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Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan and Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. General election 2019: Nine big things forgotten by the parties

    Westminster

    One of Prime Minister Boris Johnson's favourite slogans, Global Britain, doesn't actually appear in the Conservative manifesto. There have been arguments about potential post-Brexit trade deals with the US.

    Global issues such as climate change have featured prominently. And international issues were discussed during the Nato summit. But in-depth discussions about the kind of relationship the UK might want with the rest of the EU, if Brexit was to happen, have largely been avoided.

    Read the other eight forgotten things here

  2. Saudi oil minister: The market will have to trust us

    Bloomberg's energy editor Helen Robertson is tweeting from day two of the Opec meeting, where oil producing nations have agreed to cut oil production by an extra 500,000 barrels a day.

    View more on twitter
  3. BreakingOil prices drop on reported oil output cut

    West Texas Intermediate
    Image caption: West Texas Intermediate prices fell sharply as reports emerged of oil production cuts

    Opec and other oil producing nations including Russia have agreed to cut oil production by an additional 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 2020, according to Bloomberg.

    It will take the total reduction in oil production to 1.7 million.

    The price of Brent crude fell by 0.43% to $63.12 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate fell 0.75% to $57.99.

    Brent crude prices also fell
    Image caption: Brent crude prices also fell
  4. First fine for Chinese firm over unlicensed game

    A notice announcing the fine appeared on a Chinese government website
    Image caption: A notice announcing the fine appeared on a Chinese government website

    A game launched in China without government approval has landed the company behind it with a heavy fine.

    It is the first time such action has been taken since China reformed its gaming regulator last year.

    In this case, the unnamed company that fell foul of the law has been fined seven times the revenue it earned from the game, or 700,000 yuan (£75,800).

    Developers in China are required to seek a licence for each game they make before distributing it.

    Read more here

  5. 'If you eat caviar every day, it’s difficult to return to sausages'

    A sausage

    Russ Mould of AJ Bell thinks that the housebuilder Berkeley has become "a victim of its own success".

    He says: “Chairman and founder Tony Pidgley has a reputation as an industry sage and the company delivered exceptional returns having acquired land cheaply in the wake of the financial crisis, largely in London and the South East, and then building high-end properties which generated exceptional margins."

    Mr Mould says, however, that Berkeley's latest results are "a return to normality".

    He mulls that perhaps Berkeley's predicament is similar to the one Arsenal once faced, when, following a poor performance, the football club's former manager Arsene Wenger said: "If you eat caviar every day, it’s difficult to return to sausages."

    However, shareholders shouldn't be too worried as Berkeley has a strong cash flow and "robust balance sheet".

    “Like the rest of its peer group, [Berkeley] will be watching the election closely next week to see if the result can inject a bit more confidence into the housing market," he says.

  6. Sterling ticks lower

    The pound ticked lower on the dollar on Friday remains above the $1.31 level.

    Sterling is down 0.19% $1.3133 and off 0.11% against the euro at €1.1838.

  7. Berkeley profits drop due to Brexit uncertainty

    House building

    UK housebuilder Berkeley Group has reported a 31% fall in pre-tax profits to £276.7m for the six months to 31 October.

    Berkeley delivered fewer homes during the period - 1,389 properties compared with 2,027 in the same period in the previous year, and the average selling price dropped 13% to £644,000.

    The housebuilder said its profits were hit by lower prices due to Brexit. It added that uncertainty surrounding the upcoming general election and delay to Brexit was damaging the economy.

    However, mortgage lenders Nationwide and Halifax have both found in their surveys that house prices rose by more than expected in November.

    Berkeley's shares are now up 0.3% to £45.61.

  8. Boeing responds to SEC questions

    Boeing aeroplane

    Boeing has written a letter in response to queries from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over comments made by Boeing in previous financial statements relating to the grounding of the 737 Max and its impact on revenue and production.

    Boeing told the SEC in the letter that despite airlines cancelling orders of the 737 Max, it still does not expect the cancellations to have a material impact on its earnings.

    The aircraft manufacturer added that it is not running out of space to store the grounded jetliners and would still be able to produce them.

    Boeing said in November that it expects the US Federal Aviation Administration to lift the ban on the 737 Max in mid-December.

  9. Eddie Stobart failure would put 6,600 jobs at risk

    Eddie Stobart

    There is a lot on the line at a meeting today when Eddie Stobart's shareholders vote on a takeover proposal for the haulage firm.

    The Warrington-based business, which is known for its green and red trucks, employs some 6,600 people.

    Private equity firm Dbay, previously known as Laxey Partners, is promising to inject £75m into the debt-laden business.

    This would be made through £55m in high interest bonds and a £25m overdraft facility.

    The former boss of Eddie Stobart, Andrew Tinkler, may make an offer for the business but the board of the company is already backing the Dbay bid.

  10. Asian markets rise

    A Investor looks at screens showing stock market movements at a securities company in Beijing on August 26, 2019.

    Asian markets rose on Friday, also boosted by optimism over progress in the US-China trade talks.

    Hong Kong's Hang Seng index rose 0.9% while the Shanghai Composite gained 0.4%.

    Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.2%.

  11. Labour pledges more help for smaller firms

    Workers at plant

    Labour is promising to base a network of small business advisers in Post Office branches if it wins next Thursday's general election.

    The party says the advisers would form part of a wider agency to help firms access advice and bid for government contracts.

    The party says it would also help small firms by replacing business rates with a tax based on land value.

    But the Conservatives said Labour would bring higher taxes and uncertainty.

    Read more here

  12. 'Surprising' rise in property prices...

    For sale signs outside houses

    Gareth Lewis, commercial director of property lender MT Finance, says it is surprising UK house prices rose in November, according to data from Halifax, especially given the current climate.

    "Given that we are still in a period of great uncertainty, with an impending general election and unknown consequences regarding the outcome and impact that will have on Brexit, the uplift in property prices is hugely positive," he said.

    "Surprisingly, there is clearly still confidence in the housing market, perhaps boosted by mortgage affordability and job security.

    "This suggests people want to buy, although there is an underlying nervousness as to what lies ahead with Brexit or a potential hung parliament."

  13. London shares lifted by US-China trade talk optimism

    US and Chinese flags

    London shares have continued to rise, particularly banks and mining firms, lifted by investor optimism over signs of progress in the US-China trade talks.

    The FTSE 100 is now up 0.8% to 7,195.15, led by Chilean mining company Antofagasta, whose share price has climbed 2.4% to 888.7p.

    It is followed by packaging business DS Smith, up 2.2% to 359.6p, which saw shares fall on Thursday after reporting disappointing revenues due to slowing demand and weak paper prices.

    The FTSE 250 is 0.6% higher at 20,827.49.

    Top of the risers is Virgin Money UK, rising 4.7% to 174.1p, followed by Marks & Spencer, which is 3.6% higher at 200.1p.

  14. Eddie Stobart faces crunch rescue vote

    Eddie Stobart

    The fate of troubled trucking firm Eddie Stobart is set to be decided by a crucial meeting on Friday, with investors voting on a rescue proposal.

    One of the firm's largest shareholders, DBay Advisors, wants to lend it £55m through costly, high-interest bonds.

    If shareholders say no, the company could break its banking agreements and have to call in administrators.

    Eddie Stobart said last month it expected to report a loss of at least £12m for the first half of the year.

    Read more here

  15. German manufacturing drop revives growth fears

    Made in Germany label

    German industrial output unexpectedly fell in October, down 1.7% compared to an expected 0.1% rise.

    "Trade conflicts, global uncertainty and disruption in the automotive industry have put the entire German industry in a headlock, from which it is hard to escape," says Carsten Brzeski, economist at ING.

    Europe's largest economy narrowly avoided recession when it reported 0.1% GDP growth in the third quarter after it contracted in the April to June period.

    A recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

    But Oliver Niklasch, economist at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg, said the October manufacturing figures again start "trepidation" about GDP growth in the final quarter.

  16. House prices 'rebounded' in November

    houses

    House price growth picked up last month, according to the latest survey from the Halifax.

    The lender said prices rose 1% between October to November, the biggest monthly rise since February.

    That helped to push the annual rate of increase up to 2.1%, and the Halifax says the average property now costs £234,625,

    "Average house prices rebounded somewhat in November," said Russell Galley, managing director at Halifax.

    "While a degree of uncertainty remains evident, it’s also clear that buyers and sellers are responding to factors such as improved mortgage affordability and the limited supply of available properties.

    “It is these issues which we believe will continue to underpin the resilience evident in the market for most of 2019. Over the medium term we expect the emerging trend of modest gains to continue into next year.”

  17. Digital services tax would help 'level the playing field'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    The boss of Marston's, Ralph Findlay also wants the UK to introduce a digital services tax on tech giants.

    He tells Today: "I remember when [former Chancellor] Philip Hammond stood up and promised this - and he did promise it - and we should hold him to that."

    Mr Findlay recalls the former Chancellor stating that a digital services tax would raise around £400m a year.

    "Marston's alone pays about £500m a year in tax to the government. That sort of sets it in context - it isn't a level playing field and those businesses are not contributing to our social services in the same way that we are."

  18. Business rates system 'is really not working'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Marston's

    What would Marston's chief executive Ralph Findlay like to see addressed by the party who wins the UK general election?

    "Business rates are a huge issue," he tells the Today programme. "We're a business that operates out of bricks and mortar properties. As a pub business we pay a disproportionate amount of rates over to the government.

    "That system is really not working for us and we would strongly want to see that reviewed."