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Summary

  1. Bitcoin trades above $17,200
  2. UK inflation edges higher to 3.1%
  3. Brent crude falls 1.6%
  4. Westfield in $25bn takeover
  5. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night!

    BBC testcard

    That's it for Tuesday on Business Live. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 tomorrow.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis from the business world.

  2. Bitcoin falls back

    Bitcoin

    After looking set to break through the $17,500 level, Bitcoin has fallen back slightly to be just over $17,200 according to Coindesk.

    "It's remarkable how back in November $10,000 seemed like a psychological end-of-year target," says Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM.

    "With the current gravity-defying bullish momentum, it may be no surprise if bitcoin concludes 2017 on $20,000."

  3. New highs for Wall Street

    NYSE

    The Dow and S&P 500 pushed to fresh records Tuesday, with financial stocks especially strong amid progress in Congress on the tax cut plan and expectations for higher interest rates.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose about 0.5% - its third consecutive record finish.

    The broader S&P 500 added 0.2% - also a third straight record - but the Nasdaq Composite Index dipped 0.2%.

  4. Glencore on target

    Glencore has updated investors on its targets as analysts backed the mining giant to capitalise on the growing demand for electric cars.

    The FTSE 100 firm expects profits of about $2.8bn (£2.1bn) at its commodities trading arm for 2017, with chief executive Ivan Glasenberg saying Glencore was confident in its ability to create "superior returns" for investors.

    Michael Hewson, CMC Markets chief market analyst, branded Glencore's turnaround as extraordinary.

    "Glencore's position as a commodity trader is also likely to reap benefits from the recovery in prices particularly where demand for metals like cobalt is concerned which is a key component in lithium batteries, along with nickel and zinc which have outperformed this year," he said.

    Analysts are expecting demand for lithium to rise as it is crucial to the production of electric cars.

  5. Funding woes

    Broken piggy bank

    Only 41% of small businesses have been able to find adequate funding to invest and boost their productivity, according to research by merchant banking group Close Brothers.

    Of those that did get funding - whether from banks, personal loans or specialist lenders – a third felt it was not enough for their investment plans. A further 24% felt that the type of funding they had used was too expensive.

    “Low productivity is dragging on economic growth in the UK and improving productivity is vital, particularly as the UK prepares to leave the EU," said Adrian Sainsbury, managing director of Close Brothers.

    "Given their importance to the economy, small businesses should be central to any productivity gains the country makes."

  6. Mark Hamill tells us why he said yes

    The UK premiere for Start Wars: The Last Jedi is currently going on in the Royal Albert Hall in London.

    Mark Hamill tells BBC Radio 5 Live why he couldn't say no to reprising his role as Luke Skywalker.

    View more on twitter
  7. How much space will £100 of rent buy you?

    Bradford residential area

    Spending £100 a month on rent in London secures floor space equivalent to a small garden shed, compared with nearly five times that in parts of northern England, new research shows.

    Data released to BBC News shows cheaper properties to rent in the capital "simply don't exist", letting agents said.

    Agents said people were compromising on where they live to make ends meet.

    Read more here.

  8. Deliveroo and UberEats restaurant clients face new rules

    A Deliveroo driver in London

    Westminster City Council is to force restaurants to seek planning permission if they heavily use food delivery apps.

    Businesses will face formal enforcement if their deliveries reach too high a volume and disturb local residents.

    Local cabinet member Daniel Astaire said the services will lead to "traffic chaos" in London if left unchecked.

    The council recently ordered a Nando's outlet to stop deliveries through the apps after it received more than 25 complaints about noise and congestion.

  9. Canada to buy Australia's used fighter jets

    A Royal Australian Air Force F-18 Hornet

    Canada says it will buy used Australian fighter jets as a stop gap to replace aging military aeroplanes, while it consults with aircraft manufacturers before launching a formal bid for 88 new jets in 2019.

    US manufacturer Boeing had a deal with the Canadian government to provide 18 Super Hornets, but the deal fell through when Boeing filed a trade complaint against Canadian firm Bombardier in order to try to keep Bombardier's C Series aeroplanes out of the US market.

    The move resulted in massive customs being levied on Bombardier jets.

    Boeing will be disqualified from bidding, and the successful firm must agree to a special clause promising to cause Canada "no economic harm".

  10. Women 'struggling' owing to pension age change

    Kevin Peachey

    Personal finance reporter

    Waspi campaigners in Cornwall

    Women who are receiving their state pension later than they expected have been forced to cut back financially, rely on their husbands or sell their homes, a campaigner says.

    Sarah Pennells, founder of the SavvyWoman website, surveyed women born between April 1950 and October 1954 who are affected by the gradual change in the state pension age from 60 to 66.

    The findings, she says, show that a quarter had to keep working longer than they had expected to, although the government argues that they were kept informed. A fifth had to dip into savings, the survey also suggested.

    You can read a summary of the so-called Waspi campaign here.

  11. Uber rival Lyft starts Toronto operations

    US ride-hailing firm Lyft has launched a service in Toronto in an expansion of its battle with larger rival Uber.

    Lyft markets itself as a cuddlier version of Uber, which is facing investigations by governments around the world, including in Canada, over its cover up of a massive 2016 data breach.

  12. Bitcoin hits record $17,300

    Bitcoin logo

    Crypto-currency Bitcoin has hit a record high of $17,300 on the Bitstamp platform.

    The decentralised currency has spiked since Chicago-based derivatives exchange Cboe Global Markets launched Bitcoin futures late on Sunday.

    This was the first time investors could get exposure to the bitcoin market via a large, regulated exchange.

  13. Rail passengers 'misled' over festive tickets

    Liverpool Street station

    Rail firms have been "misleading" customers by selling tickets for services over Christmas despite knowing they will not run, a watchdog says.

    Other customers were not told their trips would be disrupted by engineering works, Transport Focus added.

    Six rail companies also failed to release advanced purchase tickets for the festive period 12 weeks ahead.

    Read more here.

  14. Pepsi reserves 100 Tesla electric trucks

    Tesla electric truck

    Soft drink manufacturer Pepsi has reserved 100 of Tesla's electric trucks - the biggest public pre-order to date.

    Tesla's shares were up 2.4% to $336.88 on the news.

    Pepsi joins the ranks of Walmart, JB Hunt and food service distribution firm Sysco, which have made much smaller orders in single digits to test the technology out.

  15. Toni & Guy founder dies aged 75

    Giuseppe Toni Mascolo

    Giuseppe Toni Mascolo, co-founder and chief executive of hairdressing salon chain Toni & Guy, has died aged 75.

    Mr Mascolo died on Sunday, surrounded by his family.

    The Italian-born hairdresser established the first of the famous salons in Clapham, south London, in 1963 with brother Gaetano, known as Guy.

    The company went on to achieve global success and Mr Mascolo credited it with influencing scores of celebrity trends.

  16. Ryanair pilots to strike before Christmas

    Ryanair

    Ryanair passengers face disruption to their Christmas travel plans after pilots and crew announced industrial action in a bid to win union recognition and better conditions.

    In Ireland, 79 pilots based in Dublin will strike for one day on 20 December.

    The airline, which does not recognise unions, said they represented about 28% of its Dublin-based captains.

    Ryanair pilots and cabin crew in Germany, Italy and Portugal also plan action.

  17. UK shares rise to highest in a month

    London Stock Exchange

    UK shares have risen to their highest in a month.

    The FTSE 100 has closed slightly ahead, up 0.6% or 46.9 points at 7500.41, boosted by rising oil prices and the retreating pound, despite inflation rising to its highest in six years.

    The index was led by credit reporting firm Experian, up 2.5% to £16.04 after its stock was upgraded by Exane BNP Paribas to "outperform".

    The biggest loser was Morrison Supermarkets, down 4.47% to trade at 211.5p on news that it lost further market share in the 12 weeks to 3 December, thanks to competition from discount supermarket retailers.

    Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 ended slightly ahead, up 0.04% to 20073.02.

    Hikma Pharmaceuticals led the winners, up 4.4% to £10.73, while the top loser was Polymetal International, down 3.5% to 837p.

  18. Saudi Arabia to raise energy prices

    Riyadh

    Saudi Arabia's cabinet has decided to hike electricity and fuel charges in a bid to counter lower oil prices on the world market, according to state news agency SPA.

    To compensate citizens for the hike, in a first the Saudi government approved compensation for about 3.7 million families, which covers 13 million of the country's 20 million population.

    Expatriates working and living in the kingdom have been excluded from the cash transfer programme, which is to begin next week.

  19. Fears grow across the Atlantic over Brexit fallout

    Kamal Ahmed

    Economics editor

    UK and US flags

    Nearly all the possible trading relationships between Britain and the European Union following Brexit would be less favourable than staying in the European Union, according to an influential US think tank.

    The Rand Corporation study said the worst option would be a "no deal".

    That would leave the UK economy 4.9% poorer by 2029.

    "No deal" would also have a negative effect on the EU economy, but it would be "relatively minor".

    Read more here.

  20. Big Issue offshoot fighting against unfair lending

    Big Issue seller

    The social investment arm of The Big Issue has given £1m to ethical lender Fair For You, which is seeking to change the way money is loaned to low income families.

    Instead of unfair high-interest loans, the idea is to give low income families access to affordable credit through flexible repayment plans.

    "We believe that having to purchase a fridge, cooker, cot or bunk beds on credit should not mean you pay several times what other people do just because they can pay outright," said Fair For You's chief executive Angela Clements.