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Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan and Simon Read

All times stated are UK

  1. French ministers square up to US over tariffs

    Bruno Le Maire

    French finance minister Bruno Le Maire (pictured) says that the US threat to impose tariffs on US imports of French goods is "unacceptable".

    "In case of new American sanctions, the European Union would be ready to riposte," the finance minister told French radio on Tuesday.

    Meanwhile French junior economy minister Agnes Pannier-Runacher told a separate radio station that France would be "pugnacious" in its dealings with the US on the matter, and that it would not back down on its digital services tax.

  2. Enjoying your Christmas coffee? Here's some bad news...


    Seasonal lattes and hot chocolates being sold by some High Street coffee chains can contain up to 23 spoonfuls of sugar per cup, a study has found.

    Action on Sugar analysed more than 200 drinks and found "shockingly" large amounts of sugar in many of them.

    Some were made using vegan-friendly alternatives to cow's milk.

    The "venti" (more than a pint) Starbucks Signature Caramel Hot Chocolate made with oat milk but topped with whipped cream had the most.

    Read more here

  3. BreakingSky to build new £3bn TV and film studio in the UK

    Sky Studios has announced plans to build a new 32-acre, TV and film studio at Elstree, near London which it said will create 2,000 jobs.

    The company is investing £3bn in the project which will house 14 sound stages.

    The development is set to open in 2022, subject to planning consent, and will house film productions from Universal Pictures, Focus Features and Working Title as well as television series from NBCUniversal Content Studios.

    It will also have capacity to host productions from third party producers

  4. China aims to increase green car sales

    A technology company TOX shows its convenient EV charging station system on the 2nd World Intelligence Congress, which was held in Tianjin Meijiang Exhibition Center from May 16-18, 2018.

    China aims to increase its sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs) to 25% of total car sales by 2025 from over 20%, according to media reports.

    The announcement comes as China comes under particular scrutiny at the two week-long United Nations climate talks which are under way in Madrid, Spain.

    Sales of NEVs jumped by 62% in 2018, compared to a 2.8% drop in all car sales over the same period, according to Reuters.

  5. FTSE 100 opens lower

    City trader

    Trading is under way on the London stock market and the FTSE 100 index has edged lower, dipping 6.38 points to 7,279.56.

    However, the mid-cap FTSE 250 index has inched higher, up 2.54 points at 20,702.75.

    Shares in Cineworld have risen nearly 3% despite the company saying that it expects full-year trading to be slightly below expectations.

  6. Adele songwriter sells music catalogue

    Image caption: Fraser T. Smith co-wrote and produced Adele's hit Set Fire to the Rain

    The man who co-wrote and produced Adele's hit Set Fire to the Rain has sold his entire music catalogue.

    Fraser T. Smith has offloaded his 298 songs to Hipgnosis Songs Fund and its investment adviser, The Family (Music) Limited.

    Mr Smith has worked with a number of Britain's most successful artists including Stormzy, Taio Cruz, James Morrison and Tinchy Stryder.

    Merck Mercuriadis, founder of The Family (Music) Limited and Hipgnosis Songs Fund says: "Every time I hear one of Fraser's songs they always feel special. He writes and produces enormously successful songs that make popular music not only special but culturally important."

    Mr Smith says: "Merck's pedigree as a music industry executive, manager and visionary is almost unprecedented - and above all, he truly realises the value of the song in popular culture."

  7. Scotland is 'microcosm of rest of UK'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Edinburgh Christmas Market
    Image caption: Edinburgh's Christmas Market opened last month

    Scotland on its own is matching the UK as a whole in economic growth, according to a senior economist.

    Marcus Wright, from the Royal Bank of Scotland, told the Today programme: "What we can see in Scotland is a bit of a microcosm of the rest of the UK

    "We have a really successful city in Edinburgh, where job growth has been really really strong and has in fact outpaced the wider UK.

    "There is real success to build on in the city and it has good tourism, which is doing really well, so the key is building on that and tying in other areas to build on that success."

  8. 'Survive not thrive' mode

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Sterling notes

    A financial expert has warned that people in the UK are not making the best use of their money.

    Steve Tiger, chief executive of fintech company Money Dashboard, told the Today programme: "Sadly in the UK, most adults are in survive rather than thrive mode when it comes to their personal finances."

    Mr Tiger's company aims to bring people's financial information together in one place by pulling banking data from any account in the UK.

    He said banks were hostile to the idea at first, so he had to set up a trade association.

    "We got the other innovators in the market together and successfully lobbied the government for better access to data."

    Mr Tiger's company is based in Edinburgh and he added: "When thinking about location strategy, we think about three things. Firstly how we access talent, secondly can we retain that talent and thirdly is it a favourable environment for start-ups.

    "Edinburgh definitely ticks all three boxes."

  9. Delayed release of Avatar 2 hits Cineworld


    Cineworld says in a trading update that the second half of its financial year had started strongly with film releases such as Spider-Man: Far from Home, Joker and Frozen 2.

    The new Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker, is also due out this month.

    But Cineworld says: "As anticipated, the box office performance for the reported period was slower than the comparative period in 2018 reflecting the phasing of major releases and postponement of some highly anticipated movies to 2020."

    These include Avatar 2, the sequel to James Cameron's blockbuster movie which has made $2.8bn since its release in 2009.

    Between 1 January and 1 December, box office revenue fell by 12.8% while retail sales dropped by 7.4%.

    Total revenue dropped by 9.7%.

    It says: "The impact of the major releases in December is expected to continue the recent positive box office trend.

    However, given the weaker full year box office, partially offset by strong execution of synergies and revenue initiatives, management expects trading for the full year to be slightly below management's expectations."

  10. Edinburgh 'bucking the trend' in UK

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Edinburgh Castle

    Edinburgh is enjoying a boom at the moment, according to the chief executive of the city's Chamber of Commerce, Liz McAreavey.

    She told the Today programme: "Edinburgh is bucking the trend.

    "We have a population growing at double the national average and our business start-up rate is double the national average at almost 19% over the last five years.

    "We’ve got a fantastic tech sector and one of the largest tech incubators in Europe based here, and we’ve had our city region deal which was £1.3bn into the region’s economy which was agreed last year.

    "There’s a huge amount of things happening in Edinburgh financial services - so we are in our little bubble at the moment."

  11. BreakingCineworld full-year trading to miss forecasts

    Cineworld, the cinema chain, is warning that full-year trading will fall below management's expectations because of a "weaker box office".

  12. French champagne, cheese and make-up in US firing line

    French cheese

    American lovers of French fizz, cosmetics, handbags and cheese may face a hefty price hike if the US goes ahead with 100% tariffs on products.

    France introduced a digital services tax in July which the US claims unfairly targets the country's technology giants.

    Hence, the threat of tariffs.

    There is a long list of products facing a levy - which you can read here on page 10 - and comes after the US introduced tariffs on EU goods in a row over illegal subsidies for planemakers Airbus and rival Boeing.

  13. Bridging the childcare cliff edge

    Baby with laptop

    Julia Waltham, head of policy and campaigns at the charity Working Families, says that there is a cliff edge when it comes to childcare.

    "When mum or dad finish parental leave in the baby's first year, significant support for childcare costs doesn't really start until the child is three."

    Ms Waltham says that the Lib Dems have recognised this in their manifesto as have Labour who want to extend free care to two year-olds and plan to include one year-olds if they won a second term.

    Although she points out that while Labour is extending maternity pay to 12 months, paid paternity leave is still only two weeks.

    "I guess we would have preferred to see that money invested in dads," she says.

    So, in an ideal world, what would the charity Working Families like to see?

    Ms Waltham says they would like a childcare system that begins when parents return to work, that "ensures that every parent is better off working" and "crucially bridges that gap between the end of maternity leave and share parental leave in the baby's first year and support with childcare costs kicking in".

  14. Trump tariffs knock Asia stocks

    An investor watches the computer scree

    Asia markets fell across the board on Tuesday after US President Donald Trump said he would impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium from Brazil and Argentina for alleged "massive devaluation of their currencies".

    The Hang Seng index shed 0.2% while the Shanghai Composite eased 0.1%.

    Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 fell 0.7%.

  15. 'We're in the middle and worse off'

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Kids' toys and calculator

    Sian Morris is the mother of 21 month-old Barnaby and she tells Wake Up to Money that because childcare is so expensive she and her husband have to work at opposite ends of the day to look after their son.

    "Unfortunately when we looked into nurseries, even just looking at the cheapest nurseries we could find, they are about £900 a month.

    "When I worked full-time, I earned £1,000 a month so it is basically meaning you're working just to pay for childcare."

    Ms Morris says that the biggest thing any of the political parties could do would be to provide affordable childcare: "Because I feel like we have been let down because we are in the middle. If we earned a lot more, we'd be okay. If we earned less, there are things in placed for that.

    "Because we're in the middle we seem to be worse off."

  16. General Election: What about childcare?

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Children at nursery

    Wake Up to Money is taking a closer look at the UK political parties' manifestos and what they are promising as the country heads towards polling day on 12 December.

    In the spotlight today is childcare which for many people is too expensive and is a barrier to people - mainly women - going back to work.

    The Tories have promised to invest £1bn on pre and post school childcare, as well as in the holidays.

    Labour are pledging 30 free hours of free nursery care a week for children aged two to four years-old and extending paid maternity leave to 12 months.

    The Lib Dems say they will pump £13.4bn a year for early years care including 35 hours a week for two to four year-olds and children from nine months whose parents work full-time.

  17. FaceApp poses 'potential counterintelligence threat', says FBI


    The FBI says FaceApp and other mobile applications developed in Russia pose a "potential counterintelligence threat".

    The comments were made in a letter to US Senator Chuck Schumer after he called for an investigation into the app.

    View more on twitter

    The face-editing tool went viral earlier this year but prompted privacy concerns.

    The FBI comments come amid rising US concern that products made by foreign tech firms could pose security risks.

    In a letter addressed to Mr Schumer, the agency said "it considers any mobile application or similar product developed in Russia, such as FaceApp, to be a potential counterintelligence threat".

  18. Good morning!

    Welcome to Business Live.

    US President Donald Trump arrives in the UK for a three day visit to attend the Nato meeting just as America threatens to impose 100% tariffs on French goods in retaliation for the Digital Services Tax.

    French President Emmanuel Macron is also attending the summit.

    Expect some interesting tweets.

    We'll get a snapshot of how the construction sector performed in November when new data is released later this morning.

    And among the (rather light) roster of company updates is Cineworld when we'll learn what films put bums on seats - and which movies flopped.

    As always, we'd love to hear from you. Email Business Live at