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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. AstraZeneca shares plunge on cancer fail
  3. Twitter users rise, losses grow
  4. Good weather boosts retail sales
  5. Car industry calls for Brexit deal

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Good night

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BBC

Thank you for joining Business Live.

Friday promises to be another busy day with results from British Airways' owner IAG, BT and Barclays.

Be sure to log on for all the breaking business and economics news.

Amazon results

Amazon
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The world's biggest online retailer issued quarterly results after the market closed showing:

- A 77% fall in quarterly profit

- Net income down at $197m

- Net sales rose 24.8% to $37.96bn

The company is investing heavily in areas such as video content and in fast-growing economies such as India. That's the explanation for the hit on profits.

Markets close

US stock market trader
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Tech stocks helped drag indexes lower over the course of Thursday with Twitter sharply down and Facebook and Amazon losing earlier gains.

The Nasdaq was 44.94 points lower at 6,377.81.

And while the Dow Jones index managed to end in positive territory, up 86.74 points or 0.4% at 21,797.75 the broader market was lower.

The S&P 500 closed 2.41 points or 0.1% lower at 2,475.42.

There's no escaping Ransomware

Ransomware
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Cyber-thieves have made at least $25m (£19m) from ransomware in the last two years, suggests research by Google.

The search giant created thousands of virtual victims of ransomware to expose the payment ecosystem surrounding the malware type.

Most of the money was made in 2016 as gangs realised how lucrative it was, revealed a talk at Black Hat.

Two types of ransomware made most of the money, it said, but other variants are starting to emerge.

Read the full story here.

Watch: Inside Facebook's chat room

Facebook is developing a virtual-reality chat room, which it hopes will be the most "immersive" way for people to communicate online.

Inside Facebook's virtual reality chat room

"Too many unknowns" on US tax

Here's what the chief Republican negotiators have to say on that decision to scrap the US border tax proposal: "While we have debated the pro-growth benefits of border adjustability, we appreciate that there are many unknowns associated with it and have decided to set this policy aside in order to advance tax reform."

US scraps plan for border tax

Mexico-US border
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The US has stepped back on proposals to introduce a border tax on items imported into the country.

The move is part of a tax overhaul deal struck between congressional and administration negotiators.

Companies such as retailers had lobbied against the plan.

Police say Grenfell corporate manslaughter charges possible

A little luxury lifts L’Oréal

Lancome products
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Cosmetics giant L’Oréal reported a 7.1% rise in profit to 2.53bn euros for the first six months of its financial year on revenue up 4% at 13.41bn euros.

Figures were boosted by the sale of The Body Shop for 1bn euros to Brazilian cosmetics group Natura.

Sales were strong in its luxury division, which includes Lancome. Revenue grew by 15.4%.

Wall street gives up gains

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has trimmed earlier gains and is now trading 22.84points ahead at 21,733.85.

The S&P 500 is now down, off 8.59 points at 2,469.24.

Nasdaq has also turned negative and is down 57.68 at 6,365.07.

Not there yet

Oil rig
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While the oil price's upward path is encouraging, there is still some way to go before reaching recovery.

The US Energy Information Administration reported a 7.2 million barrel fall in inventories in the week to 21 July, ahead of the 2.6 million barrels forecast.

Stephen Brennock at PVM, says: "As encouraging as this may seem, the price recovery won't begin in earnest until evidence of US oil rebalancing is mirrored on a global scale."

A year in the life of Amazon.com

This graph shows just how Jeff Bezos has managed to overtake Bill Gates at the top of Forbes' rich list.

Over the last year Amazon's shares have soared from around 750p to over 1057p today.

Graph of Amazon.com share price
BBC

UK talks trade with Mexico

Mexican flag
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Britain has begun informal talks with Mexico about maintaining the countries' trade agreement after Brexit.

International trade secretary Liam Fox said he and Mexican economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo have began a discussion to ensure "that the preferential agreements that the U.K. currently enjoys with Mexico remain in place."

He also said that the UK government supports the "ambitious and speedy outcome" to the free trade talks between Mexico and the European Union, and will adapt the deal so it applies to Mexico-British trade post-Brexit.

Last year, the UK was Mexico's fifth largest trade partner within the EU, with bilateral trade totaling $5.36bn.

It's digital cocktail o'clock

Results trump White House for equities

Donald Trump
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US indexes are at record highs, but why?

Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda says: "The earnings season has arguably taken on additional importance this quarter due to the inability of Donald Trump to, so far, deliver on the growth agenda that won him the White House back in November.

"Even in the absence of tax cuts and fiscal stimulus, corporate America has continued to perform well, with companies exceeding expectations on both the top and bottom line."

Air-France-KLM buys Virgin Atlantic stake

Equal pay adviser blames women for salary gap

Emily Maitlis, Victoria Derbyshire, Sue Barker, Clare Balding, Fiona Bruce and Alex Jones were among BBC stars to sign a letter demanding the BBC take action over the gender pay gap
Getty Images
Emily Maitlis, Victoria Derbyshire, Sue Barker, Clare Balding, Fiona Bruce and Alex Jones were among BBC stars to sign a letter demanding the BBC take action over the gender pay gap

Female staff at the BBC let the gender pay gap happen "because they weren't doing much about it", a government adviser on equal pay has said.

Businessman Sir Philip Hampton told the Evening Standard newspaper in London that in contrast to men, he had "never, ever had a woman ask for a pay rise".

BBC presenter Jane Garvey said he seemed "peculiarly out of touch".

The corporation has faced criticism since it revealed last week that its top earners were largely men.

Read the story here.

Porsche will bear cost of Cayenne recall

A Porsche Cayenne wheel
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Porsche will bear 100% of the recall of the 3-litre Cayenne cars, according to German transport minister Alexander Dobrindt, after it found illegal emissions controlling software in the vehicles.

Porsche said it had discovered the software during an internal investigation, and that it had agreed to recall the vehicles to fix the problem.

Mr Dobrindt said: "There is no explanation why this software was in this vehicle.

"These vehicles are equipped with modern emissions controlling technology so we think these vehicles are technically able to stick to emissions limits and we therefore believe Porsche will quickly be in a position to bring the software into conformity."

FTSE indexes diverge

The FTSE 100 closed down 10.68 points at 7,441.64.

Rentokil Initial was the biggest gainer, with its share price rising 5.7% to 290.50p.

AstraZeneca's share price ended Thursday 15.7% lower at $43.10.

The FTSE 250 closed up 113.87 points at 19,876.53.

Germany to recall Porsche Cayennes

Porsche Cayenne
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Germany's transport minister Alexander Dobrindt announced a recall of Porsche 3-litre Cayenne cars after finding illegal emissions controlling software in the vehicles.

Porsche's parent company is Volkswagen which admitted two years ago to fitting some of its diesel cars with software to cheat emissions tests.

Meet the world's richest man

Jeff Bezos
Getty Images

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has overtaken Bill Gates to become the world's richest person, worth $90.6bn (£69bn).

A rise in Amazon shares on Thursday means Mr Bezos's worth has now eclipsed the Microsoft co-founder, according to the latest Forbes Index.

Mr Bezos owns almost a fifth of the shares in Amazon, whose value has now exceeded $500bn.

Read the full story here.

Volkwagen refit

More on Volkwagen. The refit of diesel cars will involve upgrading a vehicle's engine software to reduce emissions.

A spokesman for Volkwagen says this service is already being offered in the UK.

VW is hoping to roll it our across Germany after a summit on 2 August after which it will release further details.

Oil prices rise

Oil rigs
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Oil prices continued to rise on Thursday. Brent crude edged up 0.3% to $51.14 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate is also ahead 0.3% to $48.88.

Former Deutsche Bank executives give up bonuses

Deutsche Bank
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Deutsche Bank has announced that 11 of its former executives who worked at the German lender during the financial crisis have waived 38.4m euros in bonuses.

The bank's chairman Paul Achleitner said: "The supervisory board appreciates the fact that with the additional waiver of bonuses, the management board members in office at that time are making a further personal contribution to closing this chapter.

"This helps us to look forward toward the future again."

Brexit talks 'will reach next phase by October'

UK and EU flags
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The UK government believes it will have made enough progress on Brexit talks to be able to move onto the Britain's future relationship with Europe, reports Reuters.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has warned there may be delays on the next phase of discussions about the UK's divorce from the bloc do not move forward.

However, a spokesman for the the UK's Brexit department told Reuters: "We have already made good progress on a number of issues, ... government officials are working at pace and we are confident we will have made sufficient progress by October to advance the talks to the next phase."

Mike Ashley takes a bigger bite of French Connection

The Daily Telegraph's retail editor Ashley Armstrong tweets...

Digital New York Times takes flight

New York Times
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The New York Times reported a profit in the second quarter after digital subscriptions outstripped print advertising for the first time.

The newspaper added 93,000 net digital news subscribers, lifting the online base to more than 2m.

Digital subscription revenues rose 46% to $82.5m. Total subscription revenue rose 14% to $250m.

Total revenue rose 9.2% to $407.1m, and net profit hit $15.6m compared to a $492m loss a year ago.

The drinks are on Jeff

Jeff Bezos
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It's official - Jeff Bezos, the founder, chairman and chief executive of Amazon, is the world's richest man according to Bloomberg.

Amazon's share price has risen by 1.5% to $10.68. Mr Bezos owns 17% of the business.

A tale of two tech companies

Facebook
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Investors in Facebook sent its share price 4.83% higher to a record $173.61 after the social media group reported better than expected second quarter results on Wednesday evening.

On the other end of the scale, Twitter's share price has tumbled 13.67% to $16.93. It said on Thursday that active users stalled at 328m in three months to June. Revenues fell and losses widened.

US indexes hit new records at open

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened up 49.30 points at 21,760.31.

The S&P 500 is 3.64 points ahead at 2,481.47.

The Nasdaq soared 33.35 points in the first minutes of trade to 6,456.10.

A sheer drop

AstraZeneca's share price is now down 15.9% at £43.00 after it admitted that the combination of two drugs failed to help patients as hoped in a closely watched advanced lung cancer trial.

This is what that share price drop looks like...

AstraZeneca shares
BBC

Colombian airlines suspends Venezuela flights

Empty check-in desks at Caracas airport
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Airline Avianca says it will stop flying to Venezuela from next month due to operational and security reasons.

The Colombian company is the latest to suspend its flights to the South American country amid a growing economic and political crisis.

Aeroméxico, Air Canada, Alitalia, Latam, Lufthansa and United Airlines have already stopped their flights.

Avianca, which has operated in Venezuela for 60 years, says the move comes into effect on 16 August. Read more here

Are Postman Pat and Jess electric?

Postman Pat and Jess the cat
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This just in from Peugeot ...Royal Mail has agreed to buy 100 zero-emission Partner L2 Electric vans from Peugeot for it postmen and women.

Does that mean that Postman Pat will also drive an electric van?

Just don't expect Jess the cat to start dressing like Gary Numan.

VW offers to refit diesel cars

VW badges
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The boss of Volkswagen will offer to refit 4m of its diesel cars to reduce emissions.

At a summit on 2 August, VW chief executive Matthias Mueller will make the offer.

The 4m figure includes 2.5m which are covered by a recall of diesel vehicles VW introduced after admitting in 2015 to cheating regulatory emissions tests in 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

The remainder include some 600,000 German V6 and V8 diesel vehicles from VW subsidiary Audi.

That leaves around 900,000 previously unannounced cars covered by Thursday's announcement, including models from subsidiary Porsche and VW's Touareg sport utility vehicles, as well as some of its Transporter vans.

The mother of all food fights

Small firms 'crippled' by cyber-attack

Bill Wilson

BBC business reporter

TNT logo
AFP

Small firms are being "crippled" by the continuing impact of last month's NotPetya cyber attack on Dutch delivery firm TNT, a business group has warned.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says it has "serious concerns" over the effects of the 28 June attack.

"[It] has been debilitating for some small firms who remain in the dark over when, and if, they can expect their goods to be delivered," the FSB said.

A TNT website message reads: "We regret any inconvenience to our customers." Read Bill's full story here

'Walkie Talkie' building sold for £1.3bn

Walkie Talkie biulding
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Hong Kong firm Lee Kum Kee has paid Land Securities a record £1.28bn to buy London's landmark "Walkie Talkie" skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street.

The Walkie Talkie was developed as a joint venture between Land Securities - the UK's biggest property developer - and Canary Wharf Group and completed in 2014..

Land Securities said it would get £641m from the sale and would return £475m to shareholders.

Sir Dave Ramsden to replace Charlotte Hogg at BoE

Sir DaveRamsden
HM Treasury

Sir Dave Ramsden has been appointed as the new deputy governor of markets and banking at the Bank of England.

He will replace Charlotte Hogg, who announced her resignation in March.

He will have specific responsibility for managing the balance sheet of the Bank as well as becoming a member of the Monetary Policy Committee, the Financial Policy Committee, the Prudential Regulation Committee and the Court of the Bank of England.

Sir Dave is currently chief economic adviser and a member of the Treasury board. He said: “I am honoured to be joining the Bank and to be given the opportunity to contribute to the Bank’s mission to maintain monetary and financial stability, at such an important time for the UK economy.”