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  1. All of the morning's business headlines and breaking news.
  2. Government details £15bn road building plan
  3. Brent crude prices slide below $70 a barrel
  4. UK manufacturing activity picks up speed

Live Reporting

By Joe Miller and Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Ben Morris

Business Reporter

That's it for Monday. Come back on Tuesday. We'll be revving up for Wednesday's Autumn Statement, which should distract us from Christmas shopping for a couple of days.

Media movers

SB Nation

The times they are a-changin' - especially in the media industry. The New York Times reports that

web news brand Vox has been valued at $380m. That's $130m more than the Washington Post was sold for last year. Vox's outlets include tech site The Verge, sports site SB Nation and style site Racked.

Vinyl comeback

Vinyl records

Much has been made of the fact that more than a million vinyl albums have been sold in the UK this year. But is it really that significant? The BBC's data guru Anthony Reuben thinks not.

Find out why on the BBC website.

Cyber Monday


As if the incessant marketing surrounding Black Friday and Cyber Monday is not bewildering enough, Branded3 have

put together a frightening live calculator of today's online spending in the UK (based on estimates).

Via Blog

Robert Peston

Economics editor

blogs: "The falling oil price will put vastly more money in your pocket than anything the chancellor could dream of doing in his Autumn Statement on Wednesday."

FTSE movers

An interesting snapshot of the winners and losers in today's economy. The London Stock Exchange says oil giant Petrofac may be demoted from the FTSE 100 index, while homebuilder Barratt may move up . A final decision will be taken on Wednesday.

Europe's woes


New York Times columnist Paul Krugman

lays the blame for the eurozone's woes at Germany's door. The country's "beggar-thy-neighbour policies," he says, "are in effect exporting deflation to its neighbours". The troubles of Greece and Italy "aren't the source of Europe's deflationary downdraft," he argues.

Amazon robots

Amazon warehouse

Amazon has released some pictures of its newest warehouse (although it prefers to call them fulfilment centres) in Seattle. The robots help improve delivery speeds, but probably are not much fun at the staff Christmas party.

Shopping frenzy

Top Shop Black Friday promotion

Every day is Friday at Top Shop - or at least for a few more days. As the picture shows, its Black Friday deals are running for five days. Meanwhile in other shopping frenzy news, today is Cyber Monday

one of the busiest days for online retailing. Are you over Christmas shopping yet?

Nigerian currency

Cash machine, Lagos

Nigeria's naira has touched a record low against the dollar of 183.05, despite efforts by the central bank to support the currency. Nigeria has relied on income from the oil industry to maintain its foreign currency reserves and support government spending. But the falling oil price has depleted its currency reserves.

Via Twitter

Lerato Mbele

BBC World Service, Johannesburg

tweets: "In Nigeria more than 70% country's foreign currency & 90% of government budget spending comes from oil. A falling oil price is serious stuff"

Vodafone deal?

Vodafone sign

Vodafone is considering a "combination" with Liberty Global, which owns Virgin Media,

according to Bloomberg. There is a scramble among phone companies at the moment to combine so they can offer us the quad play which, in English, is phone, broadband, mobile and TV services. BT is considering buying O2 or EE to offer such a deal.

Co-operative Bank

In other Co-operative Bank news, the lender has sold a property subsidiary called Illius for £157.5m, as part of a series of sell-offs designed to bolster its capital position. The bank almost collapsed last year, and had to be rescued after discovering a £1.5bn capital shortfall.

Co-operative Bank

Co-operative bank sign
Getty Images

The Co-operative Bank is likely to fail a test of its financial strength, the Times reports today. The Prudential Regulation Authority is due to publish the results of a stress test on 16 December. The article quotes one analyst who says the Co-op Bank has a "high risk" of failing that test and may have to tap shareholders for more capital.

Japan downgrade

Shoppers, Tokyo
Getty Images

The credit rating agency

Moody's has downgraded Japanese government debt. The agency says there is "heightened uncertainty" over the government's ability to cut the deficit and says there are questions over the "effectiveness" of efforts to boost growth. Moody's now rates Japanese debt at A1 from Aa3.

UK lending

Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter, BBC News

During and after the financial crisis, consumers took a safety-first approach to debt. But, Bank of England figures show that the annual growth in loan, overdraft and credit card borrowing is now back to pre-crisis levels.

UK lending

Fewer mortgages were issued in October than at any time since June 2013, Bank of England figures have revealed. However consumer lending rose at the fastest annual rate since 2006 - by 6.4%.

Airbus order

Azul aircraft
Getty Images

Airbus says that Brazil's Azul has agreed to buy 35 of its A320neo jets, with a list price of €2.9bn (£2.3bn). The airline will also lease another 28 of those aircraft.

Via Twitter

Gavin Hewitt

Europe editor

tweets: "EU migrants prefer Germany to UK. An OECD study in 2012 found 30% of 'free movement' migrants went to Germany compared to 7% to UK."

UK manufacturing

We promise to stop bombarding you with manufacturing figures in a minute, but news just in that the sector registered a four-month high in the UK for November, reaching 53.5. That's the 20th successive month of growth. Job creation in factories also reached a four-month high.

Eurozone manufacturing

Manufacturing activity in the eurozone continued to decline in November, according to Markit's purchasing managers' survey. The index hit 50.1 in November, barely above the reading of 50, which indicates growth. The eurozone's largest economies faltered. France, at 48.4, reached a 3 month low, while Germany, at 49.5, was at its worst in 17 months.

Spanish manufacturing

Spain flag
Getty Images

Spain's manufacturing companies are bucking the trend in the rest of the eurozone, and enjoying sharp growth, as figures show production reached a seven year high in November. The Purchasing Managers' Index rose to 54.7 - the highest since June 2007 (a reading above 50 indicates growth), as falling raw material prices helped firms boost output.

Landline charges

Radio 5 live

Phone companies, including BT are putting up the price of landline rental from today. The price has gone up by 40% over six years, says Adam Parsons on

Radio 5 live. Why is that? Well, according to Matthew Howett from consultancy Ovum, it's because those firms have seen a dramatic fall in landline use - 1 billion fewer minutes over the last year alone - but they still need to cover the cost of those connections.

Credit broker crackdown

A rather remarkable note from the FCA. It says the new rules "have been made without prior consultation, because the FCA considers that the delay arising from the time it would take to consult would be prejudicial to the interests of consumers".

Rouble plummets


Falling oil prices are really not helping the already ailing Russian rouble. It now takes more than 52 roubles to buy a single US dollar - a low the currency has not reached since 1998. The FT says today's fall of more than 5% amounts to the biggest one-day slide in 16 years.

Market update

Shares in miners and oil explorers are being hammered in London in early trading. A report from China this morning showing that factory activity slowed more than expected in November is also weighing on the market. Another fall in oil prices is hurting the oil sector, but helping airlines.

Aberdeen Asset Management

The giant fund management group, Aberdeen Asset Management has reported an annual profit of £354m, that's down from £390m in the previous financial year. The company's chief executive Martin Gilbert described trading as "a more challenging environment". During the year, Aberdeen bought the Scottish Widows investment business.

Credit broker crackdown

Credit broking sites are designed to help people find the best value loan for their needs. But they can also charge hefty fees - tens of thousands of complaints have been made about them this year. In the worst cases, consumers found hundreds of pounds 'drained' from their bank accounts by the websites.

Via Twitter

Gavin Hewitt

Europe editor

tweets: "Dutch manufacturing in November grew at fastest rate in 9 months. Poland, too, grew at fastest rate in 8 months."

Road building

Radio 5 live

The deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has just been on

Radio 5 live. There will be legislation over the next few months to makes sure that the new transport projects actually happen, he says. He adds that will ensure the money is there to pay for those projects.

Credit broker crackdown

Credit brokers, which act as a go-between for people trying to find loans, will no longer be able to charge their customers, the regulator has said, unless the fees are made clear in advance. New rules by the FCA will also give consumers more time to cancel loan applications.

Via Twitter

Simon Gompertz

Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

tweets: "Financial watchdog, FCA, stamps on "blatantly unfair" fees from credit brokers"

BG pay

BG Group

One key change to the pay package of Mr Lund of BG Group is that he can't sell his shares in the company until he leaves. The theory is that will align Mr Lund's financial interests with those of BG shareholders. Mr Lund's shares could be worth more than £20m.

Ministry of Cake

Radio 5 live

Ministry of Cake
Ministry of Cake

Chris Ormrod is the managing director of the Ministry of Cake, a frozen dessert manufacturer. He tells

Radio 5 live that his firm brings around 25,000 litres of fresh cream every week to his plant in the South West and he hopes that road improvements will make that easier.

Oil prices


Oil prices are continuing last week's slide. The benchmark price for Brent crude fell as low as $67.92 a barrel in Asian trading. It closed at $70.15 a barrel on Friday.

BG pay

Helge Lund

Oil and gas giant BG Group seems to have backed down in the furore surrounding the pay of its incoming boss, Helge Lund, who was reported to have been offered in excess of £25m in remuneration. His reduced pay package wont require shareholder approval, BG says. We'll crunch the numbers and bring you the revised total shortly.

Cyber Monday

If you thought you'd seen the back of retail mayhem after Black Friday, think again. Today is expected to be one of the busiest days for online shopping before Christmas. A survey for Royal Mail suggests 10 million Britons will start their shopping on what's become known as "Cyber Monday".

UK roads plan

BBC Radio 4

"Road schemes have a habit of being announced and disappearing a few years later," the BBC's transport correspondent, Richard Westcott, reminds

Today listeners. He says he asked Labour if they would see the plans through if in government after the next election - but the party would not guarantee it.

US debt worries

Radio 5 live

Shale oil field, California

George Godber, a fund manager at Miton, is keeping a close eye on high-yielding US corporate debt - a market that is the same size as the FTSE 100. That's because a significant chunk of that market is accounted for by US shale oil and gas producers. Falling oil prices are threatening firms in that business and Mr Godper says we could see a wave of bankruptcies.