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Summary

  1. Welcome to the new-look Business Live page
  2. The morning's main business programmes are available on the Live Coverage tab
  3. UK unemployment figures show fall
  4. China inflation at near five-year low

Live Reporting

By Edwin Lane and Matthew West

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Edwin Lane

Business reporter, BBC News

That's it for another day on the Business Live page. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 tomorrow morning. In the meantime you can keep up with the rest of the day's business news on the

BBC News website.

BANK OF AMERICA LOSSES

The second largest bank in the US, Bank of America, has reported a second quarter loss of $70m (£44m), compared with a profit of $2.2bn a year earlier, as a result of a huge mortgage settlement with the US government. The bank agreed to pay a record $16.65bn in August to settle claims that it misled investors into buying mortgage bonds that went bad.

TATA STEEL

The Prime Minister David Cameron has answered a question on the sale of steel works by Tata Steel at Prime Minister's Questions. He says he wants to see a "good future for steel in Scunthorpe" - one of the locations affected, and said the government was in touch with Tata and Klesch Group - the proposed buyer.

CURRENT ACCOUNT SWITCHING

More than 1.2 million people have switched bank accounts since new rules designed to boost competition between current account providers were introduced last year. That's a 22% increase on a year earlier. Halifax and Santander attracted the most net new accounts in the first quarter of this year according to data released by the Payments Council.

Via Blog

DEFLATION

Linda Yueh

Chief business correspondent

blogs: "Price rises are as weak as during the global recession. It doesn't mean that we are returning to recession, but it raises the danger of deflation once again."

FREEZING EGGS

Women in workplace
Thinkstock

Should employers pay for women to freeze their eggs? "There's a danger that companies give a signal - or even promote the idea - that a women needs to postpone having children in order to succeed in the workplace," says Daisy Sands, head of policy at the Fawcett Society, a group that campaigns for equality for women. Read Emily Young's

piece here.

CHIPMAKER MERGER

Leading UK computer chip maker CSR is being

bought by US firm Qualcomm. The deal is expected to be worth $2.5bn (£1.6bn). Shares in CSR rose 30% after it was announced.

Via Email

TATA STEEL

The GMB union says it and other unions want an "urgent meeting" with Tata Steel over the proposed sale of part of its UK business. "The unions have been treated with contempt in this process as the level of consultation that we would expect ahead of such a major strategic announcement has not taken place," a statement reads.

TATA STEEL

India's Tata Steel is

selling its "Long Products" division, employing nearly 6,000 people in the UK across sites in Scunthorpe, Teesside, Dalzell and Clydebridge. The prospective buyer is an outfit called Klesch Group. The BBC's John Moylan says there's "huge uncertainty" around the security of the jobs.

MARKETS UPDATE

Little reaction on the financial markets to this morning's unemployment figures.

  • The
    FTSE 100 is still down about 1%, with pharmaceuticals firm Shire 26% lower after doubts were cast over a planned merger.
  • Germany's
    Dax and France's
    Cac 40 are both down about 0.6%.
  • The
    pound has recovered a bit, up 0.16% at $1.593.

ALDERMORE PULLS FLOAT

FTSE share graph
BBC

"Challenger" bank Aldermore has cancelled plans to float on the London Stock Exchange. The bank blamed the "recent deterioration of global equity markets" It had planned to sell £300m worth of shares on Thursday to institutional investors before a full listing on Friday. The FTSE 100 has tumbled nearly 600 points since the end of August.

BONO ITUNES APOLOGY

U2 with Apple CEO Tim Cook
AP

The lead singer of behemoth rock group U2 has apologised for upsetting people by foisting the band's latest album on users of Apple's iTunes service. Bono blamed: "A drop of megalomania, a twitch of generosity, a dash of self-promotion" for the free album release that some Apple customers claimed amounted to malware.

FACEBOOK APPLE BABY

Apple has released a statement this morning about its employee fertility service. The company says it "cares deeply" about its employees and their families, and is always looking at "new ways its health programs can meet their needs". Apple adds its "cryopreservation and egg storage" services are part of its "extensive support for infertility treatments".

FACEBOOK APPLE BABY

the Facebook logo
AFP

In a country that is only really just getting used to paternity leave, we're not quite sure how this particular workplace innovation will be viewed. Facebook has since the start of the year been

offering an egg freezing service to female staff in the US, it has emerged. And it is reported today that Apple is to follow suit in 2015. We hope staff check the T&Cs thoroughly first.

Via Email

UNEMPLOYMENT

Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight

writes: " We expect unemployment to continue to trend downward over the coming months, but likely at a gradually slowing rate to stand at 5.9% at the end of 2014 and 5.6% at the end of 2016. Slightly slowing growth, an expanding labour pool and improving productivity are expected to cause the fall in unemployment to moderate."

WAGES

The

ONS data also shows average pay including bonuses was 0.7% higher in August than a year earlier - still well below the declining rate of inflation, which fell to 1.2% in September. Average wages are still not rising as fast as the Bank of England would like, so the chances of an interest rate rise this side of the election are receding.

Via Twitter

UNEMPLOYMENT

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves

tweets: "Today's jobs figures show welcome fall in unemployment but wages still well behind inflation. The pay squeeze on working people continues."

UNEMPLOYMENT

BBC News Channel

Ester McVey
BBC

Ester McVey, employment minister, tells the BBC New Channel there are "a host of job opportunities out there". She adds "We know we've had to build the country back up but the UK economy is the fastest economy in the G7... We're in it together and we're moving in the right direction."

Via Twitter

UNEMPLOYMENT

Robert Peston

Economics editor

tweets: "The annual fall in unemployment to 1.97m is largest on record. But rate of decline is slowing"

Via Twitter

UNEMPLOYMENT

Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury

tweets: "Another record breaking fall in unemployment. Every job created is another step towards a stronger economy and a fairer society @LibDemPress"

UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment fell 538,000 in the year to August. That's the biggest annual fall on record, the

Office for National Statistics says.

BreakingBreaking News

UNEMPLOYMENT

Unemployment in the three months to August fell to 1.97 million for the first time in five years, taking the unemployment rate down to 6%, official figures show.

FOOTBALL PIES

More on pies - the BBC's Azi Farni has been to visit Morecambe FC, where the match-day pies have won numerous awards, to find out how good pies can bring in

much-needed revenues at this level of football.

INTEL

BBC News Channel

News Channel
BBC

Intel's managing director in northern Europe Patrick Bliemer is on the BBC News Channel. He says "the internet of things", "smart cities" and "wearable technology" are the areas where the company plans to invest heavily as the PC market wanes.

Via Blog

FOOTBALL TICKETS

Robert Peston

Economics editor

Our resident Arsenal fan

blogs on the cost of football tickets: "So why on Earth do I - and thousands of others - pay all this money for the ritual pain of being humiliated by Chelsea, season after grinding season? Well I don't feel as though I have a choice."

FRANCE CREDIT OUTLOOK

Fitch ratings agency has downgraded its outlook for France's credit rating to negative warning the county's debt to GDP ratio could peak at 99.7% in 2017. The eurozone's second-largest economy currently has the second-highest credit rating of AA+ but possibly not for much longer.

GAMERGATE

World Service

The BBC World Service's

Business Matters programme has been debating misogyny and corruption in the gaming industry today - a phenomenon that has become known as "gamergate". US games developer Brianna Wu tells the programme about the death threats she's received after speaking out and talks about the internet trolls who have driven several women from the industry.

TOYOTA RECALL

Toyota
Getty Images

Japanese carmaker Toyota is

recalling 1.75 million vehicles worldwide because of a faulty brake installation, it has said today. It is the second recall in as many months. Toyota recalled 690,000 Tacoma pickup trucks in the US because of a potential vulnerability in the vehicles' suspension systems.

MARKETS UPDATE

Markets in Europe have opened lower.

  • The
    FTSE 100 is down 0.7% with Shire's big fall helping to drag the market down.
  • The
    Dax in Frankfurt and the
    Cac 40 in Paris are both down too, falling 0.1% and 0.3% respectively.
  • Overnight the
    Asian markets were up despite some more worrying inflation data out of China.

SHIRE SHARES

Shire share graph
BBC

have tanked this morning on the news that US drug firm AbbVie is considering pulling out of its £32bn takeover of the UK pharmaceutical firm. They're down 28% to £37.25 from Tuesday's closing price of £51.31.

Via Twitter

ABBVIE SHIRE DEAL

The news US drug firm AbbVie is reconsidering its £32bn takeover of UK rival Shire following new tax rules announced by the US Treasury could hurt Shire significantly it appears. City grandee David Buik

tweets: "Early print of pre market trading in SHIRE - small at £40.00!! - down 22%" Yesterday Shire's shares closed at £51.31.

FINANCIAL SCAMS

Radio 5 live

The Financial Conduct Authority is launching a campaign to make people more aware of

financial scams from cold-callers. Tracy McDermott from the FCA tells
Radio 5 live reputable financial firms simply don't use cold calling, so if you get a call with an offer that sounds too good to be true, put the phone down.

FOOTBALL TICKETS

Pie
Getty Images

Kidderminster sells the most expensive half-time pie in English football - a hefty £4.50. Stats lovers should take a look at BBC Sport's

Price of Football study for more interesting nuggets.

Via Twitter

SHIRE MERGER

Adam Parsons

Business Correspondent

tweets: "Shire says AbbVie would have to pay $1.6bn break fee if it backs out of merger deal"

BG GROUP NEW BOSS

BG Group - not to be confused with British Gas, from which it was spun off in the 1980s - has appointed Statoil's chief executive Helge Lund as its new chief executive from March 2015. He will be paid a salary of £1.5m. But it's the £480,000 relocation package that's attracting some attention this morning. Mr Lund is only moving from Norway to the UK, surely it can't cost that much to move here, can it?

CONVERSE

World Service

Will Converse succeed in its legal action to protect its brand? "It is notoriously difficult to win a trademark case in the fashion context," Polk Wagner, professor at University of Pennsylvania Law School tells BBC World Service's Newsday programme. "It's certainly not a slam dunk on the part of the plaintiffs."

CONVERSE

Converse
Getty Images

Converse's Chuck Taylor basketball shoes have been around since 1917, and the company says it's sold a billion pairs worldwide since then. But its popularity has spawned plenty of look-a-likes and now the company looks like it has lost patience and

is suing 31 companies over it.

FOOTBALL TICKETS

Radio 5 live

"Football is not just another business," says Kevin Miles from the Football Supporters' Federation, talking about the escalating cost of tickets on

Radio 5 live. "Long-term fans are asked to choose between their loyalty to their club and their financial welfare. Working class people are being priced out. It's losing its social inclusion."

BALFOUR CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Balfour Beatty's five-month search for a new chief executive has come to an end. It has announced Leo Quinn as the new boss - he joins from QinetiQ. It follows the departure of Andrew McNaughton in May following the engineering and construction firm's second profit warning in six months. Mr Quinn began his career at Balfour Beatty in 1979 as a civil engineer.

INHERITANCE TAX HIKE?

Could the government be lining up a change in the inheritance tax threshold? It certainly appears that way. Prime Minister David Cameron has re-stated his ambition to raise the threshold at which people pay the tax from £325,000 to allow people to leave more to their children. Speaking at an Age UK conference in London, Mr Cameron said the 40% tax should only be paid by the very wealthy.