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Summary

  1. Union fury at delay to Hinkley Point decision
  2. US GDP at 1.2% in Q2, weaker than expected
  3. Barclays half-year profits fall 21% to £2bn
  4. IAG takes €148m hit from weak pound
  5. Eurozone growth halved to 0.3% in second quarter
  6. Profits soar at Google owner and Amazon

Live Reporting

By Bill Wilson

All times stated are UK

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Good night from the Business live page

That is all from us for this week. Join us again early on Monday. 

US markets in mixed performance

At the closing bell on Friday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 18,432.24, down 0.13%. 

The broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.16% to 2173.60, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 0.14% to 5,162.13. 

RBS hit hard under stress test scenario

Stress tests, conducted by the European Banking Authority, suggest the bank (which is 73% owned by UK taxpayers), had the one of the worst responses to a series of adverse scenarios, including a major fall in GDP.

The tests examined the impact of GDP falling by around 7% between now and 2018 - something which failed to materialise during the global crisis of 2008.

Monte dei Paschi di Siena rescue

The economy minister of Italy has welcomed a privately funded rescue of Italy's third-largest lender, Monte dei Paschi di Sien.

Pier Carlo Padoan said the bank could now develop an industrial plan to help the Italian economy. 

He added: "The government acknowledges with great satisfaction the operation launched today by Monte dei Paschi di Siena. It is a market deal that will allow the bank to strengthen its capital and totally offload its bad loans."

'Potential earthquake'

More on those upcoming stress tests from Neil Wilson at ETX Capital:

“Markets are braced for a potential earthquake when the results of the EBA’s stress tests are revealed. There is no pass or fail – but we will get a very clear indication as to who’s in good shape and who’s not when the reports are published at 21:00 (BST) tonight."

Although Simon Goldsmith, at SAS, believes that this year’s stress test results will be a “damp squib”.

Credit Suisse to open US bank for billionaires

Zoe Thomas

US business reporter

Credit Suisse sign
Getty Images

Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse is exploring ways to reopen a private wealth management bank for billionaires in the US. 

The bank closed its private client bank last year and many of its bankers transitioned to Wells Fargo under an agreement between the two banks. 

According to documents seen by Reuters the new bank won't take the traditional private bank approach of advising millionaire and billionaires on wealth management. Instead, it will focus advising the ultra-rich on business transactions like lending and company purchases.

The US has the highest number of millionaire families in the world.  

Hedge funds back Hillary

The Wall Street Journal tweets...

Audio: Clinton pledges investment splurge

Hillary Clinton says she will make the biggest investment in new jobs since World War Two if elected president.

She also promised to target tax avoidance on Wall Street and elsewhere, pledging to "follow the money".

How much success can she hope to achieve with that and her other big economic policies? 

On World Business Report Susannah Streeter asked Kyle Cheney, a political reporter from Politico.

Hillary Clinton promises a huge investment in jobs and infrastructure if made president.

Trump rejects deal over his tax returns

Zoe Thomas

US business reporter

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Getty Images

Donald Trump has ruled out a deal, under which he would make his tax returns public, in exchange for Hillary Clinton publishing the transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street banks. 

The Republican nominee for US President told Fox News he wasn't interested in the transcripts and would not be releasing his returns, despite earlier promises to do so. 

Mr Trump has faced pressure for months from members of his own party and Mrs Clinton to release his tax returns.  

Mrs Clinton faced criticism from her primary challenger over the private speeches she gave to Wall Street banks for large fees. 

Stress testing later this evening

S&P leaves EDF's rating unchanged

Following the delay in proceeding with the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in the UK, ratings agency S&P says it is leaving French state-controlled utility EDF's rating unchanged.

It said this was because the UK government has said it will review the project terms and economics, with a final decision on the contract this autumn.

"The outcome of the UK government's decision remains unclear and we therefore do not include the project in our base case for EDF," S&P said in a statement. 

How much will consumers pay for Hinkley?

The French state-owned power company EDF has agreed to shoulder the estimated £18bn cost of building Hinkley Point C, the first new nuclear power station in the UK for a generation.

In return, the UK government has guaranteed EDF a fixed price for the electricity it produces for 35 years.

Does that represent a good deal for UK consumers?

Our Reality Check team takes a look.

Watch out for Italian banks

Monte dei Paschi is one of Italy's biggest banks, but has long been dogged by bad debts and financing problems. At 21:00 BST we get the results of the latest stress test by European banking authorities. The fitness of Monte dei Paschi will be particularly scrutinised.

BBC Business Correspondent Joe Lynam tweets:

View more on twitter

French government 'was warned over Hinkley delay'

British Prime Minister Theresa May warned French President Francoise Hollande that a decision over Hinkley would be delayed, according to the Financial Times.

But it appears that warning was not passed on to the board of EDF, who yesterday cleared the Hinkley nuclear plant project and then expressed surprise at the UK government's delay.

Beer deal still facing opposition from shareholders

SAB Miller beer
PA

Aberdeen Asset Management has reiterated its intention to vote against the bid from AB Inbev for SAB Miller.

SAB Miller's board recommended the revised offer earlier today.

However, the fund management firm says it is "uncomfortable with the structure [of the deal] and believes it undervalues the company".

It is urging other investors to oppose the deal.

Barclays leads FTSE 100 into positive territory

After spending much of the session underwater, the FTSE 100 rose late in the session to break the surface.

It closed at 6,724 up just 3 points, helped by strong shares in financial companies.

Barclays was the biggest winner with a 5.5% gain, followed by Standard Life and Schroders, which both added more than 3%.

Barclays shares took off, after the bank reported quarterly earnings.

The FTSE 250 added 30 points to close at 17,282. The biggest winner on that index was pharmaceuticals firm Indivior. Shares jumped 9% after it raised its sales forecast for the financial year.

Cash offer for SAB Miller 'at lower end' of range

Perhaps we are reading too much into this, but SABMiller Chairman, Jan du Plessis sounds less than enthusiastic about the offer from AB InBev. This is from a company statement:

Various factors have affected the value of the offer, most importantly the impact of the Brexit vote on the value of Sterling and the re-rating of comparable companies. This has made the Board's decision more challenging, and we believe the final cash consideration of £45 per share to be at the lower end of the range of values considered recommendable.

BreakingSAB Miller accepts revised AB InBev offer

The board of SAB Miller is recommending a revised takeover offer from AB InBev. 

There had been speculation that the deal might fall apart, due to the fall in value of the pound. Shareholders including Aberdeen Asset Management have said the final offer was "unacceptable".

Those shareholders will get their chance to vote on the deal.

Chinese 'were ready to attend Hinkley ceremony'

BBC Industry correspondent John Moylan tweets...

Chinese 'bemused' by Hinkley Point delay

BBC China editor Carrie Gracie tweets...

Three in legal action against EC over O2 deal

O2 logo
PA

The Three mobile network is taking legal action against the European Commission, after it blocked its £10.3bn bid to buy O2. Three-owner Hutchison confirmed has lodged an appeal at the European General Court.

But even if wins the case it is not thought it would revive its attempt to acquire O2, owned by Spain's Telefonica

But Hutchison could apply for compensation.

Brewing deal coming to a head

Miller Lite and Budweiser
Getty Images

Chinese regulators have conditionally approved brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev's giant takeover of SABMiller.

This was one of the last major hurdles for the $103bn deal to go ahead. The commerce ministry "decided to approve" the sale on condition that SABMiller's own stake in China's biggest brewery was sold off. 

Original and revised US GDP charted

Zerohedge tweets...

Spending surge not enough for US growth

The BBC Business website writes...

Hinkley Point delay 'bizzare'

A national officer for the Unite union, Kevin Coyne, has described the delay to the Hinkley Point nuclear project as "bizarre" - and urged the government to proceed with the scheme as quickly as possible.

"There are 800 persons working on the site. What happens to them in the interim?" he said.

"There are a lot of contractors that are lined up behind that, that have been waiting for years. There are jobs to be created, and really this is the litmus test - first litmus test - of the government's strategy in terms of industry, regenerating the economy and so on, and it needs projects like this."

Chevron posts largest loss since 2001

Chevron petrol station
Getty Images

After those weak figures from Exxon, the second-largest US-based oil producer, Chevron, has posted a large second-quarter loss.

The loss is its biggest since 2001, due to the slump in crude prices and refining income. The company lost $1.47bn, compared with a net profit of $571m a year ago. 

And production fell about 3% to 2.53 million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Hinkley Point 'likely' to go ahead

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Former energy secretary Lord Barker says that on balance, Hinkley Point is likely to go ahead and at this late stage it will be "pretty difficult" to renegotiate the contract.

Big spending

Director of Global Forecasting at Economist Intelligence Unit tweets:

US economy grew more slowly

In further bad news for the US economy, first quarter GDP growth has been revised down, from 1.1% to 0.8%.

BreakingWorse-than-expected US GDP results

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 1.2% in the second quarter of 2016  

'Wrong signal' on Hinkley

Mace, a company appointed by EDF to oversee contract management and infrastructure at Hinkley,

One of the company's chief operating officers, Jason Millett had this to say about today's news:

“At a time when investor confidence is already low due to Brexit, constant prevarication by government on major infrastructure like Hinkley Point and Heathrow is pushing the construction sector into a recession of the government’s own making.

“We need to show that the UK is open for business. This decision to delay yet another project of national importance sends completely the wrong signal to investors and the world.”

'Sharply lower' prices hit Exxon

Exxon plant
Getty Images

Net income at Exxon fell to $1.68bn for the second quarter of 2016, down from $4.26bn in the same period last year. "The results reflect sharply lower commodity prices, weaker refining margins," says the Texas based firm, adding that production volumes were essentially unchanged. 

BreakingExxon haemorrhages profits

Exxon Mobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, has seen its profits slump by a whopping 59% due to the continued drop in the price of oil.

May 'not going to be pushed around' on Hinkley

Eleanor Garnier, one of our political correspondents, has the latest on the fallout over Hinkley:

"What I'm hearing is that the new prime minister, Theresa May, won't be pressurised into a decision until she's ready. Put frankly, she's not going to be pushed around. This project would have huge implications for not just energy policy, but national security and foreign relations too, and therefore the government thinks it warrants and deserves this level of scrutiny.

Remember we've got a new government in Number 10. The business department is being completely restructured. David Cameron and George Osborne might have taken a very particular attitude towards the Hinkley project, but Theresa May's government will not be a mirror image of the last government.

And on the timing yesterday. As I understand it the PM's team believe it wasn't for them to say in advance of the EDF board meeting what their thinking was. The company might have wanted the UK government to make its position clear first, but Mrs May was not going to be bounced into that.  

What does this look like to potential foreign investors and the question of whether Britain is still open for business? I'm being told we shouldn't over interpret the review - there's a sense of reassurance, rather than policy being ripped up to start all over again." 

In the hot seat

Yet more envy-inducing journalistic activity, this time from our very own transport correspondent, who is driving, I repeat, DRIVING, a new Crossrail train.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

China 'questioning' Hinkley delay

The FT quotes a senior official in the Chinese nuclear industry, who has expressed surprise at the Hinkley Point decision.

“We are really questioning what’s going on. We were all set to go over when it was suddenly pushed back. It seems the UK government has a lot of doubts, we aren’t sure where all this is coming from.”

The official added: “We believe Hinkley can still be built under budget and on time.”

Keeping a close eye on the kitty?

Gladstone the cat.
Buzzfeed

We're extremely envious of our counterparts at Buzzfeed News, who've only gone and met the Treasury's new mouser, Gladstone

"Gladstone is a former stray who’s been recruited to catch the mice overrunning the department," Emily Ashton reports.

We have a mice problem too, just saying...

China crisis?