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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. US stocks rise following Janet Yellen speech
  3. FTSE indexes trade higher
  4. Samsung heir sentenced to five years in jail
  5. Provident Financial revamps management

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

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Wall Street gains ground in wake of Yellen's remarks

US stocks rose slightly at the close after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stayed silent on monetary policy in a much-anticipated speech, and a key White House official said tax reforms were on the horizon.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.48 points, or 0.14%, to 21,813.88, the S&P 500 gained 4.11 points, or 0.17%, to 2,443.07 and the Nasdaq Composite lost 5.68 points, or 0.09%, to 6,265.64.

Euro hits highest rate for two years

Euro dollar rate after Mario Draghi's speech
BBC

The euro hit its highest level in more than two years against the dollar on Friday after that speech by European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

Why? Well, it seems it's because he didn't voice fears about the strength of the euro, focusing instead, as we've been reporting, on openness to trade.

The eurozone currency hit a high of $1.1940, its strongest level since January 2015.

A short while ago it was at $1.1927 - a rise of 1.08%.

Draghi: Openness to trade under threat

Concluding his speech to fellow central bankers Mario Draghi said warned that openness to trade was vital for the global economy but that it was "under threat".

"To inject more dynamism into the global economy we need to raise potential output growth, and to do so with ageing societies we need to lift productivity growth. For advanced economies that are close to the technological frontier, this depends crucially on openness to trade," he said.

"Yet openness to trade is under threat, and this means that policies aimed at answering this backlash are a vital part of the policy mix for dynamic growth. Some of those policies can be implemented domestically, but some can only be effectively enacted through multilateral cooperation."

Draghi: Fairness of openness is key concern

One of the key concerns is about the fairness of openness, says Mr Draghi - in other words whether everybody playing by the same rules.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, he goes on to say that European Union does deliver a fair playing field and that it has been successful.

"As regards fairness, the point is obvious: regulatory convergence provides the strongest assurance that the playing field is level right across the European market. This is why, as borders have opened within Europe, common supranational powers of legislation and enforcement have strengthened in parallel," he adds.

Draghi: Rich nations more negative about trade

Mr Draghi goes on to say that one of the "key questions facing the global economy is whether the trend towards ever greater economic openness, which has defined the last three decades, is coming to an end".

He adds that temporary trade barriers now cover 2.5% of products today compared with 1% of products back in the year 2000.

And he says while most people think growing trade and business ties with other countries is positive "those polled in rich countries are more negative than in the pre-crisis period".

Draghi: Consensus on open markets weakening

He goes on to highlight growing concerns not everyone benefits from free trade, in particular poorer nations and sections of society.

"The social consensus on open markets has, however, been weakening in recent years," he says.

"This is driven not so much by a belief that open markets no longer create wealth, but by the perception that the collateral effects of openness outweigh its benefits. People are concerned about whether openness is fair, whether it is safe and whether it is equitable."

Draghi: Openness is key to better productivity

European Central Bank boss Mario Draghi is delivering his speech at Jackosn Hole and the ECB has posted the text on its website.

His key focus is on the role of openness in global trade .

"When thinking about the global economy, one of the key ingredients for raising productivity is openness.

"Open trade, investment and financial flows play a key role in the diffusion of new technologies across borders that drive forward efficiency improvements."

Treasury secretary: Trump will promote tax reform next week

BBC North America business correspondent tweets

Steven Mnuchin
Getty Images

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has been talking to the White House reporters.

He's revealed that President Donald Trump will be travelling around the country next week to promote his tax reform agenda which investors are hopeful will stimulate the US economy.

He also said the country's debt ceiling would be raised in September. "My strong preference is that we have a clean debt ceiling (increase), but the most important issue is the debt ceiling will be raised in September," he said.

US legislators need to approve an increase in the US debt ceiling or the federal government risks defaulting on its debt payments.

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Mike Ashley will not attend AGM

Daily Telegraph retail editor tweets

Sports Direct has made an announcement to the stock market in which it says its boss Mike Ashley will not not attend the forthcoming annual general meeting (AGM) and it will scrap an open day for investors and journalists.

The sportswear giant said "conflicting demands" for the chief executive's time meant he could not attend the AGM on 6 September 6.

View more on twitter

DVLA bans potentially offensive number plates

Registration numbers withheld by the DVLA
BBC
Do these "suppressed" vehicle registration marks cause "upset or offence"?

More than 300 number plates have been banned from use when the 67 vehicle registrations are released next week.

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has withheld them because they are deemed potentially offensive.

Among those are MU67 DER, BU67 GER, DO67 GER, BA67 ARD, MU67 GER, HU67 WLY and OR67 SAM. Other "words" like AF67 HAN and NE67 ECT also make the list.

A DVLA spokesman said it had a responsibility to ensure plates do not "cause upset or offence". Read the full story here

Kenya court throws out attempt to stop plastic bag ban

Man surrounded by waste including plastic bags
AFP
Plastic bags have become an environmental menace in some places

The High Court in Kenya has rejected an attempt to stop a ban on plastic shopping bags, due to come into force on Monday.

Manufacturers of the bags argued that 80,000 jobs would be lost.

This is the third attempt in the past ten years that Kenya has tried to ban plastic bags.

The environment ministry says anyone caught manufacturing, importing or using the bags will be liable to a fine of at least $19,000 (£14,700) or a jail term of at least a year.

A number of other African countries have banned plastic bags, including Rwanda and Eritrea.

VW engineer sentenced to 40 months in prison

BBC World Service

VW badge
Getty Images

A US judge has sentenced a former Volkswagen engineer to 40 months in prison for his role in the emissions cheating scandal.

James Liang had pleaded guilty to misleading regulators, and had co-operated with law enforcement officials.

But Judge Sean Cox told him he was part of a long-term conspiracy that perpetrated a stunning fraud on the American consumer.

The judge said he hoped the prison sentence would deter other engineers. He also imposed a fine of $200,000 (£155,000).

Volkswagen installed software in some of its cars that masked the real amount of emissions they produced.

RBS accused of mistreating businesses in leaked report

RBS logo
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The RBS department set up to help companies in trouble mistreated nearly all its clients, a leaked report for the Financial Conduct Authority says.

It found some "inappropriate action" - such as interest charges being raised or unnecessary fees added - was experienced by 92% of viable firms seen by RBS's Global Restructuring Group.

GRG operated from 2005 to 2013 and at its peak handled 16,000 companies.

The banking giant denies systematic abuse of its customers.

Read the full story here

Will Draghi speech disappoint markets?

Mario Draghi
Reuters

Coming up later we'll have European Central Bank (ECB) boss Mario Draghi's speech from Jackson Hole.

However, it seems anyone hoping for clues as to when the ECB will start easing back further on its 60bn euro (£55bn) a month economic stimulus programme - and shifting into "hawkish" mode - is likely to be disappointed.

Still to come is Mario Draghi’s own Jackson Hole speech, though like Yellen’s it is expected to be light on the kind of details investors are clamouring for. The ECB has let out plenty of hints suggesting Draghi isn’t going to announce anything resembling a hawkish shift during his evening talk, though it isn’t hard to imagine the markets being disappointed regardless.

Pound remains near 10 month lows against euro

Pound euro graphic August 25 1750 BST
BBC

The pound was trading near fresh ten month lows against the euro, with £1 buying 1.0842 euros.

Broader markets are happy to push sterling lower with any negative news, and there is a big gap opening up between the outlook of both the eurozone and the UK economies.

David MaddenMarkets analyst at, CMC Markets

Pound rises against dollar

New pound coins on dollar bills
Getty Images

Sterling has recovered ground against the dollar, after traders sold the US currency following disappointment over US Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen's speech at the Jackson Hole conference in Wyoming.

Dollar weakness helped the pound rise by 0.61% against the US currency to $1.2879.

The upward move helped pound to recover some of the losses it suffered earlier this week when at one point it was down to $1.277.

Dixons Carphone claws back some ground

Dixons Carphone shares at close b25 August
BBC

The FTSE 250 closed at 19671.33 - a fall of 0.2%.

On the index, Dixons Carphone shares recovered some of their earlier losses,

On Thursday the retailer's shares lost 23% after a profits warning, but ended Friday 0.94% higher on the day.

Supermarket shares dented

Whole Foods Market logo+
Getty Images

Let's check on what the big supermarket shares were doing at Friday's close.

Tesco ended the day 1.73% lower, making it the fifth biggest faller on the FTSE 100.

Sainsbury's was down 0.46% and Morrisons dropped 0.36%.

Their performance was dented by Amazon's announcement that it would complete its takeover of Whole Foods on Monday and start cutting prices.

Provident Financial biggest gainer on FTSE 100

Provident Financial office
Provident Financial

For the second day running, the biggest gain on the FTSE 100 was racked up by Provident Financial.

Shares in the sub-prime lender climbed by 22% after it announced a management shake-up.

On Tuesday the firm shed 66% after it issued its second profit warning in three months.

FTSE closes down

FTSE 100 at close 25 August 2017
BBC

The FTSE 100 was little changed at the close - edging down by just 0.08% to 7401.46.

Aston Martin in record first-half profits

Andy Palmer shows off new DB11 at Geneva Motor Showr, 2016.
Getty Images

Luxury sports car maker Aston Martin has reported record pre-tax profits of £21.1m for the six months to June 30 – compared with a loss of £82.3m in the same period of 2016.

Revenues increased to £410.4m - up from £211.8m in the first half of 2016.

In the second quarter, pre-tax profits hit £15.2m on revenues of £222.0m, compared with a pre-tax loss of £52.6m on revenues of £119.2m for the same time last year.

This is Aston Martin's first half yearly profit for ten years.

Aston Martin reported annual losses in each of the six years to 21016.

Aston Martin is accelerating financially with our third successive quarter of pre-tax profit. Our improving performance reflects rising demand for our new DB11 model, as well as for special edition vehicles and the ongoing benefits from our Second Century transformation plan.

Andy PalmerPresident and chief executive, Aston Martin

Yellen speech sends dollar lower

After Janet Yellen's speech the dollar fell against both the euro and the pound - here's why ...

Dollar euro intraday graph 25 August
BBC
Dollar pound intraday graph 25 August
bb

An earlier than expected Jackson Hole address from Janet Yellen sent the dollar lower this Friday. Brought forward by two hours the Federal Reserve chief’s speech, perhaps unsurprisingly, failed to comment on the central bank’s future monetary policy plans. That absence itself was seen as dollar-negative and further softened up the currency, which had already been hit by an awful durables goods orders reading. With the greenback feeling grim the pound and euro could take half a percent off the currency apiece, in turn allowing the Dow Jones to post a rather sizeable rise, jumping 100 points to within touching distance of 21900.

Connor CampbellFinancial analyst, Spreadex

US durable goods orders down

US home appliances
Getty Images

Ahead of Janet Yellen's speech, the latest figures on orders for durable goods in the US - things ranging from home appliances to aircraft meant to last three years or more - showed a fall of 6.8% or $16.7bn in July.

Transportation equipment "drove the decrease", said the Department of Commerce falling by $17.4bn or 19% to $74.3bn.

The decline in durable goods orders was the biggest since August 2014 and followed a 6.4% jump in June.

Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.5% while excluding defence, new orders decreased 7.8%.

Yellen's 'thinly veiled threat'

Reaction's starting to come in to Janet Yellen's Jackson Hole speech ...

Instead of talking about the economic outlook or monetary policy she [Janet Yellen] focussed on the lessons of the financial crisis and gave a thinly veiled threat to the administration that they shouldn't tinker too much with the post-crisis legislation.

Neil WilsonSenior market analyst, ETX Capital

US shares tick up on Yellen speech

Wall Street wide shot
Getty Images

US share indexes have risen following Janet Yellen's speech.

The Dow Jones is up 69 points or 0.32% at 21,852.72.

The S&P 500 is at 2,447.67, up 9 points or 0.36%.

And the Nasdaq is at 6,283.79, a rise of 12 points or 0.20%.

Fed will evaluate reforms, says Yellen

In summing up Janet Yellen says a decade on from the financial crisis: "Substantial progress has been made toward the Federal Reserve's economic objectives of maximum employment and price stability, in putting in place a regulatory and supervisory structure that is well designed to lower the risks to financial stability, and in actually achieving a stronger financial system."

However, she says, there is "more work to do".

The reforms put in place by the Fed have "substantially boosted resilience without unduly limiting credit availability or economic growth", she adds.

But since some reforms have only been put in place recently, markets are still adjusting, so the Fed will continue to evaluate "where reforms are working and where improvements are needed to most efficiently maintain a resilient financial system".

Have bank reforms 'gone too far'?

As Janet Yellen speech draws to a close she gets to the thrust of the issue.

"I suspect many in this audience would agree with the narrative of my remarks so far: The events of the crisis demanded action, needed reforms were implemented, and these reforms have made the system safer," she says.

However, she adds: "Now--a decade from the onset of the crisis and nearly seven years since the passage of the Dodd-Frank Act and international agreement on the key banking reforms--a new question is being asked: Have reforms gone too far, resulting in a financial system that is too burdened to support prudent risk-taking and economic growth?"

Her words come as President Donald Trump's administration has said it hopes to roll back on banking regulation.

'The financial system is safer'

Janet Yellen
Getty Images

More from Janet Yellen at Jackson Hole, and she says: "The evidence shows that reforms since the crisis have made the financial system substantially safer.

"Loss-absorbing capacity among the largest banks is significantly higher, with Tier 1 common equity capital more than doubling from early 2009 to now.

"The annual stress-testing exercises in recent years have led to improvements in the capital positions and risk-management processes among participating banks.

"Large banks have cut their reliance on short-term wholesale funding essentially in half and hold significantly more high-quality, liquid assets."

US took steps to prevent repeat of crisis

Fed chair Janet Yellen then goes into a defence of steps taken to ensure the there's never a repeat of the financial crisis.

"Policymakers around the world have put in place measures to limit a future buildup of similar vulnerabilities.

"The United States, through coordinated regulatory action and legislation, moved very rapidly to begin reforming our financial system, and the speed with which our our banking system returned to health provides evidence of the effectiveness of that strategy," she added.

Crisis led to efforts to guard against instability

After recapping on the events which contributed to the financial crisis Ms Yellen said: "These painful events renewed efforts to guard against financial instability. The Congress, the Administration, and regulatory agencies implemented new laws, regulations, and supervisory practices to limit the risk of another crisis, in coordination with policymakers around the world."

"The vulnerabilities within the financial system in the mid-2000s were numerous and, in hindsight, familiar from past financial panics. Financial institutions had assumed too much risk, especially related to the housing market, through mortgage lending standards that were far too lax and contributed to substantial overborrowing."

Yellen: 'Tidal wave' nearly wiped out financial sector

Speaking at Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen said the US and global financial system was in a dangerous place 10 years ago.

She said "the deterioration from early 2007 until early September 2008 ‑ already the worst financial disruption in the United States in many decades ‑ was a slow trickle compared with the tidal wave that nearly wiped out the financial sector that September and led to a plunge in economic activity in the following months­,"

Wall Street opens higher

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

All three key US share indexes have opened higher ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's much anticipated speed at Jackson Hole in Wyoming.

The Dow Jones is at 21,886.02, a rise of 103 points or 0.47%.

The S&P 500 is at 2,451.45, up 12 points or 0.51%.

And the tech-heavy Nasdaq is at 6,300.76, up 29 points or 0.47%.

Home Office: Border security 'paramount'

BA plane in front of Terminal 5
Getty Images

Border Force and British Airways have an agreement to close the Terminal 5 ePassport gates at 11pm every evening. In recent months, Border Force has kept the gates open beyond 11pm – often to accommodate passengers arriving on delayed British Airways flights. The security of our border is paramount — which is why 100% cent of scheduled passengers are checked when arriving in the UK. While every effort is made to keep delays for passengers to a minimum, we make no apology for carrying out this important work.

Home Office spokesperson

Home Office hits back over BA criticism

This statement significantly misrepresents the experience of the vast majority of passengers arriving at Heathrow this summer. More than 99% of British and European passengers arriving at Heathrow are dealt with within 25 minutes. For passengers from outside the European Economic Area, 87% of passengers have been dealt with within 45 minutes.

Home Office spokesperson

Supermarket shares lose ground

Tesco sign
Getty Images

UK supermarket shares have been falling on Friday, after Amazon said it would complete its takeover of Whole Foods on Monday and immediately embark on price cuts.

Tesco is down by 1.6% - making it the biggest faller on the FTSE 100.

Sainsbury's is down by 0.7% and Morrisons has lost 1%.

The news also drove food and grocery retailers' shares lower in the US on Thursday.

Tune in to Tech Tent

BBC World Service 15:00 BST

BA attacks UK Border Force for 'dreadful' delays

ePassport Gates
Getty Images

British Airways has criticised the UK's Border Force over "serious inefficiencies" that have caused both citizens and visitors to endure long delays at UK airports. The airline is concerned that only a third of the 29 electronic passport gates are open at Heathrow Terminal 5. BA says the gates shut prematurely at 11pm while customers are still disembarking, causing huge queues. The airline wants more automated gates to be opened.

Government to rule if firms must reveal pay ratios

'Salary' letter
Getty Images

The government is set to reveal whether companies should publish their pay ratio - the salary gap between their executives and wider workforce.

The question was first raised in a government discussion paper last year.

The move came after public pressure on firms to justify top pay packages.

A three-month consultation period has also asked for submissions on whether shareholders should be given a binding vote over executive pay, and on how to put worker voices in the boardroom.

Read more here.

Most UK businesses hit by rising employment costs

Shops in London
Getty Images

Four out of five UK businesses have seen costs rise because of changes in employment legislation, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) reports.

The apprenticeship levy, pensions auto-enrolment and a new higher minimum wage have increased business costs.

The BCC's annual workforce survey interviewed some 1,400 businesses.

The trade body wants the government to ensure no new upfront costs or taxes are imposed on businesses for the remainder of this Parliament.

Listen: Raising hell

BBC World Service

Egypt is one of the world’s biggest producers and consumers of bread. It is subsidised so it has often been the cause of conflict between the government and the people. Adhaf Souief explains the importance of bread in recent Egyptian history

"I can't imagine someone walking past