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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Lego cuts 1,400 jobs as sales slide
  3. Car sales fall for fifth consecutive month
  4. Sterling up against euro and dollar
  5. Housebuilder Redrow revenues jump 20%

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All times stated are UK

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Good night, sleep tight

That's all from the Business Live page for tonight. Join us again tomorrow from 06:00.

Financials drag down Wall Street

Wall Street stocks slid on Tuesday, with financial shares falling hard, as renewed worries about North Korea pushed investors away from equities and towards bonds and other safer investments.

The Dow Jones fell 1.1% to close the first session after the holiday weekend at 21,753.31. The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.8% to end at 2,457.85, while the tech-rich Nasdaq dropped 0.9% to 6,375.57.

Large banks were hammered as investors fled into US Treasury bonds, a low-risk asset. Bank of America lost 3.3%, Goldman Sachs 3.6% and JPMorgan Chase 2.4%.

But home-improvement retailers Lowe's and Home Depot both climbed more than 1% as another major hurricane, Irma, approached the US.

The chains typically see a jump in sales as a result of storms.

Aircraft parts supplier Rockwell Collins rose 0.3% following the announcement it agreed to be bought by conglomerate United Technologies for $30bn.

But Dow member United Technologies fell 5.7%, with declines accelerating after Boeing, a customer of both companies, suggested it could try to prod regulators to block the deal.

Boeing fell 1.4%.

Toy companies Hasbro and Mattel lost 2.9% and 1.6%, respectively, after Danish toy giant Lego announced it would slash 8% of its global workforce after a drop in sales in the US and Europe.

Company says it has made a new type of chocolate

Chocolate
Barry Callebaut

Here's a new type of chocolate in town and it's called ruby, because of it's reddish-pink colour.

Barry Callebaut, a company which makes chocolate and cocoa products, says it is not just a new flavour of chocolate but a whole new type.

The flavour and colour comes from the bean that it's made from: the ruby cocoa bean.

Read more here.

Buy-to-let lender floats

House
PA

Who said buy-to-let was dead? Charter Court Financial Services, a Wolverhampton-based buy-to-let lender, plans to float on the London Stock Exchange in a move that will raise £20m.

Majority owners Elliott International and Elliott Associates will contribute to the global offer by selling down their current stake, while Old Mutual has subscribed for £100m of existing shares.

About 40% of the business will be put on the market as free floating shares. The rest of which will continue to be held by Elliott and Charter Court management.

The challenger bank is understood to be aiming for a £500m valuation.

Trump DACA move 'self-defeating' and 'cruel'

Asda 'forced to reimburse suppliers'

Asda supermarket
Newscast

Asda had to pay back dozens of suppliers hundreds of thousands of pounds after breaching fair dealing rules, the Guardian reports.

The supermarket giant had demanded up-front payments to the value of up to quarter of annual sales of some products for firms to retain their supply contracts, the Guardian says.

Trump DACA decision 'will be a significant blow to business'

Donald Trump's decision to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) could lead to the deportation of about 800,000 young people, known as "Dreamers", from the US.

This would reduce the labour force by about 0.5% in five years, Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi tells Yahoo Finance.

That translates to a loss of $105bn over the same period, as a conservative estimate, the article says.

“The dreamers are on track to be a highly educated group and losing them will be a significant blow to businesses already struggling to find educated and skilled young workers,” Mr Zandi is quoted as saying.

US Virgin Islands seaports closed ahead of Irma

The US Virgin Islands seaports have been closed to commercial traffic by the US Coast Guard until further notice ahead of Hurricane Irma, the port authority said.

Travel disruption as Hurricane Irma forces flight cancellations

Leaked Home Office document reveals Brexit immigration plans

Workers plant salad crops in a field in Wrotham, south east England
Getty Images

The Home Office plans to end the free movement of labour immediately after Brexit and introduce measures to restrict low-skilled labour, according to a document leaked to the Guardian.

The document has "provoked rows between cabinet ministers, who are trying to balance the demands of British businesses wanting to retain free movement, and the views of hardline Brexiters," the Guardian article says.

Wall Street lower as North Korea tensions weigh

US stocks are lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average shedding more than 250 points as tensions around North Korea continued to weigh.

North Korea on Sunday conducted its sixth nuclear test, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, marking a dramatic escalation of the regime's stand-off with the US and its allies.

"It looks as though escalation has gone to the next level, but there are lot of things in the coming weeks that may be causing people to get a little bit more cautious," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

Florida insurers shares fall as Hurricane Irma looms

Guadeloupe, Saint-Jean Bay, ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma
Getty Images

Shares in Florida home insurers such as Heritage Insurance Holdings are tumbling as investors brace for losses from Hurricane Irma.

The storm is forecast to hit the state on Saturday.

Shares in Universal Insurance Holdings are down nearly 18%, and Heritage shares are down more than 13%.

Virgin Atlantic shifts Antigua flight forward

Virgin Atlantic has shifted its flight from Antigua on Tuesday forward by five hours, now departing at 2.20pm local time, as Hurricane Irma barrels across the Atlantic.

A spokeswoman said:

"We are monitoring the expected adverse weather conditions caused by Hurricane Irma over Antigua and currently all flights will operate as scheduled.

"However, we do ask all customers to check the status of their flights at http://www.virginatlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/travel-news.html before they travel to the airport as we may need to make some changes or cancellations.”

“The safety and comfort of our customers is our top priority and any customers booked to travel to, from or through Antigua between today and 11September may rebook their flights to an alternative date or alternative Caribbean destination travelling on or before 12 October.”

BA braces for Hurricane Irma

Projected path of Irma
BBC

Hurricane Irma, which has been threatening the Caribbean, has been upgraded to a category five - the highest category - making it "extremely dangerous".

British Airways says:

"The safety of our customers and crew is always our priority.

"We are in contact with travellers in Antigua and have laid on a special flight today to get as many home as possible before the hurricane arrives on the island.

"The Antigua and St Kitts airport authorities have advised us that their airports will be closed tomorrow.

"We have offered all customers due to travel to the region in the coming days a range of re-booking options and are keeping our flights to the entire region under review.​"

Trump scraps 'Dreamer' immigration programme

A group of military 'DREAMers', undocumented youth who aspire to serve the United States in uniform but are prohibited from doing due to their immigration status
Getty Images

President Donald Trump has scrapped a programme that protects from deportation almost 800,000 young men and women who were brought into the US illegally as children, giving a gridlocked Congress six months to decide their fate.

Mr Trump's action, announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, rescinds a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

The end of the programme has been put back, passing responsibility for the fate of the "Dreamers", as they are known, to Mr Trump's fellow Republicans who control Congress.

However, Congress has been unable since the president took office in January to pass any major legislation, and has been bitterly divided over immigration in the past.

The picture shows a group of people in the DACA programme who would like to serve in US armed forces but can't due to their immigration status.

FTSE closes down after UK service sector growth slows

Britain's top share index has closed lower after a survey indicated a slowdown in growth in the dominant UK services sector and the political fallout from North Korea's latest nuclear test at the weekend continued.

The FTSE 100 closed down 0.52% at 7,372.92 points.

The IHS Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) for August dropped to 53.2 from 53.8 in July, its slowest pace in nearly a year. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

US Congress committees urge keeping South Korea trade deal

Senior US Republicans and Democrats on two congressional committees overseeing trade policy have said that while improvements were needed in South Korea's compliance with a US-Korean free trade deal, the US "must not withdraw from the agreement."

The chairmen and senior Democrats on the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee noted that North Korea's latest nuclear weapons test "underscores the vital importance of the strong alliance between the US and South Korea."

They made the statement after President Donald Trump on Saturday said he was weighing the fate of the five-year-old trade deal.

Merkel and Abe agree North Korea sanctions should be stepped up

Residents watch a big video screen on Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang showing newsreader Ri Chun-Hee as she announces the news that the country has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb
Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed in a phone conversation that sanctions against Pyongyang should be stepped up in response to North Korea's latest nuclear test, a spokesman for the German government has said.

"She agreed with Prime Minister Abe that [the] test threatened the security of the entire world and that this massive violation of the UN Security Council's resolution must result in a resolute reaction from the international community as well as tougher sanctions," spokesman Steffen Seibert said.

Mrs Merkel and Mr Abe agreed that increased pressure on North Korea should make Pyongyang more willing to agree to a peaceful solution and that China and Russia had a key role to play in that, Mr Seibert added.

Wall Street opened lower as investors remained cautious after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test over the weekend.

Uzbekistan lifts Soviet-era currency trade restrictions

Uzbeks can legally buy and sell foreign currency for the first time in decades today, after President Shavkat Mirziyoyev lifted most restrictions as part of big economic reforms.

The moves are intended to make the country more attractive to foreign investors.

On Monday, the central bank devalued the official exchange rate of the som currency to 8,100 sums per dollar from 4,210 per dollar, making legal exchange bureaus more attractive than the black market, where the rate has been around 7,700.

Scotland to create new national investment bank

Scotland is to create a national investment bank to boost infrastructure investment, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Scotland's parliament.

"We believe that the time is now right to take a new approach on capital investment," she said.

Scotland aims for no new diesel cars after 2032

UK economy loses momentum as Brexit worries mount

Tea is served
Getty Images

The UK economy seems to be falling further behind the eurozone as firms worry about Brexit and consumers feel the pinch of rising inflation and the weak pound, surveys suggested.

Manufacturers are benefiting from increasing demand in Europe and beyond, but the much bigger UK services sector grew at its weakest pace in nearly a year in August, according to the IHS Markit/CIPS services Purchasing Managers' Index.

Read more here.

Bell Pottinger investor writes off stake

The second-biggest shareholder in Bell Pottinger is writing off its stake in the troubled public relations company.

Advertising firm Chime has abandoned its attempt to sell a 27% stake in Bell Pottinger after it was expelled from the PR industry trade body.

Chime executives include Lord Coe and advertising giant WPP is one of its main shareholders.

The future of Bell Pottinger is in question after a scandal involving a campaign in South Africa.

Bell Pottinger investor writes off stake

The perils of being a digital nomad

Bank of Scotland attracts most complaints

Bank of Scotland branch
Getty Images

The Bank of Scotland remains the most complained about financial business in the UK, according to the complaints watchdog.

In the first six months of 2017, the Financial Ombudsman said it dealt with 20,541 complaints about the firm - part of the Lloyds Banking Group.

However, only 22% of those complaints were upheld.

The vast majority of the complaints about the Bank of Scotland - 83%- concerned its sales of PPI insurance.

WhatsApp to introduce business charges

WhatsApp on a phone
Reuters

Facebook is set to earn back some of the $22bn (£17BN) it spent to buy WhatsApp three years ago, via the messaging service's new business tools, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The tools, which have been tested this summer, are free but WhatsApp will eventually charge companies to use some features which are going to be introduced

The tools help businesses of all sizes talk to customers over the app and are adopting a different approach to money-making from other Facebook products, which rely on advertising.

“We want to put a basic foundation in place to allow people to message businesses and for them to get the responses that they want,” said WhatsApp’s chief operating officer, Matt Idema.

On track

People run on London's highest running track at the White Collar Factory
White Collar Factory

London's highest running track has been unveiled at the White Collar Factory in Old Street, east London.

The flexible workplace development covers six buildings and features incubator workplaces and studios as well as restaurants and apartments.

It also features a 150m-long rooftop running track and a roof terrace.

According to City AM, the building has been 87% let, with tenants including Adobe and - appropriately enough - fintech firm RunPath.

Vote of confidence - or a bargain buy?

Simon Jack

BBC Business Editor

Tablet
Aveva

French company buys UK company. Vote of confidence in post Brexit UK, or pilfering crown jewels at a knockdown price thanks to fall in sterling after the referendum?

This was the question asked when Japan’s Softbank bought Britain’s biggest tech company, ARM Holdings, in the immediate aftermath of the Brexit vote. The two transactions are very different.

First, Softbank committed to doubling ARM’s UK based workforce over five years – there is no such commitment here. In fact, there were immediate warnings from Aveva and Schneider that job cuts may be needed to produce savings.

Second, Schneider and Aveva have tried to tie the knot twice before. Both of those occasions were pre-referendum, so it’s hard to argue this is an opportunistic raid on a company that happens to be cheap thanks to the weak pound.

However, there are similarities. Both businesses are based in Cambridge and are indeed jewels in the UK’s technology crown. Both make more than half their money in foreign currencies and are less exposed to the UK economy’s uncertain prospects.

Both companies are knowledge-based and do not send many tangible goods across the UK-EU border. There was a fear that the fall in sterling would create a stampede of foreign buyers for UK businesses. It never materialised – thanks, according to merger experts I speak to, to the ongoing uncertainty over the UK’s post-Brexit trading relationships.

Nevertheless, UK companies that fit the above "goldilocks" profile look cheaper than a year ago – particularly to European buyers.

The woman who earns a living from online gaming

BBC News England

Pic of @leahloveschief
BBC

Thinking about a career change? Twenty-four-year-old @leahloveschief from Hampshire says she earns more than the average household income from playing games online and charging people to watch her.

Sports Direct 'broke promise' to axe zero hours contracts

Rock n roll...

Alistair Darling, former chancellor
Getty Images

Hard to believe almost but next Wednesday is 10 years to the day that Northern Rock collapsed, heralding the start of the financial crisis.

If you want to relive those heady days of 2007 and have nothing much on next Wednesday morning, why not pop down to the Resolution Foundation and hear Alistair Darling, then Chancellor, reflecting on those events.

Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury select committee, will consider whether we are now better placed for future financial shocks.

Nigeria exits recession

Nigerian bank notes
Getty Images

More good news from Africa. Nigeria has exited its worst economic recession in over two decades after its economy grew by 0.6% in the second quarter.

The country has been battered by low global oil prices since mid-2014, which slashed government revenues and weakened the currency. Its GDP contracted for five straight quarters.

According to official data, the recovery was driven by improved performance from the oil, agriculture, manufacturing and trade sectors.

Bank welcomes Unite settlement

BoE
Getty Images

The Bank of England has welcomed its settlement with Unite workers:

The proposal that has been agreed includes a range of measures focused on improving our relationship with Unite and involving them more in pay discussions. We hope this leads to a more productive relationship with the Union going forward.

Unite strikes Bank of England pay deal

Protester wearing Mark Carney mask
Getty Images

The Unite union has reached a pay deal with the Bank of England, ending a dispute that led to Threadneedle Street's first strike in more than 50 years.

Last month some maintenance and security staff stopped work for three days. There were protests outside the bank too (pictured).

"Unite is pleased to bring the Bank of England dispute to an end having secured significant improvements for staff across the organisation," said Mercedes Sanchez of Unite.

Being brave

BBC World Service

Business producer Kim Gittleson tweets about the new Marketplace programme being produced by the BBC for NPR radio in the US:

View more on twitter

South Africa out of recession

Matthew Davies

Editor, BBC Africa Business Report

Lemon farm in South Africa
Getty Images

South Africa's economy has pulled itself out of recession, after expanding by 2.5% in the second quarter of the year. The recovery was largely thanks to strong growth in agriculture.

However, economists say that while the figures show the economy has stopped contracting, it will continue to struggle in the short-term.

Back in July, South Africa's central bank halved its growth forecast for the full year to just 0.5% and unemployment remains stubbornly high at nearly 28%.

Pound picks up speed

Pound coin and note + dollars and euro notes
Getty Images

The pound has climbed despite the weak services sector data out earlier.

The currency is now up 0.2% against both the dollar and the euro (at $1.29650 and 1.08890 euros).

As a result the FTSE 100 has pared its gains, slipping 0.2% to loiter just below 7,400.

A strong pound means that the foreign earnings of London-listed firms will be worth less when they are converted back into sterling.

Employers 'can't monitor' private messages

Games Workshop profits recovering

Games Workshop
Games Workshop

Tabletop wargame maker Games Workshop has revealed that its profits and revenues are “well above the same period in the prior year".

Games Workshop shares jumped by over 10% this morning after the Nottingham-based firm announced a dividend of 35p per share.

In the last 12 months, shares have risen by 154%, according to the Telegraph.

The results show the miniature figurine manufacturer has continued its recovery since 2015, when profits fell due to disappointing Christmas sales and a slowdown on the high street.