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  1. The Eurozone falls into deflation in December
  2. Brent Crude falls below $50 a barrel
  3. Sainsbury's reports a fall in Christmas sales

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris and Howard Mustoe

All times stated are UK

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Ben Morris

Business Reporter

That's it for today. But do come back tomorrow for Super Thursday (at least that's what some retail experts are calling it). We will get a much anticipated trading update from Tesco, an update from M&S and news from fashion retailer Ted Baker.

How the super-rich live

World Service

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"There hasn't really been a crisis for our members - they've had a lovely last few years, and hopefully with our help they'll enjoy the next few as well." Hear from the man who helps the super-rich splash their cash on luxury cars and exclusive restaurant tables on today's

Business Daily.
You can download the podcast from the BBC website.

Beats lawsuit

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Audio equipment firm Monster has

sued Apple's Beats Electronics over alleged "fraud and deceit" in the way that Beats acquired the rights to the popular "Beats by Dr. Dre" headphones. According to the suit, Monster masterminded the success of the headphones and was unfairly excluded before Beats was sold to Apple last year.

Via Email

Supermarket woes

Louise Cooper

CooperCity blog

I question [Sainsbury's chief executive] Mike Coupe's assertion that food price deflation is largely caused by lower commodity prices.

I disagree and think it is the effect of the discounters pulling psychological price levels down. I note that he has cut the price of a whole chicken from £5 to £3.50... For me and I assume many others it is an item where the price is remembered. Mike Coupe has cut the price from £5 to £3.50 - the exact price I paid last time at Lidl.

Pump prices

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According to credit firm Experian Catalyst, unleaded prices are dropping by the day. A litre of lead-free petrol cost 110.35 pence yesterday, down from 111.34 pence the day before. Diesel dropped to 117.54 pence from 118.31 pence. It is not the biggest one-day decline though, there was a 2 pence drop for unleaded petrol on 14 December.

Giant container ship

CSCL Globe, Felixstowe

Along with a seasick producer, BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott is on the water at the port of Felixstowe for the

arrival of the world's biggest container ship. He sent this picture from the scene. It probably doesn't do justice to a ship that is the length of four football pitches and can carry 19,000 containers.

Via Twitter

Bonds bubble?

Duncan Weldon

Economics Correspondent, BBC Newsnight


At what point do we start worrying about an enormous bubble in sovereign bonds?"

Sainsbury's shares fall

Sainsbury's shares

In something of a reverse ferret, investors have had a change of heart over Sainsbury's shares. For a while they were the second biggest winner among FTSE 100 shares, now they are the biggest losers with a 1.1% decline. Earlier the company

released its Christmas trading statement and warned of a "challenging" year ahead.

Via Email

Eurozone woes

Jonathan Loynes

Chief european economist, Capital Economics

Fiat 500 being pushed


December's sharp drop in eurozone inflation into negative territory could herald the start of a prolonged and damaging bout of deflation in the currency union, which may in turn threaten to re-ignite the region's debt crisis."

Via Twitter

Mark Lobel

BBC Middle East Correspondent, Dubai


Just spoke to Snr Oil Exec in Dubai who predicts Brent to drop to $45pb and only recover to $80 - $90pb in 1 - 2 years time"

A tale of two economies

Unemployment in Germany is now at its lowest level since unification, according to official data. The number of people registered as unemployed in Europe's biggest economy fell by a seasonally-adjusted 27,000 to 2.84 million, or 6.5% in December, the Federal Labour Office said. In Italy, by contrast, the unemployment rate in November rose to its highest since the statistics office began reporting the data in 1977.

Via Twitter

Greek bonds

Ben Thompson

Business correspondent, BBC News Channel

tweets: Yield on Greek 10-year bonds above 10% for 1st time since Sept 2013. Pre-election uncertainty & worries over Greece's future in Eurozone.

Via Email

Sainsbury's results

Jon Copestake

Retail Analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit

Sainsbury's have highlighted how difficult the UK market is becoming for the big four mainstream retailers. The fact that a 1.7% like for like decline in sales is seen as outperforming expectations sets a depressing benchmark for the year ahead in which it is likely that all of the big four supermarkets will struggle.

Via Email

Eurozone inflation

Ben Brettell

Senior Economist at Hargreaves Lansdown

Following Monday's news that German inflation slipped to a five-year low of 0.1%, today's figures for the eurozone as a whole showed the currency bloc has slipped into deflation for the first time since 2009... A significant portion of the fall in inflation can be attributed to the plummeting price of oil, which dropped below $50 a barrel yesterday.

Eurozone inflation

If you exclude energy prices, December eurozone inflation was 0.6%, the same as November, according to this first estimate by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union. The services sector saw 1.2% inflation.

BreakingBreaking News

Eurozone inflation

Euro sign
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The Eurozone has fallen into deflation. December inflation was -0.2% from a year earlier. That was worse than expected.

Nut rage question

The latest nut rage update gives us an opportunity for some audience participation: What's the most unreasonable demand a boss has made of you? Bonus points for it being nut-related or for your boss being the offspring of the company chairman. We will publish the best stories that don't break any taste and decency guidelines. Email

Majestic Wine shares hit

Investors have had a bad reaction to the latest trading update from Majestic Wine.

Shares are down more than 12% after the wine retailer said that heavy discounting by competitors hurt Christmas trading and it expects that tricky trading environment continue this year.

Nut rage


Macadamia nuts have never had so much publicity. South Korean prosecutors have charged Cho Hyun-ah, the former Korean Air Lines executive

who last year caused a full plane to taxi back to its gate after a member of the flight crew served her macadamia nuts in a bag (rather than on a plate). She is charged with violating aviation security law and hindering a government investigation. Ms Cho's actions amounted to "threatening the safety of the flight and causing confusion in law and order,'' prosecutor Kim Chang-hee said.

Shell lawsuit

BBC Radio 4

Shell spokesman Philip Mshelbila is on

Today talking about the oil spill settlement. Did they really offer £4,000 before settling for £55m? "It is possible someone in the field based on very preliminary views mentioned something like that." Since then offers have been consistently in the "tens of millions of pounds," he says. The process took six years because of the involvement of various investigations, he said.

Car sales


New car registration figures for the UK covering all of 2014 are out from the

Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. New car sales in 2014 reached more than 2.47 million - the highest annual figure since 2004 and the fourth-highest ever. Last year's total new registrations, at 2,476,435, were 9.3% up on 2013.

Sainsbury's results

Here's some detail from Sainsbury's Christmas update. Its snowman jumper was the best selling item of clothing. Sales of its Taste the Difference Prosecco were up by more than 30%. And 57 million mince pies and 550,000 turkeys were sold over the festive period, up 8% compared to the previous year.

Financial crisis revisited

Veteran commentator David Buik from Panmure Gordon has some interesting perspective on the financial crisis, given the revelations contained in Bank of England minutes from that era. He says we should not be too critical of officials in charge at the time as the system was dysfunctional: "the contrived nonsense of the Tripartite - Treasury, BOE and FSA never worked," he says in his blog.

Market update

In London, the

FTSE100 share index is up 0.1%, while the German
Dax is up 0.13% and the French
Cac is up 0.33%. shares collapse website

Shares in online fashion retailer have plummeted by 41% this morning. That's after the company warned full year earnings would be below forecasts. Boohoo has been hurt by heavy discounts across the retailing sector.

Newspaper review

Business pages

Greece's left wing Syriza party has promised to tackle the nation's oligarchs, according to the lead story of the Financial Times. The Business pages of the Times and the

Daily Telegraph both focus on revelations provided by Bank of England minutes made around the financial crisis.
"Diary of a shambles" is how Nils Pratley of the Guardian headlines the events.

BreakingBreaking News

Brent Crude below $50

North Sea Brent Crude

Brent Crude has dropped below $50 a barrel for the first time since May 2009.

Sainsbury's advert

Sainsbury's Christmas advert 2014

Sainsbury's boss, Mike Coupe, is asked about the supermarket's

Christmas TV ad which was based on the Christmas truce on the Western front during World War One. It did receive criticism, but Mr Coupe says that the customer response was "overwhelmingly positive" and he thinks the tone was "absolutely right". The ad also helped raise £500,000 for the Royal British Legion, he said.

Sainsbury's chief executive

Radio 5 live

"Broadly we sold the same amount of stuff last year, just at lower prices," says Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe on

Radio 5 live. That's why sales have been falling. As for fuel prices, if oil price continues to fall we will "almost certainly" see fuel at £1 per litre he says.

Shell lawsuit

BBC Radio 4

Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International's Global Issues Director is on

Today, talking about the Shell settlement. "It's good for the people of Bodo to have some sort of resolution after six years," she says. They are still waiting for a full clean-up, she says. Shell should have cleaned up the 2008 oil spills immediately, she adds. Shell has said previously it did make attempts to clean the area but was hampered by the locals. Ms Gaughran says Shell underestimated the size of the spill.

Majestic Wine

Majestic wine

Majestic Wine said sales from 28 October to 5 January were up 3.7%. For stores open at least a year sales were up 1.1%. The period was "particularly challenging" because of the many offers available from competitors, said the firm.

EasyJet numbers


EasyJet reported a 3.2% rise in passenger numbers to 4.63 million. For the full year, passengers were up 6.5% to 65 million.

Persimmon homes

Homebuilder Persimmon says it had a "strong performance" in 2014 with an increase of 17% in completed dwellings to 13,509. The average selling price in 2014 was £190,500, an increase of 5% over 2013, it said.

Sainsbury's results


Sainsbury's chief executive Mike Coupe said that the outlook for the remainder of the financial year (which runs until April) "is set to remain challenging". It expects the fourth quarter performance to be "similar" to the third quarter sales decline of 1.7%. Mr Coupe is due to appear on
Radio 5 live after 07:30.

BreakingBreaking News

Sainsbury's results

Sainsbury's has reported a 1.7% fall in like-for-like sales, excluding fuel. That's for the 14 weeks to 3 January.

Financial crisis revisited

BBC Radio 4

"They missed the whole interconnectedness of the financial system... when Lehman went down it was a real catastrophe," says Lord John McFall, on the

Today programme, speaking of the response by policy makers to the financial crisis. Officials were too busy toasting their own success over growth to notice the fermenting trouble, he adds.

'Lehman squared'

BBC Radio 4

"Lehman squared" is how the market is talking about the risk of a Greek exit says Gemma Godfrey of investment firm Brooks MacDonald on

Today. What does that mean? Think of how the collapse of Lehman Brothers affected markets during the crisis. Investors are worried a Greek exit will be much worse, she says.

Shell lawsuit

BBC Radio 4

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Martyn Day of law firm Leigh Day is on the

Today programme, talking about the settlement his firm has made for Nigerian clients suing Shell following two oil spills in 2008. The community is very happy with the £55m deal, he said. Initially the firm had offered the entire community £4,000.

Eurozone woes

BBC Radio 4

Will ECB chief Mario Draghi go ahead later this month with quantitative easing for the Eurozone? "The opposition is political... the Germans don't want to go in for this bond buying," says Roger Bootle, an Economist with Capital Economics on the

Today programme. On Greece: "I think the chances of a Greek exit have risen considerably," he says. Not because anybody in Greece really wants to leave the eurozone, he says, but because some in the country feel it's a price worth paying to end austerity.

Eurozone deflation?

euro dollar

We get some very important European data later this morning. At 10:00 the latest estimate of inflation in the Eurozone is due to be released. It is expected to show that the annual rate turned negative for the first time since 2009. Ahead of the that the euro has been trading at nine-year lows against the dollar, sinking as low as $1.1842.