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Summary

  1. Dominic Chappell banned from driving
  2. Housebuilders push FTSE 100 higher
  3. Mothers' pay lags far behind men: report
  4. Oil drops below $49 a barrel

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night!

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

That's all for another day of Business Live - thanks for reading. We are back as ever at 06:00 tomorrow - do join us then.

Wall Street edges higher

US stocks ended up, with gains in the tech sector helping to buoy the Nasdaq to a record intraday high and solid housing market data provided more evidence the economy may be picking up momentum. 

The Dow Jones rose 17.88 points, or 0.1%, to 18,547.3, the S&P 500 gained 4.26 points, or 0.2%, to 2,186.9, and the Nasdaq added 15.48 points, or 0.3%, to 5,260.08. 

Tesla breaks the 300-mile range with new battery

Electric car maker Tesla has announced a new - and more powerful - battery for its Model S and Model X motors.

Tesla chief Elon Musk says the new 100KWH version will extend the range of the cars to about 315 miles, from about 294 miles. 

New customers can pay $10,000 for the larger battery pack. Existing owners must pay $20,000 because their existing batteries must be recycled.  

Best Buy shares soar on sales figures

Best Buy store
AP

Best Buy's profits jumped 21% as the US's largest consumer electronics retailer increased sales online and invested in store improvements.

The company's shares soared 19% after it said online sale rose 24% to $835m. Investors said that was a strong performance given how competition from Amazon.com has eaten away at the sales of traditional retailers.

The share price rise was the company's largest daily percentage increase since mid-December 2008. 

Tap to vote?

More Irish eyes are smiling

Irish flag
Getty Images

The number of people moving to Ireland has exceeded the number leaving for the first time since 2009.

Migration added 3,000 people to Ireland's population in the year to April - the first increase in seven years, the central statistics office said today.   

Net immigration to Ireland peaked at more than 100,000 at the height of its housing boom in 2008, but the country lost around 30,000 people a year during the economic downturn that then followed.

Tesla to announce product news

Elon Musk
Getty Images

Stay tuned for an announcement from Tesla Motors. Chief executive Elon Musk has tweeted that there will be product news later today.

The Silicon Valley electric car manufacturer won't even hint at what it could be about. 

But that hasn't stopped investors driving up shares in Tesla by 2.1%. Shares in Tesla's SolarCity division are also up 1.5%.

More Strawberrygate

Back to the saltire controversy with Tesco's strawberries. Reilly writes to say:

Tesco market their food from bogus farms yet are unwilling for people to instantly know that their produce is from Scotland. Shows how Tesco has lost the plot."

How to get a pay rise

BBC Radio 4

Natalie Reynolds, chief executive of negotiating firm Advantage Spring, reveals her five top tips for ensuring a decent pay deal.

Brent back near $50

Oil pump
Getty Images

Oil prices have risen a touch after hints that Iran may support joint OPEC action to prop up the market. 

Iran, the third-largest oil producer in the oil cartel, has been boosting output since the lifting of Western sanctions in January. 

Although it has not said if it will join an effort to curb production at a meeting of OPEC and other producers next month, Tehran could be more willing to compromise, oil industry sources say. 

Brent crude was up 80 cents, or 1.7%, at $49.96 a barrel, while US oil added 1.4% to $48.08.

Hacks hacked?

NY Times building
Getty Images

The FBI and other US security agencies are investigating cyber breaches targeting reporters at the New York Times and other American news organisations thought to have been carried out by hackers working for Russian intelligence, CNN reports

"Investigators so far believe that Russian intelligence is likely behind the attacks and that Russian hackers are targeting news organisations as part of a broader series of hacks that also have focused on Democratic Party organisations, the officials said," CNN said. 

It said the intrusions were detected in recent months.  

Ashley Madison security slated

Ashley Madison
Getty Images

The Ashley Madison dating site had "inadequate" security systems and used fake icons to make people think it was safe, reveals a report.

The Toronto-based firm's security systems were investigated by privacy watchdogs in Canada and Australia.

The attack on Ashley Madison in July 2015 took data on millions of users.

Avid Life Media, which owns Ashley Madison, has already said it will abide by the report's findings to improve the way it handles data.

Read more here.

More pressure on Ashley

Mike Ashley
Getty Images

Pressure is mounting on Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley (pictured) after a shareholder group added its name to the growing list of investors calling for an independent review into working practices and a shakeup of corporate governance at the retailer. 

The Local Authority Pension Fund Forum said it would support a resolution by the union Unite at the retailer's annual meeting demanding an independent review of the retailer's human capital strategy. 

The Forum also said it had sent a briefing to its member funds raising concerns about a workplace review backed by Mr Ashley and overseen by Sport Direct's lawyers RPC. 

Kieran Quinn, the Forum's chairman, said it believed that "responsible business practices by companies lead to sustainable returns for investors over the long-term. We are worried that this view is not shared by Sports Direct."

Shares in Sports Direct have fallen 47% this year despite ticking up 2% today.

Why so happy?

BBC World Service

The happiest place in Britain is Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, according to a recent survey. 

World Business Report finds that it fulfils “happiness factors” – one of which includes the opportunity to develop skills.

The happiest place in Britain is Leigh-on-Sea, which fulfils all the "happiness factors".

McCarthy pips Johansson

Scarlett Johansson and Melissa McCarthy
AP/Getty

Melissa McCarthy has overtaken Scarlett Johansson in Forbes' annual rich list.

McCarthy earned $33m (£25m) before tax between June 2015 and June 2016, making her the world's second-highest paid actress, behind Jennifer Lawrence who raked in $46m (£35m). 

Johansson, who was placed second last year, dropped to third, earning $25m (£19m) across the year.

It tops off a busy year for McCarthy, which saw her appear in the Ghostbusters remake, as well as The Boss, which topped the US box office.

Read more here.

More on Strawberrygate

James Withers, chief executive of Scotland Food and Drink, responds to Coletta's tweet:

View more on twitter

Do you think Tesco should keep the saltire on Scottish strawberries? Drop me a line: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

A juicy tale

BBC Radio 5 Live

You might recall an earlier post about Tesco coming under fire for removing an image of the Scottish saltire from punnets of Scottish berries.   

5 live presenter Colletta Smith tweets:

View more on twitter

Abderdeen hails SABMiller ruling

SABMiller logo
Getty Images

Aberdeen Asset Management has welcomed a court ruling that SABMiller shareholders can be treated as two separate groups when they vote on a takeover by Anheuser Busch InBev - and still plans to reject the deal. 

The £79bn deal headed to the courts as SABMiller sought to make sure the deal treated investors fairly, given its two largest shareholders were offered different terms to help them cut their tax bill. 

Aberdeen said: "We are pleased the court has acknowledged the reality of the situation which will help to ensure that the views of the rest of the investor base have due weight. As we have already indicated, we intend to vote against the deal as we are uncomfortable with the structure and believe it undervalues the company."

It has called on others investors to help ensure SABMiller remain a standalone company.  

Housebuilders help the FTSE

Strong results from Persimmon helped the FTSE 100 to close 0.6% higher at 6,868 points. 

The house builder ended up almost 4% after reporting a jump in reservations by buyers of new homes over the past two months despite some surveys suggesting the so-called Brexit vote could cool the housing market. 

Rival housebuilder Barratt Developments was the biggest riser on the blue-chip index, ending almost 5% higher.

What could it be?

Tesla founder Elon Musk tweets:

View more on twitter

Chappell 'cannot afford a chaffeur'

More on Dominic Chappell. He took to the stand to plead with Aldershot magistrates court not to take his licence away. He said it would be "a stretch" to employ a chauffeur or take taxis, after declaring his weekly income was £5,000. 

Mr Chappell claimed that he suffered from "abuse" and "strong language" from other passengers when he used trains. He said he has to attend meetings four days a week as part of discussions with two parliamentary committees and the pensions regulator over the collapse of BHS. 

His manor house in the village of Winterborne Clenston is apparently two miles from a bus stop and about 20 miles from the nearest train station. Mr Chappell's wife drives 100 miles each day taking his young son to a private boarding school, where his daughter is also a weekly boarder, he said.

Michael Levy, defending, said: "Given the isolation and his particular commitment at the moment - is it not an exceptional situation he finds himself in? It may be there is a genuine public interest in this defendant helping these people as much as he possibly can, to the full and maximum. Clearly if he is not able to do that the whole process is going to be more difficult and drawn out and take longer." 

He added: "Because of the exceptional nature of what he's doing and who he is trying to assist in the resolution of this very unfortunate and public mess that has arisen, I would invite the court to give him one last chance." 

BreakingDominic Chappell banned from driving

Dominic Chappell
Reuters

The former racing car driver who bought BHS from Sir Philip Green for £1 last year has been banned from driving for six months for speeding. 

Dominic Chappell was clocked doing almost 64 miles an hour in a 40mph zone in Andover, Hampshire, on 6 April. 

After being pulled over, he told police: "This will cost me £25,000. I've been driving since I was 18 and have never had an accident. I drive an average of 35,000 miles a year and I used to be a race car driver."

He was disqualified from holding a driving licence for six months at Aldershot magistrates' court. 

Chappell, who previously pleaded guilty to the offence, has 10 points on his licence for three other speeding offences in 2013, 2014 and 2015. 

Should Tata Steel be bailed out?

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Steel prices have risen since Brexit, so should the UK Government still bail out Tata Steel?

The British steel industry has spent 2016 in crisis, with Tata announcing it wanted to sell its UK business, leaving about 11,000 workers still uncertain over what the future will bring.

And, as reporter Hywel Griffith has been hearing in Port Talbot, many want to know if Theresa May will honour the pledges made by her predecessors.

Night Tube shopping boost

Oxford Circus tube
Getty Images

The transport-related news just keeps on coming today. London's West End says last weekend's introduction of the Night Tube boosted footfall by 14% on Saturday night. 

More than 100,000 passengers took advantage of the new overnight Underground service, with about 6,500 people tapping in at Oxford Circus, one of London's busiest stations, on Saturday night.

Steven Medway, of the New West End Company, said: "The newly extended operating hours will allow more people to experience and enjoy the diversity of the West End beyond its world-class retail offering, from entertainment and leisure to food and beverage."

The Victoria and Central lines are the first to provide overnight services on Fridays and Saturdays, but there are plans to extend the night network to the Jubilee, Northern and Piccadilly lines this autumn.

Get on the floor

Felicity Morse, digital editor at inews.co.uk, tweets:

View more on twitter

JRP shares surge

JRP shares
BBC

Biggest riser on the FTSE 25o today is JRP Group, up a stonking 17%. So what is JRP, I hear you ask? It was created earlier this year following the £1.6bn merger of annuity provider Just Retirement and its rival Partnership Assurance.

JRP issued a trading statement today telling investors that an update on achieving savings of at least £40m would come in due course.

Rodney Cook, chief executive, said: "In these volatile times we wanted to reassure the market ahead of our results. Our merger is progressing well and we remain focused on making money for our shareholders by offering good value to our customers."

US new home sales soar

The rate at which Americans bought new homes in July rose to its highest level for nearly nine years, as low mortgage rates and a steady job market fuelled a real estate surge. 

New home sales jumped 12.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted rate of 654,000 annual units - the strongest level since October 2007 - the Commerce Department said. 

The demand has eclipsed the pace of construction. Just 4.3 months' supply of new homes is available on the market, down from 5.2 months a year ago. 

Construction of single-family houses has picked up this year, as the housing market continues to recover from the drop-off caused by the Great Recession and subprime mortgages. 

Prudential strike vote

Prudential logo
Prudential

Speaking of strikes, workers at Prudential have voted to take industrial action in a row over offshoring of jobs. 

Unite said its members based in Reading had backed action by 97%, saying 81 jobs will be lost by switching work to India. 

The workers had voted to not co-operate with the transfer of work, which Unite said would "severely delay" the move. 

BreakingNew York opens higher

Wall Street opened higher for the first time in three days as investors await Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech this week for clues on the next interest rate hike. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4% at 18,598 points. The S&P 500 was up 0.3% at 2,189.8, while the Nasdaq Composite was up 0.4% at 5,265 points. 

BreakingEven more train pain

Workers at Southern Railway are to stage a 48-hour strike on 7 and 8 September in the long-running row over the role of guards, the RMT union said. 

Train pain

Corbyn on a Virgin Train
Virgin Trains

Virgin Trains says its CCTV shows Jeremy Corbyn sitting down in an empty seat more than two hours before reaching Newcastle. The embattled Labour leader was on his way to debate with Owen Smith in a Labour leadership hustings in Gateshead.

A Virgin Trains spokesman said: "We have to take issue with the idea that Mr Corbyn wasn't able to be seated on the service, as this clearly wasn't the case. We'd encourage Jeremy to book ahead next time he travels with us - both to reserve a seat and to ensure he gets our lowest fares - and we look forward to welcoming him on board again." 

Branson on Corbyn

Virgin Trains has questioned footage showing Jeremy Corbyn sitting on the floor of a "ram-packed" service.

In a film shown on The Guardian, the Labour leader said he was experiencing a problem "many passengers face every day" on the London to Newcastle train.

But Virgin said CCTV showed Mr Corbyn and his team walking past available seating before starting filming.

It says the crew helped him to a coach where seats were available and he sat down for the rest of his journey.

Sir Richard Branson has also joined in: 

View more on twitter

Good afternoon!

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

Thanks to Dan and Tom for today's coverage thus far. I'm here on what is - let's face it - not the most exciting day there's ever been for business news. 

Nevertheless, I shall scour the ends of the earth (well, the United States at least) in a valiant attempt to keep you both informed and entertained. Brickbats or bouquets to bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter: @cajuk

No more 'jobs for girls and jobs for boys'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Maria Miller, the chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, tells Martha Kearney that smaller companies should have to report the gender pay gap as well as larger companies, as they have to do in Scotland. 

However, Mrs Miller said gender pay gap reporting "isn't going to solve everything" and called for a change of culture in workplaces "so there aren't jobs for girls and jobs for boys".   

Beer mega-merger hit by court setback

Beer bottles
AFP

A deal to create the world's biggest beer brewer is facing an extra hurdle after a UK judge ruled the firms need to hold an additional shareholder vote.

The court said shareholders in SABMiller - which makes Peroni and Grolsch - should be split into two groups ahead of a vote on its £79bn takeover by Budweiser brewer Anheuser Busch InBev (ABInbev).  

SAB told the stock market last year that because there were two different offers - shares or cash and shares - it would have to ask a judge whether the structure of the deal had in effect created two different classes of shareholder.

Today Programme presenter Dominic O'Connell explained last month that a ruling for two shareholder votes increases the chances that the deal could be blocked.

Aberdeen Asset Management, which has opposed the takeover bid, welcomed the proposal for a shareholder vote split.  

Energy overcharging

Industry correspondent John Moylan flags up figures from trade body Energy UK, which show 7,000 accounts were overcharged due to incorrect meter readings. 

The error - caused by mixing up measurements from older imperial meters with modern metric ones - was revealed last week. It resulted in some households paying nearly three times too much.  

View more on twitter

Off the rocks

Transocean Winner oil rig
AP

Readers from yesterday's Business Live might remember the oil rig which crashed into the side of a Scottish island. Well, the drilling rig is now on its 54-mile journey to the other side of the island of Lewis - but at a slower rate than anticipated. 

The Transocean Winner rig was successfully refloated at high tide last night. Two tug boats are taking the 17,000 tonne structure to the east side of the island, where experts will assess the damage.

Tesco drops saltires from Scottish berries

Strawberry punnets
BBC

Supermarket giant Tesco has been criticised after it admitted removing an image of the Scottish saltire from punnets of Scottish berries. 

The flag has been replaced with the union jack on boxes of strawberries and raspberries grown north of the border. 

Tesco's official Twitter account told one customer that the move followed complaints from English customers. But a spokesman for Tesco denied that, and insisted that it was intended to "provide consistency".

Read more here.

Jennifer Lawrence 'tops Forbes actress list'

Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the New York premiere of 'A Beautiful Planet'
Getty Images

Jennifer Lawrence has been named the world's highest paid actress for the second year in a row, Forbes reports, making $46m (£35m) in 2016.

But the Guardian points out that the highest paid male actor, Robert Downey Jr, earned twice that amount.

'I must be one of the lucky ones'

Women have been telling the BBC about their workplace experiences after maternity leave.

Nerys Dodds of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, says:

"I must be one of the unmentioned luckier ones. I work in a small team of men and women who are all on the same pay grade and not only that, since returning to work three years ago from maternity leave I have been encouraged to progress to higher managerial roles, and [have] been allowed to change my working hours and contract a total of three times to allow a slow increase in hours as my children grow, and to allow me to provide as much care... as practical.

"It’s such a shame there is less of this support elsewhere."

Are you dealing with unfair treatment at work while pregnant? Are you a new mother losing out at work? Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk with your experience using “Gender pay gap 37156178” as subject.