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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Early doors...

    It's an early finish from Business Live today - thanks for reading.

    However, we are back as normal from 6am on Monday, so do join us then.

    In the meantime, have a relaxing weekend if you're not working and don't forget the blood moon tonight!

  2. FTSE jumps

    The FTSE 100 closed 0.5% higher at 7,701.3 points, boosted by a near 8% surge for Reckitt Benckiser.

    That was its best one-day rise for almost a decade, after better-than-expected second quarter sales and a higher annual revenue growth forecast.

    Rightmove was the day's biggest faller, down 3.1%.

    In New York, Twitter is still down almost 20% following a fall in the number of users.

  3. Could employment promises clinch Zimbabwe's election?

    People pass by an electoral poster at a Zimbabwe Electoral Commission post

    Mass unemployment in Zimbabwe could prove key to Monday's election result.

    While more than 40% of the country's registered voters are under 35, unemployment is estimated at over 90%.

    The contest pits Emmerson Mnangagwa, former deputy to Robert Mugabe and current president, against Nelson Chamisa, a 40-year-old lawyer. Both have pledged to build a better economy.

    Mr Mnangagwa says he will instate a law that will bring foreign investment - and jobs with it.

    In opposition, Mr Chamisa plans to encourage growth with concessions to private companies and cuts to taxes and the expensive government payroll.

    It's Zimbabwe's first election without Mugabe since independence from Britain in 1980.

  4. Tasty deal

    Hotel Chocolat

    Hotel Chocolat has struck a deal with Nordic retail operator Retail Brands, which will now operate the chocolatier's three Danish outlets and pay royalties to the UK company.

    Analysts said the deal plays to the strengths of each company, and paves the way for sustainable growth abroad.

    Angus Thirlwell, chief executive, said Hotel Chocolat wants to develop its brand across the Nordic region.

    Shares are up more than 5%, valuing the company at just over £400m.

  5. Putin makes Trump a counter-offer

    Presidents Trump and Putin in Helsinki
    Image caption: To me, to you

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has countered US President Donald Trump's invite to the White House - with an invite of his own.

    Speaking at a BRICS summit in South Africa, Mr Putin said: “We are ready for such meetings. We are ready to invite President Trump to Moscow. Be my guest."

    A follow up meeting to the one in Helsinki - after which Mr Trump made a series of seemingly contradictory statements on the Russian regime - might serve to smooth out perceptions of their relationship. But it seems Mr Putin hasn't immediately accepted.

    Could this prove to be a similar dance to the one between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump ahead of their Singapore tête-à-tête? Mike Pompeo, then CIA director, first went to North Korea during a public back-and-forth in the run up to the summit.

  6. What the Hellmann's?

    mayo ice cream
    Image caption: Extra creamy

    Already famous for haggis and deep-fried Mars Bars, Scotland has come up with another culinary innovation for this unusually hot summer.

    Kyle Gentleman, the owner of Ice Artisan Ice Cream in Falkirk, near Edinburgh, has created the - presumably delicious - mayonnaise flavoured ice cream.

    He told The Independent that the idea for the flavour was inspired by his “love of mayo.”

    But he's a man of unusual taste. He's previously invented Strongbow dark fruit, Monster Energy and Jammie Dodger ice cream flavours.

  7. Investors approve Fox/Disney deal

    Mickey Mouse

    Disney and 21st Century Fox shareholders voted to approve the $71bn merger of the two media giants on Friday.

    However, hurdles remain before the deal can be considered done. While the US Department of Justice has given the nod, Disney is waiting on approval from other jurisdictions including China and the EU.

    The complex dance means Comcast is likely to win control of Sky - more detail on that here.

  8. Lung cancer drug giving AstraZeneca the edge

    AstraZeneca offices

    A cancer treatment manufactured by Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca has jumped another regulatory hurdle.

    Already approved in the US and Japan, Imfinzi now has the recommendation of the European Medicines Agency - for treatment of inoperable lung cancer where the disease hasn't significantly spread.

    The final approval for use in such cases in Europe is down to the European Commission.

    Rival biotech firms Bristol-Myers Squibb, Roche and Merck all offer products for treating lung cancer, but Imfinzi - also known as durvalumab - gives AstraZeneca a chance to intervene at an earlier stage.

  9. Wall Street lifted by growth figures and Amazon results

    US traders

    Stocks on Wall Street have opened higher as investors react to the latest growth data and Amazon's strong results from last night.

    Shortly after trading began the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 37.36 points at 25,564.43.

    The S&P 500 index rose 4.28 points to 2,841.72, while the Nasdaq added 12.86 points to 7,865.05.

    Shares in Amazon climbed 3% after its profits hit a record $2.53bn in the three months to the end of June.

  10. 'Looks great, won't last'

    Donald Trump

    To what extent can President Trump claim the US growth story as his own work?

    Pantheon Macroeconomics says on the whole not very much - and this quarterly jump is temporary.

    "The Q2 number means that next week's monthly data for June will be soft, and the May and/or April numbers will be revised down," predicts Ian Shepherdson, its chief economist.

    He adds: "Year-over-year growth has been rising steadily since mid-2016 ... we see no signs of an upward inflexion since the fiscal easing under the Trump administration.."

  11. Twitter clean-up to send user figures down

    Online hate speech

    More on those user figures at Twitter.

    Looking ahead to the third quarter, analysts had expected the mirco-blogging to report 340 million monthly active users.

    However, as Twitter continues to clean-up the business by getting rid of automated and spam accounts, user figures are expected to fall to around 330 million users.

  12. Can the US economy sustain the pace?

    The latest growth figures will please President Donald Trump who had promised to raise growth to above 4% and his tax cuts appear to have given the economy a life.

    It will be a surprise if Mr Trump does not tweet about the success.

    However, economists warn that the growth spurt could be short-lived. The numbers had a big boost from trade, which is partly due to firms accelerating exports to avoid trade tariffs.

    View more on twitter
  13. BreakingUS growth rate close to four-year high

    US flags in burgers

    The US economy grew at an annualised rate of 4.1% in the second quarter, according to the latest figures from the US Department of Commerce.

    That is the fastest growth rate in almost four years and pretty much in line with expectations.

    The first quarter growth figures were revised up to 2.2% from 2.0%.

  14. Exxon profits up 18%

    Exxon fuel station

    Exxon Mobil has reported second quarter net income of $3.95bn, up 18% from $3.35bn made in the same quarter last year.

    The company benefited from higher crude oil prices.

    However, those profits did not match analyst expectations.

  15. Will the US and EU discuss farm trade?

    President Donald Trump

    Well this is a bit confusing. The European Union says that farm products will not be under discussion during trade talks with the US.

    However that seemed to contradict comments from President Donald Trump who hailed the talks as a victory for US farmers.

    "We just opened up Europe for you farmers," he told a rally in Iowa earlier this week.

    But an EU Commission spokesperson said that it had been made clear that farming would not be part of the talks.

    On Wednesday President Trump and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker agreed to suspend any new tariffs.

  16. Tracking Venezuela's crazy inflation

    Cafe in Ciudad Bolivar

    As the Venezuelan government is not publishing official statistics, Bloomberg has found a novel way of tracking soaring inflation.

    It has been recording to the price of a cafe con leche at a bakery in eastern Caracas.

    The price has jumped to 2 million bolivars from 2,300 bolivars over the last 12 months.

    Bloomberg admits it's not particularly scientific, but does have the merit of being something consumed by Venezuelans everyday.

  17. Twitter boss 'wants people to feel safe'

    Twitter chief executive and co-founder Jack Dorsey

    Twitter also reported net income of $100.1m between April and June compared to a $116.4m loss in the second quarter of last year.

    Twitter has previously announced that it is cleaning up its platform by purging fake accounts.

    In its results announcement today, Twitter chief executive and co-founder Jack Dorsey (pictured), said: “We want people to feel safe freely expressing themselves and have launched new tools to address problem behaviors that distort and distract from the public conversation."

  18. Twitter shares tumble in pre-market trade

    Twitter is facing a turbulent day on the stock market. Its shares are down 12.2% in pre-market trade.

    The micro-blogging site has said that it expects user numbers to fall by mid-single digits in the third quarter.

  19. BreakingTwitter beats profit forecast but users fall


    Twiter has reported second quarter revenues of $711m - up 24% on the same period last year and ahead of expectations of $697.3m.

    The micro-blogging site also reported 335 million monthly active users, down from 336 million in the first quarter.