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Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's it for Business Live, thanks for tuning in. We'll be back at 6am tomorrow, hope to see you then.

  2. Fares hike boosts Delta profits

    Delta plane

    Delta Air Lines has reported a whopping 39.3% rise in quarterly profit after it hiked fares and flew fuller planes due to the extended Boeing 737 Max grounding.

    The second-largest US carrier posted net income of $1.44bn in the three months to 30 June - up from $1.04bn a year earlier.

    Total operating revenue rose 6.5% to $12.54 billion.

    The company also raised its full-year profit forecast, sending its shares up by 1.5%.

  3. Opec predicts fall in demand for oil in 2020

    Oil worker

    Oil prices have slipped after a report from Opec forecast world demand for its crude would decline next year as rivals pumped more.

    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said the world would need 29.27 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude from its 14 members next year, down 1.34 million bpd from this year.

    “The 2020 forecast assumes that no further downside risks materialize, particularly that trade-related issues do not escalate further,” Opec said of the economic outlook.

    Opec, Russia and other producers have since January implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million barrels per day to support prices, but rising production of US shale oil has limited its impact.

  4. Wall Street closes higher


    Wall Street has closed higher as investors continue to bet on the US Fed cutting interest rates this month.

    The Dow Jones gained 227.88 points to 27,088.08, taking it above 27,000 for the first time.

    The S&P 500 gained 5.8 points to 2,998.67 while the Nasdaq fell 6.49 to 8,196.04.

    On Wednesday Mr Powell said the central bank stood ready to "act as appropriate" to support record US economic growth, which was taken by many to mean it would cut rates in July.

  5. M&S bosses 'knew McDonald had no fashion experience'

    Jill McDonald

    Whoever becomes Marks & Spencer's new fashion boss "faces a challenge", Maureen Hinton, a retail analyst at Global Data, tells the BBC after the ousting of Jill McDonald.

    "Even those before [Ms McDonald] with a strong clothing background could not attract back shoppers who have deserted it for other retailers and brands that have far more enticing ranges and stores.

    "She has introduced more appealing product but it did not help that she had no clothing business experience, so therefore no clothing merchandising and supply chain experience.

    "But management knew that when they hired her and you would have thought there would be the experience and support in the business to make up for her lack in this area

    "But it seems not – which is even more worrying as these are described by Marks & Spencer as longstanding issues."

  6. Twitter shares fall as outage continues

    Shares in Twitter are trading about 1% lower after users across the globe reported issues with accessing the microblogging platform.

    "We are currently investigating issues people are having accessing Twitter," a company spokeswoman said.

    Outage tracking website showed that there are nearly 70,000 incidents of people across the globe reporting Twitter issues.

  7. Johnson: Trump's tweets 'could be more diplomatic'

    Video content

    Video caption: Boris Johnson: President Trump's tweets 'could be more diplomatic'

    The Tory leadership candidate admits he could be more diplomatic in his language too.

  8. Twitter users suffer outages

    Twitter is investigating issues related to its platform being inaccessible for users, the microblogging site says.

    Outage tracking website showed that there are nearly 50,000 incidents of people across the globe reporting issues with Twitter.

  9. Facebook AI bot beats experts at poker

    Poker game

    Facebook says it has created the first artificial intelligence (AI) program capable of beating multiple human players at poker.

    In a blog, the social media giant said it has tested its Pluribus program against professional poker players, including two winners of the World Series of Poker Main Event and "Pluribus won decisively".

    "In recent years, new AI methods have been able to beat top humans in poker if there is only one opponent. But developing an AI system capable of defeating elite players in full-scale poker with multiple opponents at the table was widely recognised as the key remaining milestone."

    It added: "Pluribus succeeds because it can very efficiently handle the challenges of a game with both hidden information and more than two players. It uses self play to teach itself how to win, with no examples or guidance on strategy."

    The firm said the program, which was developed in collaboration with Carnegie Mellon University, would help advance AI research.

  10. FCA makes sixth conviction in major insider-trading probe

    A luxury watch dealer who laundered the proceeds from insider trading has been convicted in absentia in the UK after fleeing during proceedings.

    Richard Baldwin, 53, was convicted in 2017 but court reporting restrictions prevented it being publicised until now, the Financial Conduct Authority said.

    According to the FCA, Baldwin laundered around £1.5m on behalf of Martyn Dodgson and Andrew Hind, using off-shore companies, bank accounts and false invoices.

    A European Arrest Warrant has been issued for his arrest, the FCA said.

    He is the sixth man to be convicted as part of Operation Tabernula, the UK's biggest insider trading probe to date.

    Mr Hind, an ex-finance director at Arcadia Group’s Topshop, was convicted in 2016 alongside Martyn Dodgson, a former managing director at Deutsche Bank.

  11. Deutsche staff who brought in tailors scolded by CEO

    Deutsche Bank boss Christian Sewing
    Image caption: Deutsche Bank boss Christian Sewing

    Deutsche Bank boss Christian Sewing says that he personally admonished two members of staff for having suit fittings at its London office on the same day that hundreds of their colleagues were fired.

    Germany’s largest lender was criticised on social media when tailors were seen leaving its London offices on Monday, hours after the bank said it would reduce its headcount by 18,000 people.

    “I don’t understand why someone at our London office on Monday ordered a tailor for custom-made suits,” Sewing was quoted as saying in an interview published by German newspaper Handelsblatt.

    “This behaviour is in no way consistent with our values."

    Mr Sewing said the staff concerned would “not forget” his call.

  12. Arts and crafts chain sees strong growth

    Hobbycraft activities

    It's been pretty grim on the High Street of late, but arts and crafts chain Hobbycraft has bucked the trend and posted a rise in sales and earnings for the year.

    The firm, which has 94 UK shops, saw revenue for the year to February 2019 jump by 5.4% to £177.7m, aided by a surge in online demand. It also opened five new stores.

    It said it expected the UK retail environment to "remain challenging" but said it felt "well placed" to deliver its growth plans.

    Boss Dominic Jordan credited, among other things, the firm's wide product range - from papercraft, to baking to knitting - as well as its in-store workshop programme.

  13. US stocks climb


    Wall Street has edged higher on improved bets of an interest rate cut following Fed chief Jerome Powell's dovish remarks on Wednesday.

    A short while ago the Dow Jones was up 0.2%, the Nasdaq 0.3% and the Dow Jones by 0.7%, taking it above 27,000 for the first time.

    On Wednesday Mr Powell said the central bank stood ready to "act as appropriate" to support record US economic growth, which was taken by many to mean it would cut rates in July.

  14. FTSE 100 closes lower

    The FTSE 100 has closed 0.3% lower at 7,509.82 points, after a positive start on Wall Street lost steam.

    Miners were among the worst performers, with Evraz and Glencore both falling by about 2%.

    A rally in housebuilders tempered the losses however, after Barratt Developments reported record full-year results, sending its shares more than 5% higher.

  15. Network Rail to review standards after track death

    Track worker

    Network Rail, the UK's track manager, called the incident at Stoats Nest "a terrible tragedy".

    Sam Chessex, acting route managing director of Network Rail’s South East route, said: “Network Rail has implemented a number of initiatives over recent years to help frontline staff better manage fatigue risk.

    “Network Rail does not use zero-hour contracts, and our code of conduct sets out what we expect from suppliers who do use them to ensure contractor safety.

    "As a result of this incident we are reviewing our standards and our supplier practices to ensure they are focused on contractor safety.

    “Our thoughts will always remain with the friends and family of our colleague who lost his life.”

  16. Lives at risk on railway, says RMT

    Rail union RMT has called for an absolute ban on contracting out‎ following the Rail Accident Invesigation Branch's report.

    RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “Once again the Rail Accident Investigation branch has criticised safety standards for the protection of track workers.

    "Warning after warning from this trade union on fatigue, zero hours and casualisation has not being properly addressed by Network Rail or the safety regulator The Office of Rail and Road.

    "As a result, lives are at a risk and that is a scandal... If those responsible for protecting the safety of rail workers are not doing their job then we need a genuinely independent safety inspectorate with real teeth not linked to budget controls and the cosy world of the industry players."

  17. Killed rail worker was 'on zero hours contract and probably fatigued'

    Rail workers

    A contractor killed on the railway in South London was on a zero hours contract, probably fatigued, and left exposed to danger, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) has said in a report.

    The regulator said this had contributed to the man's death last November and called on the rail industry to review its "Victorian methods of protection" and hiring practices.

    The man was struck by a passenger train as he inspected line-side equipment in the vicinity of Stoats Nest Junction, near Purley in the early hours.

    The report comes a week after two other track workers were killed by trains in Wales earlier this month.

    Simon French, chief inspector of Rail Accidents said: “When workers are employed on a casual basis on zero-hours contracts, there can be great pressure for them to try and juggle multiple jobs to make ends meet.

    "The possible effects of such patterns of employment on fatigue and fitness for work are significant. We are therefore recommending that the railway industry reviews the way it manages the use of staff on zero-hours contracts, to minimise the risk associated with this pattern of work.