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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Sterling up against the dollar and euro
  3. Pandora chief executive steps down
  4. TUI shares slump on heatwave competition
  5. Card Factory warns on profits

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

Good night

BBC testcard
BBC

That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Friday.

Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis from the wonderful world of business.

Organic solar cells set new energy record

Solar panels
Getty Images

Chinese researchers have taken what they say is a major step forward for the development of a new generation of solar cells.

Manufacturers have long used silicon to make solar panels because the material was the most efficient at converting sunlight into electricity.

But organic photovoltaics, made from carbon and plastic, promise a cheaper way of generating electricity.

This new study shows that organics can now be just as efficient as silicon.

Wall Street ends lower

Wall Street bull and little girl statues
Getty Images

Wall Street shares are down at the close close after losses in the banking sector, which offset gains in technology stocks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has ended 75 points lower to 25,509.

The S&P 500 closed 1.5 points down to 2,856.

And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq finished 3 points up to 7,8912.

Sea lice 'breakthrough' for salmon farmers

Scottish salmon
Getty Images

Two of Scotland's biggest salmon producers say they have made a breakthrough in the rearing of so-called cleaner-fish to tackle sea lice.

Until now, most of the wrasse used in salmon cages have been taken from the wild, which has caused huge concern among environmental groups.

But researchers say they have been able to "complete the life cycle" by rearing their first brooding stock.

They hope to become self-sufficient in the fish within the next three years.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9 alerts users to bad photos

A man using a Samsung Galaxy Note 9 to take a selfie
Samsung

Samsung's new high-end smartphone alerts owners to problems with their photos as soon as they are snapped.

The Galaxy Note 9 uses software to identify if the images are blurry or whether the subject is blinking, among other issues.

The innovation is one of several artificial intelligence-enhanced abilities the handset offers that do not rely on remote computer servers.

Analysts say this should help tackle increasing competition from Huawei.

Portion of chips '80% bigger than in 2002'

A woman walking past a takeaway in Glasgow
Getty Images

A survey of takeaways in Glasgow has found the average size of a portion of chips has increased by more than 80% since 2002.

Campaign group Obesity Action Scotland (OAS) said it had visited 30 outlets and found that the average single portion of chips weighed 380g.

That compared with an average serving of 210g, detailed by the Food Standards Agency's portion booklet in 2002.

OAS has called for new laws to control portion sizes and a calorie cap.

How Instagram is influencing hotel design

If a picture wasn’t uploaded, did it even happen? That’s the feeling amongst many today – especially millennials – and it’s something businesses are increasingly taking note of.

This is perhaps no more so the case than in the tourism and hotel industry. Some hotels are so conscious of it, they are making deliberate choices in design to look good on Instagram.

How Instagram is influencing hotel design

Tesla shares on a downer

Tesla
Getty Images

Shares in the electric car company Tesla have fallen 6% today to $349, which is below the level the price was at before Elon Musk tweeted on Tuesday that he was considering taking the firm private.

On Tuesday, Tesla stock rose to a peak of $368, before Nasdaq suspended trading.

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission is now quizzing Tesla about why Mr Musk chose to tweet about it, rather than put out a regulatory filing.

The Nasdaq is now 30 points or 0.4% ahead to 7,918.57.

The S&P 500 is flat - just 1.3 points or 0.05% higher to 2,859.13.

And the Dow Jones Industrial Average is also flat - 4 points or 0.02% lower to 25,579.85.

Chinese 'robocall' scam hits US weather office

A man working at the US National Weather Service
Getty Images

An unexpected message - in Chinese - has been broadcast over a public address system at a US National Weather Service office in Maryland.

It was also received on individual desk phones.

The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said it was a scam automated call, known as a robocall.

Reports of similar messages, delivered as audio recordings, have been made before.

Dutch court says Ryanair pilots permission to strike

A Ryanair aeroplne
Ryanair

A Dutch court has ruled that Ryanair's pilots in the Netherlands are permitted to join their counterparts in Germany, Belgium, Ireland and Sweden in a strike tomorrow.

Friday 10 August is meant to be one of the busiest for the travel industry as a peak number of people go on holiday, but the budget airline has had to cancel one in six flights.

Ryanair went to the Haarlem District Court today to try to get an urgent court order to halt the industrial action, but its request has been denied.

PGA Championship servers hacked and files locked

PGA Championship golf tee cover
Montana Pritchard / PGA of America

Hackers have broken into servers belonging to PGA of America, which runs the PGA Championship golf tournament.

Files containing marketing materials for that competition as well as the Ryder Cup in France have been locked, pending payment of a ransom.

A Bitcoin address was provided, but the hackers did not specify a desired amount,according to sports magazine Golfweek.

A PGA spokesman told BBC News he had no comment as the incident was ongoing.

Thirty former police stations put up for sale

A police building in Anderston, Glasgow
Shepherd
A police building in Anderston, Glasgow

Thirty former police stations across Scotland are being put up for sale.

A commercial property specialist has been appointed by the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) to manage the sale of the buildings, some of which have been empty for years.

The properties were identified following a public consultation exercise by Police Scotland.

Shepherd Chartered Surveyors said the first tranche of 21 buildings would be released to the market this month.

Poundworld brand could be resurrected

A Poundworld store
BBC

The Poundworld brand could be resurrected on some High Streets.

A deal has been agreed in principle for Irish retail family the Hendersons to buy the Poundworld brand and the leases on some of the stores of the collapsed discount retailer.

However, the proposed deal will not save the jobs of any current Poundworld staff.

The remaining stores were closing on Thursday afternoon, a source close to administrator Deloitte said.

Spotify shares soar on Samsung announcement

Spotify sign and Apple ear pods
Reuters

Music streaming service Spotify's shares have soared following an announcement today that Samsung is teaming up with Spotify in a long-term partnership across its devices.

Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Home smart speaker, and it wants Spotify to be on hand when people ask Samsung's virtual assistant Bixby for a song, even if the user hasn't ever used the Spotify service before.

Spotify is now 5% up to $187.62 and is still climbing - a far cry from yesterday, when Apple's chief executive Tim Cook publicly criticised Spotify, saying that its algorithm-driven playlists were "draining the humanity out of music".

Have your say: Funny CV mistakes

Business Live has been informed of the existence of a funny Twitter account that collects funny and terrible examples of mistakes and faux pas in resumes and cover letters.

We've listed some of the most amusing suggestions below.

Have any other funny CV / cover letter / interview stories?

Email us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

JCPenney to enter void left by Babies R' Us

JC Penney store
Getty Images

US department store chain JC Penney says it will step in to fill the void left by Babies R' Us closing down in America.

JC Penney currently offers baby products like cribs, high chairs, push chairs and car seats on its website, but it has decided to start a dedicated baby section in all 500 of its stores across the country that will include clothing, bottles, pacifiers, diaper bags, bouncer seats and activity centers from popular brands.

"The baby care business is expected to reach over $13bn by 2021 and we are seizing this opportunity to pursue available market share and aggressively go after the baby customer with these new shops," said James Starke, senior vice president and head of merchandising for JCPenney.

"We've strategically chosen these 500 JCPenney locations because the majority of the stores are near a specialty baby retailer that has recently closed its doors."

London mixed on close

London Stock Exchange
Getty Images

London shares have been mixed on close, due to shaken investor confidence from trade tensions and Russian sanctions, as well as summer lethargy.

The FTSE 100 closed 34.9 points or 0.5% lower to 7,741.77. Top of the losers is BT, which dropped 4.6% to 229p after announcing that it intends to upgrade the UK to ultrafast fibre broadband by 2020 using G.Fast technology instead of 10m broadband lines.

The FTSE 250 ended 35.6 points or 0.2% ahead to 20,806.21, led by Cineworld, which jumped an epic 10.3% to 304.8p after reporting that its first-half profits more than doubled following its acquisition of rival Regal.

Will Trump's tariffs stop Chinese espionage?

President Trump
Getty Images

A key reason for Trump's tariffs on China's exports is anger at the theft of US company secrets, but will the Chinese now clean up their act?

Dan McGahn says it was a case of attempted murder.

The victim was his business American Superconductor (AMSC), and the perpetrator was a Chinese company called Sinovel Windpower.

The two firms had been partners, but Sinovel bribed an insider to steal AMSC's key wind turbine technology.

As a result, Massachusetts-based AMSC saw its sales collapse, its market value plummet by $1bn (£770m), and it had to lay off hundreds of employees.

Have your say: 'One of the best in the world'

A man shakes hands on receiving an offer of employment
Getty Images

Thanks for all your CV stories.

Here's one about an interview from Dr Jeremy Bennett, the chief executive of British technology firm Embecosm.

He says that he interviewed someone who had just graduated with a double first in Computer Science and Electronics from one of the UK's top universities.

"I asked him what field he wanted to work in. He answered that he was interested in a broad swathe of the subject area, and did not have a particular field of preference, but whatever he did he wanted to be one of the best in the world," writes Dr Bennett.

"We like to pretend applicants just want to devote themselves to our niche specialty. But in reality the top graduates are always generalists. Wanting to excel in whatever you do seems to me the perfect answer.

Dr Bennett says that he hired this young man, who started a new line of business for Embescosm, which grew to be more than 50% of their turnover within three years.

Sounds like a smart investment.

Apple axes the 'wrong apps'

A man in a suit holding gambling chips and a smartphone
Getty Images

Apple has been accused of accidentally removing apps from the App Store in a crackdown on gambling content.

Several developers complained via social media that their apps, which they said had nothing to do with gambling, were taken down.

The affected apps included a Polish magazine, a gif-sharing service and a platform for sending clips of Xbox games to friends.

The BBC has contacted Apple for comment.

Cash-crisis council backs 'radical' cuts

Northamptonshire County Council approved an action plan for "radical" cuts to services
BBC

A cash-strapped council has approved massive cuts to jobs and services in a bid to tackle a funding shortfall of £70m.

Northamptonshire County Council backed the action plan to reduce spending during a crisis meeting.

Children's services, road maintenance and waste management are among the areas facing "radical" cuts.

All but one of the Conservative MPs backed the action plan earlier while the opposition groups voted against.

Lira hits a record low

Turkish Lira
AFP

The Turkish lira has hit a record low - sliding down 3.5% today to trade at 5.46250 against the dollar.

The lira has now lost over 40% of its value this year.

Yesterday, Turkey's deputy foreign minister met with the US State Department to try to resolve a number of issues, which includes the detention of US pastor Andrew Brunson, who runs a small church in the Aegean city of Izmir.

Mr Brunson remains under house arrest, and American officials told the Wall Street Journal that the talks had been "unable to produce a breakthrough".

Wall Street opens flat again

Wall Street
Getty Images

For the second day in a row, Wall Street shares have been flat on open, due to rises in tech stocks being off-set by losses in the banking sector, plus the effects of escalating trade tensions between the US and China.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now 11.3 points or 0.04% lower to 25,572.49. IBM leads the losers, down 1% to $145.38. Earlier today, IBM announced that 94 companies have joined its blockchain-based shipping system developed with Maersk.

The S&P 500 is just 0.44 points or 0.02% down to 2,857.19. Top of the losers is oil producer Apache, dropping 6.7% to $43.03. Yesterday, Apache formed a joint venture with investment firm Kayne Anderson to create a new Permian basin pipeline company.

And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 11.6 points or 0.2% ahead to 7,900.61. The losers are led by Chinese internet technology firm NetEase, which has fallen 7.3% to $234.61. Yesterday, the firm's shares rose after it reported a steady increase in revenue and profits.

'The Hunger Games inspired me to become a make-up artist'

Seventeen-year-old Lila Childs says she was inspired by the Hunger Games films to become a make-up artist.

She uses Instagram to showcase her work and to discover beauty brands.

One of the brands she uses is Glossier, a direct-to-consumer beauty firm that's now worth an estimated $390m.

'The Hunger Games inspired me to become a make-up artist'

Have your say: 'Cover letters are unnecessary'

Job applications
Thinkstock

Reader Alex Alderman, who works as a HR manager for a Czech investment company, has sent us an unusual CV story.

"Most Czechs under 35 speak and write English quite well, but every once in a while I receive something pretty magical," he writes.

"Inside the cover letter the ‘candidate’ make a strong argument that the cover letter was an outdated and unnecessary practice, because you will never learn anything about a person through a letter. He wrote the letter in Comic Sans.

"He did not get the job."

What's the worst/best you've ever seen? Or perhaps you've made an inadvertent mistake in your own CV?

Email us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Good afternoon

Pub closed
Getty Images

Thanks Dearbail 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.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) says that British pubs are now closing at a rate of 18 per week, with the hardest hit areas being Greater London and the East Midlands.

Have you seen a favourite pub near you close down?

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

Canada Goose losses narrow

canada goose coat
Getty Images

Luxury padded coat maker Canada Goose has reported a smaller-than-expected first-quarter loss. Its direct sales division added more to the bottom line than investors were anticipating. It made a net loss of C$18.7m (£11m). The company's much coveted parkas can cost £700.

It's been opening new stores in China and Hong Kong, as well as selling more of its stuff direct. China and Hong Kong, It is also doing knitwear now. Gross profit margins are a chunky 64%.

US producer prices unchanged in July

US producer prices held steady in July for the first time in seven months, the Labor Department has said. The producer price index (PPI) had seen a 0.3% rise in June and a similar rise had been expected for July..

The department said a modest increase in the cost of goods was offset by a drop in the price of services.

Producer price inflation is unlikely to stay weak for long, however. In particular, the Trump administration's import tariffs on steel and aluminium, as well as a range of Chinese goods, are expected to push prices upward.

Taiwan snubs China rail tunnel plan

Taiwanese train
EPA

Taiwan has rejected a Chinese plan to connect the two sides with what would be the world's longest undersea railway tunnel.

The island's administration said political differences between the two ruled out discussions on the project. China considers Taiwan part of its own territory and has threatened to invade if it declares independence.

The proposed tunnel would stretch 135km (85 miles) between Pingtan in China"s Fujian province and the city of Hsinchu on Taiwan"s western coast.

Emma's Diary fined over data sale to Labour

Emma's Diary
LIFECYCLE MARKETING

A parenting advice site has been fined £140,000 after it was accused of illegally collecting data and selling it on for use by the Labour Party, which used it to profile new mums.

Emma's Diary gathered data on more than a million people, according to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), which issued the fine.

Labour used the information in the run up to the 2017 General Election.

Read the full story here.

Look ahead to GDP growth

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Getty Images
The royal wedding was a highlight of the second quarter

On Friday, the Office for National Statistics will publish its first estimate for UK GDP growth during the second quarter.

GDP is expected to reach 0.4% between April and June compared to just 0.2% in the first quarter.

Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says the second quarter has been much brighter thanks to good weather, the royal wedding and the World Cup.

But he says: "If tomorrow’s growth number proves disappointing, the Bank of England could find some pretty instant egg on its face after its decision to raise interest rates last week.

"However the main indicators suggest a rebound from the weak first quarter is on the cards. One quarter’s reading is of course a fairly brief snapshot. Looking at the bigger picture, UK economic growth is still way below the gains we were used to before the financial crisis."

Have your say: That old chesnut

Ken Tyson has come up with a corker for examples of CV clichés:

“I am passionate about..."

Beat that if you can!

What do you think are the most overused words in CVs? What's the worst/best you've ever seen?

Email us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Sterling hangs onto gains

Pound coins
Getty Images

Sterling is just about hanging onto gains against the dollar, up 0.05% at $1.2888.

The pound has lost a little ground against the euro but is still ahead 0.17% of the single currency at €1.1115.

Pound v US dollar trade
BBC
Pound v US dollar trade on Thursday

House of Fraser bidders to submit offers today - report

Sky News

House of Fraser
Getty Images

Sky News is reporting that potential buyers for House of Fraser have been told to submit final offers for the department store chain on Thursday.

It says that Sports Direct tycoon Mike Ashley, Philip Day, the owner of Edinburgh Woollen Mills, and turnaround fund Alteri Investors have been told hand their "best and final" offers to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Have your say: Idleness is golden

Man at computer asleep
Getty Images

It seems like using an automated translator to convert a CV into English is pretty common.

Phil Coote has emailed in to say that he's had so many CVs with mistakes that he has lost count.

"But a good one was from someone who clearly wanted to impress us with their work ethic," he writes. "Unfortunately, the translation produced ‘I’m looking for a job where I can hardly work’.

"Although I’m only guessing it was lost in translation and not the truth."

What's the worst/best you've ever seen? Or perhaps you've made an inadvertent mistake in your own CV?

Email us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Tribune Media walks way from Sinclair deal

Tribune Media, the US conglomerate, has terminated a merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group and is suing the company for "material breaches" of the agreement.

Last month, the US Federal Communications Commission rejected the deal after Sinclair said it would sell TV stations to enable to merger to go ahead.

BreakingHouse of Fraser sets date for financing

House of Fraser
PA

House of Fraser, the embattled department store chain, says it plans to secure financing for the business by 20 August.

House of Fraser has to pay the companies that have concessions in its department stores by that date.

In an announcement to the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, it said: "House of Fraser confirms that discussions continue with interested investors and its main secured creditors, which are focused on concluding as quickly as possible to enable receipt of an investment required by no later than 20 August 2018."

Have your say: Behold the professional one

Bowing
Getty Images

What happens when you put a CV through an automated translator?

Reader Levente Toth says: "Once I had a CV sent in to our team that stated, due to literal robotic translation 'I am the professional one'.

"It was quite something as an opening statement, and we all would have bowed down in front of The One, but the CV was so bad that we never met the candidate."

Do you have a story that can beat this? What do you think are the most overused words in CVs?

Email us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Sterling reverses fall

The pound has reversed earlier falls and is now trading marginally ahead of the dollar at $1.2893.

Sterling is up 0.23% against the euro at €1.1121.

Have your say: CV clichés

Curriculum vitae under a magnifying glass
Getty Images

Are you "motivated"? Do you use your own "initiative"? Are you "friendly"?

If so, just don't write it on your CV.

Job search company Azuna has analysed 1.1 million CVs and found that "motivated" is the most cited feature in the UK curriculum vitae.

Adzuna says using too many buzzwords can turn off prospective employers for lack of originality.

What do you think are the most overused words in CVs? What's the worst/best you've ever seen?

Email us at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk