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Summary

  1. OECD says Brexit likely to hit GDP and employment
  2. Primark sales rose 7% in 40 weeks to 18 June
  3. M&S clothing sales fall 8.9% in first quarter
  4. Sports Direct annual profits fall to £275m

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

That wraps it up for the Business live page for another day. Join us again from 06:00 tomorrow for more business news.

Coinbase receives $10.5m investment from Bank of Tokyo and Sozo Ventures

Bitcoin exchange Coinbase has received a $10.5m investment from Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ, the bank's Mitsubishi UFJ Capital unit and Sozo Ventures, Coinbase said.

The investment was part of a strategic partnership with the Japanese companies involving the bitcoin firm's long-term expansion, it said.

Investors in the San Francisco-based firm include the New York Stock Exchange and Y Combinator.

Wall Street closes lower after oil price drop

Wall Street stocks mainly closed lower after a drop in oil prices dragged down energy shares, while utilities reversed recent gains.

Oil prices fell more than $2 a barrel, wiping out early gains after the US government reported a weekly crude draw that was within analysts' forecasts, while market optimists expected larger declines.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 22.74 points, or 0.13%, at 17,895.88, the S&P 500 had lost 1.87 points, or 0.09%, falling to 2,097.85, and the Nasdaq Composite had risen 17.65 points, or 0.36%, finishing at 4,876.81.

Wendy's hack 'affected 18% of its US outlets'

Interns 'face lousy job prospects'

Unpaid interns are far less likely to be offered a job after their internship ends than paid interns, according to CNN Money.

"Unpaid interns received full-time job offers about 44% of the time. Paid interns were offered jobs 72% of the time," the article said, quoting a survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

FT front page: 'Leadsom to take on May'

'Brexit exiles may have better quality of life'

Viacom chief executive exit 'inevitable' says investor

Osborne meets Chinese officials in post-Brexit trade push

British Chancellor George Osborne
Getty Images

Chancellor George Osborne has met senior Chinese officials in London to discuss trade following Britain's vote to leave the European Union, Reuters reports.

Following the meeting between Osborne, Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming and other senior Chinese officials, there had been "productive discussions on investment, financial services, and fostering stronger trading ties" post-Brexit, the news agency reported.

VW fix for Audi Q5 'does not cut emissions' says EU consumer group

The logo of German car maker Volkswagen
Getty Images

Volkswagen's technical fix for its Audi A5 did not reduce emissions in a test, a European consumer group has said.

VW has argued the fix for vehicles affected by its emissions test cheating scandal would make them compliant with EU regulations, avoiding the need to compensate owners.

The carmaker has agreed to pay out up to $15.3bn in the US to settle claims. 

The test of the Audi Q5 by the Italian consumer group Altroconsumo found that the fix was "not reliable", European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) said.

Housebuilders fight back

Market update

A quick check on the US markets - it's a choppy session - they started out higher but then turned lower.

The Dow Jones has lost 0.3% to trade around 17,865.44

The Nasdaq was up, then down and now is up again by 0.16% to 4,866.82

And the S&P 500 is down 0.16% to 2,096.43

Female representation on boards

The government is urging the UK’s biggest public companies to boost female representation in senior roles by the end of the decade, the Independent reports.

That follows a report showing that the number of female appointments on boards in the UK has fallen to a five-year low.  

Ministers are calling on FTSE 350 businesses to ensure a third of boardrooms seats are filled with women by 2020, the paper says. 

Buffett Gates bromance continues

Yesterday we brought you the musings of the billionaire Bill Gates on his friendship with the just as rich investor Warren Buffett.

Gates revealed that Buffett eats oreos for breakfast and that his mother had to persuade him to meet Buffett because he assumed they wouldn't get on.

Now the Sage of Omaha has responded in kind:

View more on twitter

Pound plunge 'not over yet'

City experts are predicting there's further to fall for the pound, Bloomberg reports.

Goldman and Citigroup are forecasting it will fall to $1.20, on expectations of a rate cut from the Bank of England. Deutsche Bank goes further - predicting a fall to $1.15 by the end of the year.

Sterling is already at levels not seen since 1985 - when Live Aid was big and Madonna was singing Get Into the Groove.

Volkswagen to pay $86m in penalties to California over emissions

Volkswagen logos
Getty Images

Volkswagen AG will pay an additional $86 million in penalties to California over its emissions scandal, state Attorney General Kamala Harris said.

The payment comes on top of the settlement of about $15bn between Volkswagen and U.S. officials announced last week, Ms Harris said. 

Pound falls back below $1.30

Sterling has slipped back down below $1.30, having briefly rallied. It has been battered by uncertainty following the UK's vote to leave the European Union.

A number of banks are now forecasting a fall to the low $1.20s and other analysts expect eventual parity with the euro, compared with current levels of around 85 pence.

OECD: Brexit likely to hit GDP and employment

Britain's decision to leave the EU could result in a 3% loss in GDP by the end of the decade and is likely to hit employment, a leading economic think tank has said.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) also cautioned that a decline in foreign direct investment resulting from Brexit could worsen UK productivity.

The OECD said that the result of the June 23 referendum on EU membership represented "a cloud" over the UK's strong performance on job creation since the crash of 2008. 

In its annual Employment Outlook report, it said:

"The UK's short-term labour market prospects are likely to be negatively affected by the recent referendum decision to leave the EU.

"OECD estimates suggest that Brexit could cut real GDP growth by 0.5 percentage points in both 2017 and 2018, and that by 2020 the cumulated loss in GDP could be 3%.

"Brexit therefore represents a cloud over the UK's recent ability to create jobs."

EU member states 'support increase in anti-dumping steel duties'

Member states of the European Union have supported European Commission proposals to increase dumping duties on imports of Chinese and Russian cold rolled coil steel, according to industry publication Platts.

"Duties will be set at 19.8% for the Angang group, and 22.1% for Shougang Group and all other Chinese suppliers... [From Russia] Severstal’s material will face a duty of 34.1% while NLMK and all other Russian exporters [apart from MMK] will be subject to a 36.1% tariff," the article said.   

Crude oil prices fall after less-than-expected US stockpile decline

An oil pump works at dawn in the Permian Basin oil field in the oil town of Andrews, Texas.
Getty Images

Oil prices have fallen after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said US crude stockpiles fell 2.2 million barrels for the week ending 1 July.

The EIA's figure came in far less than the 6.7 million-barrel draw reported by trade group the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday.

Brent crude is down 1.5% at $48.05 per barrel, and US crude is down 1.6% at $46.65 per barrel.

Brazil police probe Panama's FPB Bank in Petrobras investigation

Brazilian police have seized documents and questioned suspects to investigate Panama's FPB Bank in connection to a sweeping probe of political corruption at state-run companies.

Police said FPB Bank was under investigation for "financial crimes, laundering of assets and transnational criminal organization" for offering private banking services without the authorization of Brazil's central bank.

Offshore companies registered by the Panama-based law firm Mossack Fonseca, the subject of a massive data leak this year, allegedly helped FPB Bank get clients' money out of Brazil illegally, police said in a news conference.

Funds came in part from a multi-billion-dollar price-fixing and bribery scheme at Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro, prosecutors added in a statement.

 "Staff of the Panama-based bank in Brazil not only maintained a clandestine operation but also ensured their clients anonymity by using offshores," federal prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said they have so far identified 44 offshore companies registered by Mossack at FPB's request.

The two-year-old Petrobras investigation, Brazil's biggest ever corruption probe, has jailed and convicted dozens of powerful executives and politicians for fixing contracts in return for political contributions and personal bribes.

Wendy's says hackers stole card data

Wendy's logo
Getty Images

Burger chain Wendy's said a number of customers' payment card data, including card numbers and other crucial information, was stolen in the malware attack disclosed in January at over 300 of its franchised restaurants in the US.

Wendy's said hackers had stolen "cardholder name, credit or debit card number, expiration date, cardholder verification value, and service code," among other data.

Shares of the company, which forecast weak sales for the current quarter in May, fell about 1.6% to $9.48 in morning trading.

Wendy's first disclosed malware in some of its systems in February, a couple of weeks after it announced an investigation into unusual payment card activity at some of its 5,700 outlets.

US mortgage rates fall after Brexit vote

A sign reading 'Price Reduced' hangs below a for sale sign in front of a house
Getty Images

Long-term US mortgage rates have fallen this week to the lowest level since May 2013, driven down by financial tumult in Europe.

Mortgage giant Freddie Mac says the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage fell to 3.41% from 3.48% a week ago. A year ago, the 30-year rate stood at 4.04%.

The 15-year mortgage rate dropped to 2.74%, down from 2.78% last week and 3.20% a year ago.

After Britain's recent vote to leave the European Union, worried investors fled to the safety of US Treasury bonds.

Long-term mortgage rates tend to track the yield on 10-year Treasury notes, which fell to 1.37% on Wednesday from 1.75% before the Brexit vote.

The 30-year fixed rate is now close to its all-time low of 3.31% in November 2012. 

Former Barclays employee ordered to pay £114,500 over Libor manipulation

Peter Johnson, who has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to defraud in a Libor manipulation case, must pay a £114,501.19 confiscation order within two weeks or risk a default sentence of 2.5 years, the Serious Fraud Office has said.

Music to stores' ears

Pepsi raises full year outlook

Cans of Pepsi
Getty Images

PepsiCo's second quarter profit has hit Wall Street expectations as it cuts costs and works to keep pace with more health-conscious consumers.

It is now getting 9% of its revenue from new products, it said.

In a conference call with analysts, chief executive Indra Nooyi talked about the introduction of 1893, a "craft" cola named after the year Pepsi was invented, as well as Mountain Dew Black Label, which is marketed as being made with "real sugar" and "herbal bitters."

PepsiCo lifted its full-year earnings outlook to $4.57 earnings per share. Shares gained more than 2% in early trading. 

Terrorism and Brexit vote to hit global air passenger demand, says IATA

A passenger plane comes into land over a field containing horses at Heathrow Airport
Getty Images

Global demand for air travel rose 4.6% in May, slowing from a strong start to the year, with attacks in major cities and the fragile global economy affecting travel demand, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said.

Capacity measured in available seat kilometres rose 5.5%, meaning that load factor - a measure of how full planes are - dropped 0.7 percentage points to 78.7%, IATA said in its monthly traffic update.

"The shocks of Istanbul and the economic fallout of the Brexit vote make it difficult to see an early uptick", added IATA Director General Tony Tyler. 

Wall Street opens higher after strong labour data

A tour bus passes the Wall Street bull
Getty Images

US stocks were higher as investors digested robust labour market data a day before the crucial monthly jobs report.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 17.46 points, or 0.1%, at 17,936.08, the S&P 500 was up 2.43 points, or 0.12%, at 2,102.16 and the Nasdaq composite was up 8.14 points, or 0.17%, at 4,867.31.

BreakingFormer Barclays employees sentenced for Libor manipulation

Four former Barclays employees have been sentenced after being found guilty of rigging the Libor interest rate between 2005 and 2007.

Jay Merchant was given a six-and-a-half year sentence after mitigation.

Judge Anthony Leonard said: "I judge you to bear greatest responsibility for what happened. I do not judge that you were the originator of the scheme but it was under your leadership the manipulation took off... You abused a position of power and authority."

Peter Johnson pleaded guilty and was given a four year sentence, Jonathan Mathew  was also given a four-year-sentence, and Alex Pabon was given two years and nine months.

Brexit impact could be 'significant' for eurozone

ECB
Getty Images

The UK vote to leave the EU could be significantly negative for the eurozone, dampening a growth outlook that is already facing potential difficulties, the European Central Bank said in the minutes of its 2 June meeting, which was held before the referendum.

The policymakers concluded that growth was being hurt by weak emerging markets and lack of investment by eurozone companies, and that risks remained. 

Interest-ing fact ...

BBC business producer tweets

Can Paris pull in the punters?

BBC business reporter tweets

The only adult in the room?

BBC World Service

Former Bank of England rate-setter David Blanchflower told Business Daily on BBC World Service that Bank governor Mark Carney has been forced to step in amid a political vacuum in the UK. 

This week Mr Carney announced measures to ease lending restrictions on banks in the hope of boosting the economy, as markets continue to worry about the economic and political fallout of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney's Brexit intervention.

Streets ahead?

John Lewis store
PA

The boss of the John Lewis department store chain hopes to join the race to become the first elected mayor of the West Midlands, the Birmingham Mail reports.

Managing director Andy Street will seek to become the Conservative candidate, the paper says.

Mr Street attended King Edward’s School in the city and is chairman of the Greater Birmingham Local Enterprise Partnership, a government-backed body led by the region’s businesses to boost the economy.

He also joined the Department for Communities and Local Government’s board in January 2016 as an adviser to Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.  

Read more here

BreakingAberdeen extends fund suspension

Aberdeen Asset Management has extended the suspension period for its £3.2bn UK property fund to Monday. The fund manager suspended the fund for 24 hours on Wednesday and cut its value by 17%.

"Investors who placed trades yesterday have asked for more time to consider whether to withdraw their redemptions," said Aberdeen chief executive Martin Gilbert.

Aberdeen's fund is the seventh UK property fund targeted at retail investors to have suspended trading this week. The funds together have more than £18bn in funds under management.

Danone gobbles up WhiteWave for $12.5bn

Danone chief executive Emmanuel Faber and Gregg Engles of WhiteWave Foods
Reuters
Danone chief executive Emmanuel Faber and Gregg Engles of WhiteWave Foods

That Danone deal we mentioned earlier this morning has been confirmed. The French company will double the size of its US business by buying organic foods producer WhiteWave Foods in a deal worth $12.5bn (£9.6bn), including some $2.1bn of debt and liabilities.

It is Danone's biggest acquisition since buying Dutch baby foods group Numico in 2007. 

Chief executive Emmanuel Faber said: "We are creating a truly global leader in line with lasting consumer trends for more healthier options."

Canaccord Genuity Limited analysts said WhiteWave was the fastest-growing US food company, with 10% annual growth in like-for-like sales over the past three years and was an "excellent fit with Danone, focusing on organic dairy foods".

RBC Capital markets analysts said the deal was "a big stretch financially, notwithstanding its obvious strategic attractions". 

Brexit vote hits recruitment?

In the week before the referendum almost 1.5 million jobs were advertised online, dropping to under 820,000 in the following week. This is an early indication that UK-based companies are pulling back from hiring following the EU referendum result. The 47% drop in job openings compared to last year is far outside the normal fluctuations we see, which tend to be between 5% and 10%. At this stage it is unclear if this is an early shock reaction from employers and whether this trend will continue, however, if recruitment budgets do contract and open headcounts are frozen, it will certainly have a negative impact on the UK economy.

Brian KroppHR practice leader at consultancy CEB

Mortgage rates fall

Speaking of rate cutrs, personal finance reporter Brian Milligan tweets:

View more on twitter

Rate cut next week?

Bank of England building
PA

Following on from Mark Carney’s strong hint last week that rates will be cut this summer, financial markets are now pricing in a 78% chance that this will happen next Thursday. Initially August had looked more likely, but with economic data deteriorating and markets still nervous, it now looks probable the Monentary Policy Committee will judge that immediate action is warranted."

Ben BrettellSenior economist, Hargreaves Lansdown

Aldi wows Worcester

Hats off to Alicia Kelly of the Worcester News who has been live blogging the opening of a new Aldi store in - you guessed it - Worcester today. 

And hat tip to Mikey Smith of the Mirror for drawing it to our attention. Well worth a read.

View more on twitter

Demerit points, though, for the more than two-hour gap in between "A lady in the queue went to the toilet in McDonalds and left her shopping trolley behind to "bagsy" her place in the queue" post and "Here's the moment Aldi opened its doors".