategy.

  12. No-deal fears 'having impact on automotive sector'

    Nissan statement in Commons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    House of Commons

    Labour MP Jack Dromey says the automotive industry is the "jewel in the crown of manufacturing excellence", and says fears of no-deal are already having a significant impact on the sector.

    He says that he is aware the business secretary is against no-deal, and calls for him to strengthen his position on this with the government.

    He further calls for a deal to be sought with the EU that includes "a comprehensive customs union".

  13. Nissan: Was it, or was it not, about Brexit?

    Nissan statement in Commons

    House of Commons

    Greg Clark's Nissan statement is descending into a debate about Brexit - as could possibly have been predicted.

    The business secretary says a no-deal Brexit would be "ruinous for our prospects".

    He says: "No deal is fully acknowledged, certainly by me and the [car] industry, as being ruinous for our prospects.

    "But in order to avoid no deal we need to come to an agreement in this House. To put off the decision, not to come to a conclusion, would just be to continue the uncertainty and we all need to bring it to an end because that is what the investors are looking for."

  14. Car giant still committed to Sunderland - Clark

    Nissan statement in Commons

    Business secretary Grey Clark ask MPs to get things into perspective.

    Although the X-Trail car won't be built at Sunderland, "we should welcome Nissan's renewed commitment to Sunderland" with other investment.

    "We should respect and recognise the importance of this," he says.

  15. North East 'in danger of being left behind'

    Statement on Nissan in Commons

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Ian Mearns

    Labour's Ian Mearns, whose constituency is 5 miles from the Nissan plant, warns that the north east is "in danger of being left behind". He asks for a "task force to rescue the north east economy".

    Mr Clark says that the resurgence of Nissan in the north east in recent years is something "we should celebrate".

  16. What reassurance for car industry?

    Statement on Nissan

    House of Commons

    Parliament

    Labour MP Sharon Hodgson says in her constituency of Washington and Sunderland West, Nissan and the supply chain employ 40,000 people.

    She asks what immediate steps is the government taking to reassure the whole UK automotive industry.

    Business Secretary Greg Clark says the best way to support stability is to back Theresa May's Brexit deal and that it is in the interest of every MP to realise this.

  17. Nissan given £2.6m

    Statement in Commons

    Greg Cark

    Of the £61m that the government promised Nissan, about £2.6m has been paid, said business secretary Greg Clark.

    About half of this £2.6m was for staff training and the rest for environmental improvement to the Sunderland plant.

    There's been no word if any of the money must now be re-paid now that Nissan will not build its X-Trail in the UK.

  18. What hope for small businesses?

    Statement on Nissan

    Drew Hendry

    The SNP's business spokesperson Drew Hendry says that the Greg Clark has put a "brave face" on this news "which has Brexit at its heart".

    He states that all manufacturers say that "any deal" is worse for the UK than the current arrangements under EU membership. He asks what hope there is for small businesses if a business like Nissan cannot cope with Brexit.

    Mr Clark says "there is a greater amount of financial investment going into Sunderland than was anticipated in 2016".

    He says that the deal commands the "positive confidence of the industry" including from the head of Ford in Europe.

  19. Nissan statement

    Business Secretary Greg Clark says in 2016 Nissan were awarded £61m over nine years as an investment for training, environmental improvements, and research and development.

    Mr Clark says Nissan announced that the X-Trail would be built in Sunderland as well as Japan in October 2016, but that yesterday they said the new model will instead be made in Japan.

    He adds that the decision will have "no implications for existing jobs at the plant", but that the additional 741 jobs proposed alongside the decision to manufacture the new car model in Sunderland "will not take place".

    Mr Clark says in 2016 Nissan said the "risk of a no-deal Brexit is a source of damaging uncertainty".

    He adds that the UK £61m grant to Nissan was based on the fact that the new SUV was to be manufactured in Sunderland.

    "If the company wishes to compete in these industry funding schemes, as I hope and expect it will, it will have to submit an application and undergo an independent assessment," Mr Clark says.

    He concludes that Nissan's decision was made on "broader business grounds", but that Nissan commented "on the need for us to come together and to resolve the question of how to continue trading with the EU".