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Summary

  1. Bank votes 6-2 to hold interest rates
  2. Bank downgrades UK growth forecast to 1.7%
  3. Bosses' fall in pay 'limited and late'
  4. Next store sales fall but online shopping up

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Good night

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That's it for a busy Thursday.

Business Live will be back on Friday at 6.00am - we look forward to you joining us for all the breaking business news.

Viacom sales and profits rise

One last company result for the day.

Viacom, which owns MTV, Comedy Central and Paramount, has reported a rise in revenue to $3.36bn from $3.11bn for the quarter to the end of June.

Profit grew to $683m from $432m.

Dow Jones closes at record high

US stock market
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed at a record high of 22,024.19 after rising by 7.95 points.

The S&P 500 finished down 5.48 points at 2,472.09.

The Nasdaq ended Thursday down 22.30 points at 6,340.34.

Elon Musk's next race

Nevermind Tesla's Model 3 sedan. Elon Musk's other business SpaceX is looking towards an altogether different frontier...

View more on twitter

Toyota 'may buy stake in Mazda'

Toyota
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Reports emerging out of Japan suggest that Toyota may take a 5% stake in rival Mazda, according to the Nikkei newspaper.

Toyota and Mazda are already planning to build a factory together. In a response to the newspaper, Toyota said the two businesses have been exploring collaborations under a 2015 agreement.

It said: "We intend to submit a proposal to our board of directors today regarding the partnership with Mazda, however, we would like to refrain from providing further comment at this time."

Reality check: Fees, football and fair play

Sotheby's shares slide on falling profit

Sotheby's
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Sotheby's shares fell sharply on Thursday after reporting a slide in second quarter profits.

The auctioneer said income fell 14% to $76.9m despite a 5% rise in revenue to $314.9m.

Shares in the company fell by 7.68% to $51.48.

America's 'Goldilocks' economy

What do analysts make of the US stock markets' performance?

Phil Blancato, chief executive of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management, has an interesting point of view.

"Earnings are supporting this market and consumers are supporting it from a macroeconomic standpoint.

"This is a Goldilocks economy, good enough to push the market higher, no bubbles in sight."

What we do on the internet

Tesla shares jump on electric future

Tesla Model 3
Tesla

Investors sent shares in US electric car-maker Tesla up by 6.72% to $347.80 following better than expected second quarter results.

The figures, which were announced on Wednesday night after the stock markets closed, fueled hopes that the company's new Model 3 car will prove a hit with drivers.

Tesla, which was $3bn in cash, said it has received around 1,800 reservations per day for the sedan since its launch last week.

Cyber-security hero arrested

Marcus Hutchins
BBC

The British cyber-security researcher who was praised for stalling the worldwide WannaCry cyber-attack has been arrested in Las Vegas.

The NHS was among organisations in more than 100 countries affected by the ransomware, which struck in 12 May.

Marcus Hutchins, 23, (pictured) was thrust into the limelight after he stopped the malware from spreading.

Read the developing story here.

Oil prices slide

Oil is trading down on Thursday.

Brent crude is off 0.3% at $52.20 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate is down 0.8% at $49.18.

Gene McGillian, director of market research at Tradition Energy, said: "The market needs continuing signs of improvement in the inventory picture to really drive the prices higher."

Oysters from a vending machine? Yes please!

Oysters
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It could really only happen in France - a vending machine selling oysters.

You get a range of quantities, types and sizes 24 hours a day, seven days a week all in a machine you might have imagined sold fizzy drinks.

One stocked by oyster farmer Tony Berthelot on the Ile de Re island, off France's western coast, has glass panels so you can see what you're buying. Pop in a bank card, open the door and take your choice.

The machines are refrigerated, since most seafood has a tendency to get a bit whiffy when kept in the open.

One enthusiast told Reuters: "We can come at midnight if we want, if we have a craving for oysters. It's excellent; they're really fresh."

Watch: Full steam ahead

Hyperloop One has carried out its latest test of a futuristic high-speed transport system in the Nevada desert.

The creators hope to carry passengers at speeds of up to 650mph in vacuum propelled pods.

Hyperloop: Passenger pod tested successfully

UK financial sector could thrive post-Brexit, says Carney

Bank of England governor Mark Carney
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The governor of the Bank of England believes that the UK's financial sector could double in size in the next 25 years but only if the government holds fast and does not water down regulation following Brexit.

In an interview with The Guardian to mark the 10 year anniversary of the global financial crisis in August 2007, he predicts that the financial industry could grow to be 20 times as big as GDP.

He told The Guardian: "We have a view… that post-Brexit the level of regulation will be at least as high as it currently is and that’s a level that in many cases substantially exceeds international norms.

"If the UK financial system thrives in a post-Brexit world, which is the plan, it will not be 10 times GDP, it will be 15 to 20 times GDP in another quarter of century because we will keep our market share of cross-border capital flows. Well then you really have to hold your nerve and keep the focus.”

Dow Jones touches new record

The US Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading at a new high on Thursday.

After reversing earlier losses, it is now up 13.39 points at 22,029.63.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 is down 5.68 points at 2,471.89 and the Nasdaq is off 13.51points at 6,349.13.

Eisner buys Pompey

Portsmouth supporter
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"We've been bought!"

If you can't afford to buy a footballer - buy a football club instead.

As expected, Michael Eisner, the former chief executive of Disney, has paid £5.67m for Pompey - Portsmouth FC. A pittance compared with Neymar's recent and record transfer fee.

Mr Eisner, who Forbes magazine reckons is worth roughly $1bn told the Financial Times back in March that he had fallen in love with soccer, as he calls it, after watching Arsenal play.

Pompey has had a chequered career of late. It won the FA Cup in 2008, but then became the first team in Premier League history to enter administration in 2010, re-emerging only to go back into administration in 2012. It then came back a year later in League Two and has since been under fan ownership.

Square melon madam?

A sense of foreboding

US employment sign
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Sentiment about US non-farms payroll data, due out on Friday, is not particularly upbeat.

On Thursday, the Institute for Supply Management non-manufacturing index showed that activity fell to a reading of 53.9 in July from 57.4 in June.

Joe Manimbo, senior market analyst at Western Union Business Solutions, says: "With services growth slowing more than expected, it suggests a greater chance of payrolls disappointing tomorrow.

"That would raise the bar to the Fed raising rates and keep the dollar biased downward."

Next shares shine as FTSE closes higher

London Stock Exchange
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The FTSE 100 has closed 64.76 points ahead at 7,476.19.

High street and online retailer Next led the risers and its share price finished trading up 9.29% at £43.86 after reporting forecast-beating like-for-like sales.

Results sent shares in medical technology company ConvaTec in the opposite direction. It was Thursday's biggest faller, when its share price fell 5.6% to 291.5p.

The FTSE 250 ended 58.20 points higher at 19,899.61.

Car hire complaints rise

South African Airways 'on verge of bankruptcy'

South African Airways
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South African Airways (SAA) has run out of money and is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, according to information given to the country's parliament.

It is thought the national carrier may soon be unable to pay salaries.

The cash-flow statement shown to MPs and seen by the BBC paints a picture of an airline haemorrhaging cash.

Read the full story here.

Iain Duncan Smith

Esther Webber

BBC News, London

Iain Duncan Smith is criticised for saying politicians who oppose Brexit should not be trade ambassadors.

Read more

Mr Hammond goes to Argentina

Chancellor Philip Hammond is the first British Cabinet member to visit Argentina for 16 years.

Talks with President Mauricio Macri have focused very firmly on trade and not the Falkland Islands. In that vein, does closer trade ties mean cheaper Argentine steaks after Brexit? Fingers-crossed.

View more on twitter

Introducing President Zuckerberg?

Dr Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg at the White House
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Dr Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg at the White House

Could the US soon have President Zuckerberg in the White House?

Politico is reporting that Facebook co-founder, chairman and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Dr Priscilla Chan, have hired Joel Benenson who was an adviser to President Barack Obama and chief strategist to Hillary Clinton in her run for 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

The Benenson Strategy Group will conduct research for the couple's philanthropic fund, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Earlier this year, they also hired David Plouffe who was campaign manager for Obama in 2008.

Curiouser and curiouser...

US benefit claimant numbers shrink

US unemployment
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On Friday, the US Department of Labor will publish its all-important non-farm payroll figures.

Ahead of that, new data shows that the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to 240,000 for the week to 29 July. The figure has been below 300,000 for 126 consecutive weeks - the best run since 1970.

Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG, said: "The labor market remains tight as a drum even if it is not throwing off the sparks of higher wages and more inflation."

Commenting on what it means for the US Federal Reserve's next move, he said: "The Fed can continue mopping up the stimulus provided to fight the financial crisis and recession."

Company results power US stocks

Stock market trader
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Two quarters of good company results have been the engine of growth behind US stock market rises, and not the current President, contrary to what he says in his tweets.

Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at US Bank Wealth Management, says: "Equities continue to trend higher, largely on the heels of favorable second-quarter earnings releases.

"At present, equities are in an earnings-driven market and earnings are surprising to the upside, providing valuation support for stocks at or near all-time highs."

Guilt-free no longer

The great firewall of China looms large

Chinese web page
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China held a drill with internet service providers on Thursday to practice taking down websites which the state deems harmful, according to Reuters.

The country's Ministry of Public Security called for the procedure "in order to step up online security for the 19th Party Congress and tackle the problem of smaller websites illegally disseminating harmful information", according to a document circulating online attributed to a cyber police unit in Guangzhou.

ISP were ordered to take part in the three hour drill to practice their "emergency response" skills.

They were asked to practice shutting down web pages speedily and report details to the police.

Pizza Hut sours Yum results

Pizza Hut
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Are diners falling out of love with Pizza Hut?

Its owner, Yum Brands, reported like for like sales growth of 2% for the second quarter, below analysts' forecasts of 2.5%.

Revenue at its Pizza Hut division fell by 1%. In contrast, its like for like sales from KFC and Taco Bell grew by 3% and 7% respectively.

Group profit fell from $266m last year to $206m. Shares in Yum declined by 2.22% to $74.92.

Dow falls but stays above 22,000

US stock market trader
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The Dow Jones industrial Average opened 5.96 points lower but remained above the 22,000 mark at 22,010.28.

The S&P 500 rose 3.67 points to 2,473.90.

Conversely, the Nasdaq rose by 2.52 points to 6,365.17.

Door closes on Avon boss

Sheri McCoy
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Avon has announced that its chief executive Sheri McCoy will step down next year.

She is leaving after a tough few years for the loss-making door-to-door cosmetic company amid increased competition from major companies, independents and online shopping.

During Ms McCoy's tenure, Avon sold off 80% of its US business to investment firm Cerberus Capital Management.

Shares in Avon fell 9.04% to $3.07.

Carney warns of Brexit uncertainty

Carney: Households have cut back since Brexit

Bank of England governor Mark Carney said consumer and business spending has slowed because of uncertainty caused by Brexit.

He said after the referendum the financial markets reacted immediately by downgrading sterling.

Higher prices have now fed through to households and companies who are reining back in what is an 'otherwise very favourable' environment, Mr Carney added.

Sterling slides on the dollar and the euro

The pound is trading 0.78% lower against the dollar at $1.31200 after the Bank of England kept the interest rate on hold and warned of slower growth in both the economy and wages.

Pound v the dollar
BBC

The pound is also lower against the euro, down 0.86% at 1.10590 euros.

Sterling v euro
BBC
Christian Noyer: Brexit implications for City of London
Ex Bank of France governor Christian Noyer on how Brexit is likely to affect the City of London.

'Business as usual' at Bank says Carney

Striking Bank workers
EPA

A German reporter asks Mark Carney about the strike at the Bank of England.

A three-day strike by some support staff began on Tuesday, after talks at the conciliation service Acas ended without agreement.

"In terms of the strike here, it is regrettable, we were in talks right up to the day before... my colleagues stand ready to resume talks at any time," Mr Carney said.

"The strike is 1% of employees, it is business as usual at the institution."

He says the Bank has to make difficult decisions about how it uses its limited budget.

Brexit uncertainty weighs on growth

"Deferral of investment is going to mean that the supply capacity of the economy expands at a slower rate," Mr Carney told a news conference.

"The speed limit, if you will, of the economy has slowed... that has consequences, could have consequences for monetary policy, depending on the evolution of demand."

Carney warns on investment

"If the MPC's current forecast comes to pass, the level of investment in 2020 is expected to be 20 percentage points below the level which the MPC had projected just before the referendum."