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Live Reporting

By Dan Ascher

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Off-air screen

    That's it for tonight - thanks for reading.

    We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 tomorrow with all the latest breaking business news and analysis.

  2. US stocks close higher


    US shares climbed again today on hopes that the Federal Reserve may cut interest rates later this year.

    The investor optimism follows comments from the central bank's chair, Jerome Powell, who yesterday said there was a "strengthened" case to reduce borrowing costs.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 249 points to hit 26,753 when the closing bell rang. Meanwhile, the S&P edged back from its all-time high earlier today to to close up 28 points at 2,954 and the Nasdaq gained 64 points to finish the day at 8,051.

  3. Oil prices surge

    Oil pumps

    The price of oil surged more than 5% today after Iran shot down a US military drone, raising fears of a military conflict between Washington and Tehran.

    It followed an escalation of tensions last week when the US accused Iran of being behind attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, raising concerns over supply.

    On the demand side, investors expect economic growth in the US, which is the world's biggest consumer of oil, after the Federal Reserve hinted that is may look to cut interest rates later in the year.

    Brent crude oil futures are currently $64.57 a barrel, up $2.75 - or 4.5% - on yesterday.

  4. 'Hammond right to tackle regulatory traffic jam'

    Philip Hammond

    Financial services industry body, TheCityUK, has welcomed the suggestion that Chancellor Philip Hammond wants to roll back some of the regulatory complexity in the UK.

    In a speech later, Mr Hammond is expected to call for improved coordination between British financial regulators.

    Miles Celic, chief executive of TheCityUK, said: “The Chancellor is right to don his white gloves, step out into the road and set about sorting out the traffic jam. If the UK is to continue to lead the world in this industry and attract new firms and investment, it will need the much closer partnership between Government, regulators and the industry."

    “UK regulators are globally respected, setting the international gold standard for financial regulation. Yet as each regulator has striven to respond positively and proactively to new innovations or developments, there has been a growing trend towards congestion and overlap."

  5. British Business Bank scheme reaches £500m loans milestone


    A UK government-backed bank, set up to boost lending to small firms following the financial crisis, has loaned £500m since 2012, official figures show.

    New data from Start Up Loans, part of the British Business Bank, shows London has gained a disproportionate share of the funds, with 14,000 of nearly 70,000 start-up firms loaned £118m.

    Fewer than 4,000 firms in Scotland have received a loan, with £29m secured.

    The scheme is funded by the UK Treasury.

    Read more here.

  6. Jet Airways insolvency progresses

    Jet Airways plane

    An Indian court has accepted an insolvency petition against Indian airline, Jet Airways, which is said to owe money to at least 26 creditors, including the country's national bank.

    The insolvency process will allow lenders, led by State Bank of India, to sell the company as a whole or sell its assets, ending weeks of uncertainty about the airline's future.

    The move follows a failed attempt to find a suitable buyer for what was once India's biggest private airline, which has been hampered by more than $1bn (£790m) of debt.

    In April, the airline suspended all international flights. The move left passengers stranded in India and European cities including London, Paris and Amsterdam.

  7. Facebook currency: UK has an open mind, not an open door

    The BBC's business editor Simon Jack reports

    Libra coins

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is expected to give Facebook's proposed digital currency Libra a cautious welcome in a major speech on Thursday.

    He will say it could could substantially lower costs and increase financial inclusion, but needs regulation.

    Mr Carney is also expected to announce that non-banks will be able to hold Bank of England accounts.

    And he will highlight climate and sustainability concerns.

    Read more here.

  8. Slack shares leap 60%

    Phone with Slack app

    Shares in messaging app Slack surged 60% as the company became the latest tech start-up to join the stock market.

    Slack set a guide price of $26 a share, but within a couple of hours the stock climbed close to $42 on Wall Street.

    The company chose a direct listing on the stock market, rejecting the use of traditional advisers and underwriters who manage the price of new stocks.

    That opened the possibility of wild swings in the price as traders try to assess where the shares might settle.

    Read more here.

  9. FTSE closes up after cut to UK growth hopes

    London Stock Exchange sign

    The FTSE finished the day higher after the Bank of England lowered its growth expectations for the UK economy in what some have seen as a sign that the country may be headed for an interest rate cut.

    The FTSE 100 was trading 21 points, or 0.3%, when markets closed. Meanwhile, the mid-cap FTSE 250, often seen as being more representative of the UK economy, was up 0.7% - 139 points - at 19,384.

  10. European markets close higher


    European markets closed higher this afternoon following another day of investor optimism after the US Federal Reserve yesterday indicated a willingness to reduce the headline interest rate.

    That echoed a similar message from the European Central Bank's Mario Draghi who said on Tuesday that the bank was ready to cut the cost of borrowing

    And today, the Bank of England said it would keep rates flat at 0.75% but some analysts have said the UK could also be headed for a rate cut.

    The pan-Euopean Euro Stoxx 50 closed up 0.4%, or 14 points, at 3,469. That was helped by gains in Germany, where the Dax was also up 0.4% - 47 points - at 12,355 when markets closed. The Cac 40 in Paris gained 0.3%, or 17 points, to finish the day at 5,536.

  11. JetBlue orders 13 new Airbus jets

    Airbus A321XLR

    US budget airline JetBlue is set to order 13 of the newly-launched Airbus A321XLR jets and another 10 of the smaller A220s, according to Reuters.

    The plane maker unveiled the new single-aisle plane, which is a long-haul upgrade to the A321neo, at the Paris Airshow on Monday.

    And it has already revealed a number of orders, most notably from American Airlines, which wants 50 of the planes.

    British Airways owner, International Airlines Group, has also ordered eight of the jets for its Iberia brand and another six for Aer Lingus, which it also owns.

    Quantas plans to buy 10 of the planes, an order worth $1.3bn at the list price.

  12. BreakingMonsoon Accessorize latest to announce CVA

    Monsoon Accessorize has become the latest High Street clothing retailer to announce a company voluntary arrangement (CVA) process to reduce costs.

    The firm will ask landlords to reduce rents at 135 Monsoon and Accessorize shops. It said that no store closures are planned but that rents are unaffordable, given "fundamental changes" in the retail sector.

    “Trading for the group has been difficult for some time, as it has been for much of the retail industry," said Monsoon Accessorize boss Paul Allen.

    This is due to a combination of factors, including rising costs, increased competition, and subdued consumer spending," he continued.

    “The proposed CVA is designed to reduce store operating costs and to bring the costs more in line with market rents."

  13. Strong sales of malt whiskies lift sales for Edrington


    Spirits group Erdington has reported a strong rise in revenue and profits, despite a fall in sales for its blended Scotch, The Famous Grouse.

    Group revenue climbed by 6% to £754.4m, while pre-tax profit increased by 4% to £196.6m in the year to 31 March.

    There was strong sales growth for its malt whiskies, The Macallan, Highland Park, The Glenrothes and Naked Grouse, as well as Brugal rum.

    However, there was a decline of 8% in sales for The Famous Grouse.

    Read more here.

  14. Apple urges Trump to back down in trade war

    Apple iPhone

    Tech giant Apple has urged US President Donald Trump not to up the ante in an ongoing trade war with China.

    Apple said tariffs on things like iPhones, iPads, and Macs - which are made in China and shipped to shoppers in America - will reduce its own contributions to the US economy and hurt its global competitiveness.

    The tech firm encouraged Mr Trump not to press ahead with a threat to impose tariffs of up to 25% on another $300bn of goods from China.

    Apple is the latest US firm to press the Trump administration to abandon its plan for more tariffs. Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet at the G20 summit in Japan next week. Investors and US firms hope the trade war will be on the agenda.

  15. Explainer on Slack's stock market debut

    Slack sign on the New York Stock Exchange

    The latest blockbuster tech flotation hits Wall Street later when shares in messaging app Slack start trading.

    But the company has chosen an unusual route, effectively cutting out many of the advisers - and their fees - that take companies to the stock market.

    Slack has chosen a direct listing, where the shares become immediately tradable, in a move that could create wild swings in the price.

    Read more here.