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Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan and Simon Read

All times stated are UK

  1. Stock markets 'not priced' for post 2020 US-China trade deal

    Donald Trump

    Some stock indexes, such as the UK's FTSE 100, fell after US President Donald Trump said that a trade deal with China might not happen until after the election in 2020 - provided he is re-elected of course.

    "Markets simply aren’t priced for this; for a trade deal to be that far in the future – if one can even be struck at all," says Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com.

    "Combined with the barrage of tariff threats on the EU, the comments can be taken as a sign that the White House has no qualms about levying further tariffs and is happy about using trade as a economic, political and diplomatic weapon."

    FTSE 100

    But he adds: "Of course, Donald Trump’s shoot-from-the-hip comments in these kind of interviews need to be taken with a dose of salt – we could just as easily see him row back on this later, as has happened countless times already. We’re only ever a tweet away from saying that a deal is very close to see a rebound.

    "However, it’s clear that hopes for even a skinny deal being done this year have diminished in the last two days and markets are reflecting this."

    The FTSE 100 is now down 1.25% at 7,195.20.

  2. Video content

    Video caption: Raab: NHS 'not going to be privatised'

    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab says any decisions about the nature of US trade talks will be made by the UK government but says the NHS will not be privatised.

  3. TikTok sent US user data to China, lawsuit claims

    Women looking at smart phones

    Video-sharing app TikTok has been hit with a class action lawsuit in the US that claims it transferred "vast quantities" of user data to China.

    The lawsuit accuses the company of "surreptitiously" taking content without user consent.

    Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok has built up a keen US fan base.

    TikTok, which is thought to have about half a billion active users worldwide, has previously said it does not store US data on Chinese servers.

    Read more here

  4. Glitch causes problems for Black Friday Superdrug shoppers

    Superdrug store

    Fed-up Superdrug shoppers have taken to social media after being charged for online purchases though orders were never placed.

    Some customers complained about missing out on Black Friday deals but seeing money being taken from their accounts.

    Others reported being charged multiple times, the Sun reports.

    The health and beauty store blamed the problems on a "glitch in the payment system".

    It tells the BBC: "We had a huge demand over the weekend for our Black Friday offers - we knew they were going to be popular and put plans in place in terms of customer service and IT support to help everyone’s orders go through.

    "Unfortunately we know some customers have had trouble when placing their order and would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to those affected.

    Some orders were not accepted, but Superdrug’s payment system set-aside the money in customers’ accounts.

    "This means Superdrug did not take payment and the money will be released back to the customer."

  5. TSB fails to meet gender balance target

    TSB

    TSB has pushed back its target for about half of its senior jobs to be held by women by up to five years.

    The bank had originally pledged to meet the target by next year, but it now says it should do so before 2025.

    In fact, TSB has moved further from its target as it had 41% of women in senior roles in 2017, but only 38% this year.

    The bank has, however, beatenthe government's target for 33% of boards to be made up of women"with a board that is 36% female".

    Read more here

  6. Trump China trade remarks knock FTSE 100

    The FTSE 100 is now down 1.24% at 7,194.65.

    The blue chip index was trending lowest this morning but dropped following comments by US President Donald Trump that once again poured cold water on the country agreeing a trade deal with China.

    FTSE 100

    The FTSE 250 is off 0.80% at 20,534.35.

    In Europe, the CAC-40 index is down 0.47% at 5,759.71 but Germany's DAX is ahead 0.43% at 13,020.02.

  7. UK PLC is 'investing substantially' into the EU

    Quote Message: We expect the climate for merger and acquisition (M&A) activity in the UK to remain frosty. Outbound M&A, the one bright spot in these [ONS] statistics only serves to highlight the relative attractiveness of more stable jurisdictions to invest in. It's ironic that as we fight to exit from the EU, UK PLC is working hard to invest abroad, and substantially into the EU. from Rob Donaldson RSM's head of corporate finance
    Rob DonaldsonRSM's head of corporate finance
  8. Companies' investment earnings post biggest increase since 2006

    Containers

    Meanwhile, separate ONS figures revealed the biggest annual increase in companies' earnings from investment in the UK since 2006.

    The amount climbed from £57.7bn to £72.7bn in 2018.

    UK companies' foreign investment earnings also rose, although not as swiftly, by 6.8% to £94.1bn.

    The rise in incoming investment earnings to the UK was largely thanks to the retail and transport industries as well as the manufacturing and professional and support sectors.

    British companies investing abroad earned £21.2bn from manufacturing companies, nearly £20bn from financial services, with mining and quarrying companies getting £18.5bn across the year.

  9. British businesses have been flogging foreign units

    Pounds and dollars

    British businesses have been flogging their foreign units at the highest rate since the beginning of the century, the Office for National Statistics has revealed.

    There were 23 so-called outward disposals in the third quarter of 2019.

    Their combined £10.1bn value was higher than at any point since the third quarter of 2000, when the total reached £15.3bn.

    UK companies have been able to take advantage of a weak pound, by selling off their foreign assets in dollars and converting that into sterling.

  10. Watch Trump criticising Macron over 'brain dead' Nato comment

    Video content

    Video caption: Trump criticises Macron over 'brain dead' Nato comment

    Here's a video where you can watch Trump labelling the French president's comments over the defence grouping "nasty, insulting, and disrespectful".

  11. Trump blasts 'nasty' Macron

    President Donald Trump attends a meeting with Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (not pictured), ahead of the summit in London, Britain, December 3, 2019

    Also this morning Trump has accused his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron of being "nasty" for saying Nato was brain dead.

    At a news conference, Mr Trump said Nato served a great purpose and Mr Macron's remarks had been "very insulting".

    He also said he could see France "breaking off" from Nato, but did not explain why.

    Speaking last month, Mr Macron had complained that Nato members were no longer co-operating on key issues.

    He described the alliance as "brain dead", stressing what he saw as a waning commitment from its main guarantor - the US.

  12. Trump: I don't know if I want to make a deal' with China

    US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania disembark from Air Force One at Stansted airport
    Image caption: US President Donald Trump and his wife Melania disembark from Air Force One at Stansted airport

    Donald Trump said this morning a trade deal with China would only happen if he wanted it to, and he thought he was doing very well in the talks.

    "I'm doing very well on a deal with China, if I want to make it," Trump told reporters during a meeting with the head of NATO in London.

    "I don't think it's up to if they want to make it, it's if I want to make it. We'll see what happens.

    "I'm doing very well if I want to make a deal, I don't know that I want to make it, they're going to find out pretty soon."

  13. Elon Musk 'pedo guy' defamation trial to begin

    Vern Unsworth and Elon Musk
    Image caption: Vern Unsworth (L) and Elon Musk (R)

    Tesla boss Elon Musk is due to take the stand in a Los Angeles court and face the British diving specialist he accused of being a paedophile.

    Vern Unsworth was among the team credited with co-ordinating the July 2018 rescue of 12 boys trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand.

    Mr Musk, in a now-deleted tweet, described Mr Unsworth as a “pedo guy”.

    The entrepreneur gave no evidence to support the comment. He is being sued for defamation.

    Read more here

  14. Construction figures 'troubling'

    Quote Message: Like the manufacturing sector, which again shrank in November, construction is highly reliant on economic certainty and, as we all know, that has been in short supply, particularly in the second half of this year. Admittedly, there was some sign of improvement in that the slowdown in the construction sector eased to its slowest pace in four months in November but the fact that the two largest contributions to the fall in output came from civil engineering and commercial construction is troubling. from Andrew Symms construction & infrastructure partner at global legal services business DWF
    Andrew Symmsconstruction & infrastructure partner at global legal services business DWF
  15. General Election 2019: How can London's housing crisis be solved?

    Video content

    Video caption: Solving London's housing crisis

    The lack of affordable housing and the cost of renting are among the biggest issues which Londoners face.

    All the main political parties have promised to tackle the issue in their election manifestos.

    But charities and housing trusts say they could be doing more, such as building affordable homes with prices linked to average wages and providing more help for people to be able to rent and buy.

  16. But construction continues to contract

    Housebuilding

    While November’s PMI marked an improvement from the 44.2 recorded in October and came in above forecasts, the result means the sector is continuing to contract.

    “UK construction output fell again in November as Brexit uncertainty and the forthcoming general election continued to send a chill breeze across the sector,” Tim Moore, economics associate director at IHS Markit, said.

    “The speed of the downturn in construction work eased a little since October, but the survey continues to signal a notable drop-off in business conditions compared with the first half of 2019.”

    Staffing levels in the construction sector declined for the eighth month in a row and the survey recorded a sharp drop in new work.

    “Construction firms have not seen dwindling new orders for this length of time since 2013, as clients continued to defer spending large and small, citing political indecision as the cause of their non-committal,” Duncan Brock, group director at CIPS, said.

    “The sector’s downhill course, even with a slight uplift in the figures this month, looks set and there’s no sign construction can dig itself out just yet.”

  17. BreakingConstruction sector activity improves slightly

    Building houses

    The construction sector activity in the UK improved slightly last month, the latest survey report from Markit Economics published this morning shows.

    The final Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) came in at 45.3 in November, up from 44.2 recorded in October and beat the consensus estimates pointing to a reading of 44.5.

  18. Boohoo trumpets record Black Friday weekend

    Boohoo models

    Online fashion firm Boohoo had a record performance across the Black Friday weekend, it said.

    The company is "comfortably in line" with forecasts for the rest of the year, having posted a 43% jump in revenues in the six months to the end of August.

    It added that its recently acquired brands - Karen Millen, Coast and MissPap - have all been "successfully integrated" onto its platform.

    Analysts at Liberum said: "That Boohoo has had a record Black Friday is not, in itself, unexpected for a growth company.

    "However it is pleasing given discounts this year were typically a blanket 30% off for the Boohoo brand rather than last year's 'up to 60% off'."

    Its share climbed almost 3% in morning trading.