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Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Wall Street opens flat

    Wall Street

    Wall Street shares have been flat on open, as rises in energy stocks due to rising crude oil prices were offset by losses in technology shares.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now just 27.3 points or 0.1% lower to 25,030.80. Top of the losers is consumer product manufacturer 3M, which has fallen 1% to $200.06 ahead of its second quarter earnings results announcement tomorrow.

    The S&P 500 has nudged down 3.2 points or 0.1% to 2,798.20. The losers are led by oil field service firm Halliburton, which just announced strong second quarter profits as rising oil prices boosted drilling in West Texas, Mexico and the Middle East.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has slipped 37 points or 0.5% to 7,783.87. Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla heads the losers, dropping 5.4% to $296.52 following news reports over the weekend that Tesla asked some suppliers for refunds to help it reach profitability in a memo.

    There was also a report from Needham & Co analyst Rajvindra Gill saying that 24% of Tesla Model 3 orders have been cancelled.

    Tesla disputes the analyst report, but has not responded to comment over the memo, which was first seen by the Wall Street Journal.

    In other news, you can now follow the New York Stock Exchange on Pinterest (see picture above).

    The NYSE Pinterest account features a lot of historical images, including original stock certificates for many well-known listed companies, dating as far back to 1838.

  2. Deliveroo calling for gig economy charter

    Deliveroo

    Food delivery app company Deliveroo is calling for the UK government to draw up a "gig economy charter" to enable the firm to offer its workers sick pay and holidays.

    Currently all workers for firms like Deliveroo, Uber and Amazon are considered to be self-employed, which means that they do not have access to any of the benefits of full-time employees.

    Deliveroo wants the government to help it offer some benefits to workers, without needing to formally employ them.

    Deliveroo co-founder Will Shu wrote in the Telegraph that “a charter would give greater clarity for companies who want to offer self-employed contractors more security, as well as greater certainty for those who work in the on-demand economy".

  3. Good afternoon

    A pair of deck chairs in St James' Park, London

    Thanks Dearbail and Ben 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.

    It's 33 degrees Celsius in London today - how are you coping with the heat wave in the UK?

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

  4. Cushman & Wakefield reveal float price

    City of London

    Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial real estate giant, has just announced its plan to price its shares at between $16 and $18 when it floats the business.

    The company is owned by private equity firms and employs 48,000 people across 70 countries and intends to raise funds to pat down its debt which stands at $3bn.

  5. UK to double windfarm capacity

    Wind farm

    The production of power from UK offshore windfarms is set to double over the next decades.

    The government is supporting offshore wind power with auctions for subsidies every two years.

    Under the plan remote islands will also be counted as offshore.

    Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said: "The UK renewables sector is thriving, with more offshore wind capacity here than anywhere else in the world and 50% of electricity coming from low-carbon sources last year in what was our greenest year ever.

    "For the last decade the Offshore wind industry has been a great British success story."

  6. Oil shoots higher

    Brent Crude

    Oil prices have pushed higher today. North Sea Brent Crude is up 1.2% at $74.03.

    Sharp exchanges between President Donald Trump and Iranian leaders have spurred traders who fear that supplies could be disrupted.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran could block oil shipments from the Gulf, if its oil exports were stopped.

    Prices were also supported by a 24 hour strike by 40 rig workers on platforms in the North Sea.

  7. Tough day ahead for Tesla?

    Tesla

    The US stock markets will open shortly and one company to keep an eye on is Tesla.

    Its share price is down more than 4% in pre-market trading.

    As Business Live reported earlier - see the post at 9.05am - the Wall Street Journal says that the electric car-maker has asked suppliers for cash back.

    Investors, it seems, are jittery.

  8. Ocado leads FTSE 100 risers

    Ocado

    The FTSE 100 is now down 0.35% at 7,651.80.

    Ocado, the online grocery delivery company, is leading the risers with its share price up 4.7% at £11.32.

    House builder Barratt Developments is the biggest faller, down 2.4% at 519.4p.

    The FTSE 250 is down 0.51% at 20,818.52.

  9. Ted talks trashed

    Public speaker

    Ted talks are rather popular among business chiefs.

    In case you have not come across Ted talks, they emerged in 1984 from a conference combining technology, entertainment an design.

    They are supposed to be short and inspiring, and some are very good.

    But in a Guardian opinion piece Julie Bindel a freelance journalist and founder of Justice for Women, questions why spectators pay thousands of dollars to watch them.

    "Many of the speakers state the blatantly obvious on a loop, sounding as though they have discovered the theory of relativity all over again," she says.

    "The pretentious gestures, rehearsed pauses and speech traits single them out from other public speakers."

    Ouch.

  10. Hasbro sales beat forecasts

    Tthe Star Wars booth at the Hasbro showroom

    Hasbro is attempting to put the collapse of Toys "R" Us, a major customer, behind it and has announced better than expected second quarter results.

    Sales fell by 7% to $904.5m (£688.16m) - analysts had been expecting $833.1m.

    Profits at the company that makes Star Wars toys fell to $60.3m compared to $67.7m in the second quarter last year.

    Hasbro’s chairman and chief executive Brian Goldner said: "2018 is unfolding as expected as our teams manage the liquidation of Toys“R”Us in many markets and address the rapidly evolving European retail landscape."

    In the US, sales and operating profit both fell by 7%.

    Internationally, revenue dropped by 11% while income plunged by 99%.

    Mr Goldner said: "We are focused on moving beyond the near-term disruption of losing a major customer, with a clear path forward including new retailer activations to meet the consumer demand made available by the Toys“R”Us departure.”

  11. A silver lining for Ryanair?

    Clouds

    Ryanair's share price fell by 5.32% after it reported a sharp fall in first quarter profit because of higher fuel bills and wage costs and a potentially bumpy time ahead.

    Neil Wilson, chief market analyst at Markets.com, says: "Of course higher oil prices are not just a Ryanair problem and management says European airlines are suffering ‘a significant cash flow squeeze and/or are close to breaching debt covenants’.

    "Ryanair suggests this will lead to further airline failures and consolidation this winter, a trend that we would agree with. As consistently argued, Ryanair is exceptionally well placed to take advantage of long overdue consolidation in Europe."

  12. Fiat Chrysler Europe chief to resign - Bloomberg report

    Fiat

    Bloomberg is reporting that Alfredo Altavilla, the head of Europe at Fiat Chrysler is set to resign.

    At the weekend, the carmaker said that its chief executive Sergio Marchionne was being replaced due to ill health.

    He is being replaced by Mike Manley.

    Mr Altavilla, Mr Manley and chief financial officer Richard Palmer had been seen as the frontrunners to succeed Mr Marchionne.

  13. Carillion auditor appoints risk officer

    Carillion

    KPMG, the accountancy firm that acted as auditor to the collapse services and outsourcing company Carillion, has appointed a chief risk officer.

    Mary O'Connor will be a member of KPMG's executive committee and the UK board.

    Ms O'Connor previously worked at Willis Towers Watson, where she led client and business development and the global financial institutions industry group.

  14. Big government deal for Capita in limbo

    Ministry of Defence

    Shares in Capita are down more than 2%.

    There was bad news for outsourcing firm when the Ministry of Defence suspended a contract for the provision of fire fighting services on military sites.

    Capita appeared to have won that contract in June, beating rival Serco.

    But Serco has taken legal action and the MoD is suspending the contract until the legal challenge is sorted out.

    "Capita remains fully committed to the future delivery of the Defence Fire and Rescue Project and will continue to support the MoD on this matter," Capita said in a statement.

    The fire contract was the first big deal to be awarded by the government since the collapse of Carillion, which was an important supplier to the state and was also involved in building roads and hospitals.

  15. Chinese borrowers flee peer-to-peer lenders - report

    Chinese yuan

    This might be worth keeping an eye on.

    The FT reports that there has been a rush to withdraw funds from China's peer-to-peer lending industry.

    Around 150 of those lenders have run into trouble since the beginning of June.

    Peer-to-peer lenders match people or companies with money to loan, to individuals looking to borrow.

    In the City of Hangzhou, two sports stadiums have been converted into centres where Chinese people can file grievances against lenders, the FT reports.

    It says a government task force has been trying to reform the industry since April of 2016.

  16. Escape Hunt signs Doctor Who deal

    Dr Who

    Have you ever paid money for clues on how to get out of a locked room?

    Well it is a thing and a company called Escape Hunt has a business based on that form of entertainment.

    Now Escape Hunt has signed a deal with the BBC to create Doctor Who-themed escape rooms in the UK.

    Commenting on the deal, analysts at Peel Hunt said: "The Dr Who licence will allow Escape Hunt to open escape rooms based on a globally recognised brand, highly relevant to escape room customers.

    "This is a remarkable achievement for what is still a start-up and we expect the market to be relaxed about the further delay in the business achieving critical mass."

    The 11th series of Doctor Who, starring Jode Whittaker (pictured above), will premiere on BBC One in the UK this autumn.

  17. McColl's shares plunge

    McColl's

    Shares in McColl's, the convenience store and newsagents chain, are down 12.16% at 184.46p after it reported a steep fall in interim like-for-like sales.

    The company was severely affected by the collapse of wholesaler Palmer & Harvey.

    Chief executive Jonathan Miller said it was "one of the most challenging six months the business has ever faced".

    "During the first half we experienced unprecedented supply chain disruption following the collapse of P&H last November.

    "This temporary upheaval has inevitably impacted sales and margin performance in the c700 stores that were formerly supplied by P&H, and has also had knock-on effects on the rest of the estate."