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  1. William Hill shares soar after trading update
  2. Asda sales and profits fall
  3. Mondelez International appoints new chief executive
  4. BAE Systems reports solid results

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Thank you for joining Business Live.

Tomorrow is "Super Thursday" when the Bank of England announces it interest decision, releases the minutes of the monetary policy meeting and publishes its latest Inflation Report.

Join us from 6.00am for a busy day of breaking news.

Tesla sales up, but losses grow

Tesla Model 3 car

Electric-car maker Tesla Inc's quarterly sales more than doubled, driven by deliveries of its upmarket Model S sedans and sports utility vehicle Model X, results just out show.

But the company's net loss grew to $336.4m (£254m) for the second quarter ended 30 June - up from $293.2m a year earlier.

Record-breaking football transfer within week?

BBC World Service

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An advisor to the football star, Neymar, says his record-breaking transfer from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) could be completed by the end of the week, reports BBC World Service.

Wagner Ribeiro said PSG would pay the $260m (£197m) buyout clause in the coming hours, and that the 25-year-old Brazilian forward could be presented in Paris as early as this weekend.

PSG has Qatari backers, making them one of the few clubs that could afford a sum the owners think they need to pay if they're to win the European Champions League.

Dow closes at record high

Wall Street sign
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Dow Jones ended the day at a record 22,016.24, a rise of 52.32 points or 0.24%.

It was pushed up by Apple's shares which closed 4.73% higher following the publication of its quarterly results after the close on Tuesday

Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq was flat at 6,362.65 - a rise of just 0.29 points - because of a weakness in other tech shares.

The S&P 500 edged up by 1.22 points or 0.05% to 2,477.57

Watch: Trump, oil and the whale hunters

Uber drivers accused of colluding over 'surge' pricing

BBC Radio 5 live

Uber app on phone
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Uber drivers in London and New York are being accused of finding secret ways to trick the app's algorithms and of organising mass 'switch offs' in a bid to force 'surge' pricing.

Academics at Warwick Business School and New York University say they have found evidence that some drivers have 'developed practices to regain control, even gaming the system'.

The team say they interviewed drivers on both sides of the Atlantic and analysed 1,012 blogs on the platform.

One blog contributor is quoted in the study as saying: "Guys stay logged off until surge."

A spokesperson for Uber says: "This behaviour is neither widespread nor permissible on the Uber app, and we have a number of technical safeguards in place to prevent it from happening."

Environmentalists rubbish diesel plan

Diesel fuel
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German car makers have struck a deal with the country's government to reduce emissions from diesel vehicles but environmentalists have slammed the proposal.

Volkswagen, Daimler and Audi said they will install software on 5.2 million diesel cars to cut pollution.

But the DUH environmental group said it was not enough. Its head Juergen Resch, said: "Today's summit is bad news for hundred of thousands of people who will get sick and 10,600 who will die prematurely due to NOx each year."

It added that it will pursue court cases for diesel bans in 16 cities.

PwC settle US civil claim

Merrill Lynch
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PwC is to pay $1m to settle a civil complaint that claimed that the accountancy firm conducted a flawed audit into Merrill Lynch's compliance with federal brokerage customer protection rules.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board said PwC was settling Wednesday's case without admitting or denying the allegations.

A year ago the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered Bank of America's Merrill Lynch to pay $415m to settle charges it had put its brokerage clients' cash at risk in violation of customer protection rules.

Game of Thrones unseen episode spoilers leaked

The White Walkers
Out and about with the White Walkers

A summary of an unseen Games of Thrones episode and copies of other HBO shows have been put online by a hacker group that breached the firm's network.

The hackers uploaded a text file of the Games of Thrones instalment and an annotated video of the script.

They also shared three episodes of popular HBO TV shows on a site created to host what they stole.

Read the full story here.

Dow back above 22,000 - but for how long?

Stock market trader
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average has bobbed back above 22,000 again.

It is up 42.80 points at 22,006.72.

Jeff Kravetz, regional investment director at US Bank Wealth Management, says: "That Dow 22,000 mark, that is really a significant number, it is a milestone in the market. Pushing through that is tough, it takes more than one company to push us through, it really takes something kind of extraordinary.

"What happens is when we reach these levels, like 21,000 or 22,000 on the Dow, there is a tendency for investors to take profits and pull back a little bit."

EU steps up pressure on Venezuela

Protester in Venezuela

More news on the European Union's response to Venezuela's election.

The EU said it would not recognise the election of a National Constituent Assembly and would step up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.

It stopped short of announcing sanctions against the country.

America has frozen Mr Maduro's assets subject to US jurisdiction. It has also barred Americans from doing business with him but it has not stopped sales of oil to Venezuela.

For more on the political crisis in Venezuela, click here.

Fed member calls for rates hold

James Bullard
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The chairman of the St. Louis Federal Reserve reckons the US central bank should not raise interest rates in the "near-term".

James Bullard, who is currently not a member of the Federal Reserve's rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, told Market News International: "Given the inflation outlook, which has deteriorated in 2017, I would not support further moves in the near term.

"It's possible data will turn around, but we'll have to see. I think for now we should remain on pause."

The squeezed middle

All Nippon Airways
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Airline passengers would not pay more to avoid being sandwiched on the middle seat on a flight, according to a poll by Reuters/Ipsos.

A survey of American travelers found that 83% said ticket prices is the priority and 60% said they would not shell out extra to avoid the deeply irritating middle seat.

Wonder what British flyers would say...

CVs at the ready

Oil prices gain

Oil prices have reversed and are now trading upwards.

Brent crude is up 0.6% at $52.09 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate is ahead 0.5% at $49.39.

Tesla set to report loss

Tesla car
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On Tuesday night, Apple was the company to watch in terms of its results. Tonight, it is the electric car maker Tesla.

Its co-founder and chief executive Elon Musk has already put the wind up investors by warning that it might face "manufacturing hell" as it ramps up production of its new Model 3 car.

On Wednesday evening, it will announce its second quarter results where it is expected to report a loss on revenues of around $2.51bn, according to CNBC.

Dow Jones retreats below 22,000

US stock market trader
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After a flurry of excitement, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average is back below 22,000 at 21,981.62.

Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott, says: "Typically at those big round numbers the market seems to hesitate ... I'm looking at this as a situation where the underlying evidence as to why the stock market has responded well is the fertile climate for corporate profits which is likely to remain."

FTSE finishes lower

The FTSE 100 has closed down 12.23 points at 7,411.43.

Standard Chartered led the biggest fallers, down 6.05% at 795p after the bank decided against restarting dividend payments despite strong interim profits.

Insurance group Old Mutual was Wednesday's biggest riser, up 2.8% at 203p.

The FTSE 250 finished down 22.19 points at 19,841.41.

Qatar abandons American Airlines investment plan

Qatar Airways
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Qatar Airways says it will not go ahead with plans to buy a stake in American Airlines.

It said: "Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives."

American Airlines has been vocal in its opposition to the plan. Chief executive Doug Parker described it as "puzzling" in a letter to shareholders in June.

The age of biscuits

Talk about longevity - the Rich Tea biscuit is 390 years old. It was originally known as a tea biscuit and has survived until the present day.

The oldies really are the goldies.

View more on twitter

Vision Express bid for Tesco Opticians under scrutiny

Child has eyes tested
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The Competition and Markets Authority is having a busy Wednesday.

It has announced that it will investigate whether Vision Express's plan to acquire Tesco Opticians will result in "a substantial lessening of competition".

Tesco announced in April that it would sell the 209 stores to Vision Express to help "simplify" its UK business.

Watchdog raises concerns over Wood-Amec deal

Oil rigs in the Cromarty Firth
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The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has said that Wood Group's £2.2bn takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler could limit competition.

The companies supply engineering services to the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector.

The CMA has found that the tie-up could lead to competition concerns in the supply of engineering and construction services and operation and maintenance services in the North Sea.

Wood Group has until 9 August to formalise its remedies to address these worries. If it does not, the CMA will launch an in-depth investigation.

iPhone cases recalled following burn incidents

Glitter phone cases

A range of liquid-filled iPhone cases is being recalled after reports of skin irritation and chemical burns associated with the products.

The cases, some of which carry the Victoria's Secret brand, contain glitter floating beneath their plastic surface.

Consumers are at risk of irritation, blisters or burns if the liquid leaks and comes into contact with skin.

Read the full story here.

Oil prices fall on US inventories

US oil rigs
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The price of Brent crude has fallen by 0.7% to $51.41 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate has declined by 0.8% to $48.77 after US inventories shrank by less than expected.

The US Energy Information Administration said inventories declined by 1.5 million barrels in the week to 28 July. Analysts had expected a cut of 3 million barrels.

AMC bombs at the box office

Wonder Woman may have proved a boon to Time Warner but for the company that owns America's cinemas, trading is tough.

Shares in AMC Entertainment plunged 25.24% to $15.55 after it said it will report a larger than expected loss in the second quarter on poor box office receipts. It also forecast a "very challenging third quarter".

Full-year revenue is also expected to miss analysts' expectations.

Ryainair's Michael O'Leary: UK is in denial over Brexit impact
Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary says the UK is denial about the possible impact of Brexit on flights.

'Bipartisan consensus' compels rule rewrite

Lehman Brothers
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Keith Noreika, the Acting Comptroller of the Currency, says: "A bipartisan consensus has emerged that the Volcker Rule needs clarification and recalibration to eliminate burden on banks that do not engage in covered activities and do not present systemic risks."

The rule was introduced following the collapse of Lehman Brothers which exacerbated the financial crisis.

BreakingUS regulators to revise Volcker rule

US regulators have agreed to rewrite the Volcker Rule which was implemented in the wake of the financial crisis.

The rule, named after former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, bans banks from using their own funds for trading activities.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has announced a consultation on the rule which many saw as the centrepiece of the Dodd-Frank bank reform legislation.

In February, US President Donald Trump ordered a review into Dodd-Frank, which he branded a "disaster".

What about the gold?

Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter


Halfway through a strike by some staff - including security - at the Bank of England begs the question: Who is looking after the gold?

The Bank has one of the largest gold vaults in the world, holding about 400,000 bars, worth more than £100bn.

None has ever been stolen, and the Bank says that the strike is not leaving it vulnerable. "All essential business is operating as normal," a spokeswoman said.

Employees in the Unite trade union are disputing a below-inflation pay rise of 1% and are striking for three days.

Apple stock hits new high

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Like the Dow Jones, Apple's share price has also hit a new record.

Its stock is up 6.22% at 159.38 following its third quarter results and an upbeat outlook for the next three months and the launch of its iPhone 8.

US Dow hits new record

Dow Jones Industrial Average has broken through for the first time.

It opened 43.53 up at 22,007.45.

Naeem Aslam chief market analyst at Think Markets, says: "It is all about Apple. The firm comfortably topped its forecast and produced stellar numbers for its revenue and profit."

S&P 500 began trading 2.09 points up at 2,478.44.

The Nasdaq is ahead 29.99 points at 6,389.92.

German car makers agree to cut diesel emissions

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German car makers have struck an agreement with the country's government to cut emissions by updated the software in five million diesel cars.

Volkswagen, which also owns Audi and Porsche, Daimler, which controls Mercedes-Benz and Opel said they will install new engine management software to make emissions filtering systems more effective and bring down pollution levels of nitrogen oxide by 25%-30%.

EU considers options against Venezuela

President Nicolas Maduro
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The EU says it is considering "a whole range of options" in response to escalating political tensions in Venezuela.

The US has implemented sanctions though, as yet, has not stopped oil sales to the country which is led by far-left President Nicolas Maduro (pictured).

Reuters reports that Spain has been vocal in advocating sanctions, but the bloc has not made a decision.

The countdown begins

Apple logo
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Will the US Dow Jones Industrial Average breach the 22,000 mark on Wednesday?

After Apple revealed strong results for the third quarter last night, investors will have their first chance to react.

We have 27 minutes to go...

Wonder Woman boosts Time Warner earnings

The recent Wonder Woman film
Time Warner

Media conglomerate Time Warner has reported better than expected profits on the back of its box-office smash Wonder Woman.

The firm, which is in the process of being bought by AT&T, posted an 11.6% rise in quarterly profits to $1.06bn, helped by a strong performance by its movie division Warner Brothers.

Wonder Woman, featuring Israeli actress Gal Gadot, had grossed about $800m worldwide by the end of July, the company said.

Meanwhile revenue for HBO, home of hit fantasy show "Game of Thrones", rose slightly to $1.5bn.

Bitcoin splits as new currency takes off

Two Bitcoin coins

A new version of Bitcoin has been mined for the first time in the crypto-currency's history.

Bitcoin Cash is the result of months of debate and development over how the currency would continue to evolve.

Fears of large swings in the value of Bitcoin have so far not been realised - but some exchanges are still adapting to the new currency.

One expert said the process had gone smoothly so far and pointed out that trade in Bitcoin Cash seemed "robust".

Read more

Amazon moves into live tennis

Roger Federer wins the Indian Wells tournament March 2017
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The BBC understands that Amazon has bought the UK rights to broadcast the ATP World Tour when the deal with Sky Sports ends next year.

Amazon is thought to be paying £10m a year for the right to broadcast the top tournaments in men's tennis.

The deal includes tournaments in Indian Wells (won this year by Roger Federer), Miami, Shanghai and Madrid.

It is Amazon's first venture in live sports outside the US.

From chips to chocolate

Cadbury chocolate

The owner of Cadbury, Mondelez International, is getting a new chief executive.

Dirk Van de Put will takeover from Irene Rosenfeld, who steps down in November.

Mr Van de Put is currently chief executive of McCain Foods.

Ms Rosenfeld was chief executive of Mondelez, then known as Kraft, when it bought Cadbury in 2010.

She was criticised by MPs for refusing to answer questions about the takeover.