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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Sterling still above $1.35 and 1.13 euros
  3. FTSE 100 up 0.3%
  4. Ryanair shares slip as pressure mounts over cancellations

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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That's all from the first livepage of the week. Please join us again tomorrow from 6am.

Another record for Wall Street

Wall Street rose to a fresh record close on Monday, boosted by gains in banking and financial stocks while investors eyed this week's meeting of the US central bank in Washington.

At the closing bell, the Dow Jones was up 0.3% at 22,331.3 points, while the S&P 500 rose 0.2% to 2,503.97, just a hair's breadth more than Friday's prior record finish.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq also eked out a positive finish, adding 0.1% to reach 6,454.64.

That's a bit rich

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Just last week JPMorgan Chase boss Jamie Dimon called bitcoin a fraud and said he would sack anyone at the bank who trades it.

Is it perhaps strange, then, that the Wall Street giant should be handling bitcoin-related transactions for clients?

Financial blog Zerohedge thinks it is, highlighting the link in a report over the weekend. It pointed out that, like other Wall Street banks, JPMorgan acts as an agent for buyers and sellers of Bitcoin XBT, an exchange-traded note designed to track the value of the crypto currency.

But JPMorgan spokesman Brian Marchiony told Reuters this evening: "They are not JPMorgan orders. These are clients purchasing third-party products directly."

Throwing money down the drain

toilet and €500 notes

Swiss prosecutors are investigating why tens of thousands of euros were flushed down toilets in Geneva.

The €500 (£440; $600) notes were cut up and found in the toilets of a branch of the bank UBS and in three nearby restaurants.

Thousands of francs have been spent on plumbing repairs to unclog the surrounding pipes.

"We are not so interested in the motive but we want to be sure of the origin of the money," spokesman Vincent Derouand said, adding that neither throwing money away nor blocking a toilet was a crime.

The Tribune de Geneve newspaper, which first reported the unusual deposit, said the first blockage occurred in the toilet serving the vault at UBS bank in Geneva's financial district, and three nearby bistros found their facilities bunged up with 500-euro notes a few days later.


Thousands of airline passengers are stranded in Auckland after a burst pipeline cut fuel supplies to New Zealand's largest airport.

The pipeline is Auckland Airport's only source of jet fuel.

Local media said it was damaged by a digger on a rural property, causing a leak and the pipeline to be closed.

Fuel supplies have been rationed and airlines are looking to refuel in Australia and elsewhere to keep long-haul services running.

About 2,000 passengers were affected by cancellations on Monday, according to Air New Zealand.

The disruption is expected to last at least a week as repair work continues, the pipeline's operator said.

It could be you...

Ryanair has now published a list of its flight cancellations until the end of October. You can find it here.

Good luck.

Microsoft confirms Outlook issues

Outlook logo

Microsoft has confirmed that some users of its email service Outlook are unable to send email or access their accounts.

Hundreds from around Europe have commented on the website Downdetectorthat they have been affected by the problem - many since Monday morning.

One common issue seems to be that sent emails remain in the drafts folder and are not being delivered to recipients.

On its website, Microsoft says the service dropped "unexpectedly" and it is working on a fix.

Not all account holders are affected.

"Intermittent connectivity is affecting customers in some European countries, which we are working to resolve as soon as possible," said a Microsoft representative.

Outlook incorporates Hotmail and Windows Live Hotmail accounts.

GE robot 'to save $200bn'

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GE is developing a robot that could help save up to $200bn globally by improving efficiency in electricity grids.

The technology firm wants to use artificial intelligence to optimise how electricity flows in and out of batteries and points of consumption, in real time, Bloomberg reports.

“We’re also putting a lot into the machine learning side, a lot,” said Steven Martin, chief digital officer at GE’s energy connections business. “We have a lot of people working on this.”

Google's counter-offer

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Google is offering to display rival comparison shopping sites, in a bid to stave off further EU antitrust fines, Reuters is reporting.

In a proposal submitted to the European Commission on 29 August, the company said it would allow competitors to bid for any spot in its shopping section known as Product Listing Ads, sources familiar to the matter said.

Google has already been fined a record €2.4bn by the European Commission for favouring its own service, and could face millions of euros in fresh fines if it fails to treat rivals and its own service equally.

Flight check out

Still waiting to see if you can fly?

Ryanair plane taking off
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Ryanair has said it will publish during the next few hours the full list of which flights are being cancelled.

The airline has already said which airports are in line for the cancellations.

So if you're not going via one of the following you can relax:

Barcelona, Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, London Stansted, Madrid, Milan Bergamo, Porto and Rome Fiumi.

Wall Street staying strong

Wall Street
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All three major indices on Wall Street are continuing to rise, with the Dow Jones up 67.48 points, or 0.32%, to 22,339.9, while the Nasdaq is up by 24.80 points, or 0.38%, to 6,473.24. The S&P gained 4.77 points, or 0.19%, to 2,505.

The Dow risers are led by machinery manufacturer Caterpillar, up 1.81%, while the biggest faller is Walt Disney, down 0.65%.

Sterling extends losses

Carney delivers speech to International Monetary Fund

Sterling extended its losses, falling 0.8% to $1.348 after Bank of England governor Mark Carney said any future interest rate rises would be limited and gradual.

The pound jumped to a near 15-month high of $1.36 last week after strong hints from Bank policymakers that a rate rise was likely soon.

Another hurdle cleared - one to go

Ross McEwan
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Royal Bank of Scotland chief Ross McEwan (above) has welcomed the European Commission's approval of a plan for its Williams & Glyn division. Instead of selling the operation, RBS has promised to fund initiatives to help increase UK banking competition.

The approval of this plan leaves RBS with one major legacy issue, McEwan said - the pending huge US settlement over RBS's role sub-prime lending.

He said: "We are pleased that we now have final approval from the European Commission for the Alternative Remedies Package. This allows us to resolve our final State Aid divestment obligation and brings welcome clarity for our customers and staff.

"It also builds on the progress we have made already this year in resolving our major legacy issues through reaching a settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency, and resolving the 2008 Rights Issue litigation.

"We remain committed to resolving our last remaining major legacy issue, the investigation into our historic US RMBS activities."

FTSE 100 closes up

FTSE 100 graph

BAE Systems led the FTSE 100 higher after the defence giant received an order to supply Typhoon fighters to Qatar. The company's shares jumped 4%, helping the FTSE 100 climb 0.52% to close at 7,253 points.

Troubled doorstep lender Provident Financial, soon to be relegated to the FTSE 250, fell 5.8%.

The FTSE 250 finished 0.31% up at 19,437.8.

RBS clears hurdle

BBC business editor tweets:

The least worst option

More from the Ryanair press conference...

For the airline's boss Michael O'Leary the decision to cancel flights was the least worst option. "I'd rather cancel 50 flights a day and have the rest run on time," he says, adding yet again that only 2% of Ryanair's customers will be affected.

Rate rise gradual and limited - Carney

Bank of England governor at the IMF

Mark Carney
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Sterling fell more than half a percent after Mark Carney's speech in Washington. Although the Bank of England governor gave a strong signal that the time for a rise in UK interest rates was approaching, he underlined that any hikes would be limited and gradual.

He said in his speech at the International Monetary Fund: "As the (Monetary Policy) Committee stated last week, if the economy continues to follow a path consistent with the prospect of a continued erosion of slack and a gradual rise in underlying inflationary pressure then, with the further lessening in the trade-off that this would imply, some withdrawal of monetary stimulus is likely to be appropriate over the coming months in order to return inflation sustainably to target."

Carney added: "Any prospective increases in Bank rate would be expected to be at a gradual pace and to a limited extent, and to be consistent with monetary policy continuing to provide substantial support to the economy."

O'Leary won't resign

Ryanair's Michael O'Leary is his usual combative self, telling the press conference in Dublin that those pilots who have left his airline to join long haul carriers will soon discover that the "grass isn't necessarily greener". He expects many of them to ask to return.

O'Leary certainly won't be leaving, telling a journalist that he has no plans to resign. Also, despite being Ryanai'r largest shareholder, he doesn't give a "rat's arse" about the damage to the share price.

The episode has done reputational damage, he accepts, but he again points out that 98% of the airline's passengers will not be affected.

Ryanair's mess

Michael O'Leary

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary is holding a press conference in Dublin to explain the flight cancellations that have left customers in limbo.

He apologised to those affected, but pointed out that there were millions of customers whose travel plans remain as-was.

"We want to put our hands up when we make a mess," he says. "We clearly messed up in the rostering department... It's my mess and I have to clear it up."

But he said some 18-20 million customers' travel plans remain unaffected. Only 2% of Ryanair's flights would be hit, he insisted.

Carney's interest rate hint

Mark Carney

The Bank governor's speech marks the strongest signal to date that Britain's first rate hike in a decade is approaching, despite the still big uncertainties surrounding the country's scheduled 2019 departure from the European Union.

In his speech, Carney reiterated that message and said the years of rock-bottom interest rates appeared to be coming to an end as the world economy picked up after the global financial crisis.

He said: "The case for a modest monetary tightening is reinforced by the possibility that global r* (equilibrium interest rates) may be rising, meaning that monetary policy has to move in order to stand still."

Carney in Brexit inflation warning

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said Brexit was likely to push up Britain's inflation rate and he reiterated the central bank's new view that interest rates are likely to rise in the coming months.

Carney, making a speech at the International Monetary Fund's headquarters in Washington, says the process of globalisation that has led to deeper integration in the world economy in recent decades had pushed down price growth.

But Brexit represented the opposite for Britain, at least in the short term, as less openness to foreign markets and workers was likely to push up inflation and reduce productivity, he says.

"On balance, the de-integration effects of Brexit can be expected to... be inflationary," he said. "At present, the main question concerns the extent to which this adjustment has been brought forward."

Ryanair planning for up to €20m in compensation - Reuters

BBC personal finance correspondent tweets:

Ryanair's compensation bill

Ryanair is preparing for up to €20m in compensation claims after cancelling thousands of flights due to a shortage of staff, a spokeswoman for the Irish budget airline has told Reuters.

Ryanair has admitted it messed up after it disrupted plans of hundreds of thousands of travellers by cancelling flights to cope with pilot shortages and improve its punctuality record.

Cisco boss stands down

John Chambers
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Cisco Systems' executive chairman John Chambers is stepping down at the end of the year. Chambers, who led the networking gear maker for two decades as its chief executive, became the executive chairman in July 2015.

Under his leadership, Cisco's sales surged to about $48bn from $1.2bn in 1995. Cisco's chief executive Chuck Robbins will become the chairman and Chambers, 68, will be given the honorary title of chairman emeritus at the company's annual shareholder meeting in December.

Making your mind up

New records on Wall Street

Wall Street has opened on the front foot, with the Dow Jones and S&P 500 hitting new records.

A relatively quiet North Korea and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's comments on a "peaceful solution" over the weekend seem to have calmed investors.

The Dow rose 51.47 points, or 0.23%, to 22,319.8, while the S&P gained 3.3 points, or 0.13%, to 2,503.5. The Nasdaq added 12.60 points, or 0.2%, to 6,461.

Aerospace firms lead FTSE 100 higher

FTSE 100 graph

Aerospace firms GKN and BAE Systems lead the FTSE 100 risers, with both up more than 3% in mid-afternoon trading.

GKN is benefiting from a broker upgrade and positive response to a management shake-up, while BAE, the UK's biggest manufacturer, continues to rise on the back of a Typhoon fighter jet order from Qatar.

Troubled doorstep lender Provident Financial lost another 4% as it awaits demotion to the FTSE 250.

The FTSE 100 was up 0.33% at 7,239.5 points. The mid-cap 250 was up 0.25% at 19,427.

Sterling dips

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The pound is still lower against both the euro, at 1.1324, and the dollar at $1.3553.

Sterling rose above $1.36 on Friday - its highest level since the Brexit vote last year - so a bit of a fall was to be expected today.

Traders will also be keeping a close eye on a speech by Bank of England Governor Mark Carney at the IMF in Washington DC this afternoon.

However, ING currency strategist Viraj Patel says: "Any BoE-fuelled sterling rally may be on its last legs; what we have defined as a 'withdrawal of stimulus' hiking cycle is now priced into the currency."

Ryanair chaos until Christmas?

Susannah Streeter

Business presenter

Ryanair planes
Getty Images

A letter to Ryanair pilots from the firm’s chief operating officer, Michael Hickey, seen by the BBC, forecasts a pilot shortage until the end of the year. The airline has blamed a backlog of leave for cancelling 2% of its flights. It has only published confirmed flight cancellations until Wednesday but has said the disruption will continue until the end of October.

The letter shows Ryanair pilots, many of whom are on self-employed contracts, were only informed on 13 September of the staff shortage facing the company. However, in the letter Mr Hickey outlined that the airline knew last year it could face a leave backlog.

Pilots have been asked to work during booked holiday to cover the gaps and their rota pattern is also likely to be disrupted.

One anonymous Ryanair pilot has told the BBC that the leave issue is a red herring and that the root cause of the problem is that too many pilots are leaving Ryanair, which is apparently struggling to train new crew.

Uber faces big bill


Uber will face a big rise in the fee it pays to operate in London to almost £3m if the ride hailing company is granted a new licence.

Transport for London said companies with more than 10,000 vehicles would pay £2.9m for a licence under a new multi-tiered system coming into force this week. Uber has about 40,000 drivers in London.

In 2012, Uber paid less than £3,000 for a five-year licence to operate in London, which was extended in May by four months partly because TfL needed to finalise its new fees system.

A decision on Uber's licence is due by the end of the month.

Google's Indian mobile payments app


Google has launched a mobile payments app in India that will work on both Android and Apple smartphones.

Tez allows users to make money transfers to each other and to buy goods from physical stores and mobile websites.

It is based on the country's Unified Payment Interface (UPI) standard - a government-backed system launched last year to encourage digital payments.

But it will have to compete with PayTM, a popular local mobile wallet system.

PayTM - which is part-owned by Japan's Softbank and China's Alibaba - already has more than 200 million registered users in the country.

Read more here.

Would you like custard with that?

BBC Radio 4

Business reporter Elizabeth Hotson has been tucking into desserts so you don't have to...

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Cancellations may cost Ryanair €34.5m

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Goodbody Stockbrokers reckon that flight cancellations could cost Ryanair €34.5m (£30.4m).

The Dublin-based firm says the figure would comprise €23.5m in compensation, €6.3min lost fees and €4.7m in subsistence such as meals, drinks and accommodation.

Under EU rules, airlines must provide at least two weeks' notice to avoid paying compensation of €250 per passenger for flights of 1,500 km or less or €400 for longer flights within Europe.

Brexit line-up 'remains the same'

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweets

Ryanair 'must comply' with EU rules

The European Commission says that Ryanair has to comply with EU passenger rights, including possible reimbursement and compensation.

Ryanair is canceling flights after it "messed up" the planning of pilots holidays. It is planning to cancel between 40 and 50 flights per day but has only published flight details up until Wednesday.

A European Commission spokesman tells Reuters: "Airlines operating in the EU need to respect the European rules.... Passengers whose flights are cancelled have a comprehensive set of rights."

New Zealand jet fuel shortage hits flights

Auckland Airport

It's not just in the UK that airline passengers are facing frustration.

Thousands of airline passengers are stranded in Auckland after a burst pipeline cut fuel supplies to New Zealand's largest airport.

The pipeline is Auckland Airport's only source of jet fuel.

Local media said it was damaged by a digger on a rural property, causing a leak and the pipeline to be closed.

Read the full story here.

Happy Monday

The Office of National Statistics is clearly in a chipper mood today. It has just published an interactive graphic showing the top causes of death for women and men over the last 100 years.


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Typhoon sale 'worth £1bn'

Typhoon fighter
Getty Images

More on that BAE Typhoon sale to Qatar. David Madden, a market analyst at CMC Markets UK, says the value of the sale, which has not been disclosed, is likely to be "in excess of £1bn".

The resulting share price boost has helped BAE Systems recover from the knock it took in August, when the company said it would take a restructuring charge for its intelligence division.

"That announcement sent the stock to a six-month low," Mr Madden said.

However, investor interest in the firm has continued to build: "Last month, Goldman Sachs added the stock to its conviction buy list, sighting Saudi Arabian contracts as the reason behind the move, and now they are selling to Qatar too."

HSBC: We were wrong

Quite a mea culpa from HSBC, as Reuters columnist Jamie McGeever points out:

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