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Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner 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. Ofgem scraps another 11 energy licences


    Finally, Ofgem has ripped up another batch of energy licences held by companies linked to licence farms.

    Seven energy companies across the UK had 11 gas and electricity licences ripped up between them.

    Several had links to software companies which offer off-the-shelf energy companies to their clients.

    It comes a week after the regulator culled another 26 licences linked to just five men.

  3. Wall Street remains positive

    One last look at US stocks for today.

    The Dow Jones is up 0.20% at 28,123.23.

    The S&P 500 has climbed 0.25% to 3,148.22.

    The Nasdaq is doing best, up 0.47% at 8,688.80.

    The US President's latest tweet (below) doesn't appear to have had any real effect on markets.

    View more on twitter
  4. Blue-chip movers

    Insurers Prudential and Hiscox were the top risers in the FTSE 100 today.

    Both climbed more than 3%.

    Prudential rose 3.13% to 1,385 while Hiscox gained 3.18% to 1,362.

    Rolls-Royce Holdings was the biggest faller, losing 3.40% to 715.80.

  5. London shares rise

    Despite dipping towards the end of the day's trading the FTSE 100 still ended the day in a positive position.

    It climbed 0.36% to 7,429.78.

    Meanwhile the wider FTSE 250 closed at 20,954.32 after rising 0.43%.

    Will it break through that 21,000 barrier tomorrow?

  6. Lloyds boss facing pension cut

    Antonio Horta-Osorio

    Lloyds Bank boss Antonio Horta-Osorio is set to give up half his annual pension allowance after staff and shareholders expressed outrage at the gap between his pension and those of other Lloyds workers.

    The bank is consulting with shareholders on slashing his pension by almost £230,000, to bring it in line with others at the company.

    The chief executive can get up to 33% of his basic salary as a pension, compared with an average of 13% at the bank.

    He already took a cut from 46% in the company's last annual report as the bank tries to get in line with Investment Association guidelines.

    Now the bank is discussing whether to slash that further to 15%.

    He gave up his lucrative final salary pension earlier this year.

  7. Jones working on Jessops sale

    Peter Jones

    Dragons' Den star Peter Jones is considering flogging camera chain Jessops.

    Sources close to the company said Mr Jones - who bought the camera store out of administration in 2013 - had received unsolicited approaches to buy Jessops and is holding early-stage talks with the suitors, according to PA Media.

    But it is understood he is also continuing to thrash out a rescue deal with landlords after more than a month of discussions to slash rents and potentially shut stores across the 46-strong chain.

    Jessops Europe, which employs around 500 staff in the stores, saw sales slump 11% to £84.7m in the year to the end of April 2018, though underlying earnings lifted 31% to £1.64m.

  8. RBS launches digital standalone bank

    RBS sign

    Royal Bank of Scotland is taking on the start-up challenger banks by launching its new Bó concept today.

    The standalone digital bank aims to compete with young rival apps such as Monzo and Starling.

    The mainly state-owned RBS has spent £100m on the project.

    Bó boss Mark Bailie said the venture could offer its parent cheaper funding by growing customer deposits on its lower-cost banking platform.

    He said RBS needed to respond to the rapid growth of digital challengers because “regardless of what people think of those business models . . . customers clearly like them.”

  9. Sterling climbing


    The pound is still up against the dollar and the euro today after falling earlier in the morning after YouGov data showed the Conservative party's lead over Labour narrowing to 11 points.

    It's risen just 0.02% against the dollar to $1.2869 while it's climbed 0.23% against the euro at €1.1698.

  10. US tractor maker warns of lower profits on the horizon

    Farmer on tractor

    Shares in US farm equipment maker Deere & Co have plunged 4% after it warned of lower profits.

    "Lingering trade tensions coupled with a year of difficult growing and harvesting conditions have caused many farmers to become cautious about making major investments in new equipment," said boss John May.

    The company predicted its full-year 2020 net income would be between $2.7bn to $3.1bn, lower than the $3.25bn it will make in 2019 and much lower than analyst forecasts of $3.45bn.

  11. Who is backing both Brexit and the Greens?

    Voting graphic
    Image caption: Voting graphic

    A huge variety of interest groups not allied to a party are sending out adverts via social media.

  12. Marston's loses £43m from its property value

    A pint

    Plunging property values have left pub giant Marston's making a loss in the past year.

    The brewing and pub group said it swung to a £20m pre-tax loss after £43m was wiped from the value of its property portfolio.

    The loss for the year to the end of September compares to a £54.3m profit the previous year.

    Last month it warned that annual profits would be lower than expected due to a poor performance in food sales, which more than offset growth in its drinks business.

    Marston's said it hopes to restore profitability and reduce its debts by raising £70m through asset sales.

    Earlier this month it said it is selling 137 pubs for £44.9m to Admiral Taverns.

    Boss Ralph Findley hopes that Christmas could drive punters into pubs as they look to "escape" the turbulent political backdrop.

  13. Wall Street hits fresh record highs

    wall Street

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 34.79 points, or 0.12%, at the open to 28,156.47.

    The S&P 500 opened higher by 4.97 points, or 0.16%, at 3,145.49, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 21.66 points, or 0.25%, to 8,669.60 at the opening bell.

  14. US economy picks up

    US flag

    The pace of the US economy’s expansion has picked up in the back half of 2019, with data showing gross domestic product rose in the third quarter by more than initially forecast.

    The revised figures is an annualised 2.1% compared with the first estimate of 1.9%.

    The improvement in the economic data further reduced the risks of recession in the near term.

    The US market opens in a few minutes so we'll be able to see if there is any reaction to that.

  15. Sourdough row over code of practice

    Sourdough bread

    Industrial bread firms have been accused of pushing a dodgy sourdough code of practice.

    The accusation comes from the Real Bread Campaign.

    It says the proposed code includes three different uses of the word sourdough, and would permit the use of so-called processing aids (which would not appear in ingredient lists), other additives, baker's yeast and other leavening agents ‘that help to simplify the process.’

    None of these is used in making genuine sourdough bread, the Campaign says, adding: "Sourdough isn’t a brand, fashion, fad or bandwagon to be jumped upon: It’s the oldest way of leavening dough."

    It has written to Defra, urging the department to reject the proposed code which has been put together by five trade bodies, The Association of Baking Ingredients Manufacturers, The British Sandwich and Food To Go Association, Craft Bakers’ Association, Federation of Bakers, and Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association.

  16. Ola launching London operations in "coming weeks"

    In this photograph taken on September 12, 2019, Ola cab drivers talk with each other as they wait for passengers by a roadside in Amritsar.

    In case you missed this earlier today, Indian ride-sharing firm Ola has begun signing up drivers in London ahead of plans to launch services in the capital "in the coming weeks".

    It comes days after rival Uber was denied a new licence to operate in London after repeated safety failures.

    Ola, which already operates in the UK, said it has held "constructive conversations" with local authorities.

    The Indian firm was granted a licence from Transport for London earlier this year.

  17. BAT leads the FTSE risers


    British American Tobacco is top of the the FTSE 100 risers after stating that it hopes to benefit from tighter vaping regulation.

    It's up 2.98% at 3,075.

    Other climbers which have all risen more than 2% include rival tobacco giant Imperial Brands, insurers Hiscox and Prudential, along with British Land.

  18. FTSE 100 climbs to three-month high

    FTSE graph

    The FTSE 100 is continuing to climb today.

    It's now up 0.57% at 7,445.19, its highest level since the beginning of August.

    The FTSE 250 has also made further gains today, climbing 0.32% to 20,932.21.

  19. Bullying rife in 'toxic' beauty industry

    Video content

    Video caption: Bullying rife in 'toxic' beauty industry

    The British Beauty Council is calling for an independent body to be set up to investigate claims of bullying and unfair dismissal in the industry, which does not have a trade union.

    It comes after the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme uncovered cases of bullying across all levels of the industry.

  20. Yorkshire and Midlands flood payout to hit £110m

    Couple in boat

    Insurance payouts to people hit by the recent floods in Yorkshire and the Midlands are expected to reach £110m, according to initial estimates from the Association of British Insurers.

    So far 4,039 flood claims have been received: with 2,250 related to flooded homes and businesses; 1,788 to damaged vehicles.

    Of the estimated £110m payouts, £45m covers damaged homes and possessions; £58m for business property and stock, with £7.5m relating to damaged vehicles.

    The ABI reckons the average household flood claim is likely to be around £31,000, and £70,000 for a flooded business.

    “Now the flood waters have receded, the hard work begins. Insurers and loss adjusters are working around the clock to ensure homes and businesses are fully dried out, so that repairs can start as soon as possible, and people can get their lives back together,” said Mark Shepherd of the ABI.