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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Sterling falls to under 1.0850 euros
  3. FTSE 100 falters
  4. Google and Walmart strike shopping deal
  5. Childcare website 'must be improved': Nicky Morgan
  6. 'North economy needs a healthy rail network'

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night!

That's all from Business Live for another day - but fear not, we are back at the crack of dawn tomorrow. Do join us then - and thanks for reading!

BreakingUber cuts losses

Uber car
Getty Images

Uber narrowed its losses in the second quarter by 9% to $645m and boosted its ride bookings, but remains a long way from being profitable. That was down from $708m in the first quarter and $991m in the fourth quarter of last year.

Gross ride bookings for the three-month period reached $8.7bn - 17% higher than the previous quarter.

How to protect yourself against identity theft

BBC News Channel

Figure holding plastic card while using tablet
Thinkstock

As we reported earlier identity theft is at record levels, according to warnings from UK anti-fraud organisation Cifas.

Here's some advice about how to avoid it happening to you.

As well as keeping your password safe, having very strong passwords as well as changing your passwords, avoiding giving away too much detail about yourself on social media, or when you are filling in some sort of survey or making some sort of purchase, make sure you tick the box which says you do not want your details shared by a company with their partners or other organisations. Make sure you maintain strong anti-virus software and patches that are provided to keep your software safe."

Detective superintendent Andy FyfeCity of London Police

BreakingWall Street slips

US stocks ended lower following President Trump's threat to shut down the government if funds are not secured to build his Mexico border wall.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4%, the S&P 500 shed 0.35% and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.3%.

Calling up cash

South African Airways plane
Getty Images

More evidence that if you want to lose a great deal of money, operating an airline is an excellent way of achieving your goal.

The South African government is planning a 10bn rand ($757m, £591m) bailout of state-owned South African Airways and may sell down its stake in phone operator Telkom to raise the necessary cash.

Deputy finance minister Sfiso Buthelezi said on Wednesday that the airline would not be allowed to "go under", but the opposition Democratic Alliance party has called on the government to privatise SAA.

Credit ratings agencies say the airline should be reformed and cite the cost of propping it up as a threat to South Africa's credit rating.

Samsung sanguine?

Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones has been taking a look at Samsung's latest smartphone, the Galaxy Note 8. Hopefully this one won't catch fire...

View more on twitter

Game on

esports
Getty Images

Shares in Game Digital jumped by more than a third today after investors warmed to plans that will see the retailer boost its presence in the fast-growing e-sports markets.

Game aims to tap the "significant potential" of the group's e-sports activities, where professional gamers battle it out in front of crowds at events such as Insomnia.

The announcement, which came alongside a trading update showing improving sales in the second half, sent shares up 35% to a princely 33.2p, valuing the company at, erm, £56m.

US science envoy resigns

One of the US State Department's science envoys has resigned over President Donald Trump's response to the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

And his letter to the President contained an acrostic, with the first letter of each paragraph spelling out a word ... Here it is ...

View more on twitter

China's petrol exports to North Korea plummet

BBC World Service

Official figures from China show that exports of petrol to North Korea have been almost completely cut off, dropping by 97% in the past year, reports BBC World Service.

North Korea relies on China for the vast majority of its trade, and is almost wholly dependent on Beijing for key sources of fuel.

Total Chinese imports from North Korea are also down, dropping by almost a third compared with the previous year.

Earlier this month, new UN sanctions banned North Korea from exporting some of its biggest resources, including coal and seafood, as punishment for the country's continued nuclear weapons development.

Deep pockets

Chanel store
Getty Images

Bet you didn't know that Chanel is owned by Alain and Gérard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, one of designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s early business partners.

The Guardian reports that the reclusive billionaires, who live in New York and Switzerland respectively, paid themselves a cool $3.4bn (£2.65bn) dividend last year.

The Wertheimers pocketed more than four times the company’s net profit and double the dividend they received in 2015.

Scotland hands Trump big tax rebate

Donald Trump at Turnberry
Reuters

US President Donald Trump's luxury hotel in Scotland has received a £110,000 tax rebate meant to help struggling small businesses.

The £11m Trump Turnberry resort in Ayrshire has had its property tax reduced by £109,530, South Ayrshire Council has confirmed.

The relief cuts the hotel's annual rates bill by 13.5%.

The business rates relief scheme was launched to help revive the country's struggling tourism industry. Read the full story here

Why is Wall Street down?

Wall Street sign with flags in background
Getty Images

All three key US share indexes are still trading in negative territory.

The Dow Jones is at 21,817.95, that's a fall of 82 points or 0.37%.

The S&P 500 is at 2,442.77, 10 points or 0.40% lower.

And the Nasdaq is at 6,268.39, down 29 points or 0.46%.

The fall comes after President Donald Trump Donald Trump said he would close down the US government if necessary to build his wall along the Mexico border.

He said that, if it came to it, he would risk a government shutdown - which is what happens when legislation funding the federal government cannot be passed by Congress and non-essential services stop.

"Trump saying he would be willing to shut down the government over the wall obviously doesn't really inspire much confidence in anyone," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading.

"The debt limit, which is truly urgent and something that needs to be addressed, where theoretically failure should not be an option, that is something of a litmus test for the market."

Listen: Citizenship for sale

Banking on a trade pact

The City
Getty Images

The UK's financial sector will propose a "mutual access" trade pact between the UK and the European Union that would allow banks and other firms to continue doing cross-border business after Brexit, according to a draft report seen by Reuters.

Unless Britain negotiates new trading relations with the EU, banks, insurers and fund managers in Britain could be locked out of the bloc's markets.

The International Regulatory Strategy Group - sponsored by the City of London Corporation and financial lobby group TheCityUK - says in a draft report that a trade pact would allow cross-border business to continue after Britain leaves the EU.

"The proposals in the report are intended to achieve a level of mutual access for EU and UK firms, which is as close as possible to the current levels of access that exist for such firms within the EU framework," the report said.

One possible stumbling block, however: no such trade pact in financial services has been tried before.

'A giant phone'

More on the Galaxy Note 8 launch now ...

Samsung has revived the Galaxy Note brand with one of the biggest mainstream handsets to have ever been launched.

The Note 8 smartphone has a 6.3in (16cm) screen - a significant step up over the Note 7's already-large 5.7in display.

It is also considerably more expensive.

The previous model is best known for self-combusting in a series of fires that led to two recalls.

The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones found out how Samsung now hopes to put that disaster behind it.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8: A giant phone

Two sides of a coin?

Sterling’s historic weakness against the euro makes for some eye-grabbing headlines, but in reality the underlying drivers of these developments are nothing new: mounting economic and political uncertainty in the UK, and rapidly improving conditions in the eurozone.

Ranko BerichHead of market analysis, Monex Europe

'Sterling pounded'

Head of market analysis, Monex Europe tweets

Here on the Live page we hate to disappoint ...

View more on twitter

Pound also lower against dollar

Pound dollar intraday graph 23.8.17
BBC

The pound is also down against the dollar - a short while ago it was at $1.2781 on the wholesale markets - a fall of 0.33%.

Pound still down against euro

Pound euro intraday graph 23.8.17
BBC

Let's check in on sterling now ... and the pound is still down against the euro.

On the wholesale markets it's at 1.0838 euros - that's a fall on 0.57% on the day.

Amazon closer to Whole Foods deal

Fresh produce in Whole Foods Market store
Getty Images

Amazon's plan to buy Texas grocer Whole Foods for $13.7bn (£10.7bn) cleared an initial hurdle on Wednesday, as shareholders of the supermarket voted in favour of the deal.

Shareholder approval had been expected for the bid, which has been greeted as a game-changer for the food industry.

The merger would combine Whole Foods' physical footprint with Amazon's delivery prowess.

US competition authorities must now sign off on the deal for it to advance. Read the full story here

Andy Burnham: North 'needs transport investment now'

Delegates seated round tables at transport meeting
BBC

The north of England "needs transport investment now", the Mayor of Greater Manchester said as northern leaders gathered at Wednesday's transport summit in Leeds.

In a tweet, Andy Burnham said: "We are here with one loud, clear and strong voice - the North."

The meeting of political and business officials at Cloth Hall Court was a "packed house", he said.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling had called for leaders to "take control" of their own transport networks.

Mr Burnham said: "This isn't about point scoring, it's about making the argument for the north".

Read the full story here

FTSE 100 flatlines

London Stock Exchange sign
Getty Images

The FTSE 100 was little changed at the close on Wednesday at 7,382.65, that's a fall of less than 1 point or 0.01%.

The biggest gain was seen by Provident Financial whose shares climbed by 12.13%. The doorstep lender saw the value of its stock plummet by 66% on Tuesday after it issued its second profit warning in three months.

WPP's shares fell by nearly 11% - making it the biggest loser on the index. Earlier the after the advertising giant reported slowing sales and warned about future growth.

Sterling down against dollar

Dollar and sterling notes
BBC

The pound isn't just trading lower against the euro, it's also down against the dollar.

A short while ago it was at $1.2784, a fall of 0.30%. Here's one analyst's view of what's going on.

The GBP/USD edged lower today as there was a broad decline in the pound, even though the UK had no major economic announcements. A survey of British employers painted a gloomy picture of the UK economy. The Recruitment & Employment Confederation jobs outlook survey showed that a higher percentage of employers expected the economy to worsen, than to improve, and this took its toll on the pound.

David MaddenMarket analyst, CMC Markets UK

The big Note 8 reveal ...

Back on track at the launch of Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 in New York ...

View more on twitter

Exchange rate examples

BBC business correspondent tweets

Here's one example from Gatwick Airport of what your money will buy you: £1 = 94.93 euro cents.

View more on twitter

Galaxy Note 8 launch shindig held up

BBC North America business correspondent tweets

Samsung's Galaxy Note 8 launch delayed by tech fail ...

View more on twitter

Airbnb looks to Hollywood for help

Danny Glover
Getty Images

Now and again, a Hollywood film star will branch out into business.

George Clooney, for example, co-founded the Casamigos tequila company which was recently sold to Diageo for around $1bn.

Intriguingly, Danny Glover, who is probably best known for starring in the Lethal Weapon movies, has been appointed as an adviser to Airbnb.

Mr Glover is also a political activist and he will work with the accommodation rental website to help engage with ethnic minorities.

Airbnb is working on its anti-discrimination policy and this year it barred a host who had cancelled a woman's reservation by using a racist remark.

Mr Glover said: “I know Airbnb has had its own share of challenges in this arena—but working with them, I’ve seen first-hand how committed they are to getting it right.”

BreakingWhole Foods shareholders back Amazon bid

Exterior of Whole Foods store
Reuters

Whole Foods shareholders have voted in favour of Amazon's $13.7bn (£10.5bn) acquisition of Whole Foods.

Pound at parity?

BBC business correspondent tweets

Traders 'bullish' on the euro

Bureau de change
AFP

A bit more on the pound's fall against the euro to an eight-year low.

Neil Wilson, at financial trading firm ETX Capital, says traders are strongly backing the euro amid continued signs of the Eurozone's economic recovery.

"Simply put there is no easier trade than to sell the pound against the euro – it’s a bit of a steamroller at the moment with sentiment so bullish around the euro and still very bearish on the pound," he told the BBC.

"Underpinning it is pound softness resulting from Brexit uncertainty which is not improving."

The result: £1 is currently trading at 1.0833 euros, a fall of 0.6% today.

What would Postman Pat think?

Wall Street opens lower

New York Stock Exchange exterior
Getty Images

All three key US share indexes have opened lower on Wednesday.

The Dow Jones is at 21,832.68, a fall of 67 points or 0.31%.

The S&P 500 is at 2,445.72, 7 points or 0.28% lower.

And the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 17 points or 0.27% at 6,280.52.

Why's the pound falling?

Pound, euro and dollar notes
Getty Images

So just why is the pound falling?

Against the dollar it's slipped under $1.28 for the first time since the end of June, while against the euro sterling has plunged to an eight year low (see previous post).

Here's one analyst's view ...

After an incredibly flat start the pound took a dive this Wednesday, the currency infected by a bout of Brexit bearishness. There’s not really been much to force sterling lower against the dollar and the euro. The former has admittedly seen something of a comeback this week following a fortnight of macro-economic losses; the latter, meanwhile, received a bit of a boost from a better than expected Eurozone manufacturing PMI (even if the services reading was worse than forecast). With little else going on in the UK, it seems investors have been left to speculate about the state of the Brexit negotiations, rarely a good thing for the health of the pound.

Connor CampbellFinancial analyst, Spreadex

Pound slumps to eight year low against euro

Pound euro intraday graph 23 August
BBC

The pound has fallen still further and hit an eight year low against the euro

Brexit uncertainty and strong economic data from the eurozone dragged on the UK currency.

A short while ago a pound was at 1.0851 euros, that's a fall of 0.45%.

Hashtag celebrates 10th birthday

Twitter logo with silhouettes using phones
Reuters

Before Twitter came along, no-one really knew what the point of the hash key was on the keyboard.

The social media network transformed its use, making it a way to tag tweets and the hashtag became a thing.

Ten years on, the # symbol is used 125 million times on the platform every day around the world.

The BBC's Newsbeat has been looking back at some of the biggest hashtags ever, mentioning big events, controversies and creating Twitter moments in the process. Here's just some of them.

#BlackLivesMatter

#EdBallsDay

#TheDress

#IceBucketChallenge

Read the full story here

India's railway boss quits after derailments

BBC World Service

Rescuers work at train crash on Saturday
AFP

The chairman of India's railway board (Ashok Mittal) has resigned after the second major train accident in less than a week, reports BBC World Service.

In the latest incident, more than 40 were injured when an express train derailed in Uttar Pradesh.

On Saturday, 23 people died in a derailment in the same state.

The railways minister, Suresh Prabhu, said he was "extremely pained" by the accidents, but added that his offer to resign wasn't accepted by the prime minister,

Narendra Modi. India's railway network carries more than 22 million people a day but badly needs investment.

Oil prices fall

Oil prices are on the slide again on Wednesday on oversupply fears.

Brent crude is off 0.6% at $51.56 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate is down 0.4% at $47.66 a barrel.

Investors are unnerved about oil supply from Libya with mixed reports on whether its Sharara oilfield is open or closed.

Commerzbank analysts said: "(The) flood of news reports makes it clear that the situation in Libya is still chaotic and that conditions in the country are still far from normal."

Additionally, data released by the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday that US gasoline stocks rose by 1.4 million barrels in the week to 18 August compared with expectations of a 3.5 million-barrel drop.

'Euro extremely stretched'

Euro coins
Getty Images

Analysts are warning that the euro's gains could be short-lived.

"In terms of the euro positioning, we are at extremely stretched levels both against the dollar and the pound," said Richard Falkenhall, senior FX strategist at SEB.

He also said there there was little likelihood of European Central Bank President Mario Draghi signalling any policy change at the meeting of bankers at Jackson Hole.

The euro hit $1.1788 against the dollar and climbed to a fresh 10 month peak against the pound, at 92 pence.

WPP a 'bellwether for ad industry'

Martin Sorrell
AFP

Shares in UK advertising giant WPP are still down about 10% after it reported slowing sales and warned about future growth.

“WPP is very much seen as the bellwether of the advertising industry and as such is widely regarded as a global economic barometer and so it is unsurprising the shares have reacted in the way they have this morning," said Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre.

"It is likely that the market will continue to concentrate on the group’s gloomy outlook for growth 2018, particularly as it expects little in the way of global GDP growth next year," he added.

Grenfell Tower management to be removed - Theresa May

Grenfell Tower
PA

Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (TMO), manager of Grenfell Tower, is to be stripped of responsibility for the west London estate it is part of, the PM has said.

Theresa May said residents were "pleased" to hear the tenant management organisation was being stripped of its powers.