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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Pound falls on weak September retail sales
  3. Interserve warns on profits, shares plunge
  4. UK banks to be probed over South Africa links

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

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    Thank you for reading Business Live today.

    Please join us again on Friday from 6.00am onwards for all the breaking business and economics news.

  2. Watch: Why Camden wants to host Amazon's HQ

    US cities seeking to bid for Amazon's second headquarters will need to submit their proposals by the end of Thursday.

    Amazon plans to invest $5bn (£3.8bn) and create 50,000 new jobs at the new headquarters, which will be a "full equal" to its Seattle base.

    Video content

    Video caption: Amazon wants US cities to bid for its second major HQ
  3. Twisting the knife?

    Vanity Fair's Maya Kosoff has an interesting take on what a decision by Google-owner Alphabet to lead a $1bn fundraising in Lyft really means.

    View more on twitter
  4. Wall Street flat at close

    US stock market trader

    The three key US stock indexes were little changed on Thursday.

    The Dow Jones edged ahead by 8 points or 0.03% to 23,165.65, taking it marginally ahead of Wednesday's record close.

    The S&P 500 was up by 0.84 or a point or 0.03% at 2,562.10.

    And the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 19 points or 0.29% at 6,605.07.

    Shares in Apple, closed 2.4% lower amid speculation about tepid demand for the iPhone 8 (see earlier posts).

  5. 'We will take this country to the next level'

    BBC World Service

    The Gambia's new president issued an official call for Gambians living abroad to come back to the country, to set up businesses and investments. The BBC's Marie Keyworth talks to one young farmer, returning from the US to start a business, who tell us that he's not alone; many of his peers feel the attraction of the country's freedom and investment potential, and are determined to fuel the country's growth.

    Video content

    This content only works in the UK.

  6. Republicans to pave way for 'massive tax cuts'?

    BBC World Service

    Donald Trump

    President Trump says he believes Republicans in the US Senate will today approve a budget measure that'll make it easier to bring in sweeping tax cuts later this year, reports BBC World Service.

    If passed, this initial measure will mean later tax legislation can be approved by a simple Senate majority, rather than the 60 votes out of 100 that it currently needs. Republicans currently hold 52 seats.

    Mr Trump's proposed overhaul - which he calls the largest tax cuts in US history - will include a drop in the corporate tax rate and income tax cuts for most earners. He says it will make taxes fairer.

    But the Democrats say it's a giveaway to the rich and warn that it would increase the federal deficit.

    View more on twitter
  7. Apple investors 'sensitive to any speed bumps'

    iPhone 8

    Daniel Ives, chief strategy officer at research house GBH Insights says that investors are very sensitive to any wrinkles in new iPhone launches.

    "The street is hyper-sensitive to any speed bumps around this next iPhone cycle and (that) speaks to the knee-jerk reaction we are seeing in shares."

    He says: "iPhone 8 demand has been naturally soft out of the gates with the main event being the iPhone X launch in early November. (But) this is the early innings of what we believe is the biggest iPhone product cycle with X leading the way."

  8. Video content

    Video caption: Dutch PM Mark Rutte: More details needed from UK

    Dutch PM Mark Rutte: More detailed needed from UK

  9. Demand for iPhone 8 'anemic'

    iPhone 8

    It looks like rumours of weak appetite for the iPhone 8 have been fanned by Joe Natale, chief executive of Canada's Roger Communications.

    He said demand for iPhone 8 and 8 Plus had been "anemic". Meanwhile Verizon's chief financial officer Matt Ellis also said that the number of phone upgrades during the third quarter were lower compared to previous years.

    However, Mr Ellis says he expects good demand for the iPhone X which will be released at the beginning of November.

  10. Apple shares fall on iPhone jitters

    Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller
    Image caption: Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller introduces the new iPhone X

    Speculation of tepid demand for Apple's new iPhone 8 has sent its share price down 2.85% to $155.20.

    The company weighed on the wider Nasdaq index which is trading down 26.80 points at 6,597.42.

    "Apple has its impact across the board," said Phil Blancato, head of Ladenburg Thalmann Asset Management.

    He pointed to the company's decision to stagger the launch of its new smartphones - the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus went on sale on 22 September and the iPhone X is released on 3 November.

    "The marketing plan here was not a lot to be desired, considering you have two phones and the next one is just two weeks away from release. If it's going to be a significant upgrade, it did not make any sense to me," he says.

  11. Air Berlin and EasyJet 'close to' plane deal

    Air Berlin and EasyJet aircraft

    Air Berlin and EasyJet are close to announcing a deal over up to 25 A320 aircraft.

    Germany's BZ Media and Bild report that a sale of the Air Berlin aircraft to EasyJet could be announced as soon as Friday.

  12. Oil prices fall

    Oil rig

    Oil prices fell on Thursday with Brent down 1.4% at $57.35 a barrel.

    West Texas Intermediate is off 1.2% at 51.64 a barrel.

    Analysts said that higher than expected fuel inventories in the US, according to the Energy Information Administration, continued to weigh on prices. They also suggested that investors had chosen to take profits.

  13. Once more unto the breach

    SpaceX

    SpaceX will try to launch new satellites into orbit after an attempt last year ended in an explosion.

    Space Communications of Israel has signed a deal with SpaceX to launch two communication satellites. The first, Amos-17, will be sent into orbit in 2019 on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

  14. BA sorry for bed bugs on plane

    Bed bug

    British Airways has apologised to a Canadian family after they were bitten by bed bugs on an overnight flight.

    Heather Szilagyi was flying from Vancouver to London with her eight-year-old daughter and fiancé earlier this month, CTV reported.

    After spotting the bugs, Ms Szilagvi complained to the flight attendant but was told she could not change seats.

    She said she and her daughter woke up the next morning covered in bug bites.

    Read more here.

  15. Interest rate rise 'an open question'

    Sir Jon Cunliffe

    Sir Jon Cunliffe, deputy governor of the Bank of England, has described the timing of an interest rate rise as "an opening question".

    While the economy is growing and unemployment is falling, Sir Jon says: "We are not seeing pay pressure and for me we are not seeing sustained signs of domestic inflation pressure.”

    He adds: “The inflation we have is coming from abroad from that depreciation (of the post-Brexit vote pound)."

    There are expectations that the Bank of England could raise the interest rate in November.

    Here's how members of the Monetary Policy Committee stand on voting next month, according to Barclays.

    MPC vote
  16. Zurich 'explores Endsleigh sale'

    Swiss insurance group Zurich is searching for buyers for its Endsleigh business, according to Sky News.

    It says that Zurich has hired investment bankers from firm Evercore to examine a sale.

    Sky reports that the talks are at an early stage.

  17. United Continental shares sink

    More on United Continental.

    Shares in the airline group are down 11.71% at $60.00.

    The company gave an disappointing outlook on fourth profit margins which analysts said means the business will trail its rivals.

    United Continental's chief executive Oscar Munoz said the airline had "dug itself into a hole" in terms of competition and said: "It’s about regaining our competitive advantage."

    United Continental share price
  18. $50 oil price is 'fair', says Putin

    Vladimir Putin

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says that actions taken by Saudi Arabia, Russia and other oil-producing nations have helped prices.

    He said: "We have coordinated our position with the OPEC countries... and the price has been stable at over $50. We consider this to be a fair price, which suits us." Putin said at a forum with scholars.