Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Pound trades higher, FTSE 100 closes down by 0.5% at 7,350.32.
  3. 21st Century Fox's Sky bid likely to face competition watchdog
  4. Rolls-Royce secures 7,000 jobs in Derby
  5. FRC investigates BT's former auditor PwC

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

Business Live is shutting up shop for another day.

Thank you for staying with us.

We'll be back from 6am tomorrow to bring you Friday's financial news, views and analysis.

Do join us if you can.

How much does beauty cost?

Dolly Parton at Glastonbury in 2014
BBC

Country star Dolly Parton once said of her appearance that "it costs a lot of money to look this cheap".

But however classy your look, if you want to take care of yourself, you too can find yourself shelling out big bucks like Dolly.

What you may not realise is that from low-cost Vietnam to high-rolling Venezuela, the bill can vary hugely.

They are the cheapest and dearest nations in e-commerce platform Linio.com's Beauty Price Index. To compile its list, Linio surveyed the cost of cosmetic products and services in 50 countries to find the price of beauty around the world.

Get the full story here

Wall Street closes lower

All three key US stock indexes have ended the day lower.

The Dow Jones closed down 0.78% at 21,287.03.

The S&P 500 was down 0.86% at 2,419.70.

And the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed 1.44% lower at 6,144.35.

India's new tax explained

India's population of almost 1.5 billion people live in 29 separate states, each of which has its own tax arrangements, but not for much longer.

The whole system is being replaced by a so-called Goods and Services Tax. So what does it mean for India? We put the BBC's India business team to the test.

Explaining India's Goods and Services Tax: In 90 seconds

Qatar considering WTO complaint

Map of Gulf region
BBC

Qatar is considering launching a complaint at the World Trade Organization (WTO) against a "blockade" by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt, Qatar's representative at the WTO has told Reuters.

"We are exploring all possible legal avenues, including, but not limited to, the (WTO) Dispute Settlement Body," Ali Alwaleed al-Thani, director of Qatar's WTO office said.

The row began earlier this month when the four countries severed diplomatic and travel ties, accusing Qatar of aiding terrorism - a charge it denies.

Listen: Tie break?

As the Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, says MPs don't have to wear ties in the chamber, we gauge opinions on the streets of London.

Should men have to wear ties to work any more?

Trump holds $10m re-election fundraiser

Protesters at event
AFP

US President Donald Trump has hosted an event at his hotel in Washington, to raise cash for his 2020 re-election campaign.

Protesters greeted the president with cries of "Shame!"as he arrived at the $35,000 (£27,000) per person bash.

Many were unhappy with the Republican healthcare plan, holding placards that said "Healthcare, not tax cuts".

Holding the fundraising event at Trump International Hotel has increased concerns about conflicts of interest. Read the full story here

US imposes sanctions over North Korea

The US has imposed sanctions on two Chinese citizens and a shipping company for helping North Korea's nuclear and missile programmes and accused a Chinese bank of laundering money for Pyongyang.

In a statement Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said: “The Department of the Treasury is committed to protecting the US financial system from North Korean abuse and maximizing pressure on the Government of North Korea until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

“While we will continue to seek international co-operation on North Korea, the United States is sending an emphatic message across the globe that we will not hesitate to take action against persons, companies, and financial institutions who enable this regime.”

The announcement came President Donald Trump was set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the White House to discuss steps to get North Korea to abandon its weapons programmes.

Bunnings to create 1.000 jobs

Exterior of Bunnings, St Albans
BBC

DIY retailer Bunnings says it will create more than 1,000 jobs and step up its store opening programme this year.

The Australian firm - which bought Homebase for £340m last year - plans to double the number of stores launched in 2017 from 10 to 20 after a "positive response" to pilot outlets in St Albans and Hemel Hempstead.

Hong Kong's last governor says China must stick to pledges

BBC World Service

Twenty years since the handover of Hong Kong from British to Chinese rule, Lord Chris Patten, Hong Kong's last governor and author of First Confession, tells World Business Report why we should all be watching whether China keeps to its pledges and commitments in the territory.

Lord Chris Patten on the importance of the campaign for democracy in Hong Kong

The iPhone at 10: How it changed everything

Ten years ago the first iPhone went on sale - the device would go on to revolutionise the world of technology and communications.

The iPhone at 10: How it changed everything

EU appeals against WTO Boeing ruling

The European Union has appealed against a World Trade Organisation ruling in favour of the US over state aid for the American planemaker Boeing, reports BBC World Service.

The EU is objecting primarily to tax breaks in Washington State, where Boeing is based.

The EU and US have spent thirteen years arguing over the level of support they give respectively to Airbus and Boeing.

Pound still pushing $1.30

Pound, dollar and euro notes
Getty Images

A quick check in on sterling now and the pound is still flirting with the $1.30 mark.

It's 0.49% higher against the dollar at $1.2989.

Meanwhile, it's up 0.03% at 1.1364 euros.

Wall Street extends losses

A bit more detail on how Wall Street is doing now - and the three main indexes fell further in early afternoon trading on Thursday. In fact, they seem set to post their biggest one-day drop in a month.

Tech stocks were particularly badly hit as some investors continue to question the sector's high valuations.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 1.87% or 116.73 points at 6,117.69.

The Dow Jones is down 0.9% or 192.65 points at 21,261.96.

And the S&P 500 is at 2,415.35, fall of 25.34 points or 1.04%.

Support for Keystone XL oil pipeline drying up?

Keystone XL protestors
Getty

After years of delays from protests and regulatory hurdles, US oil pipeline Keystone XL may be having new difficulties, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Oil producers and refiners may not be so interested in tying themselves into deals with the pipeline due to global oversupply of oil and the emergence of US shale oil, the article says.

Disruption vs political influence

Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall
Getty Images
Rupert Murdoch and Jerry Hall

Media editor Amol Rajan has blogged on Karen Bradley's likely decision to refer Fox's takeover of Sky to the competition watchdog:

The truth is Rupert Murdoch and his newspapers aren't nearly as powerful in Britain as they used to be. Digital publications such as Mail Online will never, I suspect, have the influence of print ancestors such as the Daily Mail. This applies to the Murdoch titles too. This massive disruption, rather than political influence, is driving James Murdoch's zeal for full ownership of Sky.

Read Amol's full blog here.

Not all bad news for Fox

Chris Johnston

Business reporter, BBC News

Fox sign
EPA

Shares in Sky have ended the day 3.3% higher at 988p, valuing the satellite broadcaster at almost £17bn.

Analysts at Citi say it is possible that Fox could find a resolution to Ofcom's concerns before the 14 July deadline and avoid a lengthy inquiry.

"Ultimately this is a positive outcome for the Fox/Sky in the sense that it makes deal completion more likely. Concerns about broadcasting standards would have been almost impossible to work around, while we believe the groups will be able to offer concessions that adequately address concerns about plurality," they say.

Wall Street lower as tech selloff outweighs bank gains

Wall Street is lower as a sell-off in technology stocks outweighs gains in the financial sector.

Tech stocks, which have led the S&P 500's record run this year, have recently lost momentum after some investors questioned the sector's high valuations.

London share indexes close down

London Stock Exchange logo
Getty Images

Both the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indexes lost ground on Thursday.

The FTSE 100 closed at 7,350.32, a fall of 37.48 points or 0.51%.

HSBC shares climbed 4.2%, making it the biggest riser on the FTSE 100, after Morgan Stanley raised its rating on the bank to "overweight".

Mining companies were higher with shares boosted by rising metals prices.

Glencore and Rio Tinto and Antofagasta were both up by more than 2%.

Shares in Sky also performed well despite a probable referral to competition authorities of Murdoch giant Fox's plan to take it over fully.

It closed up more than 3%.

The FTSE 250 fell by 129.98 points or 0.67% at 19,346.37.

Rupert Murdoch with his sons James (right) and Lachlan (left)

Amol Rajan

Media editor

When I recently said hello to Rupert Murdoch, he told me he was "not worried at all" about Ofcom. It turns out his confidence was misplaced - but not for reasons that are simple, or widely predicted. Here's why.

Read more

Can you help?

BBC Business is looking to interview people with experience of standard energy tariffs ...

View more on twitter

Analysis: Sony Music goes back to vinyl

Jonty Bloom

BBC Business correspondent

Hand leafing through vinyl records
AFP

They said the CD had killed it and that digital downloads had left it dead and buried: but vinyl is back. Sony, which played a major part in killing off vinyl by developing CDs, has seen them replaced in turn by other music technology such as downloads and streaming, but vinyl is increasingly popular once again.

The format has been saved by a resurgence in demand, as it attracts not only nostalgic older consumers, but also younger generations who have rediscovered records, especially in clubs and at music festivals.

Sony is even struggling to find older engineers who know how to make records. Part of the reason for the popularity of vinyl records may be that you can actually sell them in shops. In the UK, record sales brought in more money last year than streaming platforms - although the unit costs of vinyl is many times that of streaming.

Italy defends bank wind down

BBC World Service

Banca Popolare di Vicenza logo
Getty Images

Italy's finance minister has hit back at German criticism of Rome's decision to wind down two failed Italian banks at taxpayers' expense, reports BBC World Service.

The minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, said the few billion spent on the banks so far was nothing compared to the hundreds of billions of tax payers' money that Germany and Britain had ploughed into their banking sectors.

His German counterpart Wolfgang Schaeuble had complained that a bail-out sparing investors went against the spirit of the EU's banking union project.

Italy has set aside up to £14.6bn to wind down the two banks - Banca Popolare di Vicenza and the Veneto Banca - in an orderly fashion, which would eat up most of the money the cabinet approved in December to help its most troubled lender, the Monte dei Paschi bank, and others.

Retailers here to serve

Wimbledon Village retailers ratchet up efforts to benefit from on the world famous tennis Championships which begin next week.

View more on twitter

The coupon king who saves $25,000 dollars a year

How much could you save using coupons? Joe Daugirdas aka 'The Coupon Guy' claims he saves $25,000 each year using coupons and vouchers. It's been his way of life for nearly three decades.

Joe Daugirdas claims he saves $25,000 each year using coupons

Will Blue Apron sizzle?

Chris Johnston

Business reporter, BBC News

Blue Apron kit
Getty Images

You may not have heard of Blue Apron, but it is the biggest provider of US meal kits (a bit like Hello Fresh in the UK) and its shares start trading on the New York Stock Exchange today.

They were priced at $10 yesterday after Blue Apron cut the range from $15 to $17. Potential investors had expressed concerns about the imact of Amazon's $13.7bn takeover of Whole Foods, deal as well as Blue Apron's marketing costs and lack of profitability, people familiar with the matter said.

Blue Apron is the first US meal-kit company to go public and the IPO values the company at $1.9bn, below the $3.2bn implied by its previous estimate and the $2.2bn by its latest private fundraising round two years ago.

Pub visits an 'affordable treat'?

Pub
Greene King

Let's get a bit more on those Greene King results which were published this morning. The company says it has outperformed the market with like-for-like pub sales up 1.5%, and underlying profits up by 6.6% to £273.5m, in the year to May.

But it says there will be challenges affecting the pub and brewing industry over the next few years, including weakened consumer confidence caused by surging inflation.

Yet it hopes visits to the pub will remain an "affordable treat". It also hopes the group's bigger scale since taking over rival Spirit Pub Company for £774m in 2015 will help it withstand surging cost pressures.

Boost for US bank shares

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones are little changed in early trading on Thursday with a rise in bank stocks being offset by a slide in the technology sector.

Shares of the big six US banks rose after the Federal Reserve cleared them in the second part of its annual stress test, allowing them to raise dividend payouts and share buybacks.

The Dow Jones is at 21,443.39, a fall of 11 points or 0.05%.

The S&P 500 is at 2,435.44, that's 5 points lower or 0.22%.

And the tech-heavy Nasdaq is at 6,191.24, down 43 points or 0.69%.

En anglais, s'il vous plait

Bruno Le Maire
Getty Images

France will set up a special court to handle English-law cases for financial contracts after Britain leaves the European Union, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire (pictured) said as Paris steps up its charm offensive to attract banks.

Most loan and derivative contracts in Europe are written in English law, but the UK's exit from the European Union raises problems about how they would be enforced outside of Britain.

"All proceedings will take place in English. We will hire people with experience in common law regardless of where they come from," Le Maire said on a visit to New York.

'Legal separation' for Sky News?

Sky News sign
Getty Images

Bruce Kilpatrick, head of competition law at Addleshaw Goddard, has been taking a look at Karen Bradley's statement on the Fox's takeover of Sky today:

Fox has already offered some concessions relating to strengthening the editorial independence of Sky News and it appears that these are not seen to be sufficient to address the concerns which Ofcom has identified. This suggests that Fox would need to offer a wider-ranging remedy which involves some form of 'legal separation' or partial spin off of Sky News. If so, that could look similar to the model which BT agreed to put in place with Ofcom earlier this year for its Openreach infrastructure division."

BreakingWall Street opens higher - just...

NYSE
Getty Images

Wall Street opened slightly higher as banking stocks gained after the Federal Reserve cleared them in the second part of its annual stress test.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 16.5 points, or 0.1%, to 21,471.1 points, while the S&P 500 gained 1.1 points to 2,441.86.

The Nasdaq Composite dropped 20.7 points, or 0.3%, to 6,213.7 points.

Ogoni widows sue Shell

The widows of four men executed by Nigeria's military regime in 1995 are suing oil giant Shell for alleged complicity in a military crackdown.

Ken Saro-Wiwa was the best known of the nine men executed. He led protests against the environmental damage caused by oil production in the Niger Delta.

The civil case, filed in The Hague, argues that the company provided support to the army, which ultimately led to the executions.

Shell has repeatedly denied the claims.

The latest case against the firm has been filed by four of the wives of the men - political activists known as the Ogoni nine - and is supported by Amnesty International.

Financing UK agriculture in a post-Brexit UK
When Britain leaves the EU what will the future hold for Britain's farmers?

Rolls-Royce safeguards 7,000 jobs in East Midlands

Rolls-Royce engine
PA

Rolls-Royce has secured more than 7,000 jobs in the East Midlands after announcing its biggest single investment in the UK for over a decade.

The engineering giant said it would be investing the majority of the £150m in a new test bed in Derby.

This facility would test large civil aero-engines creating up to 200 jobs.

There will be no compulsory redundancies in Derby, or Hucknall and Annesley in Nottinghamshire - safeguarding 7,000 jobs for five years.

Read the full story here.

US first-quarter growth rate revised up

The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 1.4% in the first quarter of the year, according to the latest official estimate.

The rate was an upward revision from the previous estimate of 1.2%, which itself was an increase from the original reading of 0.7%.

Beach in Alicante, eastern Spain

Jonty Bloom

Business correspondent, BBC News

The figures come from a report designed to provide more information ahead of Brexit negotiations.

Read more

Casual Commons draws line at t-shirts with slogans

Simon Gompertz

BBC personal finance correspondent

t-shirt with rugby slogan
Getty Images

The Speaker of the House of Commons has dealt another blow to formal workwear by saying MPs don't have to wear ties.

John Bercow said what matters is not the tie but whether MPs are wearing "business-like attire".

This is unlikely to spell the end of the tie. One luxury tiemaker, Drake's, said sales have soared by 39% in the last year alone.

But could office dress become even more informal? What about short trousers in hot weather?

MPs have been given short shrift in the past for asking to wear shorts. And T-shirts with slogans are frowned on as well.

Commons no tie rule stretches to journalists

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweets...

Millions in your jewellery box?