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Live Reporting

By Katie Hope

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodnight

    That's it from us for tonight. Join us again at 6am sharp when we'll be back with all the latest news. 

  2. Why are US investors so upbeat?

    Analysts largely credit the expected pro-growth policies of US president-elect Donald Trump.

     "A lot of people were negative going into the election, or cautious, so now they're scrambling year-end to own stocks," said Alan Lancz, president of investment advisory firm Alan B. Lancz & Associates.

  3. Dow closes at another fresh high

    The Dow Jones has notched up another strong performance, closing at at fresh record high.

    The gains have been largely driven by solid US services data which appears to have overshadowed concerns about Europe’s stability in the wake of Italian PM Matteo Renzi's resignation.

    The Dow Jones industrial average rose 45.82 points, or 0.24%, to 19,216.24, the S&P 500 gained 12.76 points, or 0.58%, to 2,204.71 and the Nasdaq Composite added 53.24 points, or 1.01%, to 5,308.89.  

    US stocks have repeatedly hit new records since the US election due to optimism about pro-growth policies indicated by president-elect Donald Trump.

  4. Italy's PM to stay on a bit longer

    Matteo Renzi

    Italian prime Minister Matteo Renzi has been asked by the head of state to stay on until next year’s budget has been approved by parliament, a move expected by the end of this week.

    The move, requested by President Sergio Mattarella, will give the country more time to form a new parliament. 

    According to Italian media, Mr Renzi told his cabinet he had agreed to see the budget passed before his departure "out of a sense of responsibility". 

  5. How much to power the Death Star?

    Darth Vader helmet

    If you're an Ovo Energy customer, you might like to know how they spend some of your gas and electricity money.

    The energy firm, and its PR team, have thrown their resources at figuring out how much it would cost to power the Death Star. 

    In this important bit of research - timed for maximum impact ahead of next week's release of Star Wars Rogue One - they add up the cost of: jumping into hyperspace; firing and recharging the laser; keeping the lights on; feeding its 2 million strong crew; doing the laundry; and recycling.

    The answer - £6.2 octillion a day - is a pretty meaningless number for Star Wars fans to get their heads around. In case you're wondering, it's 30 trillion times the total amount of money available on earth (£200trn).

  6. US markets cling on to gains

    It's not long until US markets finish trading for the day, and while investors' early enthusiasm appears to have waned somewhat stocks are still set to finish in the green. The Dow Jones Index is currently up 0.2% higher, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 are 0.9% and 0.6% higher repectively.

  7. Care homes 'desperate' for qualified staff

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Elderly lady

    Stepping away from Greece for now, the quality of long term care for the elderly is being held back by inadequate training for staff, according to the organisation that represents small and medium sized providers.

    The National Care Association's Chairman, Nadra Ahmed, said many homes "can't get the right people applying for jobs".

    Average care home prices have jumped by almost a quarter in a year despite "declining quality" according to a review of Care Quality Commission figures published today. 

    Ms Ahmed told BBC 5 live: "we're desperate to get staff in, get them trained, get them to the right level so that the delivery of the quality is where we want it to be."

  8. 'More ambitious' than expected

    Despite the fact the measures announced do nothing to reduce the amount of money Greece actually owes, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos says he's pleased with the short-term measures to ease debt repayments.

    "They are much more ambitious measures than we expected in May or hoped for so that is very promising. This will start helping the Greek economy at once," he said.

    He also said ministers had made progress toward finalising a second review of Greece's performance under the eurozone bailout programme, with differences over the country's 2018 budget plans narrowing.

  9. Greek debt relief - the details

    Greece's Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos arrives to take part in a Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the European Council in Brussels, on 5 December 2016

    Want to know in what form the Greek debt relief has been granted? See if you can understand this, from the eurogroup of lenders:

    • The smoothening of the EFSF repayment profile within the current weighted average maturity of up to 32.5 years.
    • The waiver of the step-up interest rate margin amounting to 200 bps related to the debt buy-back tranche of the 2nd Greek programme for the year 2017.
    • The use of the EFSF/ESM funding strategy as markets allow to reduce interest rate risk without incurring any additional costs for former programme countries. This measure will be implemented through: (i) exchanging the EFSF/ESM back-to back notes supporting the bank recapitalization loans to Greece, (ii) the ESM entering into interest rate swaps to mitigate the risk of higher market rates and  (iii) introducing matched funding for future disbursements to Greece under the current programme.

    Got that?

  10. VW to take on Uber

    VW logo

    Volkswagen, still struggling to overcome its emissions scandal, has announced its launching a new digital business division - MOIA.

    The firm's plan is take on taxi hailing app Uber and its rivals by offering shuttle services for customers who prefer to pay to use a car rather than buy it. 

    "Mid- and long-term MOIA will create the kinds of services that will meet the needs of urban citizens," Ole Harms, head of the new division said.

    A year ago, an investigation in the US found that VW had cheated emissions tests for diesel cars by using special software.  

  11. Greek debt relief approved

    Andrew Walker

    World Service economics correspondent

    Greek seamen carry banners and placards as they rally in the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece, 5 December 2016. The Greek seamen have been on strike since 2 December to express their anger over government plans to cut pensions and social security measures.

    It’s not the first time Greece has received debt relief from the eurozone. It probably won’t be the last either. 

    It is not a reduction in the value of the outstanding debt - a “haircut” for the lenders. 

    That has been ruled out many times by the eurozone. It would be politically toxic back home for the likes of Germany. 

    The relief comes instead in the shape of lower interest rates and longer repayment periods.

    That is still worth having. If you take this kind of thing far enough it gradually takes a loan closer to being a grant. 

    All the same, the pressure on the eurozone to do more for its biggest bailout customer will surely come back.   

  12. Debt relief for Greece?

    French Finance Minister Michel Sapin (L) and European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici speak together ahead of a Eurogroup finance ministers meeting at the European Council in Brussels, on December 5, 2016.
    Image caption: French Finance Minister Michel Sapin (on the left)

    Some relief from its debts could be on the cards for the long-suffering Greek government, and its citizens.

    In Brussels, eurozone finance ministers have been meeting (yet again) devoted mainly to see how much progress Greece has made making in changing its economy.

    The French Finance Minister Michel Sapin has told Reuters: "We have adopted today the plan to reduce Greek debt in the short-term."

    "We have the objective to reach a deal between Greece and EU institutions before the end of the year," he said.   

  13. Opec's oil output hits another record high

    oil rig

    Oil cartel Opec's output hit yet another record high in November, ahead of a deal to cut production, according to a Reuters survey.

    Supply increased to 34.19 million barrels per day (bpd) in November, up from 33.82 million bpd in October, according to the survey   

    The rise was driven by higher Iraqi exports and extra barrels from two nations exempted from cutting supply - Nigeria and Libya.

    The jump suggests it could be even tougher than expected for the oil cartel to cut supply - as pledged recently - from the start of next year.

  14. Nike shares running fast

    Nike

    The Dow Jones has slipped slightly from its gung-ho start, but is still in positive territory. It's currently up 0.2% at 19,217.06.

    Sports giant Nike is the biggest riser, up 3% at $52.10. A rating upgrade from HSBC has driven the jump. The bank now rates the shares "buy", up from "hold", saying it believes the firm is "poised for superior growth and returns long term".

  15. More from Mark Carney

    Mark Carney

    More quotes from Mark Carney's Roscoe Lecture at Liverpool John Moores University:

    The Bank of England governor said: "Redistribution and fairness also mean turning back the tide of stateless corporations."

    "As the prime minister recently stressed, companies must be rooted and pay tax somewhere.

    "Businesses operating across borders have responsibilities," he added.

    Read the full story here.

  16. Free trade hasn't worked for all

    BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed tweets...

  17. Is Mark Carney interfering in politics again?

    BBC economics correspondent Kamal Ahmed questions whether Mark Carney has strayed once again into political territory:

    These are big, meaty, issues and raise two intriguing questions in some peoples’ minds.

    Shouldn’t Mr Carney limit his comments to interest rate policy and inflation targeting – the central parts of the Bank’s remit?

    And, if he doesn’t, isn’t he in danger of straying into the political arena, always difficult for an unelected official?

    I don’t believe Mr Carney sees it that way.

     Issues such as the good functioning of economies fall squarely within the Bank’s remit, the governor believes.

    Read Kamal's blog here