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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Sterling at $1.3257 and 1.1278 euros
  3. Construction sector contracts in September
  4. Monarch boss apologises to customers and staff
  5. Uber chief in London for TfL talks

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night

That's all for the Business Live page for tonight.

Please join us again tomorrow from 06:00.

Uber boss tweets

Wall Street hits new record

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

US stock indexes touched new record highs, boosted by a rally in tech stocks and gains in Ford Motor and General Motors after strong September vehicle sales.

Major carmakers reported higher US new vehicle sales in September, as consumers in hurricane-hit parts of the country rushed to replace flood-damaged cars.

General Motors' shares rose 3.1% to $43.45, while Ford's stock was up 2.1% at $12.34.

Technology stocks have rebounded from a sharp selling seen last week, with Apple and Intel supporting gains on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 84 points or 0.37% at 22,641.67.

The S&P 500 at 2,534.58, up 5 points or 0.22%.

And the tech-heavy Nasdaq was at 6,531.71, a rise of 15 points or 0.23%.

Monarch closure timing 'could have been much worse'

A couple walk on the beach in Praia da Luz in Algarve, southern Portugal
AFP

Peter Jenkins, managing director of holiday accommodation provider Sun-hat Villas and Resorts, has told the BBC that the timing of Monarch's closure could have been much worse for its customers.

"Normally airlines go out of business in May at a time when there is all the summer capacity to look at," he said.

"The timing of this was quite fortuitous, as it was probably at a time when it had least impact on customers.

"For example, we have lots of people booked to stay with us next year who haven't booked their flights yet or who have booked with other companies or airlines."

There has been minimal disruption for Mr Jenkins' current clients and he added: "We have just been trying to be as flexible as possible with moving dates or extending their stays until they can get new flights."

Help to Buy: who has been helped?

Reality Check

Help to Buy signs
Getty Images

BBC Reality Check has been crunching the numbers on the government's Help to Buy scheme following the prime minister's annoucement on Sunday of a further £10bn to widen the number of first-time buyers eligible for assistance.

Read more here.

Apple and Samsung: Rivals and partners

iphone X
Getty Images

Apple's iPhone X goes on sale next month, what's interesting is that Apple's rival Samsung will make $110 from each phone sold, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Samsung supplies screens and memory for the iPhone, which according to the article means that Samsung is likely to make more money from components in the iPhone X, than parts from its own Galaxy S8.

Sterling slips to three week low

Pound coins and dollars
Getty Images

Sterling slipped to a three-week low on Tuesday after data showed construction sector activity tumbled in September, and as investors worried about political and economic uncertainty surrounding Britain's exit from the European Union.

Brexit minister David Davis told the Conservative Party conference on Tuesday that Britain wants to negotiate an exit agreement with the EU but is ready to walk away with no deal, and that officials were "contingency planning" to make sure all scenarios were covered.

The comments added to a sense of uncertainty over Britain's future - both political and economic - for investors that has dragged sterling down more than 10 percent against the dollar since last June's vote for Brexit.

Despite foreign minister Boris Johnson saying at the conference that the cabinet was united behind every syllable of Prime Minister Theresa May's recent speech in Florence, the event has been overshadowed by reports of disunity and leadership bids from rivals in the government.

EU 'to tell Amazon to pay Luxembourg back taxes'

Amazon warehouse
Getty Images

EU regulators are expected to order Amazon on Wednesday to pay Luxembourg millions of euros in back taxes, Reuters reports.

The EU competition enforcer estimated a tax bill of about 400m euros a year ago, Reuters says.

The European Commission ruling wraps up a three-year long investigation into whether Amazon received an unfair advantage based on a 2003 Luxembourg tax ruling which allows an Amazon subsidiary to pay less tax there than other companies.

Lots of angry postal workers...

ITV political editor tweets...

Royal Mail: Ballot doesn't necessarily mean strike

The Royal Mail has put out a press release to the stock market saying it is "very disappointed" that CWU union members have voted in favour of industrial action in a dispute over pay and pensions.

However, Royal Mail says: "A ballot result for industrial action does not necessarily mean there will be industrial action.

"Royal Mail is committed to further talks as a matter of urgency, to reach agreement with the CWU.

"There are no grounds for industrial action. We want to reach agreement."

Royal Mail strike action 'a last resort'

Boris Johnson: Let the British lion roar

Boris Johnson
AFP

Boris Johnson has said it is time to "let the British lion roar" as he called for Brexit to be a moment of national renewal.

The foreign secretary told Tory activists the UK "can win the future" and should stop treating the referendum result as if it were "plague of boils".

In his speech, he praised Theresa May's "steadfast" leadership over Europe.

And he insisted the whole cabinet was united behind her aim of getting a "great Brexit deal".

Read more here.

Wells Fargo shares fall after senator comments

View more on twitter

Senator Warren said Mr Sloan should be fired for failed leadership and that "Wells Fargo is not going to change with you in charge".

Senators criticised Wells Fargo, saying the US bank had not done enough to reform the corporate culture that led to the creation of millions of fake accounts.

Read more here.

Brazil's 'biggest bank robbery' tunnel

Daniel Gallas

BBC South America business correspondent

Police in Brazil have arrested 16 people accused of digging a tunnel in Sao Paulo that lead to a bank branch.

Robbers were plotting to stage what police called “the biggest bank robbery in the world”.

Criminals in Brazil were digging for more than three months a 600-metre long tunnel to reach a bank branch of Banco do Brasil.

Police said bank robbers invested $1.2m in their enterprise and were hoping to walk away with $320m.

On Monday they were all arrested in a raid - just as they were about to begin drilling into the bank’s coffers.

In 2005, a criminal gang managed to dig a tunnel in the city of Fortaleza, stealing $50m.

Most robbers in that gang were eventually arrested.

London Underground strike called off

A strike by London Underground drivers on Thursday has been called off after progress was made during talks, drivers' union Aslef says.

View more on twitter

Uber meeting 'constructive' says TfL

Dara Khosrowshahi
Getty Images
Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi

Both Transport for London and Uber have said a meeting between them today was "constructive".

A TfL Spokesperson said: "Today's constructive meeting centred on what needs to happen to ensure a thriving taxi and private hire market in London where everyone operates to the same high standards.

Further steps in this process will take place over the coming weeks."

An Uber spokesperson said: "Our new chief executive [Dara Khosrowshahi] had a constructive meeting with the Transport Commissioner [Mike Brown] this afternoon.

"We hope to have further discussions over the coming weeks as we are determined to make things right in London."

Uber lost its licence to operate in London in September.

Monarch 'keeps on HR team to deal with redundancies'

On Monday a total of 1,858 Monarch employees were made redundant. Of these, 1,760 were employees of Monarch Airlines, while 98 were employed by Monarch Travel Group.

Here's an update on the situation for Monarch airlines staff from one of the KPMG joint administrators Blair Nimmo:

“Importantly, we have retained the company’s 17-strong HR team to provide assistance to the rest of the workforce, including help in making claims to the Redundancy Payments Office.

"Their support, at what is also a very difficult time for them, has been crucial and we are very grateful to them.

"Within the next 48 hours, all employees will be receiving a substantial pack of correspondence from the joint administrators to assist them with making their claims."

BreakingRoyal Mail employees vote in favour of strike action

The Royal Mail is facing the threat of the first national strike since it was privatised after workers voted massively in favour of industrial action in a dispute over pensions, pay and jobs.

Members of the Communication Workers Union (CWU) backed walkouts by 89% on a turnout of 73% of the 110,000 balloted.

It passed the threshold set in the government's controversial Trade Union Act, under which ballots need a 50% turnout for industrial action to go ahead.

Davies speech 'a damp squib' says Starmer

Keir Starmer
Getty Images

Labour’s shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer says his Conservative counterpart David Davies gave a "damp squib" of a speech at the Conservative Party conference:

The speech "offered nothing new on how the government intends to break the impasse in Brexit negotiations and deliver a new progressive partnership with the EU," Mr Starmer says.

"On the day the European Parliament voted to delay future trade talks with Britain, it is now clear that Tory infighting is harming the Brexit process.

"Paralysis in the negotiations risks havoc for the British economy and uncertainty for EU and UK citizens."

Boris Johnson lauds May

Prime Minister Theresa May will make a success of Brexit and the cabinet is united behind every syllable of her recent speech in Florence, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has claimed.

Mr Johnson, one of the leaders of the Leave campaign in last year's EU referendum, had provoked the ire of cabinet colleagues by repeatedly attempting to portray himself as the champion of a genuinely "bold Brexit".

"Based on that Florence speech on whose every syllable, I can tell you, the whole cabinet is united," Mr Johnson said. "The whole country owes her a debt for her steadfastness in taking Britain forward as she will to a great Brexit deal."

Boris makes the case for free trade

Boris Johnson
BBC

Speaking at the Conservative Party conference, foreign secretary Boris Johnson says:

"There is a huge desire out there for us to engage with the world more emphatically than ever before, and after Brexit that's what our friends and partners are going to get, as this country is freed from endlessly trying to block things in Brussels committee rooms, freed to stop being negative and start being positive about what we believe in, including free trade."

"Yes we are leaving the EU, and as the Prime Minister has said in her Florence speech, we can create a deep and special partnership built on free trade, with a strong EU buttressed and supported by a strong UK."

Scotland fracking ban 'a huge win for campaigners'

Anti-fracking campaigners
Getty Images

Environmental campaign group Greenpeace has welcomed the Scottish government ban on fracking.

Elisabeth Whitebread, energy campaigner at Greenpeace UK, said it is "a huge win for thousands of people who have campaigned against fracking for six years."

"Unlike Westminster, Holyrood is listening to public opinion," she said. "We already have more gas than we can afford to burn, and as well as damaging the climate, fracking will cause local noise, air and light pollution."

"The Conservative Government in Westminster is now alone in backing fracking and looks very isolated indeed. Across England, growing numbers of local people will continue to oppose fracking and the failure of democracy on this issue."

Friends of the Earth Scotland head of campaigns Mary Church said: "This is a victory for the environment and for local communities fighting fracking.

Monarch boss 'sets up consultancy'

Sky News business correspondent tweets...

Defence secretary 'trolling Leave campaign'

Tesco employees quit over profit overstatement

Tesco trollies
Getty Images

Two Tesco employees felt so compromised by the "biggest kept secret" in the supermarket - its inflating of profits in 2014 - that they quit their jobs, a court has heard.

Richard Parsons, a project manager at the supermarket, in an exit interview said: "It has broken me" and that he was angry at having been put in a position which compromised his ethics.

Sasha Wass QC, prosecuting, told jurors: "Richard articulated that this is the biggest kept secret in Tesco and if this was to get out, it would not be good for Tesco."

Jurors also heard that former Tesco accountant Aysen Nadiri quit her role on August 26 2014.

"Miss Nadiri became increasingly concerned about the message from senior management because they refused to accept that targets could not be met and they had a disregard, in Miss Nadiri's view, for proper accounting principles.

Carl Rogberg, 50, Chris Bush, 51, and John Scouler, 49, are alleged to have failed to correct inaccurately recorded income figures which were published to auditors, other employees and the wider market.

Scottish government announces ban on fracking

The Scottish Government has announced a ban on fracking.

Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse confirmed the government will outlaw the controversial gas extraction technique in Scotland.

A moratorium on the practice has been in place since January 2015 and the government's decision follows extensive consultation and consideration of reports on its potential impact. Mr Wheelhouse said: "Fracking cannot, and will not take place in Scotland."

The 5G revolution is nigh

Technology of Business editor Matthew Wall tweets:

View more on twitter

'A new mood'

David Davies
BBC

Brexit secretary David Davies is giving a speech at the Conservative Party conference. He says:

"A year later, there's a new mood. They're fed up that people in Westminster seem stuck in an endless debate while the rest of the world wants to get a move on. Over a year later, I still get people coming up to me every single day saying 'Best of luck', 'Get a good deal for us Mr Davies, and even, 'Surely it can't be that difficult'. And that's just the Cabinet."

"We have been given a one-off, time limited, extraordinary opportunity. An opportunity to make sure that all our decisions about the future of this country are taken by our parliaments, our courts, our institutions."

CAA had to wait to act over Monarch

Dame Deirdre Hutton
BBC

Civil Aviation Authority chair Dame Deirdre Hutton has explained why the organisation could not act before Monarch's closure announcement, even though it was known the firm was in difficulty.

"The regulator really can't step in until a company goes into administration, that is completely a matter for the company directors," she told the BBC.

"It would be neither possible nor legal for us to give out confidential financial information while a company is still operating legally.

"Monarch didn't own the planes, the planes were leased - so as soon as the company went into administration, the owners of the planes took them back and that's why we've had to acquire planes from 16 different countries [to bring people back]."

I had that Uber boss in the back of my cab once...

Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones is waiting for some news from the Uber/TfL meeting, and let's face it, he's not very happy..l

View more on twitter

Fidelity cuts fees

Fidelity International will cut fees for investors in its active equity funds if they underperform or simply tracks its benchmark.

The asset manager's move comes as fund managers that actively pick shares and bonds face pressure on fees from cost-conscious investors and regulators who question the value of investing in these funds compared with lower-cost index-tracking funds.

The Financial Conduct Authority said in a market study earlier this year that the asset management industry's profits were persistently high and suggested the average client may be short-changed.

"We have listened to the criticism of the asset management industry and rethought our approach to charging clients," Fidelity International president Brian Conroy said. "In the future we believe the vast majority of funds will charge on a variable basis as well."

Helping hand for former prisoners

David Lidington
Getty Images

Former offenders will be helped into jobs under a new scheme matching employers with prisoners, the Justice Secretary has announced.

David Lidington said a new national task force would ensure training in prisons "match the demands" in the local job market, as he outlined his ambition to persuade employers of the benefits of hiring former offenders.

He told the Conservative Party conference in Manchester: "The evidence shows that a former prisoner who has got work - who has got both responsibility and the opportunities that a job provides is far less likely to reoffend in the future. Getting prisoners into employment works."

A divine answer to climate change?

BBC World Service

Geoff Davies
BBC

More than 40 Catholic institutions have announced the biggest faith-based divestment from fossil fuels.

Geoff Davies - the "green bishop" of Cape Town, tells BBC Marketplace his diocese will be investing about $300,000 in renewables.

“We can make lots of money out of fossil fuels, we know, but we've got to stop doing so. And so we want to invest our money in renewable energy," he says.

"Trump said he wants to pull out [of the Paris Accord] because it's bad for American business. But I think the hurricanes and the wildfires have been far more costly."

Listen to a clip here:

View more on twitter

Former Unison chief dies

Rodney Bickerstaffe
PA

Rodney Bickerstaffe, former general secretary of Unison has died aged 72, the union said.

He led the public sector union NUPE before it merged to become Unison.

Unison chief Dave Prentis said: "Rodney, or Bick as he was known to many, was a great personal friend to many of us and a dedicated champion of all the union members he proudly represented throughout his career. He coupled a great sense of humour and love of laughter with a deep-rooted sense of social justice and commitment to Unison. Our thoughts are with Rodney's family."

Unilever reviews its Colman's plant

This is a statement from Unilever:

“Following Britvic’s announcement that it is proposing to close its manufacturing site in Norwich, Unilever will be launching a review of its production which is co-located at the site.

“Britvic and Unilever’s operations have been uniquely intertwined at the site for many years, relying on a shared infrastructure. Although no decisions have been made, we need to recognise that Britvic’s proposed withdrawal would have serious implications for Unilever in Norwich.

“The review will look in detail at the impact of Britvic’s proposed withdrawal from the site and will consider options for the most effective sourcing of the current Norwich product range. One of those options will include the potential closure of our Norwich factory.

"Colman’s has been an important part of Norwich and the surrounding area for more than 200 years and, whatever the outcome of the review, we will work hard to retain this link. We remain firmly committed to UK manufacturing.

“We recognise this review will cause concern for our Norwich employees, suppliers and the local community. We’re committed to treating our employees and suppliers fairly, and providing support during this difficult time.”

Ireland may face Apple action

Euros sign
Reuters

You might remember that last year the European Union ordered Ireland to recover up to €13bn from Apple in back taxes.

Well, according to Bloomberg, Ireland has failed to recover that money and, as a result, could be in trouble with European authorities.

The article says that the European Commission might issue a so-called non-compliance action as soon as this week.

Ireland is supposed to be collecting the money and putting it into a special fund, where it will sit until the appeal process is over.

BreakingMore rail misery ahead

Workers on South Western Railway have voted by 4-1 in favour of striking in the dispute over the role of guards on trains, the RMT union said.

Unite warns about Colman's plant in Norwich

Colman's advert
Colman's

Colman's Mustard has been made just outside Norwich since 1858, but the Unite union says the plant is in jeopardy.

It follows an announcement from Britvic which said it is closing a drinks-making operation on the same site.

Unite said that the announcement had serious implications for the future of Colman's Mustard, which is owned by Unilever.

"Unilever has today announced a review of the whole site to be concluded by the end of November. Everything is up for review including expanding its operations, selling part of the site and, more worryingly, closure," Unite said in a statement.