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  1. Get in touch:
  2. US markets muted on Fed minutes
  3. Mike Ashley dismisses lawsuit claims
  4. JP Morgan rules out rival Worldpay bid
  5. Volvo promises all electric motors

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

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    Thank you for joining us on Business Live today.

    We're back on Thursday morning at 6.00am with all the breaking business and economics news.

    Enjoy the rest of your evening.

  2. Wall Street steady after Fed minutes

    US stock market trader

    There was little change on Wall Street on Wednesday following the release of the Federal Reserve's most recent minutes.

    They revealed that the Fed's policymakers were split on the outlook for inflation and how it might affect the future pace of interest rate rises

    Investors had been hoping for insight on the central bank's plans for interest rate hikes or possible balance sheet reduction. "I see a murky, opaque message," Stephen Massocca, senior vice president at Wedbush Securities in San Francisco, said of the Fed minutes.

    The Dow Jones edged down to 21,478.17, a fall of 1 point or 0.01%.

    The S&P 500 was at 2,432.54, up 4 points or 0.15%.

    And the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed up 41 points or 0.67% at 6,150.86.

  3. IMF urges world's biggest economies to work together

    BBC World Service

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged leaders of the world's major economies to avoid what it called short-sighted nationalist policies and work together to resolve their trade and economic differences, reports BBC World Service.

    In a pointed message ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, the IMF said that a rule based and open trading system was vital for a stable world economy.

    The BBC Economics correspondent says that the strongly worded remarks appear to be implicitly directed at the US.

    The Trump administration is considering to impose new barriers to imports in an effort to reduce the country's trade deficit. (Such a move is seen by many other G20 member countries and the IMF as potentially damaging to the global economy).

  4. China and Germany to make a 'new start'

    Xi Jinping and Angela Merkel

    China's President Xi Jinping and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have promised to work more closely together.

    Speaking ahead of the G20 summit on 7-8 July, which Germany is hosting in Hamburg, President Xi said "Chinese-German relations are now about to have a new start where we need new breakthroughs."

    Mrs Merkel said: "We will have difficult discussions, since bringing 20 states together with all their developments and ideas is not easy" Merkel said.

    President Donald Trump has criticised both China and Germany over trade with the US.

  5. Watch: Snapchat Maps and privacy

    Snapchat have released a new location feature and many have expressed privacy concerns about it.

    BBC journalist Sofia Bettiza explains more about the Snap Maps feature.

    Video content

    Video caption: Snapchat Maps: What you need to know about Snap Maps, the latest addition to the app
  6. Hackers issue fresh ransom demand

    IT worker

    The perpetrators of a recent cyber-attack that disrupted businesses across the world appear to have accessed the ransom payments they raised.

    Just over £7,900-worth of virtual currency has been moved from the Bitcoin address listed in the blackmail demand that appeared on hacked PCs.

    And it seems they have now made a fresh ransom demand.

    Read the full story here.

  7. Sainsbury's chairman admits mistake over country house


    Sainsbury's chairman David Tyler was also questioned at its annual general meeting on Wednesday about his decision to use the supermarket group's staff and suppliers to revamp his country house.

    Mr Tyler told shareholders: "I fully accept that I made a mistake in doing that.

    "I volunteered this matter to the board, they investigated and they concluded that my failure to comply with company policy was unintentional, that I didn't act dishonestly and I made no financial gain."

  8. Progress on US inflation 'has slowed'

    Dollars changing hands

    More on the US Fed minutes and the outlook for inflation which is currently at 1.5% compared to the central bank's target of 2%.

    The minutes of the June Federal Open Market Committee meeting read: "Most participants viewed the recent softness in these price data as largely reflecting idiosyncratic factors...however, several participants expressed concern that progress...might have slowed and that the recent softness in inflation might persist."

    Last month, 8-1 voted to lift the benchmark interest rate another quarter percentage point - a third rise in six months.

  9. US stock markets fall

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 15.76 points to 21,463.51 after the US Federal Reserve released the minutes from its June interest rate-setting meeting.

    The S&P 500 trimmed gains to 1.51 points at 2,430.52.

    The Nasdaq also fell back marginally to rise 34.10 points at 6,145.17.

  10. US Fed supports gradual rate rises

    Janet Yellen chairs the US Federal Reserve
    Image caption: Janet Yellen chairs the US Federal Reserve

    Members of the US Fed's Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) expressed their support for gradual rises to interest rates, according to minutes from the June meeting.

    Last month, the FOMC voted to lift interest rates by a quarter point, the second increase this year.

  11. US Fed rate-setters debate inflation

    Minutes from the US Federal Reserve's rate-setting meeting in June have been released and show that there was a debate on where inflation is heading.

    Several rate-setters expressed concerns that the softer rate of inflation in the US will persist. Inflation has fallen to 1.5% compared to the Federal Reserve's target of 2%.

  12. US markets rise ahead of Fed minutes release

    US stock market trader

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.98 points at 21,480.25 ahead of the US Federal Reserve releasing minutes of the June interest rate setting meeting.

    At that meeting, the Federal Open Market Committee voted to lift rates by a quarter point.

    The S&P 500 is ahead 3.95 points at 2,432.96 and the Nasdaq is flying, up 43.71 points at 6,153.77.

  13. Qatar crisis: Restrictions to continue

    Restrictions on Qatar will continue after it rejected the ultimatum made by its Middle East neighbours, Saudi Arabia has said.

    The foreign ministers of four Arab countries, meeting in Cairo, said they regretted Qatar's "negative" response to their list of demands.

    Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the UAE severed ties with Qatar last month.

    Read the full story here.

  14. EU and Japan close to agreeing trade pact

    Cecilia Malmstrom (R) with Fumio Kishida (L)
    Image caption: Cecilia Malmstrom (R) with Fumio Kishida (L)

    Japan and the European Union are close to agreeing a free trade pact.

    Following a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told Reuters: "We ironed out the few remaining differences."

    The G20 nations are due to hold a summit in Hmaburg on Friday and Saturday.

    Reuters reports that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe should now sign the "political agreement" with EU institutional chiefs Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk on Thursday in Brussels.

    The three men will then head to the G20 summit where the EU and Japan will urge Trump not to weaken US free trade traditions.

  15. Oil prices fall by 3%

    Offshore oil rigs

    Oil prices have fallen further.

    Brent crude fell 3% to $48.13 a barrel and West Texas Intermediate also declined by 3% to $48.13.

    Carsten Fritsch, senior commodity analyst at Commerzbank, said: "The air is getting thin for oil prices. The price increase just ran out of steam, which is not very surprising, given the news flow of rising OPEC supplies."

    New data showed that OPEC experts were higher than expected in June.

  16. Investors question Sainsbury's profits


    Sainsbury's has been questioned by investors about falling profits at its annual general meeting.

    Reuters reports that one shareholder questioned the board about a decline in key performance indicators, which include profits and operating margins.

    Mr Muriel said Sainsbury's KPIs over the last five years were "quite alarming in every way".

    Chairman David Tyler said: "Our objective is to improve on last year's profitability but I'm sure you recognize the world has changed over the last five years - it's very competitive and we have done rather better than a number of our competitors."

  17. Watch: Inside a driverless car

    Engineering giant Bosch has been developing its own autonomous car technology to compete with US tech firms such as Uber and Google.

    The BBC's Joe Miller took a ride in the company’s latest prototype...

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Driverless' Tesla car gets Bosch brain
  18. BA rounds on further strike action


    British Airways cabin crew are to launch another round of strikes in a long-running dispute over pay.

    Reuters reports that members of Unite will walk out for 14 days from July 19, just three days after completing a 16-day stoppage.

    BA said it "will ensure all our customers reach their destinations"

    It added: "Instead of calling further completely unnecessary strikes, Unite should allow its members a vote on the pay deal we reached two months ago.

    "It seems extraordinary that a trade union should ask its members to give up their pay and benefits for virtually the whole of July, trying to target the holidays of hard-working families, rather than give those members a chance to settle the central issue of the dispute."