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Summary

  1. VW settlement with US over diesel scandal clears hurdle
  2. Openreach to stay part of BT, sending shares higher
  3. Tesco and Sainsbury's shares fall, as sales drop
  4. ABInBev raises SABMiller offer by £1 to £45
  5. NatWest and RBS may charge business customers to hold cash
  6. Sir Philip Green demands apology from Frank Field MP

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight from London

That's it from the Business Live page today. We're back tomorrow from 06:00.

Twitter shares down sharply in after hours trading

Twitter shares have fallen sharply in after hours trading following the release of its latest quarterly results.

Total revenue for its second quarter was $602m up 20% compared to last year.

Under its EBITDA measure of profits, it made $175m, up 45%.

It recorded 313 million average monthly active users, up 3% compared to last year.

In those results it forecast revenue of between $590m and $610m and profits of between $135m and $150m for the current quarter.

US shares little changed

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed lower, but above its lows for the session. It closed 19 points lower at 18,473.

The S&P 500 closed barely changed at 2,169.

And the Nasdaq finished 12 points lower at 5,110.

Investors had reason to be cautious before a decision from the US Federal Reserve on Wednesday and Apple results which are due out shortly.

Apple shares finished 0.7% lower.

Bank or biscuit tin?

Charities included in bank charge plans

Nat West
PA

NatWest and RBS have warned they may have to charge businesses to accept deposits due to low interest rates.

Those plans also include charities and community groups, which are counted by the banks as business clients.

An extract of a letter from NatWest to a local community group, seen by the BBC, states: 

“Charging you interest on credit balances - global interest rates remain at very low levels and in some markets are currently negative. Dependent on future market conditions, this could result in us charging interest on credit balances. We’ll provide you with appropriate notice before doing so, should this situation ever arise.”    

Chip deal confirmed

Analog Devices has confirmed that it is combining with rival chip maker Linear Technology.

Not much detail so far, but the company is holding a a presentation at 17:00 EST/22:00 BST.

Air France strike tomorrow

Air France
Reuters

Air France has given more detail about a week-long strike by some of its flight crew, which begins tomorrow.

Air France expects long-haul and domestic flights will operate without much disruption. It estimates that 80% of medium-haul flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle will be unaffected.

"However, there may be last-minute cancellations and delays. Difficulties with crew compositions may also limit the number of passengers per flight," it said in a statement.

Passengers can postpone their flight at no extra cost.

See here for more details.

Deal in the computer chip business?

There's talk of a deal in the computer chip - or semiconductor - business.

Chip maker Analog Devices is in advanced talks to buy Linear Technology, according to Bloomberg.

Linear has a market value of around $12bn.

Musk highlights climate change letter

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweets:

View more on twitter

Dominic Chappell plans to speak out on Wednesday

Dominic Chappell
BBC

Dominic Chappell, who bought BHS from Sir Philip Green, plans to make a statement tomorrow, according to the Daily Telegraph.

He will be reacting to Monday's scathing report by MPs into the collapse of BHS.

It branded Mr Chappell as "out of his depth" and "over-optimistic to the point of arrogance", while also taking out "lavish" rewards from the company.

Mr Chappell also confirmed to the Telegraph that he had received a legal complaint from Sir Philip.

How Apple shares hit the index

Moves in the Apple share price have a big impact on the S&P 500 index. But how much?

Howard Silverblatt is the senior index analyst at Dow Jones Indices, he explains.

View more on twitter

US market update

Trader
Getty Images

The Dow Jones is still trading lower, down 0.3% to 18,429. McDonald's is the biggest loser. Its shares falling, as mentioned earlier, after disappointing results. Menu price increases appear to have led more consumers to eat at home.

The best performing stock on the Dow Jones is Caterpillar. The construction company's shares are up about 4% after its earnings beat expectations.

Women in the movie business

BBC World Service

American movie maker Michael Moore says there are too few women directors. In his Traverse City Film Festival, opening today in Northern Michigan, he's featuring 32 films which are all directed by women. One of them is called Adult Life Skills. It's a dark comedy about a woman named Anna whose twin has died. The film's director Rachel Tunnard spoke to Rob Young on Business Matters. He asked her if she put much of herself into the film.  

Rachel Tunnard, director of Adult Life Skills, speaks to Business Matters.

VW clears hurdle for diesel settlement

A judge has given preliminary approval to Volkswagen's $15bn settlement with the US government over the diesel emissions scandal.

A final decision is expected in October.

"There's been an enormous effort to achieve a series of goals," said San Francisco district judge Charles Breyer. "I think these goals have been achieved," he said.

We'll call you

Dr Liam Fox
AFP/Getty Images

Liam Fox, the new International Trade Secretary, is in Washington meeting with his US counterpart about trade following the Brexit vote.

Dr Fox stressed "importance of close cooperation", according to a briefing from the US Trade Department.

He was told, however, that it's "premature" to enter formal trade talks, and that they need to wait until "basic issues around the future EU-UK relationship" are worked out.

Saudi-backed bid for Grosvenor House Hotel - FT

Grosvenor House Hotel
JW Marriott

A consortium backed by a Saudi Arabian family has launched a $1.3bn bid for a group of hotels, which includes London's Grosvenor House Hotel and New York's Plaza, reports the Financial Times.

The story has an interesting twist. The hotels are controlled by Indian businessman Subrata Roy, who has spent almost two years in jail over an illegal bond deal.

The FT says most of the cash is coming from a Saudi family that runs a private wealth fund in Dubai.

The Grosvenor is operated by Marriott International.

Apple results - what to watch

An Apple store opens in China
Reuters

This from Connor Campbell, financial analyst at SpreadEx.

"Arguably the day’s main event is still to come: Apple’s third quarter report. Back April the company revealed its first year-on-year quarterly decline in revenue thanks to a 16% plunge in iPhone sales to 51.19 million across Q2.

"Things are unlikely to have improved this time around, with analysts expecting a 15% decline in revenue to $42.01 billion, smack bang in the middle of the company’s $41 billion to $43 billion guidance, as its iPhone problems persist.

Confirmation of reports that the iPhone 7 is set to be released in September might help obscure any issues with its headline figures, though a new, barely changed, smartphone isn’t exactly what Apple needs right now."

The results usually come around 21:30 BST/16:30 EST.

Porsche hiring for electric car project

Porsche Mission E
Porsche

Porsche plans to create 1,400 jobs to develop, build and market Mission E, Reuters - a battery powered sports car designed to compete with Tesla's Model S.

Porsche is spending around a billion euros on the project and the plan is to roll out the car in 2019.

Despite being considered a desirable employer, Porsche said it is struggling to attract the kind of boffins needed to work on such a project.

"I'm not denying that the battle for talent is tough," human resources chief Andreas Haffner told Reuters.

Modest gain for FTSE 100; Tesco slides

A mid-afternoon rally for shares on the FTSE 100 dwindled and the index ended almost 14 points higher at 6,724.7.

Tesco was the biggest loser, falling almost 4%, after a report showed falling sales and market share in the UK.

Easyjet fell 3%, after Goldman Sachs cut its price target for the airline's shares.

The broader FTSE 250 fell almost 22 points to 17,069, with investment firm, Man Group the biggest loser with a 7% slump.

Man Group reported profits for the six months to 30 June of $55m, down from $163m in the same period last year.

Nigeria in surprise interest rate rise

Nigeria currency
AP

Nigeria's central bank has raised its interest rate to 14% - its highest ever level - from 12%.

It's not a move that analysts had expected - although it is battling inflation at 16.5%

The bank also said it was unlikely that the country had seen an economic rebound in the three months to June.

Pre-Brexit jitters?

Power station worker
Getty Images

All eyes tomorrow morning will be on figures measuring the health of the UK economy in the three months to the end of June.

On average analysts are predicting economic growth will have slowed to 0.3% compared with the previous quarter.

Laith Khalaf, an analyst at stockbroker Hargreaves Lansdown, says the data will tell us if the referendum gave the UK economy the "jitters in the lead up to the vote" on 23 June. 

They will also indicate if we are going into Brexit from "a position of strength, or as seems more likely, a position of weakness", he says. 

McDonald's shares lower

McDonald's Drive-Thru
AP

Shares in Maccy D's have fallen nearly 4% on Wall Street after reporting disappointing earnings.

The company reported lower than expected sales growth at its established US restaurants, despite the popularity of its All Day Breakfast.

The fast-food chain added that it faced "a challenging environment in several key markets."

Lufthansa listing seats on Airbnb

Lufthansa plane
Getty Images

The German airline Lufthansa is listing seats on Airbnb, reports the online journal Quartz, as part of a plan to fill its planes.

The ad on the accommodation-booking site explains: “Our cabin isn’t in the woods, but in the sky!”.

"The airline says its accommodations include heating and air conditioning and a 'couch' (it’s really a seat), but the carrier makes a note that it offers no washer, indoor fireplace, doorman, iron or other amenities," Quartz reports.  

Chinese income slowdown

RBS economist Marcus Wright tweets about a further sign of the slowdown in the Chinese economy...

View more on twitter

Apple earnings due

Iphone cases
Getty Images

Investors are getting ready for Apple results out after the bell.

Growth in iPhone sales will be closely monitored. They account for two-thirds of the company's overall sales and in its last report card they fell for the first time in 13 years.

Shelling out for snail gel

Snail on a leaf
AFP/Getty Images

In case you're wondering, snail gel is very good for soothing and smoothing skin.

Holland and Barrett - which has tied up with Tesco - says the snail gel it sells is "harvested from free-roaming snails".

The molluscs crawl over glass and their "mucus secretion" is then collected "humanely and under certified organic conditions".

A tube of 50ml organic snail gel will set you back £20.99.

Snail gel anyone?

Holland & Barrett stores
PA

Tesco shoppers can now add snail gel and detox teas to their weekly shop.

The supermarket giant is partnering with retailer Holland & Barrett to offer a health and wellbeing "store in store".

Supermarkets are seeking to add third-party retailers to their larger stores after finding shoppers are keen to bolster their grocery shopping with other well-known brands.

Last year Tesco signed a deal to add Sir Philip Green's clothing chains Dorothy Perkins, Burtons and Evans to some stores, while Sainsbury's is acquiring Argos.

Wall Street opens little changed

Shares are pretty directionless in the first few minutes of trade in the US.

The Dow Jones has dipped 16 points to 18,476.79

The Nasdaq has barely changed at 5,096.94   

The S&P is also pretty much flat at 2,168.6  

The weird world of negative interest rates

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

Many of you will have read about RBS and Natwest warning businesses they may have to charge them to accept deposits due to low interest rates.

BBC business editor Simon Jack says that's very unlikely to actually happen.

He writes:

"Bank of England governor Mark Carney has gone on the record saying he doesn't believe negative interest rates work, precisely because they punish banks, making them weaker and can pass on additional costs to customers, which in turn makes the economy weaker.

"The real story in RBS and NatWest's message is the rise in the cost of business banking by an average of £8 per month.

Read his blog in full here

Property booms in Portland and Seattle

Seattle skyline
Reuters

The growth in US house prices slowed in May, according to a measure from S&P Case-Shiller.

Its 20 city composite index showed annual growth of 5.2%, down from 5.4% in April.

Portland (12.5%), Seattle (10.7%) and Denver (9.5%) reported the highest annual growth rates of those 20 cities.

To boldly go...

Minneapolis
Gett

Minneapolis. Raleigh. San Diego. Perhaps not cities you'd have previously associated with British business, but the trio are to house offices for "building new economic ties" in the post-Brexit era.

The newly formed Department for International Trade says the cities were "chosen because of their economic productivity and well-established research and development institutions", and "offer exciting opportunities to boost trade and investment".

Stay tuned. 

'Take action'

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has responded to warnings from Natwest and RBS that they may charge customers to deposit money in their accounts.

Chairman Mike Cherry said the news would be "deeply concerning to small firms" and that the FSB would like to “encourage small firms themselves to take action and consider whether it’s worth switching" to a more competitive bank.

Due credit

Our personal finance reporter tweets:

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Diary of a BHS worker

Business Live presenter tweets:

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Speed test

Openreach van
BBC

More Business Live readers have been complaining about poor broadband speeds:

Graham Bainbridge in Rotherham writes:

[BT chief executive Gavin] Patterson needs to wake up. “Market leading in Europe”? What a joke. He wants to try living on my street with speeds of just about 2Mbps. Openreach vans visit at least 2 to 3 times per week because of the poor nature of the cables. We have been under review for fibre for at least 3 years now; how long does it take to do a review?"

Floyd Amphlett writes:

Ofcom is a toothless tiger and complaining to BT is slightly less effective or pleasurable than banging your head against a wall. In recent months, I have spent apparent years of my life speaking to operatives halfway across the world in a language somewhere between English and their native tongue. I have had eight visits from Openreach engineers whose net conclusion is that I have 4 meg broadband because my nearest junction box is further away than Luton Airport’s main runway. Nothing ever gets done."

Steve Bass writes: 

"0.25mps broadband speed here in Devon. But at least my BT shares have gone up."

Haylie Carr writes:

Promising faster broadband and delivering it are two separate issues. I live some 500 yards from the nearest fibre optic connection (3 miles from the centre of Bath and 1 mile from Bath University!) and I and my neighbours have been informed constantly that we are not even mentioned in a 10-year plan. So 2026 will come and go and I’ll still be on 4Mb. BT does not even return calls."

BreakingMcDonald's revenue falls

McDonald's store
Getty Images

McDonald's reported a 3.6% fall in quarterly revenue to $6.27bn as fewer customers visited its restaurants, mainly in the US. Like-for-like sales at US outlets open for at least 13 months were up 1.8% percent in the three months to 30 June - worse than the 3.2% expected by analysts. Net profit fell $170m to to $1.09bn.  

Verizon revenue falls

Verizon sign
Getty Images

Verizon - the biggest US mobile operator that is buying Yahoo - reported a bigger-than-expected fall in quarterly revenue following a charge related to a seven-week strike and as more customers opted for cheaper plans.

However, the company's operating revenue still stood at $30.5bn (£23.2bn) in the three months to 30 June, which makes the $4.8bn it is spending to buy Yahoo look a bit like loose change. 

A  $2.2bn for one-off charges also dragged net profit down from $4.2bn to $702m for the quarter, although that was still better than expected.

BT buoys FTSE 100

Tesco
Reuters

BT Group shares are leading London's main index higher this afternoon. The stock is up 4.6% after a decision by the regulator Ofcom stopped short of recommending a complete split of the telecoms giant's Openreach arm.

Tesco and Sainsbury's are the day's biggest losers after figures from Kantar showed sales at both supermarkets had fallen in the 12 weeks to mid-July. Tesco is down almost 4%, while Sainsbury's has been marked down 2.5%.

Overall, the FTSE 100 is up 0.2% at 6,721 points.

Hailo sold to Daimler

Hailo app
Hailo

Hailo will merge with Daimler's mytaxi to create Europe's largest smartphone-based taxi-hailing business - but in contrast to Uber will use existing taxi firms. 

Andrew Pinnington, Hailo boss, will be chief executive of the combined company but the Hailo name will be axed. Terms have not been disclosed.

The new business will have 100,000 registered taxi drivers in more than 50 cities across nine European countries and be based in Hamburg.

Hailo operates in the UK, Ireland and Spain, while myTaxi is available in Austria, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

Fibre fiasco

David Tarsh, who runs a consulting company, writes in with his tale of broadband woes:

I live close to the centre of London in West Kensington. I work from home in the media industry so a fast internet connection is important to me and my business. My home backs on to a small business park which has superfast broadband and houses on the opposite side of the street have superfast broadband. However, BT Openreach says that because the cabinet to which I am connected serves a small number of customers, the cost of upgrading will be too high for it to be commercially viable. It then suggests I look at ‘co-funding’, which would require me to run round finding other people locally who want fibre but it won’t say how many people I’d need to find or what sum of money would be required.