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Summary

  1. Brent crude falls 4% on oversupply fears
  2. Irish government undecided on Apple tax appeal
  3. FTSE 100 closes below 6,800 after mining losses
  4. French union challenges EDF's Hinkley Point decision
  5. Brazil President impeached in Senate vote

Live Reporting

By Dan Macadam

All times stated are UK

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Good night!

That's all for another day of Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 tomorrow - do join us then.   

Wall Street loses ground again

US stocks posted mild losses as Wall Street closed out its first losing month since February.

Heavy falls in the oil price dragged down energy and commodity stocks. Distiller Brown-Forman, which makes Jack Daniels and Finlandia vodka, also fell after its results came up short of analysts' forecasts.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 53 points, or 0.3%, to 18,401. The S&P 500 index lost 5 points, or 0.2%, to 2,171. The Nasdaq edged down 9 points, or 0.2%, to 5,213.

Rolls-Royce warns on UK defence investment

Engine
Rolls-Royce

British engineering firm Rolls-Royce has hinted it could cut back on investment in the country if the government lets the defence industry "wither on the vine".

In an interview with trade magazine, The Manufacturer, the Rolls-Royce boss Warren East warned of the impact from continued pressure on the UK defence budget.

"If we don’t make sufficient profit on doing defence work then we are not going to invest in the skills necessary to deliver a good solution, and ultimately we’ll end up withdrawing from it," Mr East said. 

"From a national point of view, you’d have to question whether we want our defence industry to wither on the vine. That’s not a good idea.”

How much for a McDonald's tweet?

Kanye West and Kim Kardashian
Getty Images

Going back to the theme of celebrities being paid for social media posts, Kanye West has left marketers scratching their heads with a tweet about McDonald's. 

The rapper - married to reality star Kim Kardashian - has tie-ups with Adidas and streaming site Tidal. 

But he doesn't have any deals with the fast food chain, which makes this brief tweet to his 25.3 million followers more perplexing...

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The Pink 'Un arrives

The Financial Times leads on plans from the Home Office ahead of Brexit to speed up applications for permanent residency from EU citizens living in the UK.

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Nigeria's economic woes deepen

Nigeria is officially in recession as the country continues to suffer from the falling price of oil on global markets. World Business Report hears from those most affected in the country.  

Nigeria is officially in recession as the country suffers from the falling oil price.

US moves to block farm deal

Zoe Thomas

US business reporter

John Deere sign
Getty Images

The US Justice Department has filed a lawsuit to block farm equipment-maker Deere from purchasing Precision Planting, the equipment-making arm of agriculture giant Monsanto. 

The Justice Department said the tie-up would give Deere control over 86% of the market and lead to higher prices for farmers. 

Deere called the action "misguided" and said it would fight the lawsuit. 

In February Deere purchased Monosem, which makes high-speed precision planters similar to the ones made by GM crop specialists Monsanto.

US oil plants close ahead of tropical storm

Worker fills sandbags
Reuters

The fall in the oil price comes despite the threat of a major tropical storm forcing oil plants to close in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The US government said on Wednesday that an estimated 19.5% of the Gulf's crude production - or 312,280 barrels a day - has been shut due to the incoming Tropical Storm Hermine. 

Operators who have pulled workers off platforms in the area included BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and BHP Billiton. 

A state of emergency has been declared for most of Florida, where city workers (pictured) are helping residents prepare for the heavy rainfall. 

Oil price tumbles

Oil pump
AFP

The oil price has fallen nearly 4% in trading - the third day in a row it's declined.

Brent crude, the international benchmark, is currently down at $46.90 a barrel, a fall of more than 6% since the end of last week when it was around $50 a barrel. 

The latest swing comes after US figures showed an unexpected rise in crude oil stocks. Investors are also concerned that talks between major oil exporters in September will not properly address concerns of oversupply in the market.

Hopes of a deal to cap oil production had pumped the oil price up above $51 a barrel in mid-August.

Spanish PM loses confidence vote

Mariano Rajoy
Reuters

Spain's acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has lost a parliamentary confidence vote after he failed to win enough support from the opposition. It brings Spain closer to a potential third election in a year. 

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Coke workers find cocaine

Coca Cola cans
Getty Images

Coca-Cola workers opened a delivery of fruit juice at their factory in southern France but found a huge stash of cocaine instead. 

"You can well imagine the surprise," said a spokesman for Coca-Cola, adding that the workers alerted police and were ruled out as potential suspects. 

Local newspaper Var-Matin said the haul weighed 370 kg (815 pounds) with a potential street value of around €50m (£42m).    

The container came from Costa Rica and was opened in the factory in Signes, near the Mediterranean coast.

Ryanair warns on profit impact from fare falls

Theo Leggett

BBC Business News Reporter

Michael O'Leary
PA

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary has warned that a fall in ticket prices following the EU referendum vote could hurt the company’s profits. 

He told a press conference in London that the airline had been able to stimulate demand over the summer by reducing prices by 9%, but was unsure what would happen later in the year. That made him “very cautious” about whether it would be able to meet its forecast for full year earnings of €1.38bn.

"That's the impact of Brexit, we're cutting fares much more steeply than in the past," he said. "If the fares in the second half of the year fall by more than 10 or 12% then we'll have to revisit full-year guidance."

He also suggested that the Brexit vote would have a significant impact on the airline’s plans to expand its capacity in the UK. He said it would grow by 6% in the 2017-18 financial year, about half the level previously expected.

Government to 'push ahead' with Brexit

Theresa May addresses cabinet at start of Brexit brainstorm meeting

The government will trigger Brexit without Parliamentary approval, Downing Street says. 

In a statement after Theresa May's cabinet gathered at Chequers, Number 10 said ministers agreed on the need for a "unique" deal for the UK. 

Mrs May told cabinet colleagues to focus on the "opportunities" outside the EU as she reiterated there would be no second referendum. 

The PM has said official talks with the rest of the EU will not begin this year.

Celebrity YouTube promo fees average '$187,000'

Kim Kardashian
Getty Images

YouTube personalities charge an average of $187,500 (£143,000) for each sponsored video, a talent agency says.

San Francisco based Captiv8 said internet "influencers" with a following of three to seven million people could also make $75,000 on average for a promotional post on Instagram.

A native advert on Twitter cost about $30,000 on average, it added.

The Advertising Standards Authority said these posts must be properly marked as advertisements.

US appoints Puerto Rico debt board

Zoe Thomas

US business reporter

Puerto Rico capital building
Getty Images

The White House announced its selections for a seven-member board that will oversee Puerto Rico's efforts to come out of bankruptcy. 

The board will oversee the negotiation between the US-territory and its creditors and help Puerto Rico's new economic policy. 

Puerto Rico has close to $70bn (£53bn) in debt and in July defaulted on a $2bn payment. 

A provision in US law prevented it from filing for bankruptcy the way other municipalities can, and earlier efforts to negotiate with creditors have failed. 

How to get Zuckerberg's backing

BBC World Service tweets...

Rousseff keeps political rights despite impeachment

Daniel Gallas

BBC South America business correspondent

Brazil Senate
Reuters

Brazil’s Senate did not revoke President Dilma Rousseff’s political rights in a separate vote – minutes after Senators had decided to impeached her.

Forty-two Senators voted in favour of revoking her rights to run for office again for the next eight years – 12 votes short of what was needed to approve the measure.

Earlier, 61 Senators had approved her dismissal from office, under allegations she used illegal fiscal manoeuvres while in office.

In the next few hours, acting President Michel Temer is expected to be sworn in as Brazil’s president.

Irish independents key to Apple appeal decision

Russell Padmore

Business correspondent, BBC News

Ireland’s coalition government is propped up by independent lawmakers and it is becoming common for the independent members in the cabinet to get together with their allied colleagues to assess matters for decision by the Cabinet.

Of the opposition parties Sinn Fein does not want an appeal and wants to take Apple’s tax money, but Fianna Fail favours an appeal against the Commission’s ruling and the FF boys are keeping the Fine Gael led coalition in power, by abstaining on key votes.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny will give the independents room to decide their position, because he needs to avoid stumbling on an issue that could put the government in danger of collapse.

Apple ruling 'a watershed moment'

Pierre Moscovici
Reuters

Pierre Moscovici, the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union, has this to say about yesterday's ruling that Apple owes €13bn in unpaid taxes...

The commission’s Apple decision is a watershed moment. It sends out the signal that the era of large-scale tax avoidance by multinationals in Europe has ended. There is no getting around our state-aid rules. The courageous decision by my colleague Margrethe Vestager goes hand-in-hand with my own work in closing those loopholes that can lead to corporate tax avoidance."

European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici

BreakingBrazil impeaches Rousseff

Dilma Rousseff
Getty Images

Brazilian senators have approved the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff - 61 Senators voted yes; 20 voted against (54 votes were needed).

They will now vote on whether she loses some political rights for eight years.

Ms Rousseff was suspended from the Brazilian presidency in May, but the vote means she will be removed from the presidency permanently.

Acting president Michel Temer will now serve out the end of the term, until December 2018.  

FTSE promotions and demotions

London Stock Exchange
Reuters

In the stock market equivalent of a relegation battle, housebuilder Berkeley Group has lost its place in the FTSE 100 following a sharp drop in its share price after the Brexit vote.

It will be replaced by Russian miner Polymetal, whose shares have gained amid rising gold prices.

The FTSE committee decides which companies should be in the coveted index based on share performance and stock market value.

Berkeley Group will move down to the FTSE 250, where it will be joined by two newly-promoted stocks - oil and gas supplier Hunting and gambling firm GVC Holdings. Motor dealer Pendragon and healthcare firm Circassia Pharmaceuticals will make way for them.

Irish Cabinet 'will decide on Friday'

Here's the Irish government's statement on the delay until Friday of its decision on the Apple tax appeal.

The government had a thorough discussion of the European Commission decision with regard to Apple, based on a Memorandum from the Minister for Finance proposing that Ireland lodge an appeal to that decision. Cabinet received a detailed briefing from Minister Noonan. Ministers also had an opportunity to examine the full text of the European Commission decision, which is a lengthy and complex document. Following the discussion, it was agreed to adjourn the meeting to allow further time to reflect on the issues and to clarify a number of legal and technical issues with the AG's Office and with officials. The government meeting will resume on Friday at 11am to make a decision on the matter."

Irish Cabinet spokesperson

BreakingIreland undecided on Apple tax appeal

Apple logo
Getty Images

Ireland's government has confirmed it couldn't agree at a meeting earlier whether to appeal a European Commission ruling against Dublin's tax dealings with Apple. 

Finance Minister Michael Noonan had recommended lodging the appeal, saying on Tuesday he "disagreed profoundly" with the order for Apple to pay Ireland up to €13bn in unpaid taxes. 

However, the Independent Alliance - a group of independent lawmakers represented in the minority coalition government - said on Tuesday that they would need to consult further with officials.  

'No agreement' on Ireland's Apple appeal

5 Live business presenter Colletta Smith tweets...

BreakingFTSE drops below 6,800 points

The FTSE 100 was treading water this morning, but ended up sinking in the afternoon to finish 0.6% lower at 6,781.51 points.

It's the first time in nearly a month the blue chip index has closed below 6,800 points.

Miners finished as the biggest fallers, outweighing gains for The Berkeley Group (which is about to be demoted from the FTSE 100) and banking shares.

The FTSE 250 of mid-cap UK firms also dropped 0.6% to 17,732.77 points.

Like them Apples?

Ireland's government is giving itself more time to decide whether to back the finance minister's recommendation to appeal the EU's Apple tax ruling, according to national broadcaster RTE

The tax bill - which would raise up to €13bn for Ireland - is proving divisive in the country. 

The youth wing of Sinn Féin left this protest outside the ruling Fine Gael party's headquarters earlier, criticising the minister's plans to stand by Apple.

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City of London to keep its crown?

City of London
BBC

Deutsche Bank boss John Cryan suggests London will remain Europe's top financial centre even after Brexit, The Telegraph reports.

The paper says it's a turnaround from Mr Cryan's previous comments that London's position as a financial hub would be jeopardised by the Brexit vote. 

Mr Cryan, though, maintained the UK's financial district will be "very different" as its relationship with the EU changes. 

Deadline day drama

Premier League club spending
BBC

Back to football for a minute, and Premier League clubs continue to add to their summer transfer spending.

With the 23:00 BST deadline fast approaching, clubs have already spent more than £1bn in a single transfer window for the first time - the sixth year in a row the outlay has increased. 

The spending spree has been sparked by a new £5bn three-year television deal, which begins this season. But is that the only reason?

The BBC's Bill Wilson looks at the other factors behind the splurge.

Spook investors

The CIA has an investment arm - who knew? The Wall Street Journal reports how it operates in the shadows, just like its sponsor...

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US market update

It's an uninspiring start on Wall Street. US stock markets have dipped in the first hour of trading amid falls for energy stocks.

The Dow Jones dropped 0.2% to 18,419 points, while the S&P 500 index was down 0.2% to 2,172 and the Nasdaq index fell 0.2% to 5,214.

Crude prices continued a 10-day downward streak as investors remained concerned that oil-producing nations would fail to take action to address the market oversupply.

Ryanair boss: Build three new runways

Ryanair plane
Getty Images

A bit more from Ryanair's ever-candid chief executive Michael O'Leary. At a press conference earlier he told the UK government to stop worrying about a third runway at Heathrow, and to think bigger. 

The Ryanair boss said the UK should approve three new runways - at Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted - to resolve the capacity conundrum for the "next 50 years".

Travel journalist Ian Taylor also has this more humble line from Mr O'Leary on why he's never been invited to the Prime Minister's country retreat Chequers. 

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Ryanair boss weighs into Apple tax row

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary
AFP

Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary has aired his views on the EU ordering Ireland to recover up to €13bn in back-taxes from Apple.

The outspoken Irishman dubbed the European Commission's ruling "bizarre" given that EU countries have the right to make its own tax decisions. 

"The idea that you have the state aid mob - who've had more court verdicts overturned than any other department in Europe in the last 20 years - come along 10 years after the fact and say, 'no we didn't like that, we think you should have done something else', is frankly bizarre," he said at a press conference.

Apple and Ireland are set to challenge the decision, and Mr O'Leary added: "I think there's no chance of this surviving a court ruling in Europe. There's certain things that Europe has no competence in."

Former Tesco finance chief cleared

Laurie Mcilwee
Tesco

Tesco's former finance chief has been cleared by the accountancy watchdog investigating a £263m black hole discovered in the supermarket's accounts two years ago. 

The Financial Reporting Council has closed its investigation into Laurie Mcilwee who resigned as chief financial officer of Tesco in April 2014. 

The regulator said it had ended the investigation because there was "no realistic prospect" that a tribunal would rule against Mr Mcilwee. 

Bake Off boost

Great British Bake Off
PA

With Great British Bake Off back on our screens, there's no shortage of companies reporting a boost from the country's rekindled passion for baking. 

Catriona Marshall, the boss of Hobbycraft - an 80-chain strong retailer which sells cooking and other craft supplies - said there's always an uptick in baking sales when Mary Berry and co are on. 

"There is no doubt the show inspires the nation to get baking, we’ve already seen a 1125% spike in our bestselling layer cake sets this year. Baking tools are on the rise too, with cake pillars up 1000% since January," she said.

Miners drill into FTSE

Mining drill
Randgold Resources

The FTSE 100 is struggling to break into positive territory in afternoon trading as mining stocks extend their losses. The index is currently 0.1% lower at 6,814 points.

Fresnillo, BHP Billiton and Anglo American are all now down 3% on the day amid falls in raw material prices, including a 1.2% fall in Brent crude.

But banks are enjoying another good day. Barclays, HSBC, and Standard Chartered are all top of the FTSE 100 leaderboard, as investors reassess the likelihood of US central bankers raising interest rates this year (which would be good news for banks).

On the currency markets, the pound is slightly higher against the dollar and euro at $1.309 and €1.176. 

Osborne quarterbacks new project

Eagle-eyed Newsnight business editor Helen Thomas spots George Osborne's latest take on the Northern Powerhouse... 

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Good afternoon!

Dan Macadam

BBC business reporter

Thanks Karen and Russell for taking us through the morning. 

Mining firms - always some of the most volatile stocks on the FTSE - make up all five of the biggest fallers at the moment on the blue chip index. Further falls in metal and oil prices are weighing heavily.

I'll bring you the latest on the FTSE 100 and other markets as it happens, plus breaking news and views from the world of business. 

French union challenges Hinkley Point decision

Hinkley Point
BBC

France's CGT trade union says that five staff representatives on the board of energy giant EDF have filed a legal challenge to the company's decision to go ahead with its Hinkley Point nuclear project in Britain, Reuters reports.

EDF's board narrowly voted in July to proceed with the controversial project, expected to cost £18bn, to build two nuclear reactors.

Reuters says the CGT is concerned that it did not receive the same detailed information on the project as the chief executive and French government officials. 

The first court hearing about the case is scheduled for 5 September.

Football transfers: £1bn and counting

Lucas Perez
EPA

Premier League summer transfer spending has surpassed £1bn for the first time. Clubs had spent a combined £1.005bn as of this morning, according to Deloitte. That figure will almost certainly rise as today is football's transfer deadline day, when a number of deals are usually done.

The previous record of £870m, set last year, was passed last Thursday, six days before transfer deadline day.

Arsenal's £52m double signing of Lucas Perez (above) and Shkodran Mustafi on Tuesday helped push spending beyond the £1bn mark.