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  2. Unemployment steady at 4.3%
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  4. Sterling slips to $1.3169
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By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Thank you for joining Business Live.

We'll be back on Thursday from 6.00am with all the breaking business and economics news and comment throughout the day.

eBay sees revenues jump

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EBay has just reported an 8.7% increase in quarterly revenue as revamps to its e-commerce platforms helped attract more customers.

The online auction site's net income rose to $523m, or 48 cents per share, in the third quarter ended 30 September, from $413m, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $2.41bn from $2.22bn.

American Express sees profit jump

American Express
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Credit card issuer American Express has just reported a 19% jump in quarterly profit as higher billings and loan growth helped offset a jump in costs.

Net income rose to $1.36bn, or $1.50 per share, in the third quarter ended 30 September from $1.14bn, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue rose 9% to $8.44bn.

Dow ends above 23,000

US stock market trader
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The Dow has ended over 23,000 points for the first time following strong earnings from IBM that boosted confidence about the rest of the quarterly reporting season.

At the end of the trading session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 23,156.84, up 0.7%.

The S&P 500 rose to 2,561.25, while the Nasdaq edged up to 6,624.22.

Both the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were also at records at the closing bell.

Watch: Xi Jinping's progress

China's president Xi Jinping will be confirmed for a second five-year term this month.

Robin Brant asks what he has delivered so far on key areas like the environment, debt and market reform.

The cost of China's economic boom

Budget sneak preview

A photographer has managed to secure a snap of an "unknown" official entering Downing Street with some Budget proposals.

The partially obscured document suggest plans to raise the income tax threshold may be put on hold.

The Conservatives promised in their manifesto to raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 by 2020, up from its current rate of £11,500. They have also promised to increase to £50,000 the point at which people begin paying the higher 40p tax rate by 2020, up from £45,000 now.

One option which appears to be on the snapped paper would be to meet the 2020 manifesto commitment but then to pre-announce a freeze thereafter until the end of the parliament in 2022, according to The Financial Times.

The Treasury has refused to comment.

Trump to name Fed chair soon

Janet Yellen
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Janet Yellen is the current chair of the Federal Reserve

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has confirmed that the chair of the Federal Reserve will be named in the coming days.

The current chair Janet Yellen is believed to be part of a shortlist of five which is also understood to include: Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council and chief economic advisor to US President Donald Trump; Stanford University economics professor John Taylor; former Fed board member Kevin Warsh and current member Jerome Powell.

Mr Trump is expected to name his pick in early November.

Ford recalls trucks in the US

New Ford F-150 pickups
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Ford has announced that it is recalling 1.3 million vehicles in the US.

The car-maker is calling in 2015-17 Ford F-150 and 2017 Ford Super Duty trucks to add water shields to side door latches. It will cost the business $267m which will reflected in its fourth quarter results.

Ford said it was not aware of any accidents or injuries associated with the issue but said because of the fault, the door may appear closed, increasing the risk of the door opening while driving.

Oil prices edge higher

The Havana oil field, west of Kirkuk
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The Havana oil field, west of Kirkuk

Oil prices have clawed back a little ground.

Brent crude is now up 0.4% to $58.11 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate is also ahead 0.4% at $52.07 a barrel.

Despite unsettled trading on Wednesday, oil prices have been strong so far this week after Iraqi forces retook the multi-ethnic city of Kirkuk and its oilfields.

Crude oil travels through a pipeline between Iraq and Turkey. Analysts at Commerzbank, said: "It remains to be seen whether the Kurds, after withdrawing from the region they claim to be entitled to, will allow crude oil to be transported by pipeline across their territory to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan."

YouTube star attacks site's leaders

Casey Neistat

One of YouTube's most influential vloggers has attacked the service's leaders, claiming they are failing many of their most popular video creators.

Specifically, Casey Neistat criticised the way the platform had made it impossible for some videos to generate advertising revenue, without clearly explaining the rules to its community.

One of his own videos - an interview with Indonesia's president - was temporarily "demonetised" last week.

Read the story here.

Don't expect Brexit breakthrough, warns Tusk

Donald Tusk
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European Council president Donald Tusk has warned the UK not to expect a "breakthrough" on Brexit talks at a summit in Brussels this week.

EU leaders will meet on Thursday and Friday.

Mr Tusk said: "I don't expect any kind of breakthrough tomorrow. We have to work really hard in between October and December to finalise this so-called first phase and to start our negotiations on our future relations with the UK.

"I am absolutely sure that it's still possible to achieve this final of first phase in December but for this we need more concrete proposals from the British side to be honest."

Nations can deliver on Nafta, says UPS boss

David Abney, chairman and chief executive of UPS
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Mexico, Canada and the US expect talks about Nafta to extend into 2018. The boss of delivery giant UPS is hopeful the three nation can reach an agreement.

Chairman and chief executive David Abney tells Reuters: "I‘m still optimistic, but I think we’re going to have to go through some difficult times just because each of the countries has issues specific to them.”

He adds: “Not having a free trade agreement would not be something we feel anyone would benefit from."

Stock market rally continues...for now

Stock market trader
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average is trading comfortably above the 23,000 mark.

It has added 156.05 points to 23,153.49. The S&P 500 has gained 3.37 points to 2,562.73 and the Nasdaq is ahead 8.76 points at 6,632.42.

Omar Aguilar, chief investment officer for equities at Charles Schwab Investment Management, says: "We continue to see solid numbers above expectations, stability in terms of economic growth and global growth.

"Announcements by the ECB next week and decision by the Fed in December will probably have a higher impact on whether or not we continue this rally."

Danone chairman to step down

Franck Riboud
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The chairman of French food giant Danone is stepping down.

Franck Riboud, the son of Antoine Riboud who founded Danone in 1972, will be replaced with chief executive Emmanuel Faber who will fill both roles at the company.

The change comes into effect in December. Mr Riboud, 61, will become honorary chairman.

UK firms bid to build warships

Watch: Just 19 and loaded

Akshay Ruparelia set up an online estate agent while he was studying for his A-levels.

The company,, is now valued at £12m and is the 18th biggest estate agent in the UK.

The 19--year-old millionaire estate agent

London stock markets close up

Rio Tinro
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The FTSE 100 closed up 26.70 at 7,542.87. Education and publishing group Pearson led the risers, up 3% at 687p.

Pharmaceutical group Shire was the biggest faller, down 3.11% to £37.19.

Rio Tinto also dropped in value on Wednesday, when its share price fell 2.98% to £35.99 after it emerged that the mining giant and two of its former senior executives have been charged with fraud in the US.

Shares in consumer product giant Reckitt Benckiser also fell, down 2.53% to $68.57 after it cut its full-year revenue growth forecasts for a second time this year.

The FTSE 250 closed up 128.82 at 20,259.77.

Oil prices retreat

Hurricane Nate
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Hurricane Nate hit the northern Mississippi Gulf Coast earlier this month

Oil prices have retreated following higher than expected inventories of crude in the US.

Brent crude has fallen back to its opening price of $57.89 after rising earlier on Wednesday.

Brent crude

West Texas Intermediate is off 0.1% at $51.83 a barrel following similar gains on Wednesday.


Data from the US Energy Information Administration showed that although oil production fell last week after Hurricane Nate hit the Gulf of Mexico and refining slowed because of maintenance, stocks of gasoline, heating oil and diesel rose.

Crude inventories fell 5.7 million barrels in the week to 13 October

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose 528,000 barrels compared to forecasts of a 1.5 million-barrel drop.

Gasoline inventories increased by 908,000 barrels, ahead of an expected 256,000 barrel gain.

Pilots suspended over fancy farewell

Air Berlin
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Air Berlin has suspended the pilots of a plane that performed a fly-past to mark the insolvent airline's last long-haul flight to an airport in Duesseldorf.

According to reports, on Monday the A330 jet flew low across the runway, then pulled up and banked sharply to the left before landing on its second approach.

One of the pilots told German broadcaster ZDF: "We wanted to make a mark, a dignified and emotional goodbye.”

But a spokesman for Air Berlin, said: "In aviation, safety always comes first. We are taking the incident very seriously."

Switzerland to share tax information

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Switzerland will start sharing information on multinationals operating in the region with other countries in 2020.

The move is part of an international push to clamp down on tax evasion.

Some 200 large companies who have operations in Switzerland will have to draw up country-by-country reports which will show where they are generating revenue and where they are paying taxes.

European Union members and Japan have already agreed to start sharing information two years earlier from 2018.

Travel operators add flights

TUI plane
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Travel operator TUI says that it will put on extra flights to make up for the collapse of Monarch Airlines earlier this month.

TUI's UK and Ireland managing director Nick Longman, says: "There will be an opportunity to look at putting some new routes on to the market. We've already done that a little for this winter."

Thomas Cook tells Reuters that it is also adding capacity, starting flights from Leeds Bradford airport and increasing capacity at Luton to add a total of 230,000 seats for next summer.

Watch out for blocked drain scam

Lloyds investors were 'mugged'

Former Lloyds boss Eric Daniels (R) shakes hands on the deal with HBOS chief Andy Hornby (L) as Lloyds chairman (C) Sir Victor Blank looks on
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Former Lloyds boss Eric Daniels (R) shakes hands on the deal with HBOS chief Andy Hornby (L) as Lloyds chairman (C) Sir Victor Blank looks on

Shareholders in Lloyds were "mugged" when the bank decided to buy HBOS without disclosing the parlous health of the ailing lender, the High Court has heard.

Richard Hill QC, who made the remarks, is representing nearly 6,000 shareholders who are suing Lloyds for £550m.

At the start of a 14-week trial, Mr Hill told Mr Justice Norris: "They should never have been kept in the dark and the responsibility for that lies fairly and squarely with the defendants."

He described the takeover in January 2009 as "rushed" and said documents sent to shareholders about the deal were "highly misleading". Mr Hill said:

The information that would have disclosed it was a bust failed bank was omitted deliberately. The opposite impression was given. So, although it had reached the same situation as Northern Rock, shareholders were not told that.

Lloyds was later forced to take a government bailout of £20bn which gave the state a 43% stake in the bank. The government sold its last shares in Lloyds earlier this year.

A spokesman for Lloyds, says: "The group's position remains that we do not consider there to be any merit to these claims and we will robustly contest this legal action."

Big bounce for big blue

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Investors clearly liked what they saw in IBM's third quarter results. The US technology company's share price is ahead 7.55% at $157.61 in early trading, leading the Dow Jones Industrial Average risers.

The departure of Amazon's studio boss amid sexual harassment allegations failed to rattle markets. Its share price is off 2.57 points.

Staveley in the running for Newcastle?

Amanda Staveley attended the Newcastle v Liverpool match
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Amanda Staveley attended the Newcastle v Liverpool match

Yesterday it was Turkish billionaire biscuit king Murat Ülker. Today it is Amanda Staveley who is rumoured to be interested in buying Newcastle United Football Club.

Reuters reports that Ms Staveley investment firm PCP Capital Partners is considering making a $400m (£303.8m) offer for the club which was put up for sale on Monday by Mike Ashley, the majority-owner of Sports Direct.

Apparently, speculation about Ms Staveley was sparked when she was spotted watching Newcastle's match against Liverpool at the beginning of this month.

Either that or she's a secret Magpie.

Dow Jones soars over 23,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped by 118.08 points in the opening minutes of trade to a new record of 23,115.52.

The S&P 500 also touched a new high of 2,563.91 after adding 4.55 points.

The Nasdaq rose by 8.95 points to 6,632.61.

Have your say: Changing shopping habits

Hurricanes hit US house construction

Hurricane Harvey devastated areas of Texas
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Hurricane Harvey devastated areas of Texas

Construction of new homes in the US fell in September as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma swept the south of the country.

The US Census Bureau and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development says that builders broke ground on 4.7% less homes last month compared to August. Building permits also declined by 4.5% but completions rose by 1.1%.

Housing starts in the south fell by 15.3% between August and September and declined 5.6% on the same month last year.

Chicken food poisoning levels fall

Chicken on a chopping board
A chicken yesterday

The number of supermarket chickens contaminated with food poisoning bug campylobacter is continuing to fall, according to the Food Standards Agency.

Figures from 2016-17 showed only 6.5% of fresh UK-produced chickens tested positive at the highest contamination level, down from 19.7% in 2014-15.

Campylobacter is the leading cause of food poisoning in the UK and makes 280,000 people ill each year.

While 5.6% of the affected chickens were sold by the biggest nine supermarkets, 17.1% came from smaller retailers and butchers.

Where now for the Dow?

Stock market trraders
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Will the Dow Jones Industrial Average make it back over 23,000 on Wednesday? It will soon become clear when the US stock markets open in less than an hour.

Share prices to watch out for include Amazon following the resignation of Roy Price, the head of its film and television arm, after being accused of sexual harassment.

Investors will also have chance to react to IBM's third quarter results, which were released on Tuesday evening.

Although revenue beat expectations, it was below the comparable quarter.

The winemaker who battles temperatures as low as -25C

Norman Hardie
Johnny C Y Lam

With winter temperatures regularly dipping below -25C at his vineyard, winemaker Norman Hardie definitely didn't chose an easy place to grow his grapes.

"Minus 25 is the absolute death knell for vitis vinifera [the common grape vine], we actually have to bury our vines in the winter [to protect them]. It's a huge job," says the 51-year-old.

"And then we can get snap spring frosts that can quickly ruin a crop. We lost more than 80% in 2015."

While most of us associate winemaking with warm countries, Mr Hardie has since 2004 been making wine in… Canada.

Read more here.

Flop or filip?

Film critic Mark Kermode questions whether Blade Runner 2049 has been a box office failure, as some reports have suggested.

Mark Kermode discusses whether Blade Runner 2049 is a box office flop.

Thomas Cook's Palma plan

Thomas Cook
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Thomas Cook is setting up a new airline in Spain in a bid to cut costs in the challenging European short-haul market.

It will be based in Palma de Majorca and plans to start its first flights early next year with at least three Airbus A320 planes.

The Majorca aircraft will also be used for Thomas Cook's other airlines, according to seasonal demand.

EasyJet also has a seasonal base in Palma, with aircraft stationed there between March and October.

Thomas Cook Airlines has a total of 94 aircraft, flying 16.7 million passengers a year, with revenues of €2.8bn.

Wind and water

Speaking of smart tech and all things green, Scotland business editor Douglas Fraser tweets:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Google's Toronto vision

Sidewalk Labs drawing
Sidewalk Labs

Google's parent company is helping to plan a mixed-use development along Toronto's Lake Ontario waterfront.

Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs unit, which is developing technology to use in "smart cities", said it would invest $50m in the project, which will create a new neighborhood called Quayside.

One project is a sensor-based technology to manage crowds on a nearby street often filled with pedestrians, cyclists and motorised traffic.

Sidewalk is also looking to integrate self-driving technology into the project.

Read more here.

Soros gives away $18bn

George Soros
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George Soros, the billionaire financier, is giving away nearly all of his fortune - $18bn to be precise - to his charitable venture, the Open Society Foundations.

The global network of more than 100 charities supporting democracy, human rights and freedom of speech was set up in 1984 and is said to be the world's third-largest charity after the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

The name of Mr Soros's organisation is derived from a book by the philosopher Karl Popper, The Open Society and Its Enemies - a critique of authoritarianism.

Having experienced at first hand what a closed society looks like in his native Hungary, Mr Soros's liberal views have provoked the ire of the country's nationalist prime minister Viktor Orban, particularly over issues of immigration.

FTSE helped by weaker sterling

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The FTSE 100 is up about 25 points at 7,542, helped by a 0.15% fall in the pound to $1.3170.

The ONS said UK wage growth edged above forecasts, bolstering expectations for a Bank of England rate hike before the year is out.

Shares in household products giant Reckitt Benckiser were down about 1.3% after the firm cut its full-year sales forecast. Reckitt is struggling with fallout from a cyber attack, a failed product launch and a safety scandal in South Korea.

The biggest faller on the blue-chip index is Merlin Entertainments, off 2.1% after brokers cut their target prices after it reported meagre like-for-like growth yesterday.