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Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    That wraps up another Business Live page week. Join us again on Monday from 06:00 for more business news as it happens.

  2. Talking up Nafta

    Justin Trudeau

    While President Trump has been away celebrating Bastille day in France, Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has taken the opportunity to press the case for Nafta back home.

    In the past Trump has called the pact "the worst trade deal ever" and vowed to change it in talks due to begin later this summer.

    But in his absence Trudeau's been having one-to-one meetings with Vice President Mike Pence and the governors of Kentucky, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Iowa.

    "Sometimes getting it right means refusing to take the politically tempting shortcuts," Trudeau told a meeting of the US National Governors Association.

    "More trade barriers, more local-content provisions, more preferential access for home-grown players in government procurement, for example, does not help working families over the long term, or even the mid-term. Such policies kill growth."

    Protectionist moves ran the risk of becoming "a cycle of tit-for-tat, a race to the bottom, where all sides lose," he said.

  3. Wall Street closes higher

    US stocks closed higher after hitting record levels earlier as weak economic data dimmed chances of another rate hike this year and tech stocks gained.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 84 points, or 0.39%, at 2,1637.74.

    The S&P 500 was up 11 points, or 0.47%, at 2459.27. The Nasdaq Composite was up 38 points, or 0.61%, at 6312.47.

  4. Banks find investors hard to please

    JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup all reported better-than-expected earnings but that didn't get much applause on Wall Street.

    Just see how they ended the day:

    JP Morgan Chase shares were down 0.6%.

    Wells Fargo were down 0.8%.

    Citigroup were down 0.25%.

  5. A frog in your throat

    Kermit the frog

    Steve Whitmire says the place he's worked for the last 38 years was "not just a job, a career or even a passion" but rather "an urgent, undeniable, impossible-to-resist way of life."

    I'm sure we all feel like that about work sometimes. More or less.

    Mr Whitmire said he was "devastated" to hear he was losing his job.

    But then his job - as the voice of Kermit the frog since 1990 - was maybe more fun than most people's.

    He would never have considered abandoning Kermit himself he said, but executives at Muppets Studio, owned by Disney have decided it's time he was replaced, without making public the reasons why. What muppets.

  6. Air Canada plane 'missed aircraft by 30m' at San Francisco airport

    Air Canada said it was investigating the incident and was "co-operating with the authorities"

    An Air Canada flight with 140 people on board came within 30m (98ft) of other aircraft at San Francisco's airport as it prepared to land, a report says.

    Days after news that Flight AC759 from Toronto was involved in a near-miss it has emerged just how close it came to crashing into four planes on a taxiway.

    The incident on 7 July occurred after the pilot "inadvertently" headed for the area where jets were due to depart.

    He was ordered to pull up and the Airbus 320 circled and landed safely.

    Read more here.

  7. The economics of the Black Death

    Every cloud has a silver lining. The Black Death, which swept the world and wiped out about a third of the European population in the middle of the fourteenth century, caused profound economic and environmental change, Forbes notes.

    Air pollution from lead dropped to a historic low, an analysis of an ice-core from a Swiss-Italian glacier has shown.

    And the fact that many of the rich landlords died meant the serfs (the ones who survived, anyway) could become free, Forbes says. Land became cheaper, wages increased, and many people who were previously poor managed to get some wealth.

  8. Ebay 'breaks July sales records due to Amazon Prime day'

    Ebay piggybacked on an Amazon marketing event and managed to break July sales records, Bloomberg Technology reports.

    The online auction site ran an advertising campaign that contrasted it with Amazon's Prime day - a sales promotion day for Prime customers.


  9. Trump Jr meeting: Russia lobbyist confirms attendance

    Controversy surrounds Donald Trump Jr's meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya
    Image caption: Controversy surrounds Donald Trump Jr's meeting with Natalia Veselnitskaya

    A Russian-American lobbyist also attended a meeting last year that has embroiled President Donald Trump's son in the Russia inquiry, it has emerged.

    Rinat Akhmetshin told AP news agency he went to the meeting at which Donald Trump Jr was promised Kremlin-linked material about Hillary Clinton.

    "I never thought this would be such a big deal, to be honest," Mr Akhmetshin told the AP.

    Congress is asking the president's son to publicly testify about the meeting.

    Read more here.

  10. Brexodus of the banks

    With the news that Barclays is in talks to expand its presence in Dublin to maintain access to the EU market after Brexit, here's a non-exhaustive look at what financial services firms have said about Brexit relocation:

    BNP Paribas may move up to 300 London investment bank staff due to Brexit a source told Reuters.

    Citigroup will need to move 100 posts in its sales and trading business.

    Credit Agricole, France's third-biggest listed bank, could relocate about 100 employees from its London hub to France out of 1,000 based there in the case of a "hard" Brexit, its chief executive said.

    Deutsche Bank warned on 26 April that up to 4,000 UK jobs could be moved to Frankfurt and other locations in the EU as a result of Brexit - the highest potential move of any bank.

    US bank Goldman Sachs is considering moving up to 1,000 staff from London to Frankfurt.

    HSBC sees the chances of a hard Brexit receding after Britain's shock election result, which could result in fewer jobs moving out of London, its investment bank chief said.

    It had previously said it would relocate around 1,000 people to Paris.

    JPMorgan Chase has agreed to buy a Dublin building with room for 1,000 staff.

    Lloyds Banking Group is close to selecting Berlin as a European base.

    US bank Morgan Stanley has identified many of the roles that will need to be moved from Britain after Brexit, sources told Reuters. The bank, which bases the bulk of its European staff in Britain, will have to move up to 1,000 jobs in sales and trading, risk management, legal and compliance, as well as slimming the back office in favour of locations overseas.

  11. ITV 'closing in on naming Carolyn McCall as chief exec'

    Carolyn McCall

    ITV's preferred choice to take over as chief executive is Easyjet's Carolyn McCall, the Guardian reports.

    Former ITV boss Adam Crozier left at the end of June.

  12. Cheeki Rafiki deaths: Yacht firm boss guilty of safety breach

    Douglas Innes ran Stormforce Coaching, the company responsible for the Cheeki Rafiki
    Image caption: Douglas Innes ran Stormforce Coaching, the company responsible for the Cheeki Rafiki

    The head of a yacht firm has been found guilty of failing to ensure the safety of a yacht which capsized in the Atlantic with the loss of four lives.

    Douglas Innes had been responsible for the Cheeki Rafiki, which lost its keel 700 miles off Nova Scotia in May 2014.

    His company Stormforce Coaching was also convicted of the same charge.

    The jury at Winchester Crown Court was unable to reach verdicts on four manslaughter charges against Innes and was discharged.

    Read more here.

  13. Burnishing relations


    Things haven't been too cosy between London-listed mining group Acacia (owned by Canada's Barrick Gold) and the Tanzanian government recently.

    There's been a stand-off over the amount the foreign company pays for the shiny stuff it digs out of the ground in the east African nation, Africa's fourth biggest gold producer.

    In March the government slapped a ban on the export of raw metals.

    And the president has piled on the pressure, accusing the firm of "theft" and evading taxes and royalties by undervaluing its production in the country.

    Today Acacia has said it will comply with government requirements "to minimise further disruptions to our operations" which will involve paying higher royalties of 6% instead of 4% as well as a recently imposed extra 1% clearing fee on exports.

    Over the last year Acacia's shares have fallen from more than 500p to 280p. But today they're only down 0.39% on the day.

  14. Jamie Dimon says US 'bureaucratic, confusing, litigious'

    Jamie Dimon

    Jamie Dimon, the chief executive of JPMorgan, sounded off in a conference call with analysts earlier today.

    He said: "If this [Trump] administration can make breakthroughs on taxes, on infrastructure, regulatory reform… we have become one of the most bureaucratic, confusing, litigious societies on the planet."

    He added that it was "almost an embarrassment being an American citizen travelling around the world" and listening to what people have to deal with.

    "At one point we all have to get our act together or we won’t do what we're supposed to do for the average Americans.

    "And unfortunately people write about the thing [regulatory and tax reform] like it’s for corporations. Its not for corporations. Competitive taxes are important for business and business growth which is important for jobs and wage growth. And honestly we should be ringing that alarm bell every single morning, every time you talk to a client.”

  15. Canadian Channel Tunnel Rail link owners sell out

    St Pancras

    Two leading Canadian pension fund investors have agreed to sell their stakes in a Britain's High Speed 1 rail link to a consortium of funds.

    HICL Infrastructure will take a 35% stake, and the National Pension Service of the Republic of Korea will take a 30% share in the Channel Tunnel rail link.

    Funds managed by Equitix will take the remaining 35%.

    The deal was struck with Borealis Infrastructure, the infrastructure investment manager of Omers, the pension plan for Ontario's municipal employees, and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, which has held its stake since 2010.

    HS1 operates the 109km high-speed rail line connecting London St Pancras International station with the Channel Tunnel, under a 30-year concession agreement with the UK Secretary of State, signed in 2010.

  16. Barclays' Dublin office staffing 'in the low hundreds'

    Barclays has said it is in talks with Irish regulators over the possibility of expanding its Dublin operation after Brexit to maintain EU market access.

    The BBC understands that Barclays will hire staff locally rather than transplanting them from London, and the number of hires will be in the low hundreds.

    Barclays said: "Barclays delivers a broad range of products and services to clients across most of the major economies in Europe at present - we value these relationships and our priority is to minimise disruption and preserve our clients’ ability to continue to transact with Barclays.

    "While we remain confident of continued deep inter-linkages between EU and UK financial services markets, in the absence of certainty around the timing and composition of an agreement, we intend to take necessary steps to preserve ongoing market access for our customers."

    The timing of the announcement is interesting.

    In a letter on 7 April, Prudential Regulation Authority boss Sam Woods said all firms with cross-border activities between the UK and the rest of the EU should “undertake appropriate contingency planning for the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, in light of the UK Government’s decision to trigger Article 50” - with responses welcome by 14 July.

  17. Russia says too many US spies work in Moscow

    Red Square

    Russia says that too many American spies operate in Moscow under diplomatic cover.

    It says it might expel some of them to retaliate against the US over Washington's expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats last year.

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova says:

    "The number of staff at the U.S. embassy in Moscow exceeds the number of our embassy employees in Washington by a big margin. One of our options, apart from a tit-for-tat expulsion of Americans, would be to even out the numbers."

    "There are too many employees of the CIA and the Pentagon's espionage unit working under the roof of the American diplomatic mission whose activity does not correspond at all with their status," she added.