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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Carphone Dixons data breach hits 10 million
  3. British Gas-owner loses 340,000 accounts
  4. BP lifts dividend as profits rise
  5. Thomas Cook profits be at low-end of forecasts
  6. Taylor Wimpey sets aside £30m to replace cladding

Live Reporting

By Bill Wilson

All times stated are UK


Hello, Unfortunately we're closing the live page early today due to circumstances beyond our control.

Don't worry though we'll be back again at 6am. Please come back then. We'll have all the reaction from Apple's results as well as half-year results from Lloyds Banking Group and High Street chain Next.

Jaguar Land Rover sells fewer cars in China

Range Rover
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We missed this earlier, but India's Tata Motors has reported its first quarterly loss in nearly three years after it's British division Jaguar Land Rover sold fewer of its luxury cars to dealerships in China and expenses rose.

Dealers in China delayed purchases to benefit from an import duty cut that came into effect after the end of the quarter, the car firm said.

China decided to cut import tariffs for cars and car parts to 15% for most vehicles from 25% starting 1 July, opening up greater access to the world's largest auto market and helping to ease a recent flare-up in trade tensions with the United States.

Jaguar Land Rover said the move would help boost sales going forward.

"We expect sales and financial results to improve over the remainder of the financial year ... with the new lower duties effective in China," chief executive Ralf Speth said.

Will Apple become the world's first trillion dollar firm?

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MoviePass to put up prices

MoviePass is putting up the price of its movie subscription service as it struggles with debts and mounting competition.

The service, which lets subscribers see a movie a day in a cinema, is to raise the price of its standard plan from $10 to $14.95 per month. It will also limit access to some blockbusters.

It comes amid serious financial trouble at the company and mounting competition from cinema chains which have launched their own services.

MoviePass, which has more than three million subscribers, has been burning through $20-$40m each month, its filings show, leading some analysts to question whether it can stay afloat.

Brexit and EU signs

Alex Hunt

BBC News

A guide to plans for the UK to leave the European Union, after the 2016 referendum.

Read more

Chipotle faces new food poisoning claims

Chipotle employees
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Shares in Chipotle slumped by up to 8% after reports of another food poisoning outbreak at the Mexican food chain.

According to reports, about 140 people said they had suffered from stomach upsets and diarrhea after eating at an Ohio branch over the past few days.

Chipotle shut the outlet on Monday after receiving complaints and said it was looking into the cases.

“We are not aware of any confirmed foodborne illness cases, and we are cooperating with the local health department,” a Chipotle spokesman told Reuters.

The firm faced a series of high-profile food safety lapses in 2015 that left more than 100 customers ill and damaged the firm's reputation.

Dixons hackers 'will use data for phishing attacks'

Dixons Carphone
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What could hackers do with the personal data stolen in Dixons Carphone's huge data breach?

The personal information, names, addresses and email addresses of 10 million people may have been accessed last year.

Phil Bindley, managing director of the Bunker, a data storage firm, tells Radio 5 Live the information could enable criminals to impersonate others in so-called "spear phishing" attacks.

"The more data you have about somebody the more likely you can get more data from them, and that's probably what's going to happen in this case."

P&G to put up prices of nappies and tissues in US

Pampers ad

Procter & Gamble has said it will push up the prices of some products after another weak quarter of sales growth.

The firm said net sales had risen just 2.6% to $16.5bn in the first quarter, while profit slipped 15% to $1.89bn.

P&G is the latest big US company to push up prices amid a strong US economy and healthy consumer spending.

In a bid to boost margins, it said it would increase prices on its Pampers brand in North America by 4% and raise prices by 5% on its Bounty, Charmin and Puffs tissue brands.

Wall Street climbs

Wall Street trader
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Wall Street stocks are up ahead of Apple earnings and a Federal Reserve monetary policy decision.

In mid morning trading in the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 0.4% at 25,416.47 and the S&P 500 is 0.2% higher at 1,231.85.

The Nasdaq is up half a per cent at 7,669.14, having fallen by at least one per cent in each of the last three days amid worries about slower growth at Facebook, Netflix and other big tech companies.

Why is Samsung's Galaxy S9 flagship struggling?

Samsung phone
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It wasn't what Samsung or its investors were hoping for.

The company's electronics division has just posted a drop in its latest net profit - and it says "lower-than-expected sales"of its flagship Galaxy S9 smartphone were to blame.

The handset launched in February to a mixed reception.

Read more here.

Weir Group boosted by strong growth in orders

Worker riveting
Weir Group

Engineering giant Weir Group saw revenue and profits soar in the first half of this year following strong growth in orders across its divisions.

Revenue climbed year-on-year by 15% to more than £1bn, while pre-tax profits from continuing operations rose by 38% to £143m.

Its oil and gas division reported a 35% increase in orders, while they were up by 12% for its minerals arm.

Orders were also up 34% in its flow control division.

Five ways Brexit could affect your holiday

Brexit and your holiday: Five things that could change

IMF has new Greek concerns

The International Monetary Fund has urged Greece to be "realistic" about its economic goals, and said again the nation might yet need additional debt relief.

The IMF board has welcomed the agreement Athens reached with the European Union in June to reduce the country's debt burden over the next five to 10 years.

But it said those moves may not be sufficient given the potential for political opposition to further reforms.

'Offensive' funeral service ads pulled

'Strengthen FCA powers in wake of RBS controversy'

RBS bank
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As we reported earlier, no action will be taken against Royal Bank of Scotland and its senior managers over the activities of its controversial Global Restructuring Group (GRG), the regulator has said.

The Financial Conduct Authority said its powers were "very limited". There were no "reasonable prospects of success" when it came to action against senior managers, it added.

Now the House of Commons Treasury Committee has called for new legislation to give the FCA powers to regulate SME lending.

Conservative MP Nicky Morgan, chair of the committee, has said: "This demonstrates the need for a change in how lending for SMEs is regulated.

"The government should stand ready to introduce any legislation required when it sees the outcome of current reports on redress and should also urgently consider what additional powers the FCA requires to act in cases such as GRG.”

Former HSBC trader wins extradition fight

British High Court

Former HSBC trader Stuart Scott has won a High Court appeal against extradition to the US to stand trial over allegations of fraud.

The US government had wanted Mr Scott to stand trial in the US in connection with charges of alleged fradulent foreign exchange trading that took place in December 2011 when HSBC was working for Cairn Energy.

Last October, a district judge at Westminster Magistrates' Court granted the extradition request, but on appeal today the High Court concluded that Mr Scott should be tried in the UK, since most of the harm occurred in this country, and there was not any significant connection with the US.

How people play the Sims

The Sims is a popular life simulation PC game series by Electronic Arts that has been around for the last 18 years, and is one of the best selling games of all time.

YouGov has done research into how people play the Sims, and found that rather than trying to live their dream fantasy life, many players would rather purposely kill their Sims in unusual ways....

View more on twitter

Reality Check: Would a 'no deal' Brexit prevent planes flying?

Reality Check

Passengers standing by an airport departure gate sign
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If the UK leaves the EU without any withdrawal agreement, EU rules and regulations will, very abruptly, stop applying to the UK after 29 March next year.

So what would that mean in terms of planes being able to take off and land?

Well, the UK would no longer be part of the EU's single aviation market, which is the basis for flights in and out of the country at the moment, not just to the EU itself, but to other countries with which the EU has a deal - such as the United States and Canada.

In all, the EU governs direct UK aviation access to 44 other countries.

Of course, you can always negotiate new agreements, but access would start at a pretty low level and negotiations take time.

That's why a sudden no-deal scenario is so alarming to the industry, a point that was recognised back in October 2017 by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Panasonic expects profits from Tesla partnership

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Panasonic has reported a 25% rise in pre-tax profits of 102.2bn yen ($920m) for the three months ended 30 June 2018, up from 82bn yen in the same period in the previous year.

The Japanese electronics giant saw a strong demand for factory automation equipment from China, which off-set the costs it incurred from increasing production at automotive battery plants.

Panasonic also said that it expects its rechargable battery business with Elon Musk's electric car company Tesla to bear fruit and contribute profit from as early as October, in line with Tesla ramping up its weekly production numbers of Model 3 cars.

Tesla Model 3
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Investors have long been worried about Panasonic's association with Tesla, which has dragged down the Japanese tech giant's share price over the course of this year.

Last week, it was revealed that Tesla had been asking some of its suppliers for discounts in order to help it stay in business. However Panasonic's chief financial officer Hirokazu Umeda told investors today that Panasonic did not receive any such request.

Guardians of the Galaxy cast back fired director

James Gunn
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The Guardians of the Galaxy cast has called for James Gunn to be reinstated as director of the movie after he was sacked this month over old tweets.

Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana and Vin Diesel signed an open letter in support of Gunn.

The stars said they were shocked by his removal 10 days ago.

The Walt Disney Co fired him from the third movie in the series after tweets from 2008-11 resurfaced in which he joked about rape and paedophilia.

Hunt urges France and Germany to push for Brexit deal

UK foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt
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Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has urged France and Germany to lobby the European Union's Brexit negotiators to ensure that a deal is reached.

“The probability of No Deal is increasing by the day until we see a change of approach from the European Commission who have this view that they just need to wait and Britain will blink. That is just a profound misunderstanding of us as a nation," Mr Hunt told the Evening Standard.

“France and Germany have to send a strong signal to the Commission that we need to negotiate a pragmatic and sensible outcome that protects jobs on both sides of the Channel because for every job lost in the UK, there will be jobs lost in Europe as well if Brexit goes wrong.”

Mr Hunt is meeting the French minister for Europe and foreign affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian in Paris today.

Can Apple restore the FAANG's bite?

Apple's new store in Milan
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Back in May, Apple posted forward-looking guidance for the third quarter.

Ahead of their earnings results later today, here are the figures they highlighted:

• Revenue to be between $51.5bn-$53.5bn• gross margin between 38% and 38.5%• operating expenses between $7.7bn-$7.8bn

Neil Wilson, chief market analyst for, says: "Apple reports Q3 numbers after the close on Tuesday amid a fair bit of turmoil for the FAANGs [Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google]. The numbers though are not expected to produce the kind of downbeat surprise we saw from Facebook and Netflix. Instead we expect a steady-as-she-goes performance and some positive guidance for Q4 and beyond.

"Looking back first at Q2, Apple did better than many feared but it was the capital return programme that was probably most appealing to investors. Revenues and earnings per share slightly beat forecasts although iPhone sales did fall a little short."

Trade row hits Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover is owned by India's Tata Motors
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Tata Motors said its Jaguar Land Rover business reported a pre-tax loss of £264m and sales down 7% to £5.2bn for the quarter to June because of "multiple challenges including temporary issues like [the] China duty impact as well as market issues like diesel concerns in the UK and Europe".

Rise in households paying inheritance tax

Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter

Inheritance tax paperwork
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The number of deaths liable to inheritance tax payments has risen, according to the latest annual figures from HM Revenue and Customs.

In 2015-16, 4.2% of UK deaths (24,500 in total) were liable to the tax, increasing by 0.3 percentage points since 2014-15. Typically, they each paid £179,000.

The wide geographical difference was highlighted in the data, with 365 households paying the tax in the North East of England in 2015-16 compared with 5,390 in the South East of England.

Figures showing the amount collected for the Treasury are more recent, and show that £5.2 billion was paid in 2017-18 - a rise of 8% compared with the previous year.

Analysts say the tax remains fiendishly complicated, but the frozen level of £325,000 at which the tax starts to be paid, and rising house prices, have led to the increase receipts.

What's next for the iPhone?


iPhone boxes
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Apple is expected to announce sales of 42 million iPhone for the third quarter, down from 52.2 million in the previous three months.

But CNN quotes Daniel Ives, an analyst with GBH Insights, who says that Apple's iPhone sales for this latest quarter will take "a back seat" to what he calls the main event - namely how much demand there is for the next generation of the company's iPhone.

Analysts are predicting that Apple will release three new iPhones later this year.

Vijay Mallya extradition hearing postponed

Vijay Mallya
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An extradition hearing involving India drinks tycoon Vijay Mallya has been postponed until 12 September after the chief magistrate requested a video to be made of conditions inside the barracks in India where he'd be held while awaiting trial.

Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said she was unable to sit for the hearing today at Westminster Magistrates.

Indebted tycoon Vijay Mallay who faces charges of fraud and money laundering, remains on bail. He denies any wrongdoing.

Mr Mallya has been fighting extradition over allegations of financial irregularities at his defunct Kingfisher airlines since December last year.

The businessman is said to owe banks more than £750m but he denies wrongdoing.

Looking ahead to Apple's results

Apple phone
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Apple could become the world's first $1 trillion company if the tech giant reports a stellar set of the third quarter results later on Wall Street.

The company is currently valued at $950bn so its share price would have to make a pretty extraordinary leap of 7%, according to Reuters, to reach the magic number.

And with tech stocks struggling in recent days, such a jump may be unlikely.

Of more interest will be any hint from Apple about its new iPhones.

Ewan Spence at Forbes has a theory...

Fresnillo rises to top of FTSE 100


The FTSE 100 has extended its meagre early morning gains and is now ahead 22.52 points or 0.29% at 7,723.37.

Precious metals miner Fresnillo (pictured) is now leading the blue chip risers, with its share price up 2.6% at £10.24 after reporting strong interim results.

Just Eat is now the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, down 5.1% at 802.8p.

The FTSE 250 is now trading lower, down 2.99 points at 20,875.26.

After taking steps to restructure the business, Provident Financial's shares are flying and are up 13.26% at 699.1p on a positive update today.

Travis Perkins, however, continues to lead the biggest fallers on the FTSE 250, down 11% at £11.92.

A silver lining for Dixons Carphone?

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

Dixons Carphone

On the face of it, this is terrible news for Dixons Carphone and its customers – it’s as if a householder who discovered in June that burglars had stolen the telly has belatedly looked in the garage and found that the car has gone too.

But remember, the really shocking thing about the first announcement last month was that details of 5.9 million payment cards had been accessed – it’s not that number which has gone up tenfold but the separate and less serious total of non-financial personal records hacked.

Now that still leaves many more people at the theoretical risk of phishing attacks and it’s another stain on the company’s reputation.

But whereas Dixons Carphone shares fell after the news in June, they’ve risen slightly this morning.

Investors have had so much bad news lately about the last electronics retailer left standing on the High Street that they seem able to shrug off something which may not have a huge effect on the bottom line.

RBS to 'reflect carefully' on report findings

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RBS has responded to the publication of the independent review commissioned by the FCA into GRG.

“The board welcomes the FCA’s confirmation that it has concluded its investigation into the bank and that no further action will be taken. We await the publication of the FCA’s full account and will reflect carefully on its findings to learn any further lessons from what was a hugely challenging time for the bank, its customers and the wider economy," said RBS' chairman Howard Davies.

“The board continues to focus on putting things right for customers through our complaints process and ensuring that past mistakes cannot be repeated. The way the bank deals with business customers in financial difficulty is fundamentally different now.”

Slower growth for eurozone economy

Euro notes
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The eurozone economy grew more slowly than expected in the second quarter of the year, according to the EU's statistics office Eurostat.

It estimated that gross domestic product in the 19 countries sharing the euro rose by 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in the April to June period and was 2.1% higher than in the same period last year.

Higher energy costs pushed inflation up 0.1% to 2.1%.

Eurostat added that unemployment in the eurozone was unchanged in June at 8.3%.

Standard Chartered avoids trade row fall-out

US-China trade war: Why you should care

Standard Chartered does not expect the trade row between the US and China to have much impact on the Asia-facing bank...for now.

Announcing its interim results, Standard Chartered's chief executive Bill Winters said: "Our direct exposure to increasing tariffs between the US and China is minimal, less than 1% of income.

"It's not a disastrous thing for Standard Chartered ... but if the trade war escalates it could be more disruptive for the global economy and our clients."

FCA's statement on RBS investigation

FCA logo

The FCA has released a statement discussing the decision it made following the independent review of RBS's treatment of small and medium-sized enterprise customers transferred to its Global Restructuring Group (GRG).

“We have consulted with independent, external leading counsel who has confirmed that the FCA’s conclusions are correct and reasonable," said the FCA's chief executive Andrew Bailey.

“I appreciate that many GRG customers will be frustrated by this decision but we have explored all the options available to us before arriving at this conclusion.

“The fact that we can’t take action in no way condones the behaviour of RBS. We expect high standards from the firms we regulate and RBS fell well short in its treatment of GRG customers."

Mr Bailey added that the FCA strongly felt that all the companies that suffered loss as a result of how they were treated by the GRG "must be appropriately compensated".

The FCA is now "closely monitoring" the complaints process overseen by Sir William Blackburne to ensure that things are put right.

And due to the Senior Managers Regime legislation introduced in 2016, the FCA says that it will be able to hold senior managers of banks to account for the way business customers are treated.

BreakingNo evidence RBS exploited businesses for profit

RBS bank
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An independent review commissioned by the FCA into Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS) treatment of small and medium-sized enterprise customers transferred to its Global Restructuring Group (GRG) has found that no evidence that the bank deliberately transferred customers to GRG in order to profit from their restructuing or insolvency.

The review, which was conducted by Promontory Financial Group and Mazars, did however find that there were many "deficient" aspects of the GRG's culture, governance and practices that led to the "widespread and systematic" inappropriate treatment of customers.

On top of this, the decisions that the GRG made potentially exacerbated the difficult circumstances experienced by customers, and had a significant bearing on their lives.

The review found that the GRG did not appear to recognise the emotional stress suffered by small business customers, some of whom were losing both their businesses and their homes as well.

Unfortunately, the FCA says that it does not have the power to take disciplinary action on RBS because of the largely unregulated nature of GRG's business.

Also, because it did not find any evidence of dishonesty or lack of integrity, the FCA does not think a successful competence and capability case could be brought against the bank.

Taylor Wimpey profits grow

A man building a house
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Taylor Wimpey's interim pre-tax profits rose 46.8% to £301m due to a reduction of exceptional charges and strong customer demand for new homes.

The house builder says it is optimistic about the future as "employment prospects remain positive and mortgage availability is good" and it has a strong UK order book of 9,241 homes valued at £2,175m, excluding joint ventures.

Taylor Wimpey said that although the extreme weather conditions in the first quarter of 2018 had impacted construction and therefore first-half revenues - down 0.4% at £1.7bn - it had managed to catch up with construction and therefore remained on track with its current outlook.

Its shares rose 0.49% to 172.9p.

Struggling DIY market hammers Travis Perkins

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Shares in Travis Perkins plunged after the building materials and DIY company warned that full-year operating profit would be at the lower end of expectations. Shares fell 9.7% to £12.09.

The company said its Wickes DIY chain had experienced a "far more challenging period" in the six months to June because of "weaker consumer spending trends".

As a consequence, Travis Perkins took a £246m impairment charge against the goodwill in Wickes and said the chain "is executing a significant cost reduction programme".

It said: "Whilst these savings will help drive improved profitability through the second half of the year, Wickes’ profits will be lower than previously expected."

It reported a £123.4m pre-tax loss for the six months to June compared to a £167.6m gain last year.

Total revenue rose by 4.4% while like-for-like sales rose 4.2%.

Much ado about nothing

The Wall Street Journal's Mike Bird says that Japan's central bank is at the frontier...... of doing nothing.......

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