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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Business criticises Brexit White Paper
  3. FTSE 100 closes 0.8% higher
  4. Former Barclays trader found guilty of Euribor rigging
  5. Asos shares sink on sales miss
  6. Fiat workers strike over Ronaldo signing

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

Good night!

BBC testcard
BBC

That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 6am on Friday.

Do join us then for all the latest news and views from the wonderful world of business.

J&J damages decision

A Missouri jury has found Johnson & Johnson liable in a lawsuit filed by 22 women who alleged its talc-based products, including J&J Baby Powder, contain asbestos and caused them ovarian cancer, and ordered the company to pay $550m in compensatory damages.

The jury also unanimously decided to award punitive damages, the amount of which will be decided during a second stage of the trial.

The trial was the largest case that J&J has yet faced over allegations that its talcum powder products cause cancer.

The verdict in the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis came down after a five-week trial during which jurors heard testimony by nearly a dozen experts.

BreakingJustice Department makes Time Warner move

The US Justice Department said it would appeal a federal judge's approval of AT&T's $85bn takeover of Time Warner.

The Justice Department opted in June not to seek an immediate stay of the court's approval of the merger, allowing it to close on 14 June.

The government's court filing did not disclose on what grounds it intends to challenge the approval.

AT&T did not immediately comment.

UK nears Boeing deal

A Boeing E-7 Wedgetail owned by the Royal Australian Air Force
RAAF
An RAAF Boeing E-7 Wedgetail

The UK government is close to a deal to buy as many as six Boeing surveillance planes, Reuters reports.

The UK is looking to replace its six ageing E-3D Sentry airborne early warning jets, and a deal for a fleet of Boeing E-7 Wedgetail jets would be worth more than £750m.

However, Airbus is considering a legal challenge as it wants to stop the contract from being awarded without a full competition open to European companies.

BreakingNasdaq hits new high

NYSE
Getty Images

US markets ended higher on Thursday as big technology stocks hit record highs, sending the Nasdaq to a new record high, while industrials rebounded, offsetting concerns about a US-China trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 225 points, or 0.9%, to 24,925.9, the S&P 500 gained 24.3 points, or 0.9%, to 2,798.33 and the Nasdaq Composite added 107 points, or 1.4%, to 7,823.9.

Amazon jumped 2.4%, while Alphabet was up 2.6%. Apple rose 1.7%, making it worth $951bn - $150bn more than Microsoft, which at one point recently was threatening to overtake the iPhone maker.

BreakingMore Ryanair strikes called

Ryanair plane
PA

Ryanair's Irish pilots are planning another two one-day strikes on 20 and 24 July, a spokesman for the IALPA/FORSA union said.

About 30 of Ryanair's 2,300 flights were cancelled on Thursday as around 100 of the airline's Irish pilots held their first strike.

Presidents Club trustees 'surprised'

Helen Stephenson, Charity Commission chief executive
GOV.UK
Charity Commission chief executive Helen Stephenson

More on the Charity Commission's report into the Presidents Club.

Helen Stephenson, the commission's chief executive, said: "The allegations made about the event were entirely at odds with what we would expect from any charity when raising funds for such important causes. Our report should serve as a warning to others that raising funds for charity does not absolve trustees of their legal duties or moral responsibilities."

However, the Commission admitted that its call for information did not result in anyone coming forward with allegations of harassment or improper behaviour.

A representative for the trustees said: "We are also surprised at both the report's muted acknowledgement of the fact that not a single complainant has come forward since the FT's article was published, and at the weight of credibility it gives to the FT's reporting of the 2018 dinner.

"The core issues investigated by the Charity Commission in coming to its conclusions concern perceptions rather than any proven facts. We, as trustees, have never and would never condone the sort of alleged behaviour described in the FT article."

The trustees said they recognise the findings set out in Charity Commission's report and intend to "comply fully with the regulatory action plan contained in the report".

Facebook plugs privacy loophole

Facebook logo
AFP

Facebook has had to close a privacy loophole that enabled anyone to discover the names and personal details of users in closed Facebook groups.

The privacy bug was discovered by Andrea Downing, the moderator of BRCA, a members-only Facebook group for women that have a gene mutation associated with a higher risk breast cancer, CNBC reports.

Ms Downing discovered that she could use a Chrome browser extension to download the names and personal details of all the members of the group, even though the group was closed.

The group was listed as closed, but not private, because BRCA wanted other women to be able to find it, and apply to join the group.

Ms Downing contacted cyber-security researcher Fred Trotter, who discovered that he too could harvest any information he wanted from outside closed Facebook groups, even without the browser extension.

The pair informed Facebook, which removed the ability to view member lists of closed Facebook groups at the end of June.

Presidents Club trustees censured

Dorchester Hotel
PA
The Presidents Club event was held at the Dorchester Hotel on Park Lane in central London

The trustees of the Presidents Club, a controversial black-tie event mired in sexual harassment allegations, have been censured by the Charity Commission.

A report by the Commission found "significant failures" at the Charitable Trust, and that the trustees were in breach of a number of "key charity law duties".

It follows a Financial Times investigation in January exposing alleged instances of sexual harassment at the now-defunct club's most recent event at The Dorchester hotel.

"The trustees failed fully to recognise or address risks to the reputation of the charity - and its purpose of raising money for good causes - arising from holding an all-male event staffed by female-only event staff, who were subject to instructions on their appearance, including that they wear 'smart, sexy shoes'," the report said.

Hostesses at the dinner, hired by an agency, were allegedly told to wear black underwear and "sexy" black shoes for their shift.

The regulator added that trustees' failure to put in place "clear or adequate procedures and policies" to deal with harassment or improper behaviour at the event was in "stark contrast" to the measures they took to protect the privacy of the guests.

Trump golf course 'destroyed' dunes

Donald Trump on his Aberdeenshire golf course
Reuters

Donald Trump's north east golf course has "partially destroyed" the specially protected site it was built on.

That is the conclusion reached in a draft monitoring report by the government watchdog, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH).

The findings have been released to the BBC under freedom of information, as the president prepares to visit the UK.

The assessment dates from 2016 but SNH has delayed a decision on downgrading the site from special status.

BiFab 'effectively closed' claims GMB union

Workers at a BiFab yard
PA

The GMB union has described what it called the effective closure of the BiFab yards in Fife and Lewis as a "dark day" for the Scottish economy.

It comes after further redundancies were confirmed, leaving seven staff being offered part-time positions to oversee maintenance and security.

New Canadian owners, DF Barnes, said they were working tirelessly to secure new engineering contracts for BiFab.

Twelve senior managers will be retained, the union has said.

The company had a core workforce of 400 and a further 1,000 contractors.

'It’s very disappointing'

Lloyd's of London chief says the government's Brexit White Paper fails the financial services sector.

Inga Beale told the BBC the White Paper would see the 300-year old insurance market go "full speed ahead" to set up its subsidiary in Brussels - and spur others on as well.

Lloyd's of London chief executive Inga Beale criticises Brexit White Paper

Cambridge Analytica staff set up new firm

Auspex website
Auspex

Former staff from scandal-hit Cambridge Analytica (CA) have set up another data analysis company.

Auspex International will be "ethically based" and offer "boutique geopolitical consultancy" services, according to its website.

CA was shut down by its parent company, SCL Elections, which itself faces criminal charges over failure to supply data when requested.

Auspex will work in the Middle East and Africa initially.

Stolen sensitive drone files sold on dark web

Tanks in a live fire test
Reuters

Sensitive documents about US military drones and manuals describing how to handle insurgents have been offered for sale on the dark web.

Cyber-security company Recorded Future said some of the data had been stolen from a US Air Force captain's computer.

The cache includes maintenance guides for MQ-9 Reaper drones and many training manuals for troops deployed outside the US.

Police are now trying to track down the hacker who stole the files.

Reality Check: What does the Brexit White Paper reveal?

The new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab unveiled the White Paper on Thursday
PA
The new Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab unveiled the White Paper on Thursday

The government has published its long-awaited Brexit White Paper. The document is 104 pages long and follows last week's Chequers agreement which set out the sort of relationship the UK wants with the EU after Brexit.

The White Paper is split into four chapters: economic partnership, security, cooperation and institutional arrangements. Most of the debate surrounds the first section, the future economic relationship.

So here are the key excerpts from the chapter on "economic partnership" and what they mean.

Tech stocks hit record highs

Wall Street traders
Getty Images

Tech stocks are now hitting record highs.

Shares in social network Facebook have climbed about 2% to an all-time high of $206.35, while Amazon stocks are up 1.8% to a record $1,785, and Microsoft has climbed 2.2% to a record $104.29.

Google owner Alphabet has risen 2.3% to $1,198.30, which is not far from its record $1,198.96 on 20 June, while Apple stocks are up 1.7% to $191.09.

Netflix on the other hand has slid 1.5% to $412.34 following a downgrade from UBS, despite topping all other TV networks for Emmy nominations.

The sacrifice at heart of May’s Brexit deal

Kamal Ahmed

Economics editor

A Jaguar F-Type car
JLR
Jaguar makes the F-Type at its Castle Bromwich factory in Birmingham

It seems the government has made a calculation. If there is no agreement on regulatory alignment on goods, chaos at the ports - and economic damage - could ensue.

Essential supply chains - such as those used to produce millions of cars - will be disrupted.

And there will be no solution to the "no hard border" on the island of Ireland. That has to be headed off.

On services, the risks are less clear. In sectors such as finance, law and legal - Britain is a global leader, the government says.

As such, its services enjoy high levels of global demand and the government believes Britain can make progress on services trade deals outside the EU,

Read more from Kamal here.

Norwegian posts surprise profit

Chris Johnston

Business reporter, BBC News

Norwegian plane
Norwegian

Norwegian Air Shuttle posted a surprise quarterly profit on Thursday, wrong-footing analysts who had expected a big loss as the low-cost airline burns through cash in its drive for growth.

They had been expecting a net loss of about 428m kroner, but instead it posted a second quarter net profit of 300m kroner (£28m).

"Despite being at the peak of our growth phase, we have been able to present a profit and decreased unit costs during the second quarter," Norwegian said.

Revenue rose by almost a third to nearly 10.3bn kroner, a record high, in the second quarter, while costs fell 9%.

Shares jumped in Oslo following the surprise profit.

London closes slightly ahead

London Stock Exchange
Getty Images

London shares have closed slightly ahead, as a rise in financial and consumer stocks offset investor worries over a trade war between the US and China.

The FTSE 100 ended 59.4 points or 0.8% higher to 7,651.33. Top of the winners was biopharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca, which rose 3.5% to $54.34 following news the firm has teamed up with 4D Molecular Therapeutics to develop lung disease gene therapies.

The FTSE 250 closed 137.5 points or 0.7% ahead to 20,779.77, led by IT supply chain company Computacenter, which jumped 9.3% to £15.02 after raising its full-year expectations.

Two senior traders convicted in Euribor rates rigging trial

Euro bank notes
Getty Images

Two former senior bankers have been convicted of manipulating the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (Euribor) between 2005 to 2009 at the height of the financial crisis.

“The jury has decided that Phillipe Moryoussef, alongside Christian Bittar who pleaded guilty before the trial began, dishonestly manipulated Euribor. In doing so, they damaged trust in an important system which sets the rates for $180 trillion worth of financial products," said Serious Fraud Office (SFO) director Mark Thompson.

“They were senior figures who abused their positions for personal gain and to advantage the banks they worked for.”

Phillipe Moryoussef was a trader formerly with Barclays Bank, while Christian Bittar was a former principal trader at Deutsche Bank.

SFO says the two convicted traders conspired together to submit false or misleading Euribor submissions to benefit their positions and change the published rate.

Today, the jury could not reach verdicts on Carlo Palombo, Colin Bermingham and Sisse Bohart, formerly of Barclays Bank. The SFO is deciding whether it wants to retry these three individuals.

Another former Deutsche Bank employee Achim Kramer was found not guilty by a jury on 29 June.

'Trump Baby' balloon banned from Turnberry

Trump baby balloon
PA

A giant balloon depicting Donald Trump as a baby will not be allowed to fly over his Turnberry golf course, police have said.

The Trump Baby balloon has already been given permission to fly over central London during the US president's visit to the UK.

But Police Scotland refused a request for the 6m (20ft) high balloon to also take to the skies over the golf course.

Mr Trump is expected to play at Turnberry on Saturday.

Wall Street slightly ahead

A man walks past the New York Stock Exchange
Getty Images

Wall Street shares have been slowly advancing today, as rises in technology and industrial stocks due to optimism from earnings results have helped to offset fears about a worsening US-China trade war.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently 175.4 points or 0.7% ahead to 24,875.85, led by networking technology giant Cisco, which has risen 1.8% to $43.35.

The S&P 500 is 14 points or 0.5% up to 2,788.11. Top of the winners is CA Technologies, which has jumped an epic 18.1% to $43.96 on the news that it is being acquired by chipmaker Broadcom.

And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 69 points or 0.9% higher to 7,787.07, led by CA Technologies and Texas Instruments, which is up 3.8% to $116.05.

Both sides of the channel 'need to come to the table'

City of London skyline
get

UK Finance, the trade association for the British banking and financial services sector, has said there is no reason why the UK and the EU can't build a new arrangement that preserves some of the "benefits of close alignment", without sacrificing political and regulatory autonomy.

As the UK remains a key financial centre in Europe, UK Finance wants to see both British and negotiators for the 27 EU countries come to the table to ensure that an agreement enabling "meaningful cross-border market access in financial services" is secured in the limited time remaining.

"As today’s paper makes clear, simply relying on existing equivalence arrangements will not provide financial institutions with effective market access that enables them to serve their customers," said UK Finance's chief executive Stephen Jones.

"The Government is right to want to propose a new economic and regulatory arrangement which seeks to strengthen and expand the current third country regime."

Apologies for the radio silence

Apologies for the radio silence over the last hour - we experienced a technical error that was also affecting many other BBC live blogs across the website.

Regular transmission has resumed.

Build-A-Bear 'pay your age' offer abandoned amid 'chaos'

People queuing for a Build a Bear promotion in Bury, Greater Manchester
@TheRockbury on Twitter

A cheap teddy offer which left shoppers with young children queuing for up to eight hours amid chaotic scenes has been abandoned over "safety concerns".

Build-A-Bear Workshop was offering UK customers a chance to buy any bear, which can cost up to £52, for the price of their child's age.

At Leeds' White Rose Shopping Centre police were called when queues of "about a mile long" formed.

The company said the response had been "overwhelming and unprecedented".

Construction wants clarity on Brexit

A man building a house
Getty Images

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has responded to the publication of the government's Brexit white paper, and like other organisations, it too wants more clarity.

In particular, the FMB wants to see a clarified approach on post-Brexit visa rules relating to migrant workers as soon as possible.

"For the many construction SMEs who are currently facing severe skills shortages, the certainty they need is that access to skilled EU workers will not be drastically cut-off," said the FMB's chief executive Brian Berry.

“The UK construction sector is more reliant than average on migrant workers from Europe – at present, 9% of our construction workers are from the EU. In London, this rises to nearly one third."

He added that almost 60% of British firms are now struggling to hire bricklayers and nearly as many are facing difficulties finding carpenters.

"Without access to EU workers, there is a real possibility that skills shortages will further intensify. This will threaten the delivery of new housing and have a knock-on effect on growth across the wider economy," he said.

'A make or break summer'

UK and EU flags fly outside the Houses of Parliament
Getty Images

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI), which represents 190,000 businesses, has welcomed the publication of the UK government's Brexit white paper.

But while the CBI feels the direction is welcome, especially the desire for a free trade area for goods and a common rule book, it still feels that all sides get on with it, to complete negotiations in time.

"There are gaps in these proposals and more detail is needed on EU VAT, some services sectors and the new customs system. It will be a make or break summer. It’s vitally important UK negotiators get their heads down and work with businesses to grapple with the detail and get it right," said CBI's director general Carolyn Fairbairn.

“With three months left to go, it is now a race against time. The EU must now engage constructively and flexibly, as must politicians from all UK parties. This is a matter of national interest. There’s not a day to lose.”

Sky responds to regulatory approval

Sky logo and a Sky box remote
PA

Sky has responded to the news that the UK government is giving Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox regulatory approval to buy the 61% stake in the satellite broadcaster it does not already own.

Sky said it welcomes the statement from the Secretary of State for Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Now that the government has confirmed that concerns raised over media plurality have been addressed, Sky is now able to put both offers from 21st Century Fox and Comcast to Sky's shareholders.

Michelin buys Camso for $1.45bn

Camso tractor treads
Camso

French tyre maker Michelin has acquired Canadian off-the-road material manufacturer Camso for $1.4bn.

Camso specialises in making tracks and treads for tractors and all-terrain vehicles.

"Michelin will benefit from all of Camso's skills in the off-the-road mobility markets and Camso from the full range of Michelin's expertise in the specialty markets," said Michelin chief executive Jean-Dominique Senard in a statement.

Michelin said it hopes to create a "world leader" in the off-the-road sector with this acquisition.

Good afternoon

Air Force One lands in London Stansted Airport
Getty Images

Thanks Dearbail for this morning's live coverage of all things business.

Mary-Ann Russon with you until 21:30 for the rest of the day's news and views.

Here's a picture of Air Force One, the plane of US President Donald Trump, landing at London Stansted Airport earlier today.

Got a point of view? You can also tweet me at @concertina226 and @BBCBusiness.

Questions over freedom of movement

Passport control
Getty Images

The Institute of Directors (IoD) says the White Paper "puts some vital meat on the bones" of the Chequers plan.

"More specifics on its proposed customs arrangements, and its proposed free trade area in goods with the EU will be welcomed by business leaders," says Stephen Martin, the IoD's director general.

However, he adds, the government "has missed a trick" by holding back on detail in areas such as VAT arrangements.

“But the biggest question mark looms over what will replace freedom of movement," he says.

"The government is right to prioritise an ambitious scheme on labour mobility with the EU, but businesses need to work from concrete proposals.

"We would urge the government to bring forward its plans for post-Brexit migration, which should be at the heart of our future economic partnership with Europe."

Brexit paper: 'Time is short'

Container truck
Getty Images

The head of the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called the Brexit White Paper a "welcome starting point for businesses, but warned that the UK and EU need to get a move on.

“At last, businesses have a more comprehensive understanding of the government's aspirations for the UK's future relationship with the European Union." said BCC director general Dr Adam Marshall.

"Momentum and pace are now needed to translate ambition into answers to the real-world, practical questions that businesses face.

"Even with the welcome direction of travel in the White Paper, companies still don't know how they'll be paying VAT, how they can move people between offices, or whether goods will get across borders with a minimum of fuss.

"It is incumbent on the two sides to work pragmatically and productively on the nuts-and-bolts detail of the future relationship over the coming weeks, drawing on business experience and expertise.

"Time is short - and for businesses, it's results that count."

'More work is required'

The EEF manufacturers' organisation also calls the White Paper "a further step forward".

"We are pleased with the focus on a simple movement of goods, the protection of the integrated supply chain and a lack of friction at the border," says Stephen Phipson, the EEF's chief executive.

"However, more work is required. It is clear that the UK has taken a very positive and constructive step forward today and we call upon the EU to respond in kind, for the benefit of all.

"We also repeat our request to all sides that business must play an active role in the discussions and support negotiations over the summer and autumn."

Brexit paper 'is a good step forward'

Flags
Getty Images

ADS Group, a trade organisation that represents the aerospace, defence, security and space industries, says that the government's White Paper "marks a good step forward in addressing businesses’ concerns".

Chief Executive Paul Everitt says: "There is now little time left before the UK leaves the EU to reach the comprehensive agreement for a smooth Brexit we need to avoid the disruption of no deal.

“We hope the EU will respond positively to this White Paper as a basis for further detailed discussions and we urge negotiators on both sides to work together to reach solutions that protect jobs and investment.”

Brexit plan is 'regrettable and frustrating'

Miles Celic, chief executive TheCityUK, is also disappointed with the government's plan for post-Brexit UK-EU relations.

He says: "The overriding issue for financial and related professional services firms is the ability to continue serving customers and clients. Mutual recognition would have been the best way to achieve this.

"It’s therefore regrettable and frustrating that this approach has been dropped before even making it to the negotiating table.

"In hundreds of discussions across the EU, the industry has never come across an unanswerable technical or commercial barrier to this approach. The EU’s objections have always been political."

Brexit white paper is 'a blow' says City

Canary Wharf skyline
Getty Images

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, says the white paper describing the UK's plans for relations with the EU after Brexit is "a real blow for the UK’s financial and related professional services sector".

She says: “With looser trade ties to Europe, the financial and related professional services sector will be less able to create jobs, generate tax and support growth across the wider economy. It’s that simple.

Ms McGuinness adds: “Time is running out so it is essential that the pace of negotiations accelerates to ensure an orderly Brexit.

"Both sides should engage constructively to deliver a deep and comprehensive relationship covering services, not just goods, for the benefit of consumers and citizens across Europe.”

Rio Tinto sells copper mine stake

Copper mine
Getty Images

Rio Tinto has agreed to sell its stake in the Grasberg copper mine in Indonesia to the country's state-owned firm Inalum for $3.5bn.

Rio Tinto's share price rose 0.5% to £40.42.

Papa John's shares set to rise after chairman quits

John Schnatter
Getty Images

It looks like investors are happy that the founder and chairman of US pizza company Papa John's has resigned.

Shares in the Nasdaq-listed business are up nearly 2% in pre-market trading.

John Schnatter stepped down from the company after using the N-word during a conference call.

He apologised.

Last year, Schnatter quit as Papa John's chief executive after he blamed NFL players' national anthem protests for slow pizza sales.

The company apologised.

Sky shares rise on Fox's regulatory approval

Sky's share price is up 2.8% at £15.36 after the UK government gave 21st Century Fox regulatory approval to buy the 61% stake in the satellite broadcaster it does not already own.

21st Century Fox is locked in a battle with US cable giant Comcast to win control of Sky.