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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Wall Street flat on weak earnings
  3. Former Fiat Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne dies
  4. ITV sales rise; to launch streaming service
  5. Ryanair to cut winter fleet and jobs
  6. European Commission to talk trade with Donald Trump
  7. Santander profits rise

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

Good night

BBC test card
BBC

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

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

Facebook's shares dive by 8.6% on results

Facebook logo on smartphone
Getty Images

Facebook's shares fell by 8.6% in after hours trading after it failed to meet analysts' estimates for monthly active users on Wednesday. The announcement comes months after after the social network was hit by a data scandal that affected millions of its users.

The company said monthly active users rose to 2.23 billion, compared with estimates of 2.25 billion, according to Thomson Reuters.

Net income attributable to Facebook shareholders rose to $5.11bn in the three months to the end of 30 June compared with $3.89bn for the same period last year.

Total revenue rose 41.9 percent to $13.23bn.

Trump's star destroyed with pick axe

Donald Trump's Hollywood star destroyed with pick axe

It's not the first time that the president's star has been vandalised.

Wall Street up at close

Bull and little girl statue
Getty Images

Wall Street's key share indexes were all ahead at the close of trade, with investors turning in particular to technology stocks, which are seen as being less likely to be harmed by trade tensions.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day at 25,414.17, a rise of 172 points or 0.68%.

The S&P 500 closed up 22 points or 0.79% at 2,842.68.

And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq was at 7,932.24, rise of 91 points or 1.17%.

Cute home robot gets canned just before release

Kuri robot
Mayfield Robotics

A home robot that had a high profile at recent events has been cancelled before going on sale to the wider public.

Kuri was designed to play with children, respond to voice commands and patrol properties while filming videos and taking photos.

Its control app was released last month ahead of its anticipated launch, but its maker said parent company Bosch had decided it was "not a business fit".

Other technology giants, however, continue to develop home robots, but reviews have criticised their limited capabilities and significant price tags.

"We're in the stone age of the home robot market," said Ben Wood, from the tech consultancy CCS Insight.

Senators propose bill to stop Trump's auto tariffs

Cars
EPA

US senators Doug Jones and Lamar Alexander have introduced legislation that would bar the Trump administration from imposing 25% tariffs on imported cars and parts until after the International Trade Commission has completed its study of the automobile industry.

The senators said that the proposed auto tariffs would harm foreign automakers, which would lead to a $83bn rise vehicle costs, and cost hundreds of thousands of jobs.

However, before the legislation is passed, it will require additional bipartisan support from Congress.

Facebook plans office in China

Mark Zuckerberg
Getty Images

Facebook has secured a licence to set up an office in China in an apparent attempt to break into the lucrative market where its website is blocked.

The firm said it would be an "innovation hub to support Chinese developers, innovators and start-ups".

If the office opens, it would be the firm's first formal presence in China.

However, the office's registration has since been removed from the Chinese government website, suggesting possible complications, the New York Times says.

Coca-Cola to raise drink prices

Coca-Cola bottles
AFP

Coca-Cola has announced that it will be raising prices on its carbonated soda drinks in the US.

The drinks maker reported that its pre-tax profits rose 10% to $2.8bn, from $2.6bn for the three months ended 29 June 2018, compared with the same period in the previous year.

Coca-Cola's chief executive James Quincey said in an earnings call that the rise in drink prices was a result of rising costs, such as higher freight rates and rising metal prices following Trump's trade tariffs, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“There is some broad-based push on input costs that have kind of come in and affected ours and many other industries as well,” said Mr Quincey.

Trump wants to work it out

President Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker
Getty Images

US President Donald Trump has told reporters that he hopes to be able to strike a fair and reciprocal trade deal between the US and Europe.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is visiting the White House in Washington DC today for talks.

Mr Juncker told reporters that Europe and the US were allies and needed to work together.

President Trump said: "It's a great honour to have President Jean-Claude Juncker from the European Union (here). He's a man that I've gotten to know very well. He's a very smart man and a very tough man, and he represents his people well and the countries well.

"And we want to have a fair trade deal and we're looking to have a fair trade deal and hopefully we can work something out. Over the years, the United States has been losing hundreds of billions of dollars with the European Union and we just want it to be a level playing field for our farmers, our manufacturers, for everybody."

Heinz baked beans TV advert banned yet again

Heinz baked beans commercial
Heinz

A TV advert for Heinz baked beans has been banned for comparing its nutritional value to a protein shake.

The commercial, seen in February, shows a woman implying a bowl of baked beans has as much protein, fibre and fat as her partner's drink.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said its regulations do not allow claims that one food has "as much" of a nutrient or nutrients as another food.

Heinz Foods said it was "disappointed" but would not run the ad again.

Jobseekers 'more likely to deactivate Facebook'

Social media interactions
Getty Images

Being young, single or a jobseeker makes Facebook users more likely to have deactivated their accounts or at least considered it, a study suggests.

Researchers from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, looked at eight factors predicting whether people had left or thought about leaving Facebook.

They also said that users who weighed more were more likely to have considered deactivating their accounts.

Facebook has not yet responded to a request for comment.

China says there will be 'no winner' in global trade war

Presidents Xi and Ramaphosa
Phil Magakoe

China has told developing nations there would be no winner in a global trade war.

Chinese President Xi Jinping called on Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) to reject protectionism.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also warned of the impact that tariff threats by US President Donald Trump would have on developing countries.

They were speaking at a three-day meeting of BRICS leaders in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Google cars self-drive to supermarket

A woman getting out of a car
Waymo

Google's sister-company Waymo has announced a trial in which its self-driving cars will ferry shoppers to and from a nearby Walmart store to pick up their groceries.

For now, the pilot is being restricted to 400-plus members of its early rider programme in Phoenix, Arizona.

However, it indicates how the tech giant thinks the autonomous vehicles could be deployed if and when they exit the experimental stage.

One expert said cost would be key.

Are you an elastic thinker?

Rubber bands on lobster claws
Getty Images

Unlike analytical thinkers who are driven by logic and sequence, flexible thinkers thrive in situations which involve breaking boundaries and trying new things.

The idea of flexible thinking has, of course, been around for aeons but for author, physicist and screenwriter Leonard Mlodinow, it’s now prime time for people to harness the power of ‘elastic thinking’ to navigate an unstable world.

Here's a real world business example: A rubber band company in the US continually invents and discovers new uses for its rubber bands, and keeps diversifying to new markets.

Read more here.

US carmakers hit by trade disputes

Chevrolet cars
Getty Images

Shares in two major carmakers tumbled after they warned that changes to trade policies were hurting performance.

General Motors said it expected a hit of about $1bn (£760m) due largely to higher steel and aluminium prices caused by new US metals tariffs.

Shares dropped by more than 7% after the firm revised its outlook.

Fiat-Chrysler shares were about 15% lower, after it said sales in China had fallen as buyers postponed purchases in anticipation of lower tariffs.

The warnings give an insight into how shifting trade policies are affecting carmakers and other manufacturers.

London closes lower

London Stock Exchange
Getty Images

London shares have ended lower, as the market waited to see how trade talks between the US and the EU would go. US President Donald Trump's tweets about how China is targeting its farmers also made an impact.

The FTSE 100 closed 50.8 points or 0.7% down to 7,658.26. The losers were led by Mexican mining firm Fresnillo, which dropped 7.3% to $10.25 after it cut its outlook for silver production due to lower ore grades and scarcity of water at its San Julian mine.

The FTSE 250 ended 99.3 points or 0.5% lower to 20,753.60. Budget carrier Wizz Air tops the losers, plunging 8.5% to £32.56 after reporting a 14% drop in profits and slashing its full year growth target.

A call to arms

Millennials, we want to hear from you. What was it like graduating in the late 2000s?

View more on twitter

Sales of new homes fell in June

A family home under construction in Chicago
Getty Images

Sales of new homes in the US fell to an eight-month low in June, according to latest figures from the US Department of Commerce.

The falling prices point to a possible slump in the housing market.

Sales of new single-family homes fell 5.3% from May to an annual rate of 631,000. Economists had expected a 0.6% increase instead.

Meanwhile, the median price of a new house dropped 2.5% to $302,100, and the average price fell 0.5% to $363,300.

Although the Trump administration's tax cuts may have benefited some corporations, they also reduced some deductions for local property taxes, which means that it is now more expensive to own a home.

'Be careful'

Poor Returns infographic
BBC and Getty Images

Earlier today, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said that banks could be forced to set a minimum interest rate on their savings accounts.

The FCA said it was concerned that savers who stay with the same bank or building society for a long time get poor returns on their money.

However comparison site Money.co.uk is concerned that setting a basic savings rate could damage competition in the savings market.

"The FCA should be careful about the unintended consequences of requiring banks to set their own 'basic savings rate', where customers would roll onto a set rate for example after a year," said Money.co.uk's editor in chief Hannah Maundrell.

"If the options within a bank are limited, it could lull consumers into a false sense of security so they’re even less likely to switch and settle for accounts which aren’t paying them enough.

"Regardless of whether this proposal is actually implemented or not, it’s important for people to shop around and move their savings to get the best return on their money. Loyalty doesn’t pay when it comes to savings."

'A real tragedy'

Domenico Siniscalco, Italy's former finance minister who is now Italy country head at Morgan Stanley, said: “Sergio was a unique blend of a visionary and an executor. He combined a grand vision and the ability of getting things done. This is a real tragedy.”

Sergio Marchionne
AFP

Bill Ford, executive chairman of Ford Motor Co, said: “Sergio Marchionne was one of the most respected leaders in the industry whose creativity and bold determination helped to restore Chrysler to financial health and grow Fiat Chrysler into a profitable global automaker.

"His extraordinary leadership, candor and passion for the industry will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.”

Tape reveals Trump discussing model payoff

Karen McDougal
Getty Images

A recording of a conversation in which President Donald Trump and his lawyer discuss a payoff over an alleged affair with a model has been broadcast by CNN.

Mr Trump and Michael Cohen discuss buying the rights to former Playboy model Karen McDougal's story.

The audiotape was recorded in September 2016, two months before the election. The affair allegedly dates to 2006.

Mr Trump's current lawyer Rudy Giuliani says no money was paid, and the tape does not show evidence of any crime.

Wall Street mixed on open

Wall Street
Getty Images

Wall Street shares have been mixed on open, as investor confidence was shaken by US President Trump's tweets about China "targeting" US farmers and saying that the tariffs would in the end be "worth it".

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is currently down 50 points or 0.2% to 25,191.89. Top of the losers is Boeing, which fell 2.1% to $350.67 after cutting its forecast for full-year profit magins due to higher costs for the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker.

The S&P 500 is flat - just 1.5 points or 0.05% lower to 2,819.45. The losers are led by General Motors, which cut its outlook after its second quarter profit was impacted by higher steel and aluminium costs, although the firm did not directly reference Trump's tariffs.

And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 27 points or 0.3% higher to 7,867.70. Cybersecurity software firm Check Point Software is top of the index, climbing 2.8% to $114.07 after reporting a better-than-expected second quarter net profit.

Why are so many of us not saving for a rainy day?

Kamal Ahmed

Economics editor

A piggy bank
Getty Images

There are two important statistics I regularly look at to see how people's finances are faring.

They point to whether people are feeling financially comfortable, or are finding their lives financially difficult.

They are both published by the Office for National Statistics, and are two of the most important economic indicators not just of the overall health of the economy but also the overall health of our finances and how we will pay, for example, for the big challenges ahead.

Like paying for our healthcare as we get old, or caring for our parents, or supporting our children.

The first statistic reveals whether the 27 million households in Britain are net borrowers or net lenders.

Read more here.

Homeowners remortgage to beat possible rate rise

Remortgage
Getty Images

Banks approved 40,541 mortgages for house purchases in June, according to UK Finance, down 2.1% on the same month last year.

The group, what represents lenders, said that only remortgaging approvals increased, up 3.4%.

However, it was offset by 4.7% fall in house purchase approvals and a 4.3% decline in other secured borrowing.

Eric Leenders, managing director of personal finance at UK Finance, said: "Growth in mortgage lending continues to be driven by remortgaging, as borrowers take advantage of attractive deals ahead of an anticipated Bank [of England] rate rise.”

Good afternoon

Ireland's Justice and Equality Minister Charles Flanagan and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney
Getty Images

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.

Today in London at the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, Britain launched a toolkit offering advice to companies employing EU citizens who wish to remain in the UK following Brexit.

Here's a picture of Ireland's Justice and Equality Minister Charles Flanagan and Foreign Minister Simon Coveney - earlier they addressed members of the media in a press conference held outside the Houses of Parliament.

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

'An important page in Italy's industrial history'

Sergio Marchionne
Getty Images

Sergio Marchionne wrote an important page in the history of Italian industry. As leader of Fiat he went through years of very deep and radical transformation of markets, production systems, financial strategies, and trade union relations. He has ensured the continuity and the re-launch of the group by building a new combination able to keep up with the competition.”

Italian President Sergio Mattarella

Boeing cuts forecast for profit margin

Boeing KC-46
Boeing

Boeing has cut its forecast for full-year profit margins due to higher costs for the KC-46 aerial refueling tanker (pictured).

Boeing was originally supposed to deliver 18 of the KC-46 aircraft by August 2017, but the program has hit numerous snags.

Boeing expects a margin of between 10% and 10.5% this year, it had been expecting 11%.

Overall sales in the second quarter rose 5% to $24.26bn. Earnings before tax were $5.42bn up from $4.61bn in the same quarter last year.

Boeing shares fell more than 3% in pre-market trading.

GSK to focus on immune system

GSK scientist at work
GSK

GlaxoSmithKline chief executive Emma Walmsley says the company is taking a new approach to research and development.

It will focus on ways to use the body's own immune system to treat illness.

"Our understanding of the science related to the immune system in the development of human disease is rapidly advancing, suggesting a much broader clinical and commercial opportunity for novel immune modulatory therapies," the company said.

"In addition, access to large databases derived from carefully genotyped and phenotyped patient populations, coupled with technological advances in data analytics, now offer the opportunity to direct drug discovery and development to a new generation of targets with significantly increased probability of success."

GM lowers outlook on rising commodity costs

General Motor's chair and chief executive Mary Barra
Getty Images

General Motors reported a second quarter profit of $2.39bn compared to $2.43bn in the three months to June last year on flat sales at $36.7bn.

GM's chair and chief executive Mary Barra (pictured), said: "We faced signifcant external challenges, but delivered solid results this quarter."

However, GM said: "Recent and signifcant increases in commodity costs and unfavorable foreign exchange impact of the Argentine peso and Brazilian real have negatively afected business expectations.

"Because the company anticipates these headwinds will continue through the second half of 2018, it has revised its full-year outlook."

In June, the US implemented a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminium brought into the US.

Trump blames farming trouble on China

The Trump administration has unveiled a $12bn (£9.1bn) plan aimed at helping US farmers hurt by the intensifying trade war.

The aid is intended to protect the industry as countries raise taxes on US products such as soybeans in response to the president's new tariffs.

The US President says it is all China's fault.

View more on twitter

The BBC recently spoke to farmers in Minnestora about Mr Trump's aggressive trade tactics.

You can watch here.

Stobart investigates alleged bullying

Stobart owns Southend airport
Getty Images
Stobart owns Southend airport

Stobart, the owner of Southend and Carlisle airports, has appointed a barrister to lead an investigation "into the concerns raised in recent weeks by certain employees regarding alleged bullying and whistleblowing".

Alice Mayhew, a senior employment barrister at Devereux Chambers, will carry out "an independent investigation", the company said.

Stobart has recently been mired in a boardroom battle where former chief executive Andrew Tinkler attempted to oust chairman Iain Ferguson.

Stobart also said today it had retained Russell Reynolds Associates to find a non-executive chairman, a senior independent director and one or more additional non-executive directors.

Former Asda boss Allan Leighton has ruled himself out after Stobart investor M&G Investment put his name forward to become chairman.

Marchionne led with passion, energy and insight, says F1 boss

Sergio Marchionne
Getty Images

F1 chairman Chase Carey said: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Sergio Marchionne. He was a great leader of not just Formula One and the automobile world, but the business world overall.

"He led with great passion, energy and insight, and inspired all around him. His contributions to Formula One are immeasurable.

"He was also a true friend to all of us and he will be deeply missed. At this difficult time we extend our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues."

GSK announces cost cuts and flat sales

GSK
Reuters

GlaxoSmithKline has annnounced a cost-cutting drive designed to save £400m a year by 2021.

The cuts will mainly hit administrative functions and "supply chain optimisation".

GSK also announced results for the second quarter. Sales were flat at £7.3bn.

Pre-tax profits were £614m up from a loss of £178m in the same period a year earlier.

No weakness on trade, says Trump

US President Donald Trump is set to meet European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmström at the White House today.

The Trump administration has also put together a $12bn (£9.1bn) plan to help US farmers who are being hurt by the intensifying trade war.

In the meantime, this is what the US President has just tweeted...

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Fiat Chrysler sales rise but profits drop

FCA
Getty Images

Fiat Chrysler reported a 4% rise in sales to €28.9bn (£25.7bn) for the second quarter to June.

Revenues for the first six months of the year grew by 1% to €56bn.

However, profits over both reporting period drops - down 35% to €754m in the quarter and off 1% in the interim to €1.7bn.

However, its shares are down nearly 8% in pre-market trade after it cut its revenue and profit target for 2018.

No break for Nestlé in trademark row

Kit Kat
BBC

Even if it looks like a Kit Kat, it might not be.

The European Court of Justice has thrown out an appeal by the chocolate bar's maker, Nestlé, which argued that it owns the shape of the teatime treat.

Nestlé has spent more than a decade fighting to trademark the four-fingered wafer shape - something that rival Cadbury had fought hard against.

But Wednesday's judgement found that a previous court had been right to annul the decision by Europe's trademark group.

Read more here

Fiat design chief remembers Marchionne

Klaus Busse, head of design for Fiat, Abarth, Lancia, Alfa Romeo and Maserati, remembers his former boss, Sergio Marchionne...

View more on twitter

Sergio Marchionne: Tough, hard-working and razor-sharp

Financial Times' deputy news editor Tony Tassell tweets...

Financial Times