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Summary

  1. Case for US rate rise has "strengthened": Federal Reserve chairwoman
  2. Sir Richard Branson in bike crash
  3. Tesco sells Euphorium bakery chain
  4. Data watchdog investigates WhatsApp changes
  5. FTSE 100 edges 0.3% higher to 6,838

Live Reporting

By Dan Macadam

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night!

That's all we have time for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We are back at 06:00 on Tuesday - after the Bank Holiday - so do join us then.

Wall Street dips

US stocks finished the day marginally lower as investors puzzled over Janet Yellen's delphic interest rate comments.

The chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve said the case had "strengthened" for a rate rise, but was silent on when that might be.

The Dow Jones dipped 0.3% to 18,395, and the S&P 500 ended 0.2% lower at 2,169. But the Nasdaq finished 0.1% higher at 5,219. 

'First Apple computer' sells at auction

Prototype Apple 1
Charitybuzz

One of the first prototype Apple computers has been sold at auction for $815,000. 

Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak built just 200 of the prototype Apple 1 in 1976.

It's seen as a holy-grail item in electronics memorabilia. One computer historian said it is "one of the first, if not the first ever" Apple computer.

Auctioneer Charitybuzz said 10% of the proceeds will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, based in New York.  

For the full story click here.

Suitors circle Fiat Chrysler's car parts business

Fiat logo
Getty Images

Fiat Chrysler says it's been approached by several suitors for its huge car parts business, Magneti Marelli .

However, the boss of the Italian-American carmaker wouldn't say who they were, nor confirm whether Samsung was one of the potential bidders. 

A report earlier this month suggested the Korean electronics giant could buy all or part of Magneti Marelli. 

The components business, which is in 18 countries, had revenue of €7.2bn last year, of which more than a third came from sales to Fiat Chrysler.  

Pink 'Un arrives

The Financial Times leads on Janet Yellen's rate rise speech. It also reckons that a deal to create the world's biggest brewer will bring a £2bn windfall for advisers and the taxman.

View more on twitter

Apple, Coke and Facebook sign equal pay pledge

President Barack Obama
AFP

The companies are among 29 firms that signed up to the White House Equal Pay Pledge today.

The agreement seeks to reduce the wage gap between men and women through steps like an annual review of pay by gender and testing for unconscious bias.

But the pledge, now signed by more than 50 companies, stops short of companies promising to pay men and women equally for equal work.  

30-hour week?

Amazon logo
Reuters

Amazon is looking at a pilot programme where workers will only clock 30 hours a week. The online retailer will let roughly a dozen employees log the reduced hours at 75% the typical salary, while retaining all their benefits. 

But they're by no means the first. In Sweden last year, there was something of a revival for the six-hour working day. 

There were also a handful of trials in the country's public sector in the 1990s and early 2000s, but many were scrapped amid a lack of raw data to measure the success.

Oil touches $50 a barrel

Oil pump
AFP

Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose about 50 cents shortly after Janet Yellen's speech earlier to go past $50 a barrel. 

It's since fallen back to about $49.90 a barrel - still 22 cents higher on the day. Oil tends to rise when the dollar falls as a weak dollar makes crude imports cheaper for holders of other currencies. 

The US dollar dropped minutes after Yellen's speech was published, but is now making modest gains. It's currently 0.5% higher against the pound at 76p.

The oil price has been yo-yoing around the $50 mark this week after recovering strongly on hints oil producers might cap output.

The football signing who'll never kick a ball

Meet the Premier League's first e-sports player

Sean Allen - also known as Dragonn - is the Premier League's first professional e-sports player. 

He signed a deal to represent West Ham United, playing Fifa in video game tournaments.

The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones met him to find out what life is like as a professional Fifa player.

Why you don't want a nice boss

Wall Street update

Janet Yellen's cautiously upbeat comments about the US economy is not making much impact on Wall Street.

Stocks were mostly lower in afternoon trading, giving up modest gains at the start of trading.

Phone companies and utilities, widely considered safe-play stocks, led the list of decliners, while healthcare stocks rose. 

The Dow Jones was down 0.3%, and the S&P 500 slipped 0.2%. The Nasdaq dipped 0.1%.

Scottish Gas training academy

The Scottish government pledges to focus on improving equality in the workplace as it launches its new labour market strategy.

Read more

Cookie d'oh

Cookie dough ice cream
Ben & Jerry's

Tubs of one of Ben & Jerry's best-known ice creams are being recalled over fears they may contain small pieces of metal. 

Four batches of the ice cream are thought to be affected and customers are being asked to check batch numbers printed at the bottom of their pots. 

The company said customers should throw the tubs away if they have batch codes L62110L011, L62111L011, L62112L011 or L62113L011.

PwC confirms settlement

PwC office
Getty Images

A spokesperson for PwC, the UK accountancy giant, has confirmed that a lawsuit being heard in a Florida court was "settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties”.

PwC was accused in the $5.5bn lawsuit of failing to spot a conspiracy which contributed to the collapse of US bank Colonial Bank and mortgage firm Taylor, Bean and Whitaker.

Branson's 'life flashed before his eyes'

Richard Branson
AP

A bit more on Sir Richard Branson's bike crash, in which he flew off head first after hitting a bump in the road on the Caribbean island of Virgin Gorda.

"My life was literally flashing before my eyes," he wrote. "I really thought I was going to die. I went flying head-first towards the concrete road, but fortunately my shoulder and cheek took the brunt of the impact, and I was wearing a helmet that saved my life." 

Branson traveled to Miami to receive medical treatment. He said he was really lucky to have not suffered more serious injuries. 

"My biggest hardship is having to drink tea out of a straw," he said. 

Prada seeks younger customers

Prada model
Getty Images

Italian luxury fashion group Prada has predicted a return to growth as it seeks to connect with younger customers through online sales and flexible pricing.

Prada said it was on track to double its e-commerce sales over the next two years. It will also expand its social media activities so it can raise its profile among "the 'always connected' millennials," referring to the 20s-30s age group. 

The company added it was working on a "potential launch of 'shoppable' content with selected key items on Instagram".

Prada's first half profits fell 25% to €330m (£282m) due partly to falling demand in China and Italy. But Prada said it saw 2016 as "a turning point".

PwC 'settles $5.5bn lawsuit'

Accountancy giant PwC has settled a lawsuit accusing the firm of failing to detect a fraud that led to one of the biggest US bank collapses, according to reports. 

The $5.5bn lawsuit claimed PwC should have detected massive fraud at Colonial Bank of Montgomery, Alabama, according to Associated Press. The suit claimed the estimated $21bn fraud was orchestrated by top executives at the shuttered mortgage firm Taylor, Bean and Whitaker.  

The case went to trial in Miami earlier this month and was expected to last six weeks

BreakingFTSE gains after Yellen speech

The FTSE 100 has finished 0.3% higher at 6,838 points. It had been bumping along for most of the day at about 6,820 but gained after Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen said the case for a US rate rise had "strengthened". 

Mining stocks - which were already doing well before Yellen's speech - dominated the leader board. Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Glencore all rose more than 3%.

Drugmakers were among the biggest fallers again, as a price-hike controversy in the US continues to infect European healthcare stocks.

The FTSE 250 of mid-cap UK firms also gained 0.3% at 17,931.

'Beating heart' of London

A UCL researcher, Oliver O’Brien, has taken data from the London Underground to produce this mesmeric graphic of the city's millions of journeys.

It shows the number of people exiting and entering tube stations every 15 minutes. Stations have a green dot when there's a net number of people leaving, and red when more people are entering.

The clip is from the morning, when, as you’d expect, the Tube lines ‘pulse’ during the rush hour. Click the map to stop if it starts messing with your eyes...

View more on twitter

Frankie & Benny's closures

Radio 5 Live's Colletta Smith tweets...

Action continues at Jackson Hole

Stanley Fischer, Janet Yellen, Bill Dudley
AP

The main event is over at Jackson Hole. Janet Yellen - in a rather wistful shot here in the Wyoming national park flanked by Fed vice chairman Stanley Fischer and New York Fed president Bill Dudley - has given her speech.

But there's more coming up at the Davos for central bankers. 

The Bank of England's Minouche Shafik has just spoken about the diverging paths for the US Fed and the UK bank, which has cut interest rates to record lows.

For central bank enthusiasts, the event will also be looking at negative interest rates, alternative monetary frameworks, and the structure of central bank balance sheets.

Fed Up

Bloomberg's Jeffrey Black is impressed with members of the US central bank meeting protesters yesterday at the Jackson Hole event. 

The Fed Up campaign is calling for a People's Bank that's "free from Wall Street's influence".

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September rate rise? Still not sure

Markets were watching closely for signs in Janet Yellen's speech that the US central bank will raise interest rates next month.

And judging from analysts' reaction so far they're still waiting.

Peter Tchir at Brean Capital said the Federal Reserve chairwoman was "mildly hawkish, mildly dovish".  

Neil Wilson at ETX Capital agreed, saying "Yellen gave no fresh indication about the key question hanging over markets – will the Fed hike in September".       

FT journalist Katie Martin sums it up...

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But gold's lost its lustre

Gold bars
Science Photo Library

The price of gold has fallen after the comments from the US' top central banker and is on course for the fifth consecutive day of declines.

The shiny stuff has dropped $11 to $1,320 per ounce, the Financial Times reports. 

Yellen speech nudges FTSE higher

FTSE 100
BBC

It's not just US stocks that have got a push from Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen's comments on a rate rise. 

The FTSE 100 was pretty much flat when the speech came out, but is now 0.5% higher at 6,853 points.

The pound is also up - rising 0.4% against the dollar to $1.3240. 

"Whatever Yellen is saying is playing well with the pound," says ETX Capital's Neil Wilson.

No negative rates?

The FT's Sam Fleming tweets:

'Throwaway comment'

Aberdeen Asset Management's James Athey says of Janet Yellen's rate rise comments...

She stated that in her opinion the case for a rate hike has strengthened in recent months. But the lack of any specific signal with regards to the September meeting means markets are unlikely to react adversely to this fairly throwaway comment. Yellen’s comments were largely focussed on the debate around the effectiveness of the Fed’s toolkit."

Markets higher after Yellen speech

US markets are higher after the text of Janet Yellen's speech was released. Initially they dipped but seem to have recovered now.

The Dow Jones is up 0.61% at 18,561

The S&P is up 0.6% at 2,186

The Nasdaq is 0.4% higher at 5,232.

Yellen: US economy on course

US Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen says the central bank expects moderate economic growth in the US, an even stronger labor market, and inflation rising to the bank's 2% target over the next few years. 

It's based on this economic outlook, she says, that the Fed continues to anticipate that gradual increases in interest rates will be appropriate over time.  

BreakingYellen: US rate rise case has 'strengthened'

Janet Yellen, the chairwoman of the US central bank, says the case for raising interest rates has "strengthened" in recent months.

That is in light of the "continued solid performance" of the US jobs market and "our outlook for economic activity and inflation", she tells the Jackson Hole economic symposium. 

The Federal Reserve's policy rate is currently 0.25%-0.5%. Investors had been waiting to see if the bank might increase the rate in September or wait until December, after the Presidential election.

Richard Branson in bike crash

The Virgin businessman was cycling on a Caribbean island with his children Holly and Sam as part of his training for an endurance event.

View more on twitter

'No frills' at Jackson Hole

The great and the good from the central banking world are in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. It's been likened to Davos - the high-powered networking event in a Swiss mountain village.

But the Jackson Hole organisers are at pains to point out its venue - the Jackson Lake Lodge - is rather humble. The 385-room national park facility "doesn't have any resort-like amenities such as a spa, exercise room or salon", they say. 

It also remains open to the public throughout the two days of the economic symposium. 

Still, the fishing is legendary. Jackson Hole was chosen in 1982 to attract Paul Volcker, then-chairman of the US Federal Reserve and a fly fishing enthusiast. 

The view is pretty good too...

Jackson Hole
Grand Teton Lodge Company

Inside a BHS 'ghost store'

As collapsed department store chain BHS enters its final few days, the BBC's Emma Simpson looks inside a former flagship branch. 

View more on twitter

FTSE update

The FTSE 100 has made back its losses from this morning, and is now up a touch at 6,828 points. Mining stocks are doing well - Glencore, Rio Tinto and Anglo American are all about 2% higher. 

Generally, though, it's pretty quiet in the City ahead of Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen's speech at 15:00, and with the long weekend coming up.

"The Friday before the August bank holiday Monday has replaced suited commuters with sandal-wearing holidaymakers," said CMC Markets' Jasper Lawler.

The pound is largely unchanged at just over $1.32 and €1.17.   

What's up with WhatsApp

The UK's data watchdog, the Information Commissioner's Office, is looking into WhatsApp's new privacy policy

The company's changes will see users' phone numbers shared with Facebook (which owns the messaging app). Companies will also be able to message users directly, although WhatsApp said it would not make data public or share it with advertisers.

View more on twitter

Baking it up

Euphorium Bakery
Tesco

A bit more on Tesco selling its Euphorium bakeries. The coffee shop firm Soho Coffee will buy Euphorium's high street stores and Islington factory. 

However, the Euphorium bakeries inside Tesco's stores will now be run by the supermarket, which said it will be offering bakery staff the opportunity to transfer to Tesco.

"We know how important a great bakery offer is to our customers, and this agreement will mean we can continue to serve shoppers with great quality Tesco bakery products," a Tesco spokesperson said.  

Brighter picture for US jobs

BBC business reporter Russell Hotten writes...

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the jobs market was continuing to gain momentum.

It's only one week's figures, of course. But it comes on the day Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen is due to give a speech later with her thoughts on the US economy.

Last Sunday, Fed vice chairman Stanley Fischer was upbeat about US jobs growth, fueling suggestions that the US economy is strong enough to withstand an interest rate rise.

Friday's Labor Department data showed that initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 261,000 for the week ended 20 August. It was the third straight weekly decline in claims. 

Good afternoon

Dan Macadam

BBC business reporter

Janet Yellen
AP

Thanks very much Chris. I'll be taking over Yellen Watch for the afternoon. The chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve is scheduled to start her speech in 90 minutes' time. 

Markets have been holding their breath - admittedly because there's not much else out there - for what Janet Yellen might, or might not, say about the timing of the next US interest rate rise. I'll bring you the latest as it happens.