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Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon and Lucy Hooker

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good Night

    BBC Testcard

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

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

  2. Cinemas hope the force is strong

    Stormtroopers at the ODEON Luxe Putney in London

    That's just about it for today's live page coverage.

    If you're off to the pictures this evening, and in particular if you're heading to see the new Star Wars film, you won't be alone.

    At least that's the fond hope of cinema owners.

    After a subdued year, cinema owners are hoping that Star Wars: The Last Jedi will finish 2017 with a bang.

    In 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens sold $538m worth of tickets in its opening few days.

    According to Deadline Hollywood The Last Jedi will not match that performance, but will do well:

    "First reactions from the Los Angeles premiere on Saturday were ecstatic, and there is little in the way of this movie at theaters around the world."

  3. Wall Street closes higher

    Wall Street at Christmas

    US shares pushed higher on Wednesday, after the US Federal Reserve announced it was raising interest rates and Republicans said they were close to clinching a tax deal.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Averagehas ended the day 0.33% higher, that's a gain of around 80 points, at 24585.43.

    The broader S&P 500however was lower on the day. It closed at 2,662.85, that's a fall of 1 point or 0.05%.

    Tech stocks were also in positive territory. The Nasdaq ended at 6,875.80, up 13 points or 0.2%.

  4. Yellen says Fed steering away from cryptos

    Zoe Thomas

    US business reporter

    My BBC colleague in New York has been listening to Janet Yellen's responses on matters broader than just the rate rise.

    View more on twitter
  5. Deal or no deal?

    President Trump

    Of course the buoyancy of US stocks today may have just as much to do with indications that Republicans are on the brink of finalising a tax bill that would cut corporate tax rates dramatically.

    It's not clear that a final deal has actually been struck, with i's dotted and t's crossed though.

    President Trump is saying he'd back a corporate tax rate of 21% (20% was discussed previously) - a big cut from the current 35% headline rate.

    And it looks as though the top individual income tax rate would come down from 39.6% to 37%.

    No-one is waving a piece of paper with the final version inked on it yet, but Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch told reporters: "I think we've got a pretty good deal".

  6. Going to plan

    Economist, author and commentator, Mohammed El-Erian is tweeting about the rate rise. He's impressed with how the Fed has followed through on promises.

    View more on twitter
  7. US markets take rate rise in stride

    Dow Jones chart

    The rate hike - plus the predictions for 2018 of further rate rises - were widely expected, a factor reflected on the US markets.

    The Dow Jones is 0.52% higher than it was at this morning's opening.

    But financials have taken a hit.

    Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo all traded lower.

  8. Fed: Tax cuts key to higher economic growth forecasts

    Natalie Sherman

    New York business reporter

    Janet Yellen

    Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is commenting on the decision to raise rates.

    She says the package of tax cuts being debated in Congress was one of the key factors that led the Fed to boost its outlook for economic growth.

    Some Fed members have been factoring in expectations of those changes for some time, she added. She said they expect increased consumer spending, among other effects, but there remains "considerable uncertainty" about the impact

  9. 'On the road to monetary policy normalisation'

    “Today’s hike is another step on the US's road to monetary policy normalisation," according to Andrew Wilson, Co-Head of Fixed Income and EMEA CEO of Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM),

    He thinks upcoming Fed Governor Jerome Powell's job will not be straightforward, but he will likely mirror outgoing Fed Chair Janet Yellen's "well telegraphed and gradual approach"..

    "Market expectations for US monetary policy are in our view too dovish, creating room for a pick-up in market volatility should the current Fed trajectory for rate hikes be recalibrated higher.

    "Investors will be watching closely to see whether the Fed will be reactive to signs of higher inflation or pause to reassess its inflation outlook.”

  10. Fed rate rise: Key points

    • As expected rates were raised by a quarter of a percentage point
    • Policymakers still foresee three more hikes in 2018
    • Fed officials upped their growth forecasts for coming years
    • Vote on today's increase was 7-2
  11. This time it's different

    More from Lazard's Mr Temple...

    He thinks the Fed has a challenge on its hands: It needs to achieve the inflation target of 2%, not undermine the middle class consumer recovery and mitigate systemic risks.

    "These goals can be achieved, but they will require the Fed to focus on actual data more than theoretical models and to appreciate fully the degree to which this recovery differs from prior experience," he said.

  12. All eyes on 2018

    US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen

    To Ronald Temple, Head of US Equities at Lazard Asset Management, today's interest rate rise by the Fed is not really a big deal.

    “Today’s rate hike and the dot plot are non-events - what really matters is who is appointed to the Federal Reserve Board in 2018 and what that means for policy," he said.

    "In 2018, the voting membership of the FOMC changes and there are three vacant seats - four if you include Yellen’s - to be filled. These changes could materially shift the direction of monetary policy."

  13. FTSE 100 ends barely changed

    Little reaction to sluggish wage growth

    London Stock Exchange

    The FTSE 100 ended barely changed, despite news that average earnings are rising at 2.5% a year were still lagging behind inflation.

    Shares in Tui the travel company, rose marginally, as investors were encouraged by a 12% rise in annual profits but worried by the news that its customers in the UK were looking to spend less on cheaper holidays.

    Dixons Carphone was the biggest winner on the FTSE 250, with a 6.5% gain. Investors have looked at the company's latest results and clearly seen things they liked - even though they showed a 60% fall in pre-tax profits.

    The prospect of higher interest rates in the US helped UK financial shares which were among the best performers. HSBC Holdings was up 1.6%.

    Oil, as measured by the price of Brent crude fell 1.5%, as news emerged that the US oil stocks, not to mention production, were on the rise.

  14. Volatility could return in 2018

    Woman working in automobile factory

    Jake Robbins, global equities fund manager at Premier Asset Management, thinks today's interest rate rise is unlikely to move financial markets significantly, but 2018 will be another story.

    "The future pace of rate rises will very likely be decided by inflation, and could bring some volatility back to markets that seem to have forgotten what that is," he said.

    "If we continue to see an economic environment with steady, if unspectacular, growth and subdued inflation, then interest rates will creep up in a similar manner to this year – conditions that will likely be relatively supportive for financial markets.

    "However, if inflation does begin to rise as the very low rates of unemployment suggest that it should, then a much faster pace of interest rate increases than expected could be much more disruptive for financial assets, particularly those equities and bonds trading at historically very high valuations."

  15. US economy 'on track to a fully recovery'

    Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer at Close Brothers Asset Management, thinks that the interest rate rise shows that the US economy is "back on track to a full recovery".

    "We are near full employment, domestic growth has been strong and the economy is benefitting from a synchronised global recovery," she said.

    "With an additional fiscal package in the form of tax reform to come, the stage is set for Jay Powell to continue to tighten monetary policy with the potential for further rate rises next year.

    "Productivity is the next key challenge – as it is globally. If tax reform will help accelerate capital expenditure, we could see the holy grail of improving productivity and wage growth in the future."

  16. BreakingUS Federal Reserve raises interest rate range to 1.25-1.5%

    US Federal Reserve

    The US Federal Reserve has raised the target interest rate range to 1.25%-1.5%, and says there will be three rate increases in 2018.

  17. 'Horrendous' WTO meeting

    Jamie Robertson

    Business reporter

    EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom
    Image caption: EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom: "Horrendous" meeting in Buenos Aires

    Things are not looking that chipper at the World Trade Organisation Talks in Buenos Aires.

    "Horrendous" is how the EU Commissioner in charge of Trade describes it.

    Cecilia Malstrom tweeted: "Members cannot even agree to stop subsidising illegal fishing. Horrendous. The EU tried really hard, but destructive behaviour by several large countries made results impossible. How did we end up here?"

    Will there even be a joint ministerial statement?

    The US put the kybosh on one before the conference even started by objected to the draft drawn up in Geneva. It doesn't like references in it to the WTO's central role in the global trading system and to trade as a driver of development.

    WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell is putting a brave face on it but he was hardly brimming with confidence.

    He said: "There still seems to be significant gaps. Whether they can find wording that can bridge those gaps I don't know,"

  18. Greece approves extradition request over bitcoin fraud case

    Alexander Vinnik

    Greece's supreme court has upheld a decision by a lower court to extradite a Russian businessman to the US on charges of money laundering using a bitcoin exchange.

    Alexander Vinnik, the operator of digital currency exchange BTC-e, is accused of using the exchange to facilitate computer hacking, fraud, identity theft and drug trafficking, according to the Financial Times.

    Mr Vinnik, who was arrested in July while on holiday in Greece, denies all wrongdoing.

    Russia has also requested he be extradited on fraud charges, and its request has been accepted by a different Greek court, so it is not known which country he will be extradited to.

  19. Trump says 21% is the number he wants

    Donald Trump

    President Donald Trump says that he would accept and sign a bill if the corporate tax rate listed was 21%.

    The White House has previously said it preferred a 20 percent tax rate for corporations, down from 35 percent at current levels.

    "If it got down to 21 ... I would be thrilled," he said. "We haven't set that final figure yet."