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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

    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.

  2. Sitwell to Telegraph

    William Sitwell

    William Sitwell, who stood down as the editor of Waitrose Food magazine after suggesting a series on killing vegans one by one, has been named a writer and commentator at the Telegraph.

    He had been responding to an email pitch from freelance journalist Selene Nelson who had suggested features on plant-based recipes.

    According to his website, his new restaurant review column will be published weekly in the Telegraph’s Saturday magazine, as well as on the Telegraph’s website. The irst restaurant review column will be published in the Saturday magazine on 5 January.

  3. London closes lower

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended lower, as investors’ fears of slowing global growth continued to be confirmed by Apple's revenue warning about the Chinese economy.

    The FTSE 100 closed 41.6 points or 0.6% down to 6,692.66. Top of the losers was mining firm Evraz, which dropped 7.7% to 442.1p. Yesterday, Evraz was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from “hold” to “sell”.

    The FTSE 250 ended 147.8 points or 0.8% lower to 17,438.91. British engineering company Renishaw headed the losers, falling 7.9% to £38.90.

  4. Apple overtaken by Alphabet

    Apple shares are now down nearly 10%. Today's share slide means Google owner Alphabet now has a larger market cap than Apple.

    Apple market cap graphic
  5. US-China trade war 'wreaking havoc'

    The latest US manufacturing survey is "grim", according to Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

    "The consensus always looked too optimistic, but this reading is at the bottom end of our range of expectations," he says.

    "The details are horrible too, with a huge 11.0-point fall in the key new orders index leading the decline.

    "Employment slipped only 2.2 points but it will fall much further over the next few months if orders don’t rebound.

    "The story here is that the trade war, coupled with China’s underlying slowdown, is wreaking havoc in both countries.

    "This makes us all the more convinced that a meaningful trade deal will be done over the next few months, but the manufacturing numbers will get worse before they get better."

  6. US factory activity slows sharply

    US car production

    There's been a mixed bag of economic data coming out of the US today. Earlier, the latest ADP national employment report found that private sector firms added 271,000 jobs in December, which was much stronger than expected.

    However, the latest survey of US manufacturing firms suggests that activity slowed sharply last month.

    The ISM index of national factory activity fell to a worse-than-expected 54.1 in December from 59.3 the month before - the biggest one-month fall in a decade. A figure above 50 indicates expansion.

  7. US stocks extend losses

    NYSE traders

    Shares opened lower on Wall Street and have continued to fall with investors rattled by Apple's sales warning .

    The Dow Jones is now down nearly 2% at 22,892 while the S&P 500 has dropped 1.7%.

    Unsurprisingly, tech stocks are seeing some of the biggest falls. Suppliers to Apple including Qorvo, Advanced Micro Devices and Skyworks Solutions are down more than 7%.

  8. GM sales slip

    GM

    General Motors' shares have fallen 2% after it said new vehicle sales in the US dropped 2.7% in the fourth quarter.

    There were declines across most of its brands, including Chevrolet, Cadillac and Buick.

    The figures are expected to reflect the market for 2019, when sales of new cars in the US are predicted to fall.

  9. Luxury goods firms hit by Apple warning

    Ralph Lauren store

    Apple's warning that the slowdown in China has had repercussions beyond the tech sector.

    Shares in luxury goods companies, for whom China has been a major source of sales growth, have also been hit.

    Ralph Lauren shares are down 3.2% and Tiffany & Co has dropped 4.2%.

  10. US stocks open lower as Apple slides

    NYSE traders

    Apple's share slide is weighing on US markets, as the tech giant is a component of all the three main US stock indexes.

    Shares in the company have opened down nearly 9% after it warned on Wednesday that sales would be lower than expected, mainly due to the slowdown in China.

    In early trade the Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 275.77 points, or 1.2%, at 23,070.47.

    The S&P 500 slid 0.7% to 2,492.77 while the Nasdaq is 73.02 points lower at 6,592.92.

  11. BreakingApple shares fall 8.7%

    iPhone

    Trading has just got under way on Wall Street and Apple shares have opened down $13.75, or 8.7%, at $144.17.

  12. Apple set to open lower

    Here's a handy chart of Apple's share price last year.

    The iPhone maker has set the tone for trading in stock markets today after warning on Wednesday that a slowdown in China had hit is revenues.

    Its shares will start trading shortly but have fallen 9% in pre-market trade.

    apple share price chart
  13. 'Startling' US jobs figures

    Reacting to those US jobs figures, Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, says: "To describe this as startling would be something of an understatement.

    "The biggest increase in the ADP measure of private employment since February last year came out of the blue."

    With attention now switching to the broader non-farm payrolls figure due out on Friday, Mr Shepherdson says he is sticking to a forecast of 225,000 jobs being created, "but the risk now is to the upside".

    "We can’t imagine that 271K gains are remotely sustainable, but this report comes as a welcome jolt to the market’s favored narrative that the economy is slowing sharply."

  14. Strong jobs growth in the US

    US construction workers

    Private sector firms in the US created more jobs than expected last month, according to the latest ADP national employment report.

    It found companies in the private sector added 271,000 jobs in December, comfortably beating analysts' expectations of about 178,000.

    The ADP report comes a day ahead of the more comprehensive US non-farm payrolls figures.

  15. Rush to register legal claim against VW

    VW logo

    Some 372,000 German owners of Volkswagen cars fitted with motors that cheated emissions tests have joined a collective legal action against the auto giant, latest official figures show.

    German consumers' association VZBV had urged people to register a request with the court before 31 December.

    Although registration is open until the day before the first hearing into the case - planned for later this year - the VZBV urged people to file as soon as possible to avoid their case stumbling on the three-year statute of limitations.

    VW admitted in 2015 to manipulating 11 million diesel vehicles to appear less polluting under test conditions than in real driving.

  16. Cost-saving deal

    Bristol-Myers Squibb is also setting out drugs in the development pipeline with the potential to create $15bn of revenue.

    And, of course, there is talk of cost-savings: $2.5bn by 2022.

  17. Blockbusters

    scientist

    As mentioned earlier, the enlarged Bristol-Myers Squibb will have nine products with turnover of more than $1bn in annual sales.

    In the documents announcing the deal with Celgene, it points to expertise in :

    • oncology (cancer) treatments - through Opdivo and Yervoy as well as Revlimid and Pomalyst
    • immunology and inflammation, where it says it will be in the top five with products such as Orencia and Otezla
    • cardiovascular expertise through Eliquis
  18. Seaborne T&C's 'an error'

    That mistake on the Seaborne Freight website about them delivering food was no hacking hoax.

    The Department for Transport (DfT) says the wording "was put up in error" and has now been taken down.

    Seaborne has been given a contract to run extra ferry services in the event of Brexit no-deal, but it's lack of experience running any ships opened the firm to ridicule.

    The terms and conditions section of its website mentioned delivering food orders, something critics says hardly underlines Seaborne's qualifications and professionalism.

    The DfT said: “Before any contract was signed, due diligence on Seaborne Freight was carried out both by senior officials at the Department for Transport, and highly reputable independent third party organisations with significant experience and expertise into Seaborne’s financial, technical and legal underpinning.

    “This section of the terms and conditions on the company’s website was put up in error. This has now been rectified.”

  19. Bristol-Myers Squibb shares slide

    logo

    Shares in Bristol-Myers Squibb have fallen 13% in pre-market trading after the announcement of the $74bn takeover of Celgene, whose shares are up 30%.

    Celgene shareholders are receiving one Bristol-Myers Squibb share and $50 in cash for each of their shares.

    The share prices of other pharmaceutical companies are rising. For instance, GlaxoSmithKline which had been trading lower on the day is now up almost 1%.