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Summary

  1. Uber wins London appeal
  2. FTSE 100 closes higher
  3. Oil prices jump on US Iran threat
  4. Carpetright reports £70.5m loss
  5. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

Good night!

That's all from us here at Business Live for today - thanks for reading.

As always we are back bright and early at 6am tomorrow, so do join us then.

US stock markets close higher

US stocks closed higher on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 30.31 points at 24,283.11.

The S&P 500 ended 6.14 points ahead at 2,722.79 and the Nasdaq gained 29.62 points at 7,561.63.

Thirsty work...

No wonder there's a beer shortage: 21 tonnes of lager fell off a truck on the M8 in West Lothian this afternoon.

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Jack Daniel's to cost a bit more

Jack Daniel's
Reuters

Spirits fans may need a drink after the news that the maker of Jack Daniel's plans to raise prices in some European countries in response to EU tariffs on US bourbon.

The price of a bottle of Jack Daniel's or Woodford Reserve whiskey is set to rise by about 10%, Brown-Forman said.

It is the latest US company trying to cushion the impact of the EU's 25% tariffs on American goods, including bourbon, motorcycles and jeans, in response to US tariffs on steel and aluminum.

Louisville-based Brown-Forman controls its own distribution in about two-thirds of its overseas business. In the markets where the company uses third party distributors, such as Belgium and Italy, price decisions will be made by them, the company added.

Uber: 'Something has changed'

Uber app
Getty Images

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones gives his view on the decision to renew Uber's London licence:

So in the end the humility strategy worked. When Transport for London denied Uber a new licence last September, the company responded aggressively promising to see the regulator in court over its anti-competitive ruling. But by the time this week’s hearing started it was in full retreat.

TfL had been right last year, we did behave badly, but please believe we’ve changed and give us just an 18 month licence - or maybe just 15.

For much of the hearing, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot seemed deeply unconvinced: Uber had shown a gung-ho attitude, determined to grow its business come what may.

She wanted reassurance that the people who’d been responsible for statements of questionable honesty in the past had gone and that the culture really had changed. But for the arrival of the “impressive” Laurel Powers-Freeling as chairman, Arbuthnot might have been disinclined to grant a new licence.

So Uber is now free to continue operating in a very important market - but on probation with Transport for London watching its every move.

A taxi driver who sat through the hearing was unimpressed - “three strikes and you’re in” he told me, explaining that Uber had repeatedly misled the courts and the regulators but had got away with it.

But something has changed. Uber once thought it could go round the world ignoring local rules - now other cities may follow London in attempting to clip its wings.

The $45bn car tariffs bill

Buick car
Reuters

Donald Trump's threat of imposing tariffs of up to 25% on imported cars would cost American consumers $45bn a year - or $5,800 per vehicle, a trade body warns.

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, which represents General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and other major car makers, will file written comments with the US Commerce Department this week, a spokeswoman said.

"This tariff would hit American consumers with a tax of nearly $45bn, based on 2017 sales. This would largely cancel out the benefits of the tax cuts," she said.

Consumers would also face higher costs of imported parts when buying vehicles from both US and foreign car makers, the Alliance spokeswoman added.

Unions welcome Uber verdict

Uber app
Reuters

Union leaders have reacted with relief after Uber was granted a short-term operating licence in London.

Mick Rix, national officer of the GMB union, said: "The devil will be in the detail but it's quite clear now that Uber has been forced to change its ways. However shiny their technology, no operator can be above the rules or flout decent employment practices."

James Farrar of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain said: "This decision will come as a relief to our members whose livelihoods were put at risk by gross mismanagement at Uber. However, workers will be disappointed that Uber's continued refusal to obey UK employment law and its laissez-faire approach to workplace violence against drivers was not considered by TfL when challenging the company's fitness to hold a public licence."

Clark's 'labour mobility' call

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg comments on this tweet from Times deputy political editor Sam Coates:

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Tech stocks boost Wall Street

Karamo Brown
Getty Images
Karamo Brown appears in the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye

After some big falls yesterday, technology stocks are higher in New York today: Apple is up 1.8%, Amazon rose 1.9% and Netflix gained 4.6%.

General Electric is more than 8% higher and on track for its biggest one-day rise in more than three years after the company said it would spin off its healthcare business and sell its stake in oil services company Baker Hughes.

The Dow is up 0.45% and the S&P is 0.5% higher, while the Nasdaq has added 0.7%.

"We're still in a tug-of-war between daily twists and turns of a potential trade war and the reality of a strong underlying US economy," said Brent Schutte at Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management.

Judge: Uber was 'gung-ho'

Uber sign
Reuters

Explaining her decision, Westminster Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot criticised Uber's past "gung-ho" behaviour as "grow the business come what may".

The judge also said the company painted a "false picture" of its processes during previous court battles and "tried to whip up public outcry" after Transport for London's decision by launching a "public attack" rather than accepting blame.

Labour's London Assembly transport spokesperson, Florence Eshalomi, said it was reassuring that Uber had taken "some action to clean up their act" and warned it would be closely monitored.

'Sense has prevailed'

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock has welcomed the Uber ruling:

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'Same old Uber'

Black cab tweeters aren't very happy with the Uber decision:

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Uber 'pleased'

Uber app
Reuters

Tom Elvidge, Uber's UK general manager, said: "We are pleased with today's decision. We will continue to work with TfL to address their concerns and earn their trust, while providing the best possible service for our customers."

Khan: Uber 'on probation'

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, says Uber has been been put on probation.

"Their 15-month licence has a clear set of conditions that TfL will thoroughly monitor and enforce," he said.

"As a result of us standing up for Londoners, Uber has been forced to overhaul the way it operates not just in London but across the world, including completely changing its global governance structures and implementing new systems for reporting alleged crimes.

"No matter how powerful and how big you are, you must play by the rules."

BreakingUber wins appeal

Uber app
Getty Images

Uber has won its appeal against the loss of its London licence.

The ride-haiing service has been granted a 15-month short term licence and must comply with a list of conditions.

It will also pay Transport for London's costs of £425,000.

Brent jumps

Oil pump
Getty Images

Brent crude has jumped 1.7% to $76.02 in the past hour or so after the Wall Street Journal reported that the US expects all countries to reduce oil imports from Iran to “zero” by early November or face sanctions, according to a senior US State Department official.

The Journal said buyers of Iranian crude had expected the US would give them time to cut their oil imports over a longer period, but that may not be the case.

US oil has jumped even more, up 3.1% higher at $70.20.

Bebb's Galileo doubts

A Galileo satellite
Reuters

The European Union's stance on satellite navigation system Galileo - Europe's version of GPS - after Brexit raises questions about the UK's future security relationship with the bloc, defence minister Guto Bebb said.

A row over Galileo has become the latest flashpoint in Brexit negotiations after London accused the EU of shutting British businesses out of the project before Britain's exit next year. The EU has said it is honouring the existing laws.

"I think it undoubtedly raises questions," Mr Bebb told a Commons committee. "I think the United Kingdom government has been very clear over our desire to be involved for the benefit of both parties. In terms of future cooperation, there is no doubt that a continuation of the Commission's line on this issue will raise question marks onto the way in which we can work together in the manner ... comparable with what we do with Nato partners."

BreakingFTSE ends higher

Carnival ship
Getty Images

The London market has ended 0.4% higher at 7,537 points, making up some of yesterday's losses.

Cruise operator Carnival was the top riser, up 3.1%, after double-digit declines on Monday, while British Airways owner IAG was the biggest faller, shedding 3.3%.

Paris and Frankfurt closed lower, however, but Madrid and Milan were in positive territory.

Saudi plans oil export boost

Saudi Arabia is planning to pump a record amount of crude next month in a bid to bring down oil prices, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed sources.

State oil company Saudi Aramco is aiming to boost production next month to about 10.8 million barrels a day, the report said.

Saudi Aramco did not respond to a request for comment.

I may not have what he's having...

More on the CO2 crisis (aka Beer Fear) from ITV News consumer editor Chris Choi:

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Off the menu

Carluccio's restaurant
Carluccio

The collapse of Hummus Bros is the latest in a long list of restaurant chains to fail.

Last week, upmarket restaurant chain Prescott & Conran, founded by Sir Terence Conran, went into administration, putting more than 168 jobs at risk.

Carluccio's was also recently given approval for a restructuring programme that could see it close dozens of restaurants, putting 500 jobs in doubt.

They follow the decision by chains including Byron, Prezzo and Jamie's Italian to close outlets in a bid to stem losses.

Hummus Bros collapses

Another casual dining chain bites the dust: Hummus Bros is the latest restaurant to fall into administration.

The Mediterranean food chain had six outlets in London, but collapsed due to rising property costs and a fall in sales after 13 years in business.

The company said it had tried to find other sources of revenue, but its efforts failed to keep the business afloat.

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'Staggering' travel costs for FPC members

Bank of England
Getty Images

The Bank of England has spent "staggering" sums on ytravel for two members of its Financial Policy Committee, a Tory MP said.

Between them, US-based external committee members Anil Kashyap and Donald Kohn had accumulated £390,000 in travel expenses over two-and-a-half years, said Simon Clarke, a Conservative member of the Treasury Committee.

He asked the new chair of the Bank's court of directors, Bradley Fried, whether it was a "sensible use" of resources.

"I can certainly say that my constituents would be gobsmacked to hear that Mr Kashyap for example [had] one return flight from Chicago to London for a meeting in February this year that cost £11,084.89," Mr Clarke said.

Mr Fried said Mr Kohn and Mr Kashyap had made "tremendous" contributions to the FPC, but added: "I hear exactly what you say". The Bank wold consider the issue, Mr Fried added.

The FPC monitors the stability of the UK's financial system.

GE jumps

GE logo
Reuters

Shares in General Electric have soared 8% in New York after the conglomerate announced plans to sell its healthcare business and its controlling stake in the Baker Hughes oil services company.

The industrial giant, which has just been removed from the list of 30 companies that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average, said the moves would make it "simpler and stronger".

The disposals, which follow a year-long strategic review, mirror changes that Wall Street analysts had called for a year ago.

Shares in GE have halved in the past 12 months and are trading at $13.77, valuing the company at almost $120bn.

Beer fear - or cider crisis?

Cans of beer
Reuters

Booker, the food wholesaler that supplies businesses across the UK, has started restricting the supply of cans of beers and cider to its customers because of the carbon dioxide shortage.

Pubs, bars and cafes are being restricted to 10 cases of beer each by Booker - which is now owned by Tesco, lest we forget.

Will panic on the streets ensue? Are you worried about beer running out in the middle of the World Cup? Get in touch! bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweet me.

BreakingWall Street rebounds

US flag
Getty Images

US markets have opened higher, with technology stocks leading a turnaround - a day after the S&P 500 posted its biggest one-day loss since early April on fears of an escalating trade dispute between the United States and other major economies.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 24,281 points, while the S&P was 0.2% at 2,722.1 points and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3% to 7,553.7 points.

'UK is an excellent place to do business'

In the wake of warnings from car makers such as BMW about the consequences on the UK car industry of a no deal Brexit, BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed tweets:

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Uber awaits London decision

Uber app
Uber

A judge is considering whether to give Uber a "probationary" operating licence in London after the ride-hailing app was punished over safety concerns.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot has retired to rule on whether the company is "fit and proper" to hold the permit in the capital in an appeal over Transport for London's (TfL) refusal.

The Silicon Valley giant told Westminster Magistrates' Court it had made "serious mistakes" and that TfL was correct in its September decision, but argued it had made "wholesale" reforms in the following nine months.

Uber had been seeking a five-year licence when TfL rejected the application, but today told the hearing it would accept one for a 15-month "probationary" period with the restrictions agreed with TfL.

FTSE 100 remains in positive territory

FTSE graph
BBC

The FTSE 100 has remained positive today, and is currently trading at 7556, up 48 points, or 0.64% on the day.

The FTSE 250 has fared slightly less well, and is up just 0.12%, or 25 points, at 20,799.

Carnival leads the climbers in the FTSE 100; it's up 3.6% at 4,367.

What is CO2 used for and why is there a shortage?

Bottles of coke
Getty Images

The CO2 crisis may have come as a bit of a shock to some of us, but CO2 is widely used in the food processing and drinks industries.

It puts the fizz into beer, cider and soft drinks, and is used in food packaging to extend the shelf life of salads, fresh meat and poultry.

A lot of CO2 is created as a by-product from ammonia production that is used in the fertiliser industry. Other sources are bio-ethanol plants.

However, a number of big mainland European fertiliser plants closed down for routine maintenance. And in the UK, only two of five plants that supply CO2 are operating at the moment.

It's a case of bad timing that several plants wound down operations together, just as demand for food and drink was being ramped up by the good weather and football's World Cup.

Read the full background to the current crisis...

May; 'We are listening to the business voice'

Theresa May
AFP

Theresa May has today failed to condemn Boris Johnson's use of foul language to criticise business concerns over Brexit, but did say that companies should be listened to,

Johnson was quoted by the Daily Telegraph brusquely dismissing business leaders' concerns about the impact of Brexit.

"We want to make sure we are listening to the business voice," May said at The Times CEO Summit.

"Business is at the heart of how we are going to develop this country," she added.

Ofcom approves BBC Scotland TV channel

BBC Scotland building
Jeff J Mitchell

Media regulator Ofcom has given final approval to BBC plans for a dedicated Scotland TV channel which will lead to the creation of 140 new jobs.

It will have an annual budget of £32m and will start broadcasting next year.

Full story here

EU Withdrawal Bill officially becomes law

EU flag at Westminster
AFP/Getty

The government's flagship Brexit legislation has officially become law, Speaker John Bercow has announced.

Mr Bercow told MPs the EU Withdrawal Bill had received royal assent - meaning the Queen has agreed to make it into an Act of Parliament.

The legislation enables EU law to be transferred into UK law in an attempt to ensure a smooth Brexit.

Fancy buying an island?

Little Pipe Cay
Knight Frank

It's pretty sunny in the UK right now, but if you fancy moving to somewhere with permanent year-round sunshine then you're in luck.

Property firm Knight Frank is advertising a private island in the Central Bahamas which it says has been used in Bond films and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Little Pipe Cay is yours for a mere £65m.

If that's a bit too pricey, then you can always head to Brighton for the afternoon.

Kenyan man jailed for selling cat meat for samosas

Michael Kaloki

Nairobi

Kittens
PA

A man in Kenya has pleaded guilty to selling cat meat to traders in one of the country's largest towns.

James Kimani appeared before a court in Nakuru and pleaded guilty to selling cat meat to unsuspecting samosa traders in the town.

For the charge of slaughtering an animal illegally for human consumption, the court ruled that Mr Kimani will serve two years in prison or pay a $2,000 fine. For the charge of slaughtering an animal at an undesignated place the court fined Mr Kimani $500.

Nakuru, one of the country's largest towns, is a bustling agricultural trading area. There is concern that the suspected cat meat could have been distributed, sold and consumed in various parts of the town.

Samosas are generally quite popular in Nakuru and other towns in the country.

Carnival shares cruise back up

Carnival share graph
BBC

Cruise operator Carnival is leading the FTSE-100 charge today with its shares rising almost 5%.

But that follows yesterday's 9% slump - its biggest one-day drop since January 2012.

The Florida-based company, which operates Costa and Princess brands, cut its full-year earnings outlook on Monday, which led to the share sell-off.

GE to spin off healthcare division

GE hard hats
Reuters

General Electric has announced plans to spin off its healthcare business and divest its oil services company Baker Hughes.

The resulting company will focus on power, aviation and renewable-energy.

The move comes at the end of a year-long restructure overseen by chief executive John Flannery.

We will continue to improve our operations and balance sheet as we make GE simpler and stronger

John FlanneryChief Executive Officer

Uber ruling expected this afternoon

BBC tech correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones is primed and waiting for the Uber ruling - only another five hours to go.

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