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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Tobacco stocks slump on FDA plan
  3. US economy grows at 2.6% in Q2
  4. BT's shares sink on profit drop
  5. Barclays sets aside extra £700m for PPI

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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That's it for another week with Business Live.

Thank you for logging on. Have a great weekend and hope you can join us bright and early on Monday morning from 6.00am.

Dow Jones closes at new high

US stock market trader
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The blue-chip Dow Jones held on to slim gains to close at a third consecutive record on Friday.

But the broader S&P 500 and the tech-based Nasdaq closed lower, ending a busy week of earnings results.

The Dow added 0.2% to 21,830.31, while the S&P and Nasdaq were both down 0.1% to close at 2,472.09 and 6,374.68.

A festival of one's own

Bored with schlepping all over the country to see your favorite bands?

Why not start your own music festival?

View more on twitter

Wells Fargo 'has a lot of explaining to do'

Wells Fargo
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Wells Fargo is the US bank where thousands of its sales staff set up 2.1 million unauthorised bank accounts so they could hit their targets.

It has now emerged that it had also wrongly charged customers for insurance on hundreds of thousands of thousands of car loans. It will now pay back $80m to these people.

Its head of lending, Franklin Codel, told Reuters it started looking into the issue a year ago when it noticed a rise in complaints. It did not want to disclose the issue until it was ready to reimburse clients he said.

Senator Sherrod Brown, a Democrat and leading member of the US Senate Banking Committee, said: "Wells Fargo has a lot of explaining to do, and we cannot let up until every single customer is made whole."

Listen: All aboard the mail rail

At the beginning of the 20th century, the British Post Office built an underground mail train line which, until recently, had been largely forgotten.

The train is now a part of the London Postal Museum, which opens this week.

The BBC's Richard Collings has been aboard.

London's historic underground railway postal service opens for public viewing.

Listen: Gambia's economy is recovery, says president

Rescue of the world's oldest bank is underway

Monte dei Paschi
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The world's oldest bank is officially being rescued.

On Friday, Italy issued a decree ordering the state recapitalisation of Monte dei Paschi di Siena.

The rescue will consist of a new 4.5bn euros share issue as part of a debt for equity swap. Italy will also pump 3.85bn euros into the lender.

American Airlines: We will stop Qatar US expansion

American Airlines
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The chief executive of American Airlines has told CNBC that the business "will do everything we can to stop" Qatar Airways from expanding in the US.

Last month, Qatar said it wanted to a stake of around 10% in American Airlines, and needs government approval to do so.

Speaking as American Airlines published forecast-beating quarterly results, Doug Parker said: "It's not fair, and our job is to make sure that we point out that it's not fair and do everything we can to stop them from being able to expand into our markets and take away American jobs."

US and nicotine: the full story

BAT responds to US nicotine reduction plans

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British American Tobacco has responded to the US FDA announcement about its aim to reduce nicotine in cigarettes.

It says it is "encouraged" by FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb’s comments "recognising tobacco harm reduction policies and the continuum of risk for tobacco products".

"These principles have long been the core of our efforts in leading the transformation of the tobacco industry." it says.

BAT adds: “We believe future success will require transformative, innovative products and changing the conversation about tobacco harm reduction. Reynolds American Inc. and its operating companies have long been leading the transformation of the tobacco industry and will continue to do so.”

Nano no more


Apple has announced plans to kill off the iPod nano and shuffle.

They were the company's last two music players without the ability to run streaming service Apple Music and hadn't been upgraded for ages.

The move is part what's been described as a "simplification" of the iPod range to leave just the Touch model.

Read the full story here.

Doves get a lift on US data

While US GDP grew in the second quarter, data showed that wage growth decelerated.

Commenting on what this means for the US Federal Reserve, interest rates and unwinding the country's massive stimulus programme, Alan Ruskin at Deutsche Bank, said: "Although growth is solid, the lack of wage pressure buys the Fed plenty of time, and works with a very 'gradual' tightening cycle.

"There is more here for the Fed doves than the hawks."

US shares lose momentum

Stock market trader
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average has clawed back a little bit of ground and is now trading up 7.52 points at 21,804.07.

But the S&P 500 is off 4.72 points at 2,470.70 and the Nasdaq is down 16.02 points at 6,366.17.

Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private Wealth, says: "Investors are still feeling some weakness in the tech sector and that's weighing on the broader market.

"I'm a bit concerned about some of the valuations, but I expect to see these stocks eventually climb higher as people look for growth. There are bound to be some bumps along the way."

Timetable needed for tampon tax cut, says MP

London markets close lower

The FTSE 100 has closed down 79.40 points at 7,363.61.

As our earlier post points out (at 4:30pm), tobacco stocks lead the fallers following the US FDA's plan to reduce nicotine in cigarettes.

Friday's top riser at close was AstraZeneca, up 3% at £44.56. However, it wasn't enough to make up for the sharp fall on Thursday after it disclosed the failure of a treatment for lung cancer.

The FTSE 250 finished 151.24 points down at 19,728.19.

UK smoking stocks take a hit

We're coming to the end of trading in London and it will be a dramatic finish for British American Tobacco and Imperial Brands.

BAT is leading the days biggest losers, down 8.1% at £48.91.

BAT shares

Shares in Imperial Brands, which makes Gauloises, Winston and JPS cigarettes, are off 7% at £32.26.

Imperial Brands

US sets out roadmap to reduce tobacco-related deaths

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The US Food and Drug Administration says its new plan will "serve as a multi-year roadmap to better protect kids and significantly reduce tobacco-related disease and death".

Its commissioner Scott Gottlieb says: “The overwhelming amount of death and disease attributable to tobacco is caused by addiction to cigarettes – the only legal consumer product that, when used as intended, will kill half of all long-term users.

“Unless we change course, 5.6 million young people alive today will die prematurely later in life from tobacco use.

"Envisioning a world where cigarettes would no longer create or sustain addiction, and where adults who still need or want nicotine could get it from alternative and less harmful sources, needs to be the cornerstone of our efforts – and we believe it’s vital that we pursue this common ground.”

The way to a hacker's heart is...

Up in smoke?

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The US Food and Drug Administration's aim of lowering nicotine levels and exploring ways to shift smokers towards e-cigarettes is "one to light up a sleepy Friday afternoon", says Neil Wilson, senior market analyst at ETX Capital.

He says: "It’s hard to overstate what this could mean for the companies affected: non-addictive levels of nicotine would likely mean a lot fewer smokers and of those people who do still light up, smoking a lot less.

"This will blow a hole in their earnings and forces a fundamental re-evaluation of earnings."

BreakingTobacco shares hit by US nicotine plan

Shares in tobacco firms are being hammered.

That's after US regulators said they will discuss lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes to "non-addictive" levels.

At the moment it's just planning a "public dialogue". Nevertheless, investors in tobacco firms are selling shares .

BAT is down 10% and Philip Morris is off 8%.

US driving season fuels oil price rise

US motorhome
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Oil prices extended gains on Friday.

Brent crude is up 1.5% at $52.25 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate is ahead 1.1% at $49.57.

Prices have been helped by the US moving into what is known as "driving season" when Americans fuel up and speed off on their holidays.

US crude supplies fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to 21 July, far ahead of expectations.

Ashley Kelty, oil analyst at Cenkos Securities, says:"Positive signs came from the draw in gasoline stocks this week, as the U.S. moves into the peak driving season."

Though analysts at Commerzbank cautioned: "We believe the latest price rise is on a fragile footing."

Goodyear sales screech to a halt

Goodyear tire
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Shares in Goodyear have hit the skids.

The tire and rubber maker reported a 2.9% fall in quarterly sales after it shifted 9.2% less product. It has cut its outlook for volume and profit for the full-year.

Chief executive Richard Kramer said: "Our second quarter results reflect the impact of volatile raw material costs and an increasingly challenging competitive environment, particularly in the United States and Europe."

Its shares are down 9.6% at $32.06.

Broken promises weigh on US stocks

Senator Susan Collins (L) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R)
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Republican Senator Susan Collins (L) and Senator Lisa Murkowski (R) voted against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act

After a pretty good week for US shares, Friday is turning out to be a downer.

And they haven't been helped by the latest failure by the Republicans to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets, says: "It appears that Obamacare has become a nightmare for Trump and not good news for the markets as well.

"The ability of Trump to deliver on his many promises such as tax and stimulus packages are really shattered. This is going to have a negative impact on the markets as the Trump trade would wind up even further."

Oil giants diverge

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Exxon Mobil shares are 2.41% lower at $78.88 after the oil giant missed second quarter forecasts.

In contrast shares in rival Chevron rose by 1.65% to $106.86 after it said that second quarter profit rose to $1.45bn compared to a $1.47bn loss in the same period last year.

Its chief executive John Watson said: "We're delivering higher production with lower capital and operating expenditures."

Amazon shares slide

Jeff Bezos
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Following its disappointing results on Thursday night, Amazon's shares have opened 4.09% lower at $10.03.21.

It means founder Jeff Bezos' moment in the sun as the world's richest man has well and truly passed.

However, don't feel too sorry for his - he's still a billionaire many times over.

Us stock markets open lower

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 24.52 points lower at 21,772.03.

The S&P 500 is off 5.26 points at 2,470.16.

The Nasdaq is down 38.26 points at 6,343.93.

VW 'hands over documents' in cartel probe

German carmakers
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Away from the emissions scandal, Volkswagen is one of a number of German car makers and suppliers who are being investigated over possible collusion.

The EU and national anti-trust authorities are looking into allegations that VW, Porsche, Audi, BMW, Daimler and Bosch operated a cartel by colluding over suppliers, prices and standards.

Germany's Der Spiegel reports that German authorities have received documents from VW citing examples of possible collusion between car makers and supplier Bosch.

Reuters reports the following response from Bosch: "All we know about this matter so far is what we have read or heard in the media. We have had no inquiries relating to it whatsoever from German or European antitrust authorities. As we have no details about the matters under investigation, we cannot comment on them."

Oil giant misses forecasts

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ExxonMobil nearly doubled its profit during the second quarter but the results missed expectations.

The world's largest publically listed oil company said profit rose 97% to $3.4bn on revenues 9% higher at $62.9bn.

We'll see how investors react in just over 20 minutes when the US stock markets open.

Lack of stimulus fails to dent US growth

Donald Trump
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Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer at Close Brothers Asset Management, says that the US economy has managed to grow "in spite of a lack of fiscal stimulus so far from Trump’s presidency".

She says: "A strong performance in export and industrial sectors has been buoyed by weaker dollar, and we’ve seen a steady increase in earnings too.

"We’re still some way from the President’s 3%+ growth target, but the good news is this wasn’t priced in by the market, so any additional tax relief or infrastructure spending could support markets into year end."

Consumer spending lifts US economy

The US economy was boosted by consumer spending and higher investment by business in the second quarter of the year.

It showed a vast improvement on the January to March period when growth was revised down to 1.2% from an earlier estimate of 1.4%.

BreakingUS growth rate rises to 2.6%

The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 2.6% in the second quarter of the year, according to the Commerce Department's initial estimate.

That compares with a rate of 1.2% in the first three months of the year.

London's underground post train back on track

The BBC's Richard Collings gets the first ride on the Post Office's miniature underground letter train, originally built in 1915 and now reopened as part of a museum telling the story of the UK's postal system.

London's underground railway runs again

Manufacturers' welcome Hammond's transition comments

EU flag in front of Big Ben

Philip Hammond's comments on Today about a two stage transition phase for Brexit, have been picked up by Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation.

“Industry has been getting too many mixed messages from Westminster so many will be relieved to hear the Chancellor giving a clear signal about the government's commitment to transitional arrangements that are realistic, pragmatic and will cause minimal friction," he said.

“Whilst it is a shame a year has been wasted on this and other Brexit related issues, we now need to see this clarified and confirmed as UK government policy. This will enable the UK to move forward in talks with Brussels on other critical issues which affect British business,” he added.

London markets update

London Stock Exchange sign
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Let's get a quick update on the FTSE 100 now - and it's still trading lower at 7,395.65, a fall of 47 points or 0.64%.

Of the shares which moved earlier following the publication of their results, BT is still down. It's lost 1.85% making it the second biggest faller on the index.

BA-owner IAG's shares which opened higher are now down by 0.25%, meanwhile Barclays which was also up at the open is now 0.93% lower.

What happens to EU nationals during transition?

Today Programme

BBC Radio 4

Philip Hammond told Today that that EU nationals would continue to be able to work in Britain during any Brexit transition period, provided they were registered.

He said the transition time was needed to put these new arrangements in place steadily to avoid a "cliff edge" exit.

I can envisage a situation where we start immediately after our exit from the European Union with many arrangements remaining very similar to how they were the day before we exited the European Union, but over time those arrangements moving steadily with the introduction of new processes and systems until we get to the new end state, that will be the new normal. That will be our long-term relationship with the European Union.

Philip HammondChancellor of the Exchequer