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Live Reporting

Simon Read and Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodbye

    Goodbye. We're closing the live page early tonight due to circumstances beyond control.

    Go out and enjoy the sunshine while it lasts.

    We'll be back at 6am tomorrow morning.

  2. Pothole-related breakdowns hit three-year high

    Tyre next to pothole

    The number of drivers breaking down after hitting potholes reached a three-year high between April and June, according to the RAC.

    The RAC reported a 15% rise from last year's second quarter in breakdowns caused by poor quality roads.

    The motoring body said roads had not recovered from February and March's severe weather and councils were "not winning the battle" against potholes.

    The government said it was spending £6bn to improve England's roads.

    The RAC was called to 4,091 pothole-related breakdowns between April and June in 2018, compared with 3,565 in the same period last year - and the most since 2015 (4,436).

    Read full story here

  3. FTSE 100 closes lower

    female trader

    The FTSE 100 has ended the day lower, slipping 0.8% lower to 7,601.89.

    Debenhams shares ended over 5% down, hit by reports that some insurers had reduced cover for its suppliers.

    The Sunday Times saidthe retailer was facing "a cash crunch" because some credit insurers had tightened their terms for Debenhams suppliers.

    Suppliers use credit insurance to cover them from the risk of not being paid.

    However, Debenhams reiterated that its balance sheet and cash position were "healthy"..

    One major insurer, Euler Hermes, is understood to have reduced the amount of credit insurance it will provide.

    Meanwhile, some new suppliers are believed to have found it difficult to get credit insurance for Debenhams' orders.

    When insurance firms reduce their cover or withdraw it altogether, it means they are concerned about the ability of their customers to pay their debts.

  4. Uber probed over gender inequality

    Uber app

    Ride hailing app Uber is the subject of an investigation by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stemming from a complaint about gender inequity.

    The investigation - first reported by the Wall Street Journal - began in August last year.

    “We are continually improving as a company and have proactively made a lot of changes in the last 18 months, including implementing a new salary and equity structure based on the market, overhauling our performance review process, publishing Diversity & Inclusion reports, and rolling out diversity and leadership trainings to thousands of employees globally," a spokesperson for the company says.

  5. Workers die in South Africa mine fire

    BBC World Service

    Six workers have died in a fire at a copper mine in South Africa's Limpopo Province, reports BBC World Service.

    There were more than 200 miners underground when a conveyor belt caught fire at Phalaborwa Copper Mine and dozens are receiving treatment in hospital.

    The National Union of Mineworkers called on mine companies to put lives before profit and said not enough was being done enough to improve safety. Thirty-one miners have died in accidents this year.

  6. Down, up, down

    Debenhams share price

    It's been a mixed day for Debenhams' share price. The shares fell more than 5% at the start of trade following reports some insurers had reduced cover for its suppliers.

    The Sunday Times said the retailer was facing "a cash crunch" because some credit insurers had tightened their terms for Debenhams suppliers. Debenhams itself reiterated that its balance sheet and cash position were "healthy".

    By late morning, the retailer's shares had recovered, and were actually showing a small gain on the day. However, this afternoon they have gone into reverse again, and heading towards the close of trade the shares are down 5%.

  7. Profits up at Bank of America

    Bank of America

    Bank of America has reported a sharp jump in second quarter profits, helped by cost cuts and the tax reforms introduced by Donald Trump.

    The banking giant reported better-than-expected profits of $6.78bn (£5.1bn), up from $4.75bn a year earlier.

    "Solid operating leverage and client activity drove earnings higher this quarter... We grew consumer and commercial loans; we grew deposits," said chief executive Brian Moynihan.

    Shares in Bank of America were up 2% in morning trade on Wall Street.

  8. Supermarket link-ups under scrutiny in France

    Carrefour logo

    The French competition watchdog, the Autorite de la Concurrence, says it is investigating the impact of purchasing alliances involving a number of French and European supermarket retailers.

    One of these is a tie-up announced earlier this month between French retail giants Auchan, Casino and Schiever and Germany's Metro, to be named Horizon. The aim is to co-ordinate purchases both inside France and abroad.

    Two other French supermarket chains, Carrefour and Système U, are also being probed for a separate alliance. This inquiry is being widened to include Carrefour's tie-up with the UK's Tesco, also announced this month.

    Carrefour and Tesco said they were planning a "strategic relationship" when dealing with global suppliers, as the two try to use their joint buying power to cut costs and offer lower prices to customers.

  9. IMF cuts UK growth forecast

    Container lorry

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its 2018 growth forecast for the UK.

    It now expects the UK's economy to grow by 1.4% this year, down from an earlier prediction of 1.6%.

    The IMF also warned that global economic growth could be hit by the recent escalation in trade conflicts.

    However, the Fund left its global growth forecasts unchanged at 3.9% for both this year and 2019.

  10. Demand for cars boosts US retail sales

    US car lot

    US retail sales rose for the fifth month in a row last month, official figures show, helping to lift expectations that the economy grew strongly in the second quarter of the year.

    Sales rose by 0.5% in June, the Commerce Department said, while May's figure was revised up to show an increase of 1.3%.

    Car sales rose by 0.9% last month, but sales at clothing stores fell 2.5%, the biggest decline since February 2017.

  11. Comcast 'unlikely to raise Fox bid'

    Comcast logo

    Comcast is unlikely to increase its offer for 21st Century Fox's movie and TV assets, according to CNBC.

    Instead, Comcast is going to focus its attention on buying Sky, sources told CNBC (which is owned by Comcast).

    At the moment, Comcast is battling Disney for the Fox business, but its $65bn offer trails Disney's $71bn bid.

    In addition, Comcast is also tussling with Fox to buy Sky. Last week, Comcast put in a fresh bid for Sky, valuing the UK broadcaster at £26bn, trumping an earlier bid from Fox.

  12. EU calls for more open Chinese economy

    Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk

    China should make its economy more open to foreign firms, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said while on a visit to Beijing.

    Mr Juncker was accompanied by the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, who warned that worsening trade tensions could lead to conflict. They were met by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, who stressed the need to uphold free trade.

    Meanwhile, China has filed an official complaint against new US trade tariffs. Last week, the US listed $200bn (£150bn) worth of additional products that it intends to penalise as soon as September.

    The US move is the latest salvo in a growing trade war started by the imposition of US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

  13. Wall Street edges higher at open

    NYSE traders

    Trading has just got under way on Wall Street, with the main indexes all inching higher.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.1% at 25,034.01.

    The S&P 500 index also opened 0.1% higher at 2,801.31 while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2% to 7,837.82.

  14. US rejects EU plea for sanctions exemption

    Fuel burning at oil field in Iran

    The US has rejected pleas from the EU to grant exemptions to European firms from the sanctions on Iran that will start to be reinstated next month.

    Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin wrote in a letter that they wanted to exert "unprecedented" pressure on Tehran.

    Waivers will only be given on national security or humanitarian grounds.

    President Donald Trump ordered that the sanctions be re-imposed in May after abandoning a nuclear deal with Iran.

    Read full story here

  15. Oil price falls as supply worries ease

    Oil pump

    The price of oil has fallen as concerns about possible disruptions to supply have eased.

    Worries about disruptions to supply from Libya, a labour dispute in Norway and unrest in Iraq had all combined to push prices sharply higher at the end of last week.

    However, on Monday, the price of Brent crude dropped more than $2 to $73.26 a barrel, while US light crude fell $1.60 to $69.41.

    The reopening of Libyan ports and the possibility of extra supplies from other producers helped to push the price lower.

  16. What if burgers and beer were illegal?

    Rachel Heng

    Imagine living in a society where spin classes, quinoa salads and green juices were enforced as law by the government.

    For Rachel Heng, her job working in London's cut-throat finance sector made her feel like she was living in that world.

    And that's what inspired her debut novel, Suicide Club, exploring life in a dystopian society where living forever is the ultimate goal.

    Working for a private equity firm in London she said she had to "work hard and exercise hard" and that the pressure to compete on a professional level extended into what she chose to eat and how she spent her free time.

    Read the full story here

  17. Profits up at Birmingham's NEC Group

    Birmihgham NEC

    The owner of Birmingham's National Exhibition Centre has raised sales and profits ahead of a possible sale of the business.

    The group - which owns venues including the International Convention Centre (ICC), Genting Arena, and Arena Birmingham - was bought by LDC, the private equity division of Lloyds Banking Group, from Birmingham City Council in 2015 for £307m.

    Sales grew 2.8% to £162.1m in the 12 months to the end of March. Earnings climbed 9.8% to £54.7m.

  18. John Laing Infrastructure climbs a fifth on news of takeover talks

    Pictures of some of JLI investments

    Shares in John Laing Infrastructure Fund have risen more than 18% today after the company revealed it was in talks over a possible £1.45bn cash offer from a consortium involving fund manager Dalmore Capital and Equitix.

    The offer of 142.5p per share in cash comes with a 3.57p dividend before the transaction completes.

    The company's shares climbed 22p to to 140.10p just below the offer price.