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Summary

  1. FTSE 100 closes nears 6,900 point level
  2. Samsung suspends Galaxy Note 7 sales
  3. Irish government to challenge Apple tax ruling
  4. Go-Ahead shares soar despite Southern disruption

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston and Dearbail Jordan

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 on Monday - do join us then and have a lovely weekend. 

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BBC ITC and Brema

Korea ups pressure on fewer kids

US stocks end on a high note

The Dow Jones ended the day 72 points higher at 18,491 despite new jobs figures for August falling short of a forecast 180,000.

Stocks rose despite the number of jobs created last month reaching 151,000. Analysts predict that the US Federal Reserve will delay interest rate rises in September, possibly until December.

The Nasdaq also finished higher, up 22.69 points at 5,249 while the S&P 500 closed up 9 points at 2,179.

One for the road

Martini has helped create the Smart Cube
Bacardi Limited

Are you extraordinarily lazy? Then, Martini has just the thing for you.

The spirits group has invented the Smart Cube, a device that is popped into a drink and, through the power of Bluetooth, lets bar staff know when you're running low and ready for a re-fill. 

The ice cube-shaped gizmo also keeps tipples cool using NASA technology Aerogel.

Rather sensibly - or annoyingly - customers can only order two drinks with the Smart Cube so it looks like people will have to get up and go to the bar after all.

The device will make its debut at this weekend's F1 Gran Prix at Monza. 

Bottoms up! 

When one door closes...

It has been a tough week for both Apple and Samsung. Still, there is light at the end of the tunnel for one of the smartphone giants, at least according to City commentator David Buik.

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Saudi Arabia "hopefully optimistic" on oil deal

Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister
Getty Images

Adel al-Jubeir, foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer, appeared upbeat before a meeting later this month between members of Opec.  

Members of the oil producing cartel are due to meet at the International Energy Forum in Algeria where they will discuss freezing output.

He said: "We are beginning to have a meeting of the minds but it is a work in progress and we'll see what happens in the meeting in Algeria. And I'm hopefully optimistic."

Brent crude rose by 3.1% on Friday to $46.89 a barrel, reversing four days of falls. US oil prices also rose, by 3.2% to $44.54.

December rate forecast lifts dollar

The US dollar staged a recovery of sorts on Friday afternoon after weaker than expected new jobs data for August weighed on the greenback.

The speculation that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in December instead of September sent the dollar up 0.2% against sterling.   

Samsung's washout

Samsung demonstrates the S7 at the IFA in Berlin
Getty Images

Bad timing or just incredibly ironic? 

Samsung was demonstrating the waterproof wonders of its S7 smartphone at the IFA consumer electronics trade fair in Berlin.

The South Korean electronics giant announced earlier on Friday that it was recalling its Galaxy Note 7 after battery problems where causing the phone to catch fire.

Looks like the company was having much more fun in Germany.

US stocks rise despite jobs data

The New York stock exchange
Getty Images

The Dow Jones industrial average remained in positive territory despite disappointing new jobs data. 

Stocks rose 45.89 points to 18,465 with energy giants Chevron and Exxon Mobil among the best performers after weaker than expected jobs growth for August weighed on the dollar to make commodities cheaper. 

The Nasdaq was trading up 11.9 points at 5,239 while the S&P 500 rose 5.9 points at 2,176.

Welcome aboard the G20 express

A volunteer leads G20 attendees at Hangzhou railway station
Getty Images

It is all go in Hangzhou as the City readies itself for the arrival of the leaders from the G20 nations for the start of the summit. 

The meeting in China is Theresa May's first as the UK's prime minister and comes at a interesting juncture in Sino-British relations.

The government decided in July to conduct a review of a plan to build an £18bn nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

The Chinese are providing a third of the financing of the reactor which is being built by France's EDF. The review could cause further delays to the project which, when first mooted in 2007, was supposed to be producing energy by 2017.

World leaders will also use the summit to grill Ms May on Brexit and its implications.

Do not adjust your smartphone

Even the BBC makes mistakes sometimes. Lots of readers got a breaking news alert in Bengali late this afternoon, sparking fears that the site had been hacked.

Predictably, the explanation is somewhat more mundane: human error. The article was about a police raid on militants in Dhaka, by the way.

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Auction halves number of Greek networks

Antenna TV
Reuters

The number of privately owned TV networks in Greece has been halved to four after a government auction of new licences.

A public auction of just four licenses has raised €246m (£206m) for the government, led by Alexis Tsipras.

Only two existing broadcasters, Skai and Antenna, have survived, while the Star and Alpha TV stations failed in their bids.

The new licences start in 90 days following the controversial auction.

Read more here.

Europe closes higher

Markets on the continent have also enjoyed a strong end to the week, with the CAC in Paris jumping 2.3%, while the Dax in Frankfurt added 1.4%.

Meanwhile in New York things aren't quite as rosy, with the Dow 0.2% higher, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both up 0.25%.

CMA examines Cineworld deal

The cast of Star Trek Beyond at the Empire Leicester Square
Getty Images for Paramount Pictures

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it is taking a look at Cineworld's acquisition of five cinemas from the Empire chain. 

Cineworld's additions include the Empire Leicester Square, which was recently overrun with "Trekkies" at the UK premiere of Star Trek Beyond (pictured).

The deal was completed last month, but the CMA wants to give it the once over, presumably to make sure film lovers are getting value for money.

The initial assessment should take place within 40 days. If the CMA has any concerns, it may then decide to do an in-depth investigation - although they are rare these days.   

Apple: finance minister's statement

Business correspondent Joe Lynam tweets:

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Rate rise doubts boost FTSE

Gold bars
Getty Images

Jawaid Afsar, senior trader at Securequity, says: "Today's jobs data has raised expectations that a US rate hike could be delayed. A weakness in the dollar following the payroll numbers has helped commodities, which have a heavy weight on the benchmark FTSE 100 index."

Commodities shares were in demand after prices of gold, oil, copper and nickel advanced following a fall in the dollar after the US jobs data. A weaker US currency generally makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for other currency holders and in turn raises demand. 

The UK mining index rose 2.5 percent, boosted by rallies of between 2% and 3.8% in Fresnillo, Anglo American, Randgold Resources and Glencore. The UK oil and gas index was up 1.9% as Shell and BP both added about 1.6%. 

London shares jump

The FTSE 100 has posted a storming end to the week with its 150 point rise. The London market was aided by disappointing job figures in the US that send the dollar lower.

Punters also turned to companies that are considered "good dividend payers", according to Augustin Eden, analyst at Accendo Markets, including Hikma Pharmaceuticals, which led the FTSE 100 gainers to close up 4.8% at £21.78.

Cruise operator Carnival, on the other hand, led the fallers to end the day down 4.3% at £35.08 after a downgrade by Morgan Stanley.

Housebuilders also made up the main fallers on the FTSE 100 following a dire outlook by McCarthy & Stone. 

BreakingFTSE soars

The London blue-chip index has ended the week 2.2% higher at 6,894 points.

The pound is also having a decent day, up 0.25% to $1.3299.

Brazil booms again?

The scent of success

Perfume bottles in a museum
Getty Images

How exciting - a new perfume range! Scent obsessives have the house of Louis Vuitton to thank for a new olfactory delight. 

But perhaps what is more interesting is what this says about Louis Vuitton-owner LVMH. The company, which also owns brands including Christian Dior and Givenchy, is trying to balance falling demand for high-end luxury products by appealing to middle income customers without tarnishing its lofty reputation.  

It is Louis Vuitton's first perfume since the merger in 1987 that created LVMH. It has given star "nose" Jacques Cavallier-Belletrud four years to come up with the goods. 

However, at €200 a pop the new scent, which is called nonsense like "turbulences" and "matiere noire", remains something of a luxury. The rest of us will have to settle with stealing surreptitious squirts of the scent in department stores. 

I do...

FT employment correspondent Sarah O'Connor tweets:

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Berkeley halts Barnes development

Berkeley development
Berkeley

Interesting news from Berkeley Group, which says it has stopped construction on a £20m project in Barnes, southwest London. The company did not say why it stopped working last month on the scheme, where homes were expected to sell for up to £5m. 

While it's not unusual for builders to hold off starting developments until market conditions are optimal, it is rare for projects to be stopped mid-build, says Clyde Lewis, analyst at brokerage Peel Hunt.

Basements and ground floors had already been built at the Barnes site. "The London market has got a bit tougher post-Brexit. The value end of London is still selling OK, but more expensive stuff is selling slow," Mr Lewis says.

Berkeley shares have fallen 25% since the start of the year and are down 0.4% today.

Asos shares soar

Asos suit
Getty Images

Online fashion retailer Asos may be forking out just over £20m to settle a trademark dispute with two firms in Germany and Switzerland. but its shares are up almost 4% to £47.44 today. That brings the rise over the past 12 months to a stonking 60% and the company is now worth almost £4bn.

The settlement, with cycle wear manufacturer Assos of Switzerland and German menswear retailer Anson's Herrenhaus, follows several court cases and trademark registry actions around the world. 

Asos said the payout will secure a "comprehensive co-existence for all parties". 

In July, the retailer shrugged off Brexit fears as it upped its full-year sales outlook after cheering "strong" trading.  

Oil price rallies

Oil pump
Getty Images

Oil prices look set to end the week on a positive note after four days of falls.

Brent crude is up 2% to $46.40 a barrel after weaker than expected job creation in the US last month send the dollar down, meaning some commodities - such as oil - are a bit cheaper. 

US oil is also up 1.8% to $43.93 a barrel.

Prices were further supported by comments from Russian president Vladimir Putin, who said an output freeze would be the right decision. Opec oil producers will meet later this month to discuss whether to limit supplies.

However, Brent remains below the $47.18 at the beginning of the week as the US market grapples with a huge stockpile of crude.

Samsung recall surprise

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Technology writer Rhiannon Williams tells the The World at One how surprising the Samsung recall is given that the smartphone in question will sell for about £700 in the UK.

Samsung is recalling its latest Galaxy 7 smartphone due to exploding batteries

To raise or not to raise...

The US Federal Reserve seal
Getty Images

US economists are forecasting that the US Federal Reserve probably won't lift interest rates this month following the weaker than expected new job numbers but it is not set in stone by any means.

Kevin Logan, chief US economist at HSBC in New York, said: "At the margin it dissuades the Fed from moving in September. It's not a clincher. If they feel they want to go for other reasons they can. But this jobs report is not a compelling reason."

Heidi Learner, chief economist at Savills Studley, said: "I don't think it shifts the thinking, I do think it could be 50-50 ... there wasn't enough weakness in the report to derail the Fed, but similarly it would not be a mistake now if they waited until December rather than September."

While Craig Bishop, lead strategist for US fixed income at RBC Wealth Management, said: "I think it continues to point to a solid employment picture in the US, but it wasn't that big blowout number that in our opinion would've been needed to cause the Fed to tilt toward a September rate hike."

Ireland's Apple appeal bombs

Some very unimpressed people at the Dail's decision to appeal the EU's tax ruling against Apple. Ireland's parliament is being recalled on Wednesday to pass a motion to appeal.

Well now if only the #gov #Dail had appealed the decision to lumber us with #bankingdebt #bondholders ect I might have understood #AppleTax

The homeless crisis is not good enough to recall the #Dail but rejecting the means to potentially resolve it can. #AppleTax

You know what we need now? A Million very irate citizens marching on the #Dail. We can do this. #AppleTax

Sterling surges

Cash
Getty Images

As well as the strong performance for the FTSE 100 today, sterling has hit a one-month high of $1.3325. 

The pound has performed reasonably well in the past few weeks, holding above a 30-year low of $1.2798 struck on 8 July, helped by better-than-expected data that has dampened concerns about a sharp decline in economic activity following the Brexit vote. 

No backing down

EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has ordered Apple to pay €13bn back tax
Getty Images

Europe's Competition Commissioner shows no sign of backing down over Apple's Irish €13bn tax bill - and has other companies in her sights.

Margrethe Vestager tells Reuters companies that send profits to Irish-registered subsidiaries in tax havens such as Bermuda could be breaching EU law: "Taxes have been paid nowhere due to the Irish tax code."

The commission has been looking at 1,000 instances of tax arrangements since 2013 when it was first alerted to Apple's tax payments at a US senate hearing. 

Go-Ahead 'doing it on the cheap'

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Aslef, the train drivers' union, says the company that owns Southern trains should "prop up" the loss-making parts of the business. 

Ireland tax review plan

Dublin protest
Getty Images

Ireland's coalition government will hold an independent review of the country's corporate tax system after it agreed to join Apple in appealing against the European Commission's tax demand.

The review will assess "what tax multinationals do pay and what they should pay", said junior minister John Halligan of the Independent Alliance, a group of five MPs whose initial misgivings delayed an appeal. 

The terms of reference for the review will be decided in the coming days, the Independent Alliance members said.  

M&S axes Sunday bonus pay

M&S store
Getty Images

More on that move by Marks & Spencer to boost wages. It says customer assistants will receive £8.50 an hour - and £9.65 in London - from next April. That is well above the Living Wage of £7.20 and the voluntary rate of £8.25 (£9.40 in the capital).

However, the chain will axe extra payments for Sunday working and bring in one standard payment for bank holidays. 

Labour MP Siobhain McDonagh, who handed in a 90,000-name petition to the company on Thursday, criticised the announcement, saying staff will earn no more money in three years' time than they do today.

Campaigners had warned that thousands of staff would lose more than £1,000 a year under planned changes to pay. M&S said it had listened to views and suggestions and made a number of changes to its original proposals.

BreakingUS jobs growth slows

US flag
Getty Images

US employment growth slowed more than expected in August after two consecutive months of robust rises, which could rule out an interest rate increase from the Federal Reserve this month. 

Non-farm payrolls rose by 151,000 jobs last month after an upwardly revised 275,000 increase in July, with hiring in manufacturing and construction sectors declining, the Labor Department said.

The unemployment rate was unchanged at 4.9% as more people entered the labor market. 

Economists had forecast an increase of 180,000 last month.

Behind Ireland's Apple move

Joe Lynam

Business correspondent

Apple logo
Reuters

Sources in the Irish government say they want to put a "strongly worded" motion to the Dail (Parliament) when it is recalled on Wednesday in support of the Apple appeal.

This has the advantage of getting much wider political support – especially from Fianna Fail, which is propping up the minority Fine Gael administration and is the party that signed the deal with Apple way back in 1991.

FTSE up, but builders slip

Let's get a quick update on the FTSE 100 now and it's trading more than 1% higher at 6,816 points.

The biggest fallers are all construction companies, following the release of figures indicating the industry was showing signs of recovery in August, but was still contracting slightly.

Persimmon is down 2.2%, Taylor Wimpey 1.9% lower, Berkeley Group is off 1.8% and Barratt Developments is 1.72% lower.

Carnival, the cruise ship operator, was the only company to suffer a bigger fall after being downgraded by Morgan Stanley to "underweight". The stock is off 3.9%.

BreakingIreland to appeal

Ireland's coalition government will appeal against a €13bn back tax demand that the European Commission has slapped on Apple after independent members of the cabinet gave their backing.

A government spokesman said: "A motion will come before the Dail [parliament] on Wednesday seeking an endorsement of that decision."  

No Southern comfort

Midland train
PA

Back to Southern trains for a moment. Its owner, Go-Ahead, doesn't just run trains - it is also the biggest bus operator in London and has a regional bus business as well. 

Unlike Southern passengers, it seems those customers are very satisfied with the service they are getting.

"We've had a record year of profits from our bus division, achieving our £100m target as planned. Our regional bus business has sector leading margins and an industry leading customer satisfaction score of 89%," says chief executive David Brown.

And if you happen to travel on one of Go-Ahead's other rail companies then it seems you are pretty happy too. According to the company's statement, it had customer satisfaction levels at London Midland of 86%.

Cold comfort for travellers on Southern, no doubt. 

Shares in Go-Ahead have done just that today too, by the way, up 6.6% at £21.30. However, they are still a fifth lower over the course of the year.

Blow to Korean pride?

Woman walks past Samsung showroom in Seoul
Associated Press

Samsung is one of Korea's biggest and best-known companies - or chaebols as they are known. 

The decision to suspend sales of the Galaxy Note 7 has caused concern on the streets of Seoul about the wider impact on the country's reputation. 

"Because of the incident, South Korean products will get a bad reputation. I had thought of getting a Galaxy Note 7 when it first came out, but seeing all the bad things that happened, I don't think I'm getting the phone anymore," says Park Sung-Hwan.

Han Sang-Woo is less worried: "The battery issue may make people doubt Samsung's technical skills, but if the company responds immediately and solves the technical problem, the national image of Korea will not be hurt too much, plus, the effect will only be short-term." 

But Oh Kee-Seok disagrees, saying South Korea's "image will be tarnished globally as Samsung Galaxy is a world famous brand".  

Samsung's 'pain'

The recall of Samsung's Galaxy Note 7s is a blow for the Korean company. At a press conference in Seoul, the head of its smartphone business, Koh Dong-jin, says it will take a hit from the recall - but that it has to put safety first.

It is difficult for me to specifically comment on the [financial] loss. I can say that it is a large amount, that is a pain to me as well. Nevertheless, we have made this decision [to recall] because our customers' safety is the most important issue to us."

Dousing the flames

Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones is at the IFA technology shindig in Berlin and finds Samsung investigating innovative way to stop the Galaxy Note 7 catching fire...

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