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Summary

  1. UK manufacturing sinks to three-year low in July
  2. Uber China to merge with Didi in £26bn deal
  3. UBS rogue trader warns banking culture has not changed
  4. Qatar Airways boosts IAG stake

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

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Goodnight from London

That's it for Monday's Business Live. We're back tomorrow from 06:00.

US tech stocks climb

Technology shares lead the way on Wall Street.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4% to 5,184, helped by a 1.7% gain for Apple.

But both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 fell - but not by much.

The Dow and the S&P 500 lost 0.1%.

A sharp fall in the price of crude oil spurred selling in oil shares.

Exxon Mobil fell 3.5% and Chevron fell 3.3%.

Rio: The Olympics impact

Wyre Davies is the BBC's South America Correspondent.

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Verizon buys Dublin-based Fleetmatics

US telecoms giant Verizon is buying Dublin-based Fleetmatics in a deal worth $2.4bn. Fleetmatics.

The offer represents a 40% premium on Fleetmatics closing share price on Friday.

Fleetmatics services allow companies to track their fleets of cars, vans or lorries using GPS.

Last week Verizon announced a deal to buy Yahoo's internet business for $4.8bn.

We're looking at the wrong data

Barry Ritholtz is a US money manager and financial commentator. In his latest column he says that "economists, journalists and asset managers using the wrong history for their analysis".

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Comcast hit with $100m lawsuit

Comcast sign
Reuters

The US state of Washington has filed a lawsuit against cable-TV giant, Comcast.

The company is accused of deceiving customers into paying for a service protection plan, that the lawsit says is "near-worthless".

Comcast is also accused of applying improper credit checks and service fees.

Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said: "This case is a classic example of a big corporation systematically deceiving Washington state consumers and putting profits above those consumers.''

Comcast says it is "surprised and disappointed" by the lawsuit.

Protest at Byron burger restaurant

Pictures are being tweeting of a protest outside a branch of the upmarket Byron burger chain in London. 

A crowd has gathered outside the branch in Holborn, protesting over the company's clamp down on staff working illegally at its restaurants.

Dozens of staff were arrested last week.

While there are many tweets supporting the protest, there is also support on Twitter for the company's action.

Byron burger chain closes Holborn branch before… prt.st/Lx5pL9 #ByronHamburgers #HomeOffice #London

Byron burger chain closes Holborn branch before… prt.st/Lx5pL9 #ByronHamburgers #HomeOffice #London

Has free trade hurt US manufacturing?

Robots in US factory
Getty Images

Some in the US argue that free trade has resulted in manufacturing facilities moving abroad to lower cost nations.

The Washington Post's challenges that assertion.

It points out that manufacturing output is at a peak and that's, in part, due to free trade.

The real problem is that US factories use more technology, and just don't need workers, the article says.

Look hard for savings deals

Money Box presenter Paul Lewis tweets:

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Unicredit shares tumble

Unicredit office
Reuters

Shares in Italy's biggest bank, Unicredit have tumbled more than 9% after its poor showing in stress tests conducted by European regulators.

"The stress test results confirm the necessity for UniCredit to reinforce its capital position," said Luigi Tramontana from Banca Akros.

Analysts have said UniCredit needs to raise as much as €9bn. 

Gawker Media founder files for bankruptcy protection

Nick Denton
Getty Images

Gawker Media founder and chief executive Nick Denton has filed for personal bankruptcy protection, after the online news site lost a $140m (£97m) privacy case earlier this year.

The news site itself filed for bankruptcy in June, in a move which could allow it to avoid paying the damages.

In March, Gawker was ordered to pay wrestler Hulk Hogan for invading his privacy by publishing a sex tape.  

Watch Business Live for more on Uber/Didi tie-up

BBC presenter Jamie Robertson tweets...

Taxi-booking app Uber earlier agreed to sell its business in China to rival Didi Chuxing.  Find out why on Business Live.

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China criticises 'suspicious' approach to Hinkley

Hinkley Point
Getty Images

Officially the Chinese government has said it hopes for a smooth and speedy implementation of the Hinkley Point project.

But a fresh statement from China's state-run news agency suggests it is not that happy with the UK government's decision to wait until early autumn to review the project.

It said it cannot understand the "suspicious approach that comes from nowhere to Chinese investment".

"The new British government is actually running the risk of dampening the hard-won mutual trust with China.

"China can wait for a rational British government to make responsible decisions, but can not tolerate any unwanted accusation against its sincere and benign willingness for win-win cooperation," the state news agency added.

Scotrail tries to head off strikes

Scotrail train
Getty Images

Scotrail has made another attempt to head off further strikes in a long running dispute over more driver-only trains.

The RMT union, which represents conductors, has told its members that the company is now "considering" the retention of conductors on new electric multiple unit (EMU) trains, and trains on some other Scottish routes. 

Strikes scheduled for 7 August, 11 August and 13 and 14 August are still on says the union, though Scotrail wants those strikes to be suspended as part of any forthcoming talks.

Oil falls below $40 per barrel

West Texas Intermediate Oil chart
Bloomberg

The benchmark US oil price has fallen below $40 a barrel, for the first time since mid-April.

West Texas Intermediate fell as low as $39.92 per barrel, before recovering slightly.

A short while ago it was down $1.53 a barrel, at $40.07.

Recent figures have raised concern about an oversupply of oil.

A survey showed that production among OPEC nations hit a record last month and there's been an acceleration in the addition of oil rigs in the US.

Dr Doom says Italy is the eurozone's 'weakest link'

Nouriel Roubini, economist
EPA

If you feel are feeling a little too cheerful, then read this column from Noriel Roubini, one of the few economists to forecast the bursting of the housing bubble in 2008.

Also know as Dr Doom, Mr Roubini forecasts much volatility in European politics, which could unsettle markets.

"Italy currently is the eurozone’s weakest link," he says.

You can read more here.

UK rate cut: 'Too little too early'

Piggy banks
Reuters

This analysis from Laith Khalaf at Hargreaves Lansdown.

"A rate cut on Thursday is too little, too early when it comes to stimulating the UK economy, reflecting the fact the Bank of England doesn’t really have much left in the locker.

"Money is already cheap, and while lower rates will reduce borrowing costs slightly, they aren’t likely to produce a step-change in corporate or consumer behaviour.

"Given low levels of visibility in economic forecasts, which aren’t entirely reliable even at the best of times, it would seem prudent to wait for more data before pushing too many policy buttons.

That said, Mark Carney has really backed the MPC into a corner by indicating he thought a cut would be needed over the summer, in his initial response to the referendum result."

Banks and oil shares weigh on FTSE 100

FTSE 100
BBC

Oil shares have been a drag on the FTSE 100. Shell fell by 2.8% and BP was down 2%.

Those shares were hit by - you guessed it - a fall in crude oil prices. North Sea Brent Crude was down 2.1%, as worries about oversupply resurfaced.

Overall the FTSE 100 closed 0.45% lower at 6,693.

Royal Bank of Scotland shares fell 1.5% and Barclays was down 2%. The two banks both had pretty mediocre results in the stress tests conducted by European regulators.

As usual there was a bit more drama on the FTSE 250. It closed 0.8% lower at 17,139.

Keller, which provides engineering services to the construction industry, plunged almost 11% after it reported a 12% fall in operating profit for the first half of the year.

Morrisons also cuts fuel prices

Morrisons is knocking 2p off the price of fuel. Its maximum price on unleaded petrol will be 105.7p per litre.

It points out that this drop follows two price reductions in the last 10 days.

The rogue trader who lost £1.4bn

Kweku Adoboli is the biggest rogue trader in British history. He lost Swiss bank UBS £1.4bn ($1.9bn) and was jailed in 2012.

He told John Humphrys how his crimes took place and about the culture at the bank at the time.

Rogue trader Kweku Adoboli talks to John Humphrys

Britain's relations with China in jeopardy

Carrie Gracie

China editor

The Chinese government is on the horns of a dilemma.

It is frustrated by the uncertainty over its future in the UK's nuclear energy industry. And it is angered by suggestions that the reason for the delay may be the prime minister's reported concerns about the national security implications of a Chinese role in critical infrastructure.

But Beijing does not want to feed any such fears by overreacting. So its official statement on the Hinkley Point delay was bland, hoping that the project would be implemented soon and insisting that it was a win win for both countries.

A much blunter response came in a commentary from China's state news agency. It complained of groundless fears and distortions which would cost a post-Brexit British economy in ways it could ill afford.

China's carefully constructed response to the Hinkley Point delay masks a very real dismay in Beijing that the so called golden era it cultivated with the previous British government might now be at an end.

US growth expected to pick-up - report

US construction workers
get

So what should we make of that report showing a slowdown in US factory activity? Well according to Capital Economics it's not a cause for concern.

"Overall, this suggests that the manufacturing sector is continuing to gradually recover, as the headwind from the stronger dollar continues to ease," said Andrew Hunter, US economist at Capital Economics.

"As mining and in particular residential investment start to rebound, and as the drag from net trade continues to fade, we expect GDP growth to pick up over the coming quarters to reach approximately 1.5% for 2016 as a whole," he said.

US factory activity slowed in July - report

US factory worker
Getty Images

US manufacturing activity was weaker than expected in July, according to a report from the Institute for Supply Management.

Its index fell to 52.6 in July, from 53.2 in June. However, any number above 50 indicates expansion.

Video: What is Uber doing in China?

The taxi-booking app Uber has agreed to sell its Chinese business to its biggest rival in the country Didi Chuxing. What's behind the move?  

Uber China - why is it selling up to its biggest rival?

Tesco cuts the price of fuel

Tesco bag
Getty Images

Tesco has cut petrol and diesel prices by up to 2p per litre. 

With 500 filling stations, Tesco has the biggest network of fuel stops of all the British supermarkets.

The changes will come into effect from 5pm this afternoon.  

US shares drift in early trading

Over in the US the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 have recorded modest losses in early trading. The Nasdaq Composite has edged higher.

SolarCity fell more than 5% after it agreed to a $2.6bn takeover offer from Tesla.

Shares in cinema chain, AMC Entertainment fell 5% after it released weaker-than-expected second quarter results.

Traders make record bets against the pound

Storm clouds gathering over sterling.

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UK growth 'downhill from here'

The pound's decline was prompted by a weak report on the UK manufacturing sector. BBC business editor Simon Jack tweets:

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Pound perks-up against the dollar

Pound dollar
Bloomberg

The pound has clawed back some of the losses it made earlier against the dollar.

At one stage it fell as low as $1.3164, but a short while ago had pushed back above $1.32, but still down by a third of a cent for the day.

Traders will be looking ahead to Thursday's interest meeting at the Bank of England. As a rate cut is priced-in, analysts say it will take something extra to weaken the pound.

"More aggressive action than simply a cut and some changes to Funding for Lending will probably be required in order to weaken the pound against the dollar, especially given the worsening of dollar sentiment," said Derek Halpenny, european head of global market research at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

What is the point of football testimonials?

Wayne Rooney
Getty Images

Once they were a way of financially rewarding long-serving footballers after at least a decade of service at one club.

A friendly game against big-name rivals would see the testimonial player pocket the gate money and then go off to start a business, often opening a pub.

But as Wayne Rooney marks 12 years at Manchester United with a testimonial match against his former club Everton, do we still need these games in an era of multi-millionaire footballers?  

'Masala' bonds listed in London

HDFC bank signs
Getty

Indian bank HDFC has become the country’s first private company to raise money by selling rupee-denominated bonds outside of India, writes BBC India Business Editor Simon Atkinson.

The so-called “masala” bonds have been listed in London and raised 30bn rupees (about £340m).

Calling them “masala” follows in the tradition of giving foreign currency-denominated bonds nicknames related to the issuing country. Previous cases include "dim sum" bonds denominated in Chinese renminbi, samurai bonds in Japanese yen and kangaroo bonds in Australian dollars.

Several public sector bodies have previously issued masala bonds in London, including the Indian railway system to help fund new trains and track.

Chancellor Phillip Hammond said the move showed the UK was “open for business and one of the most attractive places in the world for foreign investment".

Deal - or no deal?

Solar City installers
Getty Images

More on that Tesla deal. Although the electric car maker says that the transaction would create a one-stop shop for cleaner energy, some have questioned the motives behind the deal. 

Elon Musk is the chairman and biggest shareholder of both companies, while SolarCity is run by his cousin, Lyndon Rive. 

However, Mr Musk has insisted he is just showing good business sense.

SolarCity's shares, which had risen about 26% since Tesla first made the offer on 21 June, were down 3.7% in pre-market trading in New York at $25.70, while Tesla was up 0.5% at $235.99. 

SolarCity deal confirmed

Elon Musk
Getty Images
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk

Tesla Motors said it would buy solar panel installer SolarCity Corp for $2.6bn in shares to form a one-stop clean energy shop. 

The deal is a major part of Tesla chief executive Elon Musk's master plan, which calls for the company to offer consumers a single source of hardware to power a low-carbon lifestyle. 

The combined company will offer consumers solar panels, home battery storage systems and electric cars under a single brand. 

Mr Musk is also chairman and a major shareholder in SolarCity. Tesla first made an offer to buy SolarCity in June. 

Driving forward

Karishma Vaswani

Asia business correspondent

Travis Kalanick
Getty Images
Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick

Recognising this was one fight he wasn't going to win may well turn out to be a sign of Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick's maturity and business acumen in the future.

Perhaps Uber's Chinese dream is just beginning.

Read more from Karishma here.

FTSE falls

The FTSE 100 is now down 0.3% - after being 0.4% higher at the open, with housebuilders Taylor Wimpey, Berkeley and Barratt leading the fallers.

Sterling is also down 0.3% at $1.3181 following the release of dismal manufacturing figures this morning.

No China crisis?

Hinkley Point
Getty Images

The UK will continue to seek a stronger relationship with China, a spokeswoman for Prime Minister Theresa May said on Monday following the decision last week to delay approval of Hinkley Point. 

"With the role that China has to play on world affairs, on the global economy, on a whole range of international issues, we are going to continue to seek a strong relationship with China," the spokeswoman said. 

Asked whether national security would play a part in the review of the Hinkley Point nuclear project, the spokeswoman declined to comment on the review process.  

Uber out of a dead end

Uber sign in Beijing
Getty Images

BreakingViews columnist Robyn Mak says Uber is reversing out of a dead end in China with today's Didi deal.

It is a humiliating reversal after a high-profile battle against the larger Didi. The combined group can now cut back on subsidies and focus on profit. This is a sudden retreat. Just eight months ago, Uber boss Travis Kalanick said the company was "in China for the long-term"... Uber is no longer in the driving seat but has steered its way out of trouble."

That's all folks...