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Live Reporting

By Bill Wilson and Dan Ascher

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC off-air screen

    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 world of business.

  2. FTSE closes lower

    The FTSE 100 finished the day 0.6% lower at 7,307.

    Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was 0.2% lower at the end of trading at 20,242.

  3. Airline boss calls for business class ban

    Wizz Air plane

    The boss of no-frills airline Wizz Air has called for business class flying to be scrapped to cut carbon emissions.

    Jozsef Varadi said: "Business class should be banned. These passengers account for twice the carbon footprint of an economy passenger, and the industry is guilty of preserving an inefficient and archaic model.

    "A rethink is long overdue, and we call on fellow airlines to commit to a total ban on business class travel for any flight under five hours."

  4. Have retailers had the calm before the storm?

    Crowded shopping street with Christmas decorations

    More on the lacklustre retail sales figures, this time from Karen Johnson, head of retail and wholesale at the corporate banking arm of Barclays.

    “October can feel a bit like the calm before the storm in retail and this year is no exception, with last month once again serving as the warm-up act before the main event," she said.

    "The result was slightly below expectations but decent enough in a tough environment, with a welcome return to form of sorts for department stores, albeit driven by some early discounting.

    “The golden quarter is now in full swing, with retailers pulling out all the stops to maximise returns.

    "It’s no longer enough to focus on December sales with a dash to the finish on Christmas Eve – the strategy for the season has to make sure that pricing tactics around Black Friday are carefully managed and momentum carried through into the new year.

    "There’s been a lot of speculation around the impact a general election at an inconvenient time might have on retail, but I think this is probably overstated, with consumers’ short-term spending plans unlikely to be significantly affected by going to the polls.”

  5. Pound flat

    Pound coins stacked on a five pound note

    Currency traders were unfazed by worse-than-expected retail sales numbers from the Office for National Statistics earlier.

    The pound has spent the day trading roughly flat against both the dollar and the euro. So £1 is worth $1.288 and €1.169.

  6. London markets slip into the red

    Share prices in London have dipped in afternoon trading.

    The FTSE 100 was trading 0.5% lower at 7,318. Meanwhile - after beginning the day in the green - the FTSE 250 has shed 0.1% to trade at 20,267.

  7. Influencer incomes leap

    Chart showing average charge per post increase from less than $200 in 2014 to more than $1,600 today.

    The money made by social-media influencers has risen meteorically in the last few years, according to a new report.

    Marketing firm Izea found the average price of a sponsored photo on Instagram has jumped from $134 (£104) in 2014 to $1,642 (£1,276) in 2019.

    Brands appear willing to pay handsomely to sponsor posts, videos, stories and blogs, too, says Business Insider.

    But one expert insists it will not mean the end of traditional advertising.

    Read more here

  8. Trump says trade war had no effect on Walmart

    President Trump has tweeted praising Walmart's "great numbers" after the supermarket giant reported better-than-expected US sales in the third quarter.

    Mr Trump said the tariffs he has imposed on goods imported from China had "no impact" on the results of the chain, which owns British supermarket Asda.

    In an interview with Reuters, Walmart's finance boss said the firm had managed to minimise the impact from tariffs.

    "I think we've muted the impact (of tariffs) pretty well up to this point," Brett Biggs told the agency.

    Mr Trump also took another shot at Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell. The president thinks the central bank should lower interest rates.

    View more on twitter
  9. US markets show little movement

    US traders in the New York Stock Exchange

    Share prices in the US hardly moved after the opening bell rang out on Wall Street to signal the start of morning trading.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were flat both flat, while the Nasdaq was down 0.2%

  10. Mercedes owner to cut jobs

    cars

    Daimler, the German company that owns Mercedes-Benz, said it will save €1bn (£860m) in management costs over the next three years. It didn't say how many jobs that is, but Sueddeutsche Zeitung last week reported that it planned to cut 1,100 management jobs worldwide.

    £860m divided by 1,100 jobs is about £782,000 a job, though, suggesting it could be more. So watch this space.

    Read more here.

  11. Cashless payments overtake cash on First buses

    FirstGroup bus

    More passengers paid with contactless and mobile apps rather than cash on local bus routes for the first time in FirstGroup's history, the company has said.

    The Aberdeen-based firm said 43% of payments were made by cash, but 45% were made through non-cash methods.

    The remainder came from ticket sales via third parties.

    The announcement came as the transport giant reported a half year loss of £187m.

  12. Housebuilder warns of redundancies

    Bricklaying

    An Aberdeenshire-based housebuilder has warned redundancies are likely as part of a review of its business.

    Scotia Homes, of Ellon, said the business was "well-placed" - but that there were "continuing challenges to trading".

    It is not known how many jobs could be under threat.

    Managing director Martin Bruce said: "It is important to position the business to ensure long-term stability."

  13. US unemployment numbers climb to five-month high

    Auto workers on the production line

    The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits climbed to a five-month high last week.

    Claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 14,000 to 225,000, however numbers for some states were estimated because the Veterans Day holiday in the US on Monday meant they didn't have time to crunch the data.

    Analysts were expecting the figure to be lower at 215,000.

  14. Brexit hits sales at Asda

    Asda store

    "Customer concerns over Brexit" caused like-for-like sales at Asda to fall by 0.5% in the three months to the end of September. Sales at the supermarket had grown by 0.5% in the previous quarter.

    Asda boss Roger Burnley said: "This quarter has afforded consumers little respite from political or economic uncertainty and this has shown in their spending.

    "However, we have remained focused on doing the right things for our customers."

    Asda has come in for criticism in recent weeks after it threatened to sack any of its more than 120,000 workers who refused to sign a new contract, which introduced unpaid breaks and the requirement to accept changes to working hours at shorter notice. It offered a small pay bump in return.

    "We continue to work hard to keep prices low for our customers as well as driving quality and improving our shopping experience," Mr Burnley said.

    "I am absolutely committed to securing the future of our business for the benefit of our colleagues, our customers and our communities - whatever external challenges we may face."

  15. Nike shuns Amazon for "distinctive" partnerships

    Nike T-shirt on manikin

    Sportswear retailer Nike is to stop sales through Amazon so it can focus on selling directly to customers.

    Nike said it would continue to invest in "distinctive" partnerships with other retailers and platforms.

    It marks the end of a pilot that Nike began with Amazon in 2017.

    According to Bloomberg, Amazon has been preparing for the move, recruiting third-party sellers with Nike products so that the merchandise is still available on the site.

    Read more here.

  16. Norway's wealth fund blacklists G4S shares over ethical worries

    G4S armoured van

    Norway's sovereign wealth fund will no longer invest in security services firm G4S over concerns that the firm contributes to, or is responsible for, human rights violations.

    The decision to blacklist the London-listed firm's stock was based on an assessment of the company's operations in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, where migrant workers pay recruitment fees to join the company, according to the £857bn fund's ethics watchdog.

    "When the workers arrive in the Gulf, they must spend a significant part of their salary to pay off this debt, and therefore have little chance of leaving. Many also received far lower wages than agreed, and in the Emirates, the workers got their passport confiscated," it said.

    The security firm will join a list of 156 companies blacklisted by the fund, including those that produce tobacco and nuclear weapons or derive more than 30% of their revenues from coal.

    G4S told the BBC that the announcement had taken it by surprise and it was working on a response.

  17. FirstGroup shares fall by 20% on Greyhound write-down

    Greyhound bus

    Shares in FirstGroup have slumped by 20% in midday trading, to 103 pence, after it announced a big half-year loss.

    The transport firm had to write down the value of its US coach business Greyhound.

    FirstGroup announced in May that it was planning to sell Greyhound, and in its latest results it said this sale process was now "well advanced".

    However, it took a charge of £124.4m as wrote down the value of the business, and this pushed its loss for the six months to 30 September to £187.1m.

    Despite this, overall revenues rose 6.9% to £3.53bn. Like-for-like revenues from its rail business climbed 4.9%, helped by "a strong contribution" from its GWR franchise.

    The firm recently won the franchise to run the UK's West Coast main line in a venture with Trenitalia.