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Live Reporting

Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    That's all from the Business Live page for tonight. Please join us again tomorrow from 06:00.

  2. Harvey adds to concerns over debt US debt ceiling

    Steve Mnuchin

    US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says that the impact of Hurricane Harvey could bring forward the deadline by which the nation's debt ceiling needs to be raised.

    "We obviously have now the hurricane spending, which is an issue. So that's going to have some impact on our September spending," Mnuchin said in a interview with broadcaster CNBC.

    "I think in terms of when it's going to hit the debt ceiling, again I think there could be some impact of a couple of days."

    The US government has a statutory limit on how much money it can borrow to cover the budget deficit that results from Washington spending more than it collects in taxes. Only Congress can raise that limit.

    Mnuchin told Congress in July they needed to raise the debt limit by 29 September, otherwise the US government might not have enough money to pay all its bills.

  3. Wall Street closes up after tax reform hopes

    US stocks have closed higher as investors reacted to economic data and were buoyed by Washington's latest promises for long-awaited details of a tax reform plan.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 59.92 points, or 0.27%, to 21,952.35, the S&P 500 gained 13.94 points, or 0.57%, to 2,471.53 and the Nasdaq Composite added 60.35 points, or 0.95%, to 6,428.66.

  4. Macron fronts up to the unions

    Emmanuel Macron

    Emmanuel Macron is a brave man.

    The French president is effectively taking on the unions through his proposed overhaul of the country's notorious labour code.

    France's unemployment rate is 9.5% so Macron wants to encourage small businesses to negotiate contract terms and conditions directly with their employees without union involvement.

    He also wants to cap the cost of firing employees by limiting court awards for unfair dismissals as well as making it easier for multi-national companies operating in France to cut staff.

    Jean-Luc Melenchon, the leader of the far left France Unbowed said it was a "social welfare coup d'etat" and called for a mass march.

  5. Nestle shuts Swiss factory


    Nestle is closing a Swiss factory which makes products for its skin health business, with the loss of 190 jobs.

    Nestle Skin Health said it will close the Egerkingen factory in northern Switzerland, where it makes Daylong sun cream and products for dry skin.

    It said production costs at the site had been rising because volumes were low and the factory was not running at full capacity.

  6. Wall Street ahead on tax comments

    US stocks have extended gains after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said President Donald Trump's administration has a detailed plan on tax reform and is still on track to execute the agenda by the end of this year.

    With about an hour to the closing bell, the Dow Jones is up 0.3%, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are both up 0.57%.

    Wells Fargo, which has revealed yet more fake bank and credit card accounts - 1.4 million, in fact - is down 1.2%.

    Another faller is Campbell Soup, down 7% on disappointing trading news. The company's move into more healthy and organic products looks to be failing to offset slower sales of its core products.

  7. Sir Philip dismisses Field's BHS claims

    Sir Philip Green

    So what did Frank Field say during his Talk Radio interview last week to elicit such a furious reaction from Sir Philip Green?

    The MP claimed to have new details about the collapse of the department store chain BHS that would prove uncomfortable for the businessman.

    Says the Top Shop owner's letter in response: "You seem intent on continuing your personal and bitter attacks against me, making allegations, in my view wholly without substance".

    Your move Frank.

  8. Sir Philip Green issues legal warning to Frank Field

    Frank Field
    Image caption: Frank Field has been a vocal critic of Sir Philip's role in the BHS pension saga

    Will Sir Philip Green and Frank Field MP ever find some common ground? Not likely.

    The retail billionaire and former owner of BHS has sent the chairman of the Work and Pensions Committee a strongly worded letter following an interview on Talk Radio that the MP gave discussing the businessman.

    Sir Philip tells Mr Field to expect a letter from his lawyers "which you should read very very carefully in order that you clearly understand the content and the seriousness of your actions".

  9. Warren says Fed should act over Wells Fargo

    Democratic US Senator and consumer champion Elizabeth Warren pulls no punches in her condemnation of Wells Fargo, which has just uncovered 1.4 million new bogus bank and credit card accounts.

    Every board member who served during this "unbelievable scandal" should go, she says.

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  10. Alleged bank hacker remanded in custody

    A British man has appeared in court accused of masterminding a wave of cyber attacks against Lloyds Banking Group and Barclays.

    Daniel Kaye, 29, was extradited from Germany this week after he allegedly orchestrated the assaults in January.

    During a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Kaye stood accused of nine charges under the Computer Misuse Act, two of blackmail and one of possession of criminal property.

    Kaye, formerly of Egham, Surrey, but with duel British and Israeli citizenship, was extradited back to Britain on Wednesday under a European Arrest Warrant following an investigation involving the NCA's German counterpart the Bundeskriminalamt.

    Crown Court District Judge Tan Ikram remanded Kaye in custody until a further hearing on 28 September.

  11. A date for your diary

    Technology giant Apple has set 12 September for a big announcement. It's not saying exactly what will be announced, although the smart money is on an unveiling of the next-generation iPhone.

    A third generation of the Apple Watch and a 4K-supporting Apple TV are also rumoured to be among the upcoming announcements.

    Announcement invitation
  12. Crisis, what crisis?

    It's all smiles as Uber founder Travis Kalanick (left) and board member Arianna Huffington introduce new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi to staff.

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  13. Google critic fired

    An outspoken critic of Google has been fired from a US think tank that gets most of its funding from the search giant.

    The New America Foundation sacked Barry Lynn for "imperilling the institution", reports the New York Times.

    At the foundation, Mr Lynn headed the Open Markets group that welcomed efforts to rein in technology giants.

    But the think tank said it had fired Mr Lynn for flouting its rules on openness and "institutional collegiality".

    Google said it funded many groups and respected each one's independence even when it disagreed with what they said.

  14. European share markets up

    FTSE 100 graph

    The FTSE 100 closed up 0.89%, or 65.4 points, at 7,430.6. The main risers were a mixed bag, with Mediclinic, Anglo American, Hargreaves Lansdown, Whitbread and Shire all ending more than 2% higher.

    G4S and St Jame's Place, both ex-dividend, where the biggest fallers - down 3.2% and 1.45% respectively.

    In Frankfurt, the Dax ended 0.44% ahead at 12,055.8 points. In Paris, the Cac closed 0.58% up at 5,056.3, with supermarket giant Carrefour shedding 13.8% following a profits warning.

  15. More train trouble

    A South West train

    A fresh wave of rail strikes will be launched on Friday amid bitter disputes over the role of guards and driver-only trains, with the threat of industrial action also looming over the industry's newest franchise holder.

    Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union at Southern, Merseyrail and Arriva Rail North will walk out on Friday and Monday, while Merseyrail workers will also go on strike on Sunday. The Southern dispute started more than 16 months ago, with the RMT taking more than 30 days of strike action.

    Meanwhile, RMT members on the new South Western Railway franchise are to be balloted for strikes, just days after the operator took over the running of services from London Waterloo.

    The union said the company, a consortium of the First Group and Hong Kong-based MTR, had failed to give assurances over the future of guards.

  16. The worst may not be over for India's economy

    Growth rate slows to 5.7% as new sales tax confuses firms

    Sameer Hashmi

    BBC India business reporter

    "The latest economic growth figure clearly shows that the economy is still to recover from the cash ban that was introduced last year. Investments and consumption have seen a sharp drop, with medium and small-sized businesses still struggling.

    "India's economic growth figure does not take into account the performance of small businesses and the unorganised sector, which constitute more than 50% of total economic output in India. These segments were the worst hit after the cash ban. That means the slowdown may be even more severe than these latest figures suggest.

    "But the worst may not be over for India's economy. The new Goods and Services Tax, which came into effect in July, has completely overhauled the way businesses pay tax. Many small firms are still finding it difficult to adapt - and that will delay investments and expansion plans.

    "The World Bank and IMF have projected India's economy to grow by more than 7% in 2017. But with the latest figures coming in, that target looks difficult to achieve."

  17. Lyft's race with Uber moves up a gear

    Lyft and Uber logos

    US-based ride-hailing company Lyft is expanding the service to an additional 32 states, as it looks to take market share from its main rival Uber.

    Lyft will now offer rides in 40 states. "This means that 94% of the US population (287 million people) will have access to a Lyft - now the largest geographic footprint of any ridesharing service in the US," the company said in a statement.

  18. Canada growth exceeds forecasts

    Canada's economy grew 4.5% in the second quarter of 2017, the government statistical agency says.

    Analysts were expecting 3.1% growth during the period from April to June, but strong consumer spending and a surge in exports boosted the results.

    It came after growth of 3.7% at the start of the year, when the economy roared back to life to jump ahead of Canada's G7 peers after years of relative stagnation.

    By comparison, US gross domestic product grew 3% in the latest quarter.

  19. Hyperloop pod sets high speed record

    Elon Musk
    Image caption: Tesla boss Elon Musk had an idea for a hyperloop in 2013

    Tests of the futuristic hyperloop transport system have managed to propel one of its pods at 355km/h (220mph).

    The tests establish a new record for the technology only days after a separate prototype hit 324km/h.

    Hyperloop puts pods in an airless tunnel and seeks to accelerate them to very high speeds to cut travel times for freight and passengers.

    Backers of the hyperloop idea claim that eventually the pods will travel at speeds of about 1,000 km/h.

    The idea for the version of the hyperloop transportation system currently being developed was floated in 2013 by Tesla boss Elon Musk. This week saw the first tests of prototype carriages or pods on a one mile long test track near Los Angeles. A pod made by a German student team came top in this competition.

  20. Wise Warren Buffett

    Warren Buffett

    Warren Buffett has again demonstrated why his prescience earned him the moniker the Sage of Omaha.

    The billionaire investor was asked on CNBC yesterday about the spotlight being put on Wells Fargo, where Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is the largest investor with almost 10%.

    Wells Fargo, America's third largest bank, has faced an avalanche of criticism (and fines) in recent months over the disclosure it set up fake bank accounts.

    "What you find is there's never just one cockroach in the kitchen when you start looking around," Buffett told CNBC on Wednesday.

    Today, the bank announced it had uncovered another 1.4 million phoney accounts, bringing the total to up to 3.5 million.