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Summary

  1. Bank of England holds interest rates again
  2. Inquiry into current accounts and business lending launched
  3. The morning's main business programmes are available on the Live Coverage tab

Live Reporting

By Edwin Lane and Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's it from us. We'll be back with more from 06:00 tomorrow. See you then.

RANDGOLD

World Service

"You know there's modern technology in Africa contrary to some people's understandings." The chief executive of Randgold, Mark Bristo, tells Russell Padmore how he ran his mining company from the back of motorcycle while on a month-long charity ride across the continent. Listen to the interview at 19:30 GMT on the World Service.

LISTEN AGAIN

World Service

tweets: "Randgold chief executive Mark Bristow warns falling gold price will hurt many miners with huge debts. Listen:
bit.ly/1tLvbiJ"

ECB RATES

ECB President, Mario Draghi
EPA

The European Central Bank has kept interest rates unchanged. The benchmark rate remains at 0.05%. Attention now turns to the press conference of Mario's Draghi, the president of the ECB, at 13:30.

BIG PHARMA

The BBC's Richard Anderson reports on the

shady underbelly of the drugs industry: "Pharmaceutical companies have developed the vast majority of medicines known to humankind, but they have profited handsomely from doing so, and not always by legitimate means."

INDIA

Simon Atkinson

Editor, India Business Report

Last day of the WEF India summit where the buzzword has been - er, "buzz". The finance minister told us there was a "buzz around India". Half the delegates we've interviewed said it too. Second most overused word, incidentally, "sentiment".

FUEL PRICES

BBC News Channel

Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury
BBC

Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander is on the News Channel. He says the price of crude oil in pounds has fallen by 14% over the last six weeks alone.

He wants retailers to pass on that fall to consumers.

Via Blog

IMMIGRATION

Robert Peston

Economics editor

blogs: "If the UK is pretty strict when handing out visas to impecunious refugees who fear persecution in their home countries, is it right and proper that there is a near-automatic green light when a £2m loan is made to the Exchequer?"

PAXMAN

Jeremy Paxman
BBC

Jeremy Paxman is joining the Financial Times as a contributing editor to its weekend issue,

reports the Guardian. Among his duties will be "lunch with the FT interviews". Sounds nicer than those late evenings in the subterranean Newsnight studio. "At last someone takes me seriously," he says according to the Guardian.

INTEREST RATES

As expected the Bank of England has kept interest rates unchanged at a record low of 0.5%. The QE programme remains unchanged too.

INTEREST RATES

BBC News Channel

When will the first interest rate rise come? Keith Wade, chief economist at Schroders, points out that it will take about a year for the Bank of England's rate to feed through to the market, so the bank needs to thing about where the UK economy is going to be in 12 months' time. Even so, few analysts are expecting a rates rise before next summer.

MARKETS UPDATE

The European markets are showing signs of recovery ahead of interest rate decisions by the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.

  • The
    FTSE 100 is trading down 0.2% - up from earlier falls
  • The
    Dax is up 0.1%
  • The
    Cac 40 is back to its starting point after earlier falls

REPUBLICANS

The positive reaction of the financial markets to the Republican victory in the US mid-terms is explained on the front page of the Financial Times this morning, with the headline "

Republicans push for pro-business reform". It says the agenda for the next two years includes tax cuts and a loosening of regulation for energy firms and banks.

FRACKING

BBC World News

Could the plummeting oil price put the US's fracking boom in danger? There are many concerns but little sign of a slowdown, says Michelle Fleury. She reports from Oklahoma, where the oil industry is resurgent thanks to new fracking technology. "Our margins are really strong, so we can continue at the same pace, even with oil prices much lower than $80 a barrel," says one executive.

JOHN LEWIS ADVERT

John Lewis has launched its Christmas advert, featuring a computer-generated penguin.

The Independent reports that it comes as part of a £7m investment in its festive marketing campaign this year.

Via Twitter

TRAIN FARES

Anthony Reuben

Head of statistics, BBC News

tweets: "Bit of a slap on the wrist for @hmtreasury for not being clear about which inflation measure it used for train fares
statisticsauthority.gov.uk/reports---corr…"

APPLE SECURITY THREAT

Apple store Beijing
EPA

New malicious software programs are infecting Apple desktop computers, iPhones and iPads in China, an online security researcher has warned. US-based Palo Alto Networks said "WireLurker" appears to have originated in China and is mostly infecting devices there. The malware spreads through apps uploaded from a third-party store and can steal information.

OMAN OIL

BBC World News

Mark Lobel
BBC

An amazing statistic from Mark Lobel who reports on Oman's oil industry for World Business Report. He says that paying the public sector wage bill consumes $50 from every barrel of oil the nation pumps. Falling oil prices are jeopardising the finances of Oman and other oil reliant nations, he says.

ALITALIA BOSS

Luca Cordero di Montezemolo
Getty Images

Italian media is reporting that the former chairman of Ferrari, Luca Di Montezemolo (pictured), will be the next chief of Italy's national carrier Alitalia. In September
Mr Montezemolo left Ferrari after 23 years at the company. His departure followed a clash with Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne. As head of Italy's main business association, Mr Montezemolo supported Etihad's rescue deal for Alitalia.

TAX AVOIDANCE

Luxembourg's Premier Xavier Bettel has responded to those allegations that his country has signed hundreds of tax deals with companies looking to minimise their tax bills. "I want to underline that these rulings conform to international laws," he was quoted as saying by the AFP news agency. However the investigation,

reported in today's Guardian, is not accusing the companies of acting illegally.

BANKING INQUIRY

Kamal Ahmed

BBC Business editor

I am sure the issue of "free in-credit banking" will be part of [the CMA's] review. If customers paid up front for accounts would they demand a better service? Would they be more likely to switch if they were not satisfied with their bank? If customers are charged for bank accounts, what does that mean for people on lower incomes, would they be priced out of full service banking?

MORRISONS

Morrisons
Getty Images

Morrisons has seen its shares rise

more than 6% this morning, despite
reporting another fall in sales. Investors appear relieved that the fall was not as big as the 7.4% reported six months ago, suggesting varoius turnaround intiatives in place may be beginning to bear fruit. Chief executive Dalton Philips says he doesn't expect to see a real improvement in sales performance until the second half of 2014-15.

UK INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT

Welder, BAE Systems
PA

Manufacturing recorded healthy growth in September, up 2.9% compared with September 2013, according to the ONS. Transport equipment, computers, electronics and chemicals were the biggest contributors to growth. Overall industrial output rose 1.5% in September compared with last year.

PREZZO SOLD

The Italian restaurant chain, Prezzo has agreed to a £304m takeover by the private equity group, TPG funds. Prezzo has 203 restaurants. The business has been run for 14 years by Jonathan Kaye who, along with his family, wanted to sell the business without "compromising its long term future", according to TPG.

MARKETS UPDATE

The markets in Europe are down this morning, after record highs at the close of the US markets last night.

  • The
    FTSE 100 is down 0.3% so far
  • The
    Dax in Frankfurt is down 0.1%
  • The
    Cac 40 in Paris is down 0.3%

Morrisons share price is up 5.6% - the biggest riser on the FTSE - despite reporting a 6.3% slide in sales this morning.

INDIA

BBC Radio 4

When is India going to be as rich and successful as China? "There's a lot of buzz about India... India which was falling off the global radar is back in the gaze of the global investor," the finance minister Arun Jaitley tells the BBC's Yogita Limaye. He says the new government's economic reforms mean "it's only a matter of time before you see the investment, the impact on the ground".

TAX AVOIDANCE

The Guardian reports that an investigation has revealed tax avoidance on an "industrial scale" by companies that have struck tax deals with Luxembourg. "Complex webs of internal loans and interest payments," have allowed companies to slash their tax bills the Guardian says. The paper highlights deals by Dyson, drugs firm Shire and City broking firm ICAP. The probe was by 80 journalists working through the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

BANKS INQUIRY

BBC Radio 4

Our business editor Kamal Ahmed tells

Today that getting banks to charge for current accounts is being looked at as one way to improve transparency for customers. Current accounts are free, but you get charged in other ways to cover the costs. "Charging for bank accounts is one thing [the CMA] would look at," he says. "Currently it's very difficult to know ho much you're being charged for your overdrafts for example."

BANKS INQUIRY

The BBA has responded the the

CMA inquiry: "All the banks will co-operate fully with any investigation. There are already substantial changes currently underway across the banking industry to strengthen competition, which improves choice and service for customers. Banks are pro-competition - they compete for business every day."

HOUSE PRICES

For sale signs, York
Getty Images

The housing market continues to cool, according to the latest figures from Halifax. House prices in the three months to October were 0.8% higher than the previous three months. But that is the third quarter in a row that the pace of price increases has slowed. Despite this Halifax says the healthy economy should continue to support the housing market.

BANKS INQUIRY

HSBC was among the banks that appeared unhappy with the Competition and Markets Authority's

inquiry into current accounts and business lending. In its submission to the authority it said: "HSBC is concerned that the CMA has taken a backward looking view of both markets and has tended to draw negative inference about outcomes from what is in fact a very mixed evidence base."

ADIDAS

Adidas
Reuters

German sportswear firm Adidas says its sales have continued to grow this year, but will slow next year because there's no World Cup on. The firm has issued a series of profit warnings recently, and has struggled to keep pace with its larger US rival Nike. Adidas shares are up 0.9%.

DAIRY CREST

Dairy Crest milk
Dairy Crest

Dairy Crest is selling its dairies to Germany's Muller for £80m. Dairy Crest will focus on its cheese and spreads businesses. It owns the Cathedral City cheese brand, Country Life and Clover spreads. Last year its dairies had sales of £944m, but profits of just £600,000.

JAY FIZZY

Jay Z
Getty Images

Rapper and businessman Jay Z doesn't mess around. He likes Armand de Brignac champagne. In fact he likes it so much he's bought the label. The champagne brand was launched in 2006, shortly after which Jay Z discovered it and it featured in a music video.

BANKS INQUIRY

BBC Radio 4

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has decided to

press ahead with an inquiry into current accounts and banking services for small businesses. It is concerned that the sector lacks effective competition. CMA boss Alex Chisholm tells
Today there is "a lot of dissatisfaction at the moment" with the way current accounts work, and the lack of switching suggests customers find it hard to compare accounts.

NORTHERN INVESTMENT

BBC Breakfast

Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister
BBC

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is on

Breakfast. "Downright decrepit" is how he describes some parts of the transport infrastructure in the North of England. He says some of the older trains are "cattle carts on wheels". He is hosting a summit in Leeds today and is calling for improvements in northern roads and railways.

PETROL PRICES

BBC Radio 4

Former BP strategist Nick Butler, a former strategist at BP, tells

Today there will be a cut in petrol prices as a result of oil price falls. But he says Danny Alexander should think about cutting the huge duties on fuel if he really wants to see prices at the pump fall significantly.

MORRISONS

A rough quarter for Morrisons.

The supermarket chain has reported a 6.3% fall in like-for-like sales (excluding fuel) for the 13 weeks to 2 November. Morrisons has been spending heavily on matching prices at Aldi and Lidl.

SIEMENS RESULTS

Siemens wind turbines
SIEMENS

German engineering giant Siemens has been hit in its fourth quarter by problems at its wind turbine division. That unit picked up a €223m (£174m) charge for inspecting and replacing defective blades and bearings on wind turbines. Despite that total net income was almost €1.5n - up from €1.07 last year.