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Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan and Simon Read

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night!

    Test Card

    That's it from Business Live for today.

    But we'll be back bright and early from 06:00 tomorrow.

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

  2. Zuckerberg faces wide-ranging questions from Congress

    Zuckerberg

    We're going to have to leave that US Congress Committee hearing as Mark Zuckerberg faces a barrage of question on wide range of subjects, including: Facebook's policy on data on race discrimination, civil rights and political ads.

    There's been little mention of Libra, apart from in the opening half an hour or so.

  3. Government must support British Steel

    A last word today on the ongoing British Steel saga from Nic Dakin, Labour MP for Scunthorpe. He said:

    Quote Message: The fundamentals of British Steel are unchanged. This is a strong business, which is reflected by the continued interest of a number of parties in buying British Steel. It is essential that the Government continue to support British Steel and our steel industry. If we are serious about having our defence and infrastructure security in our own hands, we need to retain our own independent steelmaking capacity.
  4. Thomas Cook ex-boss rejects blame for collapse

    Former Thomas Cook staff
    Image caption: Former Thomas Cook staff protest in London after the company went into liquidation

    In one of today's biggest stories, a former Thomas Cook chief executive has denied contributing to the collapse of the travel firm.

    Manny Fontenla-Novoa told MPs looking into the demise that a series of acquisitions under his watch had not left the firm with unmanageable debt, as we reported here earlier.

    But Harriet Green, who succeeded him, told the hearing on Wednesday she inherited a "huge wall of debt".

    The most recent chief executive, Peter Fankhauser, has also blamed debt as a contributory factor in the collapse.

    Read more

  5. US investor takes £700m stake in Rolls-Royce

    Rolls-Royce engine

    The American investor which pushed the Saatchi brothers out of the advertising company which bore their name has taken a near-£700m stake in Rolls-Royce.

    Harris Associates revealed today it has built up a 5% share of Rolls.

    The engine-maker has faced a series of challenges over its Trent 1000 engines, with one failing over Italy, raining down metal on a local town just minutes after take-off.

    Problems with the engine, which have been going on for years, in August caused credit rating agency Moody's to downgrade its rating for the company - making it more difficult and more expensive for Rolls-Royce to borrow money.

  6. FTSE rises 0.67%

    The FTSE 100 has climbed 48.25, or 0.67%, to close the day at 7,260.74.

    Meanwhile the wider FTSE 250 index has inched down 0.97, or 0.0048%, to 20,180.94.

  7. Sports Direct appoints auditor

    Sports Direct has appointed RSM as its auditor, replacing Grant Thornton.

    It was its second announcement of the day, prompting a caustic comment from PA's City Editor...

    View more on twitter
  8. 17 energy suppliers now gone bust

    Rusty bin

    Seventeen (17) UK energy suppliers have now gone bust.

    Here's the full list with dates and number of customers:

    1. GB Energy – November 2016: 160,000 domestic customers
    2. Future Energy – January 2018: 10,000 domestic customers
    3. National Gas and Power – July 2018: 80 non-domestic customers
    4. Iresa – July 2018: 100,000 domestic customers
    5. Gen4u – September 2018: 500 domestic
    6. Usio Energy – October 2018: 7,000 domestic
    7. Extra Energy – November 2018: 108,000 domestic and 21,000 business customers
    8. Spark Energy Supply Limited – November 2018: 290,000 domestic customers
    9. OneSelect – December 2018: 36,000 domestic customers
    10. Economy Energy – January 2019: 235,000 domestic customers
    11. Our Power - 38,000 domestic customers
    12. Brilliant Energy – March 2019: 17,000 domestic customers
    13. Cardiff Energy Supply – August 2019: 800 domestic customers
    14. Solarplicity – August 2019: 7,500 domestic customers, c. 400 non-domestic
    15. Eversmart – September 2019: 29,000 domestic customers & 10 non-domestic
    16. Rutherford Energy – Octoebr 2019: 280 non-domestic customers
    17. Toto Energy – October 2019: 134,000 domestic customers
  9. Another energy company goes bust

    Toto logo

    Toto Energy, an energy supplier with around 134,000 domestic customers has ceased to trade.

    Ofgem said it will choose a new supplier to take on all of Toto Energy’s customers. This supplier will contact these customers shortly after being appointed.

    Ofgem’s advice to Toto Energy’s customers in the meantime is to:

    • Not switch to another energy supplier until a new one has been appointed and you have been contacted by them in the following weeks.
    • Take a meter reading ready for when your new supplier contacts you.
  10. Zuckerberg accused of lying

    The questioning to Mark Zuckerberg is becoming rather personal.

    At one point he's asked by Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez: "Have you learned that you should not lie?"

    He's left a little speechless by the charge. “I disagree with that characterisation,” he says.

  11. Libra is 'a modern financial infrastructure'

    Mark Zuckerberg

    On Libra, Zuckerberg says: "We are trying to help rethink what a modern financial infrastructure would be."

    Earlier he had revealed that he didn't know "whether Libra will actually work," adding that it's important to try, in his view.

    When asked why the Libra Association is based in Switzerland, he says:

    “We were trying to set up a global payment system. Switzerland is where a lot of the international organisations are.”

  12. Question? What question?

    Zuckerberg's responses don't always seem to be delivering answers to the questions from Committee members.

    At one point he even admits: “Sorry, I forgot the actual question.”

  13. Stride elected chair of Treasury Committee

    Back to domestic issues for a moment: Mel Stride MP has been elected as the new Chair of the Treasury Committee.

    He takes up the position of Chair with immediate effect.

  14. Zuckerberg: ad policy 'is not about money'

    Zuckerberg is pressed on Facebook's decision not to remove false political ads from its platform.

    "This really is not about money," he claims.

    "This is on principle, I believe in giving people a voice. I believe that ads can be an important part of that voice.”

  15. Zuckerberg to answer 'for the digital age'

    US Congressman John McHenry says to Zuckerberg: "American innovation is on trial today.

    "It’s not about Libra, it’s not just about some housing ads, and maybe it’s not really about Facebook at all.

    "It’s that larger question. You are here today to answer for the digital age."

  16. Should Facebook be broken up?

    Mark Zuckerberg

    Mark Zuckerberg has been told by US regulators: "You have opened up a serious discussion about whether Facebook should be broken up."

    He remains impassive, waiting for his moment to respond.

  17. Zuckerberg: 'Facebook is not the ideal messenger right now'

    Mark Zuckerberg

    Facebook has already shared Zuckerberg's prepared statementfalseto the Committee.

    He admits that Facebook is "not the ideal messenger right now" and promises that Facebook will not move forward with Libra anywhere in the world until US regulators approve.

    According to Zuckerberg, Facebook is "committed to taking the time to get this right."

    But he also points out that China could reveal a similar system in the coming months.

    "If America doesn't innovate, our financial leadership is not guaranteed," the statement reads.

  18. Zuckerberg to face Congress grilling

    Zuckerberg coins

    Meanwhile Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is testifying today to the US House Financial Services Committee about the company's planned cryptocurrency, Libra.

    He'll be hoping to alleviate concerns that it could sidestep regulators.

    We'll bring you highlights of his grilling as it happens. It's due to kick-off shortly.

  19. Bitcoin slips 8% on Libra concerns

    Libra graphic

    Cryptocurrencies are under pressure today, against the background of hostility towards Facebook's Libra.

    Bitcoin fell around 8% to $7,462, its lowest level since June.

    Ether and Litecoin have also been hit.