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Live Reporting

Nick Edser and Simon Read

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Test card

    That's it for today on Business Live.

    We'll be with you at 6am tomorrow morning to bring you all the latest breaking news and analysis from the business world.

  2. Branson apologises for South Africa launch tweet

    Sir Richard Branson

    One of the most interesting stories of the day led to Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group apologising for a "poorly chosen image" he tweeted to mark the launch his new Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in South Africa.

    The entrepreneur tweeted a photo which was criticised for failing to reflect the diversity of South Africa.

    One of the critics was South African fashion designer Thula Sindi, who said: "Where did you find so many white people in South Africa?"

    A Virgin spokesperson apologised, saying the image in Sir Richard's tweet did not reflect "the diverse makeup of attendees" at the launch event.

    You can read more on the story here.

  3. Pound up against euro, down against dollar

    Sterling

    The pound has slipped slightly against the dollar today but risen against the euro.

    It's down -0.06% against the dollar at $1.2846.

    It's at €1.1663 after climbing 0.11% against the euro.

  4. FTSE climbs 0.5%

    The FTSE 100 has closed for the day after climbing 0.5% to 7,365.44.

    The FTSE 250 has also climbed, up 0.084% at 20,427.17.

  5. Phone rings in a meeting? That's a £1,000 fine!

    Chelsea players

    The list of fines that Chelsea imposes on its players has been leaked online.

    It includes a £1,000 fine if a player's phone rings during a meal or meeting.

    And being constantly late could be very costly - players are charged £500 a minute!

    See the full list of fines below...

    Chelsea fines
  6. US markets reach record highs

    The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes have hit new record highs today.

    The Nasdaq has climbed to 8,514.26, after rising 0.59%.

    The S&P 500 reached 3,102, before slipping slightly to be up 0.46% on the day.

  7. City grandee to take up Revolut post

    Martin Gilbert

    City grandee Martin Gilbert has been named non-executive chairman of digital bank Revolut.

    The move comes just weeks after he announced he will step down from investment house Standard Life Aberdeen next May.

    He will take up the post at Revolut on 1 January.

  8. Brexit 'puts brakes on UK launch of e-scooters'

    E-scooters

    Brexit is delaying the potential launch of public-use electric scooters in the UK, says Sweden's Voi Technology, which claims Britain risks being left behind.

    Fredrik Hjelm, co-founder and chief executive of the shared e-scooter firm, says he has held talks with the UK government about changing regulation.

    It is currently illegal in the UK to ride them on public roads or pavements.

    But Mr Hjelm said: "What we hear and feel is that Brexit is a big reason why things are moving so slowly."

    You can read more on the story here.

  9. Stock markets rise

    There's been an upwards shift in stock markets this afternoon.

    The FTSE 100 has now climbed 0.20% to 27,747.40 while the FTSE 250 has reversed earlier losses to move back into positive territory, albeit it's up just 0.022% on the day.

    On Wall Street the Dow Jones is now up 0.23% at 27,755.98 while the S&P 500 has climbed 0.46% to 3,101.25.

    The Nasdaq is doing best of all: it's up 0.50% at 8,506.67.

  10. Former Chancellor gets new job

    Philip Hammond

    Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is bouncing back after quitting the Commons.

    He has been appointed to the board of Irish packaging Ardagh where he will be a non-executive director and serve on its audit committee.

    The company, which is worth £3.5bn, hasn't revealed how much Hammond will be paid.

    But you may be more familiar with the company you realise.

    The company claims that "in an average household globally, you will find at least six products in packaging produced by Ardagh Group".

  11. A million disabled people denied the chance to work

    Back to today's employment figures.

    James Taylor, head of policy, campaigns and public affairs at disability equality charity, Scope, said the figures reveal the huge disability employment gap. He said:

    Quote Message: A slight decrease in the disability employment gap is a small step in the right direction for disabled people. One million disabled people want to work but are denied the opportunity. To make a meaningful dent on the gap, we need to speed up the pace of change. The next Government must commit to halving the disability employment gap.
  12. Trainline slumps after share sale

    A train

    Shares in online ticketing business Trainline have slumped 5% today after a group of investors sold their stakes in the group.

    The investors, led by its biggest shareholder private equity firm KKR, and which also included Ares, Index Ventures and Alven Capital, raised £279m after cashing in 68 million shares, which represented about a 14.1% stake in Trainline.

    KKR's representation on the board, Philipp Freise, stood down after the sale.

  13. Countdown to a score

    Forget about counting down to Christmas, the Bank of England is counting the days until a much more momentous event - the latest version of the £20 note...

    View more on twitter
  14. US stocks inch up

    US stocks inched up after today's opening bell.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.10 points, or 0.04%, at the open to 27,701.59.

    The S&P 500 opened higher by 2.27 points, or 0.07%, at 3,089.28.

    The Nasdaq Composite gained 6.80 points, or 0.08%, to 8,471.07 at the opening bell.

  15. German discounters gain while Morrisons loses

    Morrisons store

    German discount supermarkets Aldi and Lidl have taken further market share from the traditional grocers.

    Kantar figures published today for the 12 weeks to the end of September revealed that Morrisons lost the most to its budget rivals.

    Its sales fell 1.7% while Tesco lost 0.6%, Sainsbury's 0.2% and Asda 1.2%.

    Lidl’s sales climbed 8.8% while Aldi’s were up 6.7%.

    Overall UK grocery sales grew 1.0% over the 12 weeks.

    “The increase is slightly behind the equivalent rate last month, against a backdrop of political uncertainty and a persistently wet autumn,” Kantar said.

  16. Royal Mail appeal against £50m fine is dismissed

    Post Office

    The Competition Appeal Tribunal has dismissed Royal Mail’s appeal against Ofcom's £50m fine for breaching competition law.

    The 2018 fine was for its actions in 2014 when Whistl, then known as TNT, was trying to become its first competitor in wholesale mail delivery.

    An Ofcom spokesperson said: “We found that Royal Mail pursued a deliberate strategy of pricing discrimination against Whistl, which was its only major competitor for delivering business mail.

    “Royal Mail had a special responsibility to ensure its behaviour was not anti-competitive. We hope that our fine, which has been upheld in full by the Tribunal, will ensure that Royal Mail and other powerful companies take their legal duties very seriously.”

  17. Land Securities loses £147m

    Bluewater

    Property developer Land Securities reported a pretax loss for the first half as retailers woes continued.

    It lost £147m in the six months to the end of September, compared to a £42m profit a year earlier.

    It was hit by a number of store closures in its shopping centres, such as Bluewater in Kent.

    The company is offloading assets to focus on its profit-generating London portfolio, hoping to offset the impact of the faltering retail market.

    The shares took an initial early hit but have since bounced back.

    Land Securities share graph
  18. United Utilities leads the FTSE, while DCC is the largest faller

    Glass of water

    Water company United Utilities is leading the FTSE 100 after rising 4% to 878.

    It's also been a good day so far for AVEVA Group, up 3.52%, Evraz, up 3.36% and Vodafone, 3.06%.

    The biggest faller in the blue-chip index is marketing services group DCC which is down 5.51% at 6,969 after announcing the purchase of Ion Laboratories, a US contract manufacturer.

  19. FTSE 100 on the up, FTSE 250 down

    Lets have a look at the markets.

    The FTSE 100 has climbed 29.60, or 0.40%, to 7,358.14 so far today.

    However the wider FTSE 250 is currently down, falling 20.77, or 0.10%, at 20,389.26.