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Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

  1. Good evening

    That's it for today, thanks for tuning in to Business Live. We'll be back at 6am tomorrow, hope to see you then;.

  2. Debenhams extends credit facility for Christmas trading period

    Debenhams shop

    Debenhams says it has secured a new £50m credit facility with its lenders, giving the the troubled retailer more leeway as it fights to turn its business around.

    The department store chain, which was taken over by its lenders in April, said the move would provide it with additional liquidity during its peak Christmas trading period.

    It extends the £200m facility originally announced in March.

    Debenhams boss Stefaan Vansteenkiste said: “We are delighted that our investor consortium have reaffirmed their commitment to the business by making available additional financing support for our peak trading period. We are in a strong position to continue to invest in marketing and new product initiatives as we prepare for the important Christmas season.”

  3. FTSE 100 closes higher

    The FTSE 100 has closed slightly higher after reports of a potential thaw in US-China trade relations lifted European markets

    Shortly after the bell it was 0.3% higher at 7,166.50 points.

    However, the more UK-focused FTSE 250 ended down 0.2% at 19,171.60 points.

  4. Who are the family buying Thomas Cook shops?

    John and Linda Hays
    Image caption: John and Linda Hays are buying 555 Thomas Cook shops

    John Hays, founder of the travel firm that is rescuing Thomas Cook's High Street shops, knows a thing or two about survival.

    Soon after setting up Hays Travel in the back of his Mum's childrenswear shop in 1980, a rival firm appeared.

    Mr Hays was forced to offer free travel insurance to win customers - a move that nearly sank the nascent firm.

    But 40 years later, Hays Travel is still here and expanding, buying stores shut down when Thomas Cook collapsed.

    Read more

  5. Miner BHP faces investor pressure on climate change

    A mine

    The Church of England Pensions Board is urging shareholders to support a resolution asking the world's biggest listed miner, BHP, to leave groups which lobby for policies inconsistent with tackling climate change.

    The board, which manages the retirement funds of clergy and other staff, wants investors to support the resolution at the miner's AGM next week and big names have already expressed support, including Aberdeen Standard Investments, Calpers, Actiam and Axa Investment Managers.

    The resolution recommends "memberships of industry associations be suspended where their advocacy demonstrates overall inconsistency with the Paris Agreement's goals".

    However, the powerful shareholder advisory services ISS and Glass Lewis have not recommended shareholders to back the motion, arguing that BHP is holding a review of lobby group membership which is set to report before the end of the year.

  6. Links of London: Jobs at risk as firm goes into administration

    Links of London

    Luxury jewellery retailer Links of London has gone into administration, putting 350 jobs at risk.

    The retailer, which has its headquarters in Mayfair, has appointed Deloitte as administrators to try to secure a rescue sale.

    Links has 28 standalone stores and seven concessions in the UK and Ireland. They will remain open but the company's website has been suspended.

    Deloitte said the firm had struggled during "difficult trading conditions".

    Read more

  7. US markets open higher

    Wall Street sign

    For the first time in three trading sessions, Wall Street has opened higher.

    Hopes of progress in the US-China trade talks, mentioned earlier, has boosted sentiment and pushed up technology stocks.

    The Dow Jones was up 144.19 points, or 0.55%, at the open at 26,308.23.

    The S&P 500 rose 18.04 points, or 0.62%, at 2,911.10.

    The tech index Nasdaq rose 72.18 points, or 0.92%, to 7,895.96.

  8. American Airlines expects Max flights to resume in January

    An American Airlines plane

    American Airlines is extending cancellations of Boeing 737 Max flights until January as regulators continue to review proposed software changes to the grounded plane.

    The largest US airline, which has had to cancel about 140 flights a day since March, said it expects to gradually resume Max flights from 16 January 2020.

    The plane was grounded worldwide in March after being involved in a fatal crash in Ethiopia which killed 157 people. It came five months after another crash off the coast of Indonesia which killed 189.

    US regulator the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday said it was "following a thorough process, not a prescribed timeline, for returning the Boeing 737 Max to passenger service".

  9. Volkswagen stockpiling for a no-deal Brexit

    Volkswagen booth at IAA in Germany

    Car maker Volkswagen has announced that it has increased its stockpiles of cars in the UK to prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

    "We have optimised inventory levels upwards to delay the impact of potential import tariffs for a while, but there are limits to what can be done," said Juergen Stackmann, a VW board member responsible for sales and marketing.

    "If there are tariffs, we will not be able to absorb them or compensate the cost. We need to be realistic about the fact that cars would get more expensive for customers."

  10. Retail giant Amazon facing Inverclyde eviction threat

    Amazon distribution warehouse in Inverclyde

    Amazon has said it will fight a court's decision to uphold an eviction notice from its landlord at a distribution warehouse in Inverclyde.

    The site is owned by the M7 property investment firm which gave the online giant six months' notice to quit in February.

    Amazon challenged the move at the Court of Session, arguing it was entitled to a year's notice.

    But the courts backed M7, though the US firm has said it will appeal again.

    Read more

  11. $8bn payout over anti-psychotic drug

    Johnson & Johnson sign on office building

    A jury in Philadelphia has ordered pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson to pay $8bn in punitive damages to a man over its anti-psychotic drug Risperdal.

    The man claimed that the company failed to warn young men that the drug could cause them to grow breasts.

    The latest award is the biggest to date among thousands of lawsuits against the pharmaceutical giant over the drug.

    Johnson & Johnson will challenge the decision, which it described as "grossly disproportionate".

  12. Has Hays Travel 'been gung-ho'?

    Hays travel ad

    Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, is not so sure about Hays Travel's decision to buy up Thomas Cook's estate of travel shops, although she does think they got a good deal by waiting and dealing with the administrators.

    With the deal it has struck it has the advantage of still being able to re-negotiate rents with landlords and having a ready-made set of expert staff ready to go," she said.

    “However, while on the face of it this looks like a savvy deal, you have to question the logic behind it. One of the reasons for Thomas Cook’s downfall was its failure to recognise the change in consumer behaviour.

    "More and more travellers now book direct and see little value in the high street travel agent. You have to wonder what Hays’ plan is and how they can make it a success. Has the travel firm been gung-ho in trying to secure a cheap deal without assessing the viability of taking on these stores?”

  13. Libra to face tough scrutiny, says Bank of England

    Facebook's Mark Zuckerburg on a coin

    The Bank of England has again warned Facebook that its new digital currency, Libra, will face tough regulatory scrutiny before its launch in Britain.

    In minutes of the latest Financial Policy Committee (FPC) meeting, the Bank said Libra had the potential to become a "systemically important" payment system and would need to show it could meet "the highest standards of resilience".

    Facebook plans to launch its Libra coin and a digital wallet next year but has a backlash among regulators and central banks worldwide.

    The Bank said: "The resilience of the proposed Libra system would rely on the stability of not just the core elements of the Libra Association and Libra Reserve, but also the associated critical activities conducted by other firms in the Libra ecosystem such as validators, exchanges or wallet providers."

    This highlighted the need for "end-to-end resilience", it said.

  14. 'China is ready to de-escalate'

    Trum and Xi Jinping

    More on that US-China trade news.

    Quoting sources close to the talks, the FT is reporting that Beijing is offering to boost annual purchases of US soy beans to 30 million tonnes compared with 20 million at present.

    China would also make a raft of changes to non-tariff barriers that have long frustrated the US farmers.

    Beijing hopes the offers will stave off a new round of US tariff hikes on 15 October, the FT reported.

    One source told the paper that Vice Premier Liu He, who will represent China in high level talks with Washington this week, "is coming with real offers, it’s not an empty visit”.

    They added: "The Chinese are ready to de-escalate.”

  15. BreakingGreene King takeover approved

    Greene King pub

    Hong Kong's CK Assets Holdings has announced that its takeover bid for Britain's largest pub and brewery firm Greene King has been accepted by shareholders.

    The Suffolk-based pub chain and brewer is the latest to be bought in a wave of consolidation in the sector.

    In July 2018, Greene King, which brews beers including Greene King IPA, Old Speckled Hen and Abbot Ale, cut 100 jobs in its Bury St Edmunds and Burton upon Trent offices due to a challenging year of rising costs, increased competition and poor weather.

  16. FTSE 100 climbs

    London Stock Exchange

    As we have been reporting, UK and European stock markets have climbed following reports that China is open to striking a partial deal with the US that could cool ongoing trade tensions.

    The FTSE 100 is now 42.9 points or 0.6% higher at 7,186.08, led by ITV, which rose 2.1% to 121.8p, followed by miner Anglo American, which is up 1.9% at £18.50.

    The more UK-focused FTSE 250 is just 6.1 points or 0.03% ahead at 19,207.03. The best performer is British building materials supplier SIG, which is up 3.2% at 102.5p. This is despite SIG having issued its second profit warning of the year on Monday due to a deterioration in both the UK and German construction markets.

  17. Union welcomes Thomas Cook Shop Deal

    Thomas Cook shop

    Union TSSA has welcomed news that Hays Travel will buy all 555 Thomas Cook stores in the UK, saving up to 2,500 jobs.

    TSSA general secretary said: “This is very welcome news offering real hope of re-employment to former Thomas Cook retail staff, many of whom are our members.

    “We have been clear from the start that Thomas Cook was a strong brand and that it was likely parts of the business would be able to move forward as a going concern.

    “Throughout the industry the talent, commitment and skills of our members working for Thomas Cook was well known and I have no doubt they will bring the same dedication to Hays."