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Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan and Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

    That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Wednesday.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis.

  2. Wall Street still ahead

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares are still higher on the US Trade Representative's announcement that tariffs on certain Chinese electronics goods will be delayed until mid-December.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now 387.9 points or 1.5% up to 26,285.60.

    The S&P 500 has climbed 44.1 points or 1.5% to 2,927.70.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has climbed 141.9 points or 1.8% to 8,005.97.

  3. Why Cathay Pacific changed its tune on Hong Kong protests

    Cathay Pacific aeroplane

    Last week, airline Cathay Pacific told its staff it would not stop them joining the pro-democracy demonstrations currently sweeping Hong Kong.

    But this week, faced with pressure from the Chinese government and a huge backlash on Chinese social media, it quickly changed its position, warning that any staff involved would be fired.

    So, why did the carrier perform a U-turn so quickly?

    Cathay, an icon of Hong Kong, is heavily dependent on the Chinese market, which leaves it in a weak spot when it comes to standing up to Beijing.

  4. Background on Solarplicity

    Solarplicity website

    This isn't the first time that Solarplicity has been mentioned in the news - in February, Ofgem banned the energy supplier from taking on new customers due to its poor switching process and customer service.

    The energy regulator also banned the company from increasing vulnerable customers' direct debits, warning that the firm could see its licence revoked if it did not improve.

    Ofgem said it had been seeking improvements to Solarplicity's customer service, "which has been poor for a number of months".

    It said that between March 2018 and September 2018, "there was an unacceptably high proportion of calls abandoned and unacceptably long call waiting times".

    "Whilst call handling has improved, Ofgem has not seen the required improvements elsewhere."

    The regulator said that the ban would remain in place for three months unless it saw significant improvements in the company's customer service and switching process.

  5. Over 3,000 complaints about Solarplicity received in 2019

    A woman turns a knob on an oven

    The Energy Ombudsman has provided the BBC with some additional details about energy supplier Solarplicity, which ceased to trade on Tuesday.

    The Ombudsman says that it has so far received 3,324 complaints about Solarplicity in 2019, with 583 complaints in July alone. In comparison, the Ombudsman received only 1,035 complaints about the firm for the whole of 2018.

    Billing, switching and customer service were the top three things that customers complained about.

    “From what we have seen in the complaints that we handle, Solarplicity failed to provide a good level of customer service," said Matthew Vickers, chief executive at the Energy Ombudsman.

    “Its collapse doesn’t come as a huge surprise, but it will be another source of stress for the company’s customers – many of whom have already experienced problems."

    The Ombudsman said that Solarplicity had also failed to remedy problems, such as making necessary "goodwill gesture payments and refunds".

    Mr Vickers said that unfortunately, even if the Ombudsman upheld customer complaints, there is no formal mechanism to enable the consumer to receive redress to their problems.

  6. Energy supplier Solarplicity goes bust

    A man pouring water from a kettle into a coffee cup

    Ofgem has confirmed that energy supplier Solarplicity has ceased to trade, affecting about 7,500 consumer customers and less than 500 business customers.

    The regulator said that under its safety net, the energy supply for Solarplicity’s customers will continue and prepayment meters can be topped up as normal., while the outstanding credit balances of domestic customers will be protected.

    In the meantime, Ofgem is advising Solarplicity customers not to switch to another energy supplier until a new one has been appointed.

    Customers should also take a meter reading, ready for when the new supplier contacts them.

    Some customers have already been acquired from Solarplicity by Toto Energy in July. Today's announcement affects the customers who were not acquired by Toto Energy.

  7. Norwegian to stop Ireland-US flights

    Norwegian Airlines

    Norwegian Airlines has announced that it will stop offering transatlantic flights between Ireland and North America from 15 September onwards.

    The airline said that all six routes it offers are "no longer commercially viable", and the situation has been further affected by the global grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft.

    “Since March, we have tirelessly sought to minimise the impact on our customers by hiring (wetleasing) replacement aircraft to operate services between Ireland and North America. However, as the return to service date for the 737 MAX remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable," said the airline.

    “We are assisting customers by ensuring they can still get to their destination by rerouting them onto other Norwegian services. Customers will also be offered a full refund if they no longer wish to travel. We will continue to offer scheduled services from Dublin to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen as normal.

    “We are proactively engaging with our pilots and cabin crew at our Dublin base, including their respective unions, to ensure that redundancies remain a last resort."

    Norwegian added that its 80 administrative staff based in Dublin at Norwegian Air International and Norwegian Group’s asset company, Arctic Aviation Assets, would not be affected by the route closures.

  8. Wall Street rises on delayed tariffs

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares have now risen sharply, following an announcement by the United States Trade Representative (USTR) delaying additional tariffs on some Chinese goods until 15 December.

    An additional 10% tariff is being imposed on some Chinese goods from 1 September, however tariffs have been delayed on certain products, including smartphones, computer monitors, laptop computers, video game consoles, some toys, and certain items of clothing and footwear.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now 522.6 points or 2% higher to 26,420.33. Top of the winners is consumer tech giant Apple, climbing 4.6% to $209.75 on the news.

    The S&P 500 is 55.4 points or 1.9% up to 2,938.50, led by clothing retailer Gap, which has climbing 6.9% to $18.66.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has risen 192.5 points or 2.5% to 8,058.60. Chinese ecommerce firm JDcom heads the winners, jumping 8% to $29.35 after announcing better-than-expected revenues for the second quarter of 2019.

  9. Whisky giant sued over 'angel’s share' fungus claims

    Glasses of whiskey

    A couple who claim that the "angel's share" from a whisky bond has blighted their property have been given the go-ahead to take the case to court.

    Thomas and Gail Chalmers claim that the vapour has caused damage to outdoor furniture and their house in Bonnybridge, near Falkirk.

    The couple are suing drinks giant Diageo for £40,000.

    The firm is contesting the Court of Session action, claiming the property's value is not adversely affected.

  10. Wall Street opens slightly higher

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares have opened slightly higher, as stocks continued to be weighed down by investor fears of a possible recession due to a continuing US-China trade war.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 50.5 points or 0.2% ahead to 25,948.23.

    The S&P 500 is 7.5 points or 0.3% up to 2,891.62.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 37 points or 0.5% higher to 7,901.61.

  11. US consumer prices rose in July

    A woman with shopping bags in New York

    A new report released by the US Labour Department showed that the consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.3% in July.

    The rise is in line with expectations, but core CPI rose 2.2% for the 12 months until July, compared with the previous year, and was higher than analysts expected.

    Prices rose for used cars, medical services, airline tickets, tobacco and clothes, while rents remained subdued.

    "After four straight core CPI increases of less than 0.15% per month, two straight 0.29% gains are more likely to be just a rebound rather than the start of a sustained trend. That's almost certainly the case with used auto prices, which plunged in the first few months of the year but are now rebounding," said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

    "But increases in other components are more likely to persist, thanks to rising labour costs and tariffs."

    He added that a rise of inflation in furniture, bedding and floor coverings were caused by new tariffs, and "offer a taste of what would happen if the administration imposes tariffs on a wide range of imported Chinese consumer goods next month".

  12. Russia warns Google over protest videos

    Police attend an unauthorised rally in Moscow calling for fair elections on Saturday 10 August
    Image caption: Police attend an unauthorised rally in Moscow calling for fair elections on Saturday 10 August

    The Russian government has warned internet giant Google to prevent users from using its video streaming service YouTube to publicise illegal protest events in the run-up to local elections in Moscow.

    Roskomnadzor, also known as the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, said it was concerned about an advertising tool YouTube uses to promote channels to users.

    The government agency said that YouTube was sending out push notifications to users whether or not they were subscribed to a particular channel.

    Roskomnadzor said that if Google does not respond to its letter, that "the Russian Federation will regard this as interference in the sovereign affairs of the state, as well as a hostile influence and obstructing the holding of democratic elections in Russia".

    The Russian government would then look to take action against Google, it added.

  13. CBS and Viacom finalise merger agreement

    CBS

    Sources have told Reuters that US broadcast and entertainment companies CBS and Viacom have finalised their merger agreement.

    The two companies will reunify after 13 years apart, in order to help it compete better with other media giants, such as Netflix, Disney, Apple and AT&T.

    Both CBS and Viacom are controlled by the same company - National Amusements, which is owned by Sumner Redstone and his daughter Shari.

    Viacom shareholders will receive 0.59625 CBS shares for each share they own.

    However, according to Vox, remerging as one won't be enough for CBS and Viacom. The magazine believes the entertainment companies will need to merge with yet another firm, or purchase some smaller US entertainment companies.

  14. Is Germany heading for recession?

    German car production

    Looking ahead to Wednesday's data - which will show if Germany's economy has grown or shrunk in the second quarter - Uwe Burkert, chief economist at LBBW Research, says that a fall in investor sentiment recorded by the ZEW institute in August "gives a further clear warning signal of recession for the German economy".

    Meanwhile, ZEW president Achim Wambach said: "The most recent escalation in the trade dispute between the US and China, the risk of competitive devaluations and the increased likelihood of a no-deal Brexit place additional pressure on the already weak economic growth.

    "This will most likely put a further strain on the development of German exports and industrial production."

  15. India's car sales fall at sharpest rate for 20 years

    People at car dealership in India

    Car sales in India during July fell at the sharpest pace for nearly 20 years, according to new data.

    The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said sales of cars to dealerships fell by 30.9% to 200,790 in July - the worst drop since December 2000.

    The pace of the decline has accelerated in recent months as a liquidity crunch in India's shadow banking sector has dried up lines of credit to dealers and potential car buyers.

    Vishnu Mathur, director general of SIAM, said the fall had wider implications for the Indian economy.

    "If this industry goes down, then everything gets hurt. Manufacturing, jobs and revenue to the government," he said.

  16. Amazon told to reveal 'Choice' methodology

    Amazon sign

    Amazon is being told to reveal how it decides which products get the "Amazon's Choice" label in its online store.

    Two US senators have written to Amazon asking it to say whether people or algorithms are making decisions about what gets the label.

    They are worried that the Choice category can be manipulated via fake reviews and can mislead customers.

    Amazon has been given until 16 September to respond to the letter.

    Read more here