17 October 2013 Last updated at 05:03 ET

As it happened: US debt deal and morning business live

Key Points

  • US politicians reached a deal to raise the debt ceiling, averting the possibility of default.
  • Chinese companies will be able to buy into UK nuclear power plants, Chancellor George Osborne said.
  • Workers at Grangemouth refinery in Scotland wait to see details of pay cut plan from plant owners.
    0600: Pia Gadkari Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning and welcome. We'll be bringing you the day's business headlines, as well as company results, economic data and the best of the BBC's business stories as they happen. You can get in touch by emailing bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweeting @BBCBusiness.

    0600: Anthony Reuben Business reporter, BBC News

    Good morning. US federal staff will be going back to work later - we've been here all along. Stay with us for the next four hours and do get in touch.

    US DEBT DEAL 0609:
    President Barack Obama

    We have a deal! Well, at least we no longer have a crisis. Minutes ago, President Obama signed into law a bill that will temporarily restart the government by funding it until 15 January and raise the borrowing limit until 7 February.

    US DEBT DEAL 0613: Radio 5 live

    Todd Buchholz, former White House economic adviser, was asked on Wake up to Money on Radio 5 live if the deal was just kicking the can down the road. "It wasn't much of a kick - it was a little bit of a nudge," he said. "They put it on the back of a snail to bring it down the road."

    US DEBT DEAL 0616:

    The US has agreed to take on more debt. How much has it got already? Read this piece about how US debt levels compare with other major economies.

    US DEBT DEAL 0622: Radio 4

    "Especially North American markets have anticipated this was political theatre and it would be resolved," says Marc Chandler, global head of currency at Brown Brothers Harriman, during a discussion of the US debt deal on Radio 4's Today programme.

    US DEBT DEAL 0625: Radio 4

    In Europe, financial markets are breathing a sigh of relief, says Iain Stealey, fund manager at JPMorgan Asset Management. But he warns: "We'll be having these discussions again in three months' time. That might be pushed back to March or April because of 'extraordinary measures', it's another can-kicking measure."

    Prince Charles

    The front page of The Times concentrates on Prince Charles saying the short-termism of City institutions meant they were unfit to provide pensions for an ageing population. The next generation of pensioners will be "consigned to an exceptionally miserable future", he said, unless the industry is reformed.

    US DEBT DEAL Katy Watson BBC News

    at the Capitol in Washington DC, tweets: "And the bill is signed - President Obama can finally get a good night's sleep."

    MORGAN CARS 0640:
    Charles Morgan

    The Telegraph goes with the story of Charles Morgan, who has been ousted from the board of the Morgan Motor Company, which was founded by his grandfather. He had only stepped down as managing director seven months ago. Mr Morgan says he will appeal against the decision.

    US DEBT DEAL 0641:
    Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner

    So let's break down these votes: in the Senate, an overwhelming majority of 81 to 18 voted for the agreement on Wednesday. That's not surprising, since they backed a similar deal on Tuesday too. In the House, though, the deal went through 285 to 144. It had the support of 87 Republicans, but most opposed it.


    Multinational companies in China and India must do more to be publicly accountable, anti-corruption pressure group Transparency International has said in a report. Three quarters of the 100 companies they looked at scored less than 5 out of 10 in these areas. And Chinese companies were ranked at the bottom of the pile on transparency.


    Another report, this time out in the UK, has said that millions of low income families, work no longer pays enough to provide a route out of poverty. It also says middle-class children face lower living standards than their parents for the first time in more than a century.

    George Osborne with Huawei founder Ren

    In the latest announcement from his trip to China, UK Chancellor George Osborne has announced that Chinese companies will be able to buy into the next generation of British nuclear power. He made the announcement at a nuclear power station that is a collaboration between French energy company EDF and the China General Nuclear Power Company.

    CHINA NUCLEAR 0700: Robert Peston Business editor

    The first nuclear deal with Chinese interests is expected to come next week, when the formal go-ahead is expected for the construction of a new £14bn plant at the Hinkley C site in Somerset, which will be led by EdF. EdF has been negotiating with three Chinese nuclear giants, CGN, CNNC and SNPTC, all of which have been seen by the chancellor this week. I am told that one or two of these will end up owning perhaps 30% of Hinkley C.

    Pylons, Edinburgh

    There is a growing risk of power shortages over the next few years, a report for the prime minister says. The closure of older power plants and the slow progress in building news ones is likely to stretch the system "close to its limits", the report says. Last week, the National Grid warned of a higher risk of blackouts this winter.

    CHINA NUCLEAR Via Twitter Linda Yueh Chief business correspondent

    tweets: Osborne told me that there will be usual security checks for nuclear industry but welcomes Chinese state investment

    CHINA NUCLEAR 0715: Via Blog Robert Peston Business editor

    Blogs more on the deal Chancellor George Osborne has struck in China: "He has told the biggest Chinese nuclear companies they will in future even be able to own controlling stakes in British power stations, and not just small minority shares."

    Labour Leader Ed Miliband

    Later this morning, Labour Leader Ed Miliband will set out how the next Labour government plans to introduce a levy on the profits of payday lenders - money that they say will be used to double the public funds available for alternatives such as credit unions.

    US DEBT DEAL Via Twitter Robert Peston Business editor

    tweets: As @EvanHD says, US may be competing with eurozone in can-kicking-down-road world championships: debt-ceiling crisis deferred?

    Via Twitter Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: Diageo, distilling giant, reports patchy 3rd quarter figures: West Europe down, Latin America +11%. Chinese sales impacted by govt policies

    US DEBT DEAL Via Twitter Eddie Mair Presenter, PM

    Did you hear @Peston and his FOUR SECOND guide to the US debt crisis? http://tinyurl.com/kllfbsg from @BBCPM

    US ECONOMY 0735:

    "Americans used to be exceptional for how often they moved. But that once-powerful source of both efficiency and upward mobility is now in steep decline." A great (slightly long) read from Timothy Noah writing for the Washington Monthly magazine if you're interested in looking at underlying trends in the US economy.

    GRANGEMOUTH Via Twitter Douglas Fraser Business and economy editor, Scotland

    tweets: Grangemouth workers get 'survival plan' put to them today, as Unite queries level of 'financial distress': http://bbc.in/1gmbcBA


    Pay-TV company BSkyB has reported solid three-month results, despite the launch of BT's free live sports channel for its broadband subscribers in August. BSkyB said it had added 111,000 broadband customers in the three months to 9 September and 37,000 new customers to its pay-TV offering.


    If you're joining us now, earlier this hour Chancellor George Osborne unveiled plans to let Chinese firms invest in British nuclear power plants. And in the US politicians have agreed to a short-term deal to raise the nation's borrowing limit and reopen the government.


    There have been small gains on Asian markets after the last-minute debt deal in the US. The Nikkei in Tokyo closed up 0.7% at a three-week high. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong is currently barely changed.

    SURF'S UP 0757:
    Australian surfer Joel Parkinson

    Surfing is a national pastime in Australia, which continues to sustain a significant community of small firms, as the BBC's Phil Mercer reports.


    This morning we saw some strong results from two large Swiss firms. Food giant Nestle posted a 4% rise in sales for the first nine months of 2012. Meanwhile drugmaker Roche saw a 6% increase in sales over the same time period, driven by demand for cancer medicines.

    US DEBT DEAL Via Twitter Lucy Burton Business reporter, BBC News

    tweets: We have consensus here in Mississippi - both our republican and democrat guests on #BBCNewsday say DC politicians won't have learnt lessons

    US DEBT DEAL 0812:
    Christine Lagarde

    We've had a tepid reaction to the deal in Washington from head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde. She welcomed the news, but added: "It will be essential to reduce uncertainty surrounding the conduct of fiscal policy by raising the debt limit in a more durable manner."

    US DEBT DEAL 0816: World Service

    Rob Young is reporting for the BBC World Service from Jackson, Mississippi, the state that is most reliant on federal money. He speaks to a Democrat who says they need to sort out their system so BBC reporters do not have to travel all the way there from London to report on this sort of thing again.


    There's been little enthusiasm for the US debt deal from European stock markets so far this morning. The FTSE 100 in London and the Dax in Frankfurt both fell 0.3% in early trading while the Cac 40 in Paris was down 0.2%.

    US DEBT DEAL 0829:

    Republican Congressman for Texas Ted Cruz, who fired the opening shot in the latest budget crisis, is the "clearest beneficiary" of the crisis, writes Ed Luce of the Financial Times. But his party's popularity tumbled 10 points to its lowest rating yet. "Eighteen Republican senators (nearly 40% of its caucus) and 144 House Republicans (nearly two-thirds) voted against the bill on Wednesday night and thus implicitly endorsed a US default."

    US DEBT DEAL 0833: Via Email

    Holly Hellebrand, in North Carolina, US writes: "I don't think much of either party at this point. I think that they have made their point loud and clear. Neither the Senate, Congress, nor the President himself truly care about the American people."

    US DEBT DEAL 0837:

    China has welcomed the deal to temporarily end the US debt crisis. "The US is the largest economy in the world and the proper resolution of this issue serves not only its own interest but also world economic stability and development," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.


    Citizens Advice contributes to the payday lenders debate, saying that banks should create competition by offering affordable personal small loans.

    US DEBT DEAL 0841: Via Email

    A reader, WF, from Berkeley, California, writes: "This same supposed budget problem occurred again each year for the past two years, where a deal cannot be reached until the last minute. We are massively in debt, nobody proposes to raise taxes, and nobody thinks that they owe money for things they already bought."


    If you're joining us now, the world is reacting to a short-term increase of the US borrowing limit agreed by politicians overnight. In China, Chancellor George Osborne has invited Chinese firms to invest in the next generation of British nuclear power. What do you think? Get in touch at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweet @BBCBusiness.

    US DEBT DEAL 0849: Katy Watson BBC News, Washington DC

    has told the BBC News Channel the overnight deal in Washington will not be the last we hear of US budget woes. "The bill doesn't resolve the spending issues that have divided politicians over here," she reports.

    HMV DIGITAL 0903:

    HMV is re-launching its digital music service, six months after the chain was rescued from administration. It says it hopes the app will recreate the experience of browsing in a record shop for the digital crowd.

    US DEBT DEAL 0905:
    Senate Chaplain Barry Black reads a prayer behind President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

    An interesting aside: Read about the role US Senate chaplain Barry Black has played while the debt crisis and government shutdown have been spinning out. In an interview with Slate, he said: "I can't help but have some of this spill over into my prayer. Because you're hoping that something will get through and that cooler heads will prevail."

    PAYDAY LENDERS 0907: Radio 5 live

    Stella Creasy, UK shadow minister for competition and consumer affairs, tells Radio 5 live: "It's payback time for payday lenders." She says that 50% of the profits of payday lenders comes from default charges so it is in their interests to make you borrow in ways that are unsustainable.

    GRANGEMOUTH John Moylan Industry correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: "@BBCdouglasf on plans to cut @INEOS staff pay & pensions - how much trouble is Grangemouth in financially?"

    US DEBT DEAL Via Email

    Reader Parker Young in Utah, US, writes: Without term limits in the legislature, a more educated electorate, and open primary elections, I fear the future of this country will be very dark indeed. Maybe even faster than we fear if the last few years of do-nothing government (debt reduction) is any indication.

    CARLOS SLIM 0931:
    Carlos Slim

    Shares in the Dutch telecoms company KPN are falling after the Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim walked away from his 7.2bn euro ($9.8bn; £6.1bn) takeover bid. But the sell-off has not been as bad as had been feared. The shares are at 2.22 euros, still above the 2 euro share price before the initial offer was made in July.

    RETAIL SALES 0933:

    British retail sales rose faster than expected in September. Volumes were up 0.6% in September compared with August and 2.2% compared with the same month last year, according to official figures from the Office for National Statistics.

    RETAIL SALES Hugh Pym Chief economics correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: "Retail sales up 0.6% in Sept - ONS says the 3 month on 3 month rate has been rising consistently shows underlying rate of growth for retail"

    CHINA NUCLEAR 0942: Via Email

    Reader Stephen F. says: Quite why this is good for the UK is beyond me. We already have massive investment from off shore in our utilities and household budgets are straining to keep money flowing OUT of the country. Surely there is a lesson to learn there? Some things cannot be left to foreign or commercial investment deals - I strongly suggest that energy security is at the very top of that list!

    RETAIL SALES Hugh Pym Chief economics correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: ONS: In Q3 2013, quantity bought in the retail industry grew by 1.5%, which is the largest quarterly increase since Q1 2008

    Close up of a shirt of a Royal Mail worker

    With the strike at Royal Mail due to go ahead, the BBC has put together a handy explainer of what the impact will be, and how you can be prepared.


    The dollar has lost more than a cent against the pound and almost a cent against the euro. Gold prices are up more than 2% at $1,309 per ounce. The FTSE 100 in London is down 0.3%.

    BMW i8

    The Johannesburg International Motor Show, held every two years, is the single largest international car event in Southern Africa. It has opened to industry professionals and the media, and will open to the public on Friday. Click here to see what's on offer.


    And that's it for our Thursday live page. Today, Chancellor George Osborne invited Chinese companies to invest in the next generation of UK nuclear power plants and politicians in Washington agreed to a short-term deal, ending the budget crisis for now. Later, workers at Scotland's Grangemouth refinery will get details of a pay cut package. Join us again at 06:00 tomorrow.


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