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Live Reporting

By Jill Treanor and Simon Read

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Test card

    That's it for today on Business Live.

    We'll be with you at 6am tomorrow morning to bring you all the latest breaking news and analysis from the business world.

  2. Uber shares remain in the doldrums

    How are Uber shares doing? They're down 4.36% on the day at 26.79. That's slightly above the 26.09 they opened at, but they're still not looking too healthy.

    The Dow Jones is currently down 0.18% on the day at 27,443.88.

  3. FTSE risers and fallers

    Imperial Brands has led today's risers in the FTSE 100 after it climbed 2.39% to 1,791.

    Centrica ended the day up 2.20% while Primark owner ABF rose 2.02%.

    It was not such a good day for BT which fell 4.84% to 192.80 while JD Sports was down 2.66%.

  4. FTSE 100 inches up, while FTSE 250 falls 0.4%

    The FTSE 100 closed at 7,396.65, up 8.57 or 0.12%.

    The wider FTSE 250 index fell 78.40, or 0.39%, to 20,216.59.

  5. Scottish Michelin site in £60m transformation

    Michelin Dundee

    Michelin's Dundee site has received a £60m funding commitment to turn the former plant into an innovation centre.

    The new centre will focus on sustainable mobility, clean transport and low carbon energy.

    Tyre manufacturer Michelin told the factory's workers last year that it would close the plant with the loss of all 845 jobs in 2020.

    The Michelin Scotland Innovation Parc (MSIP) will be created over the next decade.

  6. Markets remains sluggish

    Dow Jones graph

    Markets are remaining slightly sluggish at the moment with no clear direction, waiting for news of that US-China trade deal.

    In the US the Dow Jones opened the day with a slight rise before dipping into the red, back into positive territory and then back into the red.

    Now it's climbed back into the green and is currently up 3.31 points, or 0.012%, at 27,495.94.

    The FTSE 100 has has a similar largely unexciting journey today barring some late movement.

  7. Cash or gin?

    Gin

    Here's an unusual investment opportunity cashing in on the current booze trend - it gives backers the chance to be paid in gin.

    A subscription service is launching a £2m gin bond.

    Investors can choose a annual cash return - at 8% - or get membership of the club which works out at a 12% return.

    Membership will get them regular boxes worth £40 that include a full-sized bottle of craft gin, tailored mixers, cocktail garnishes, and snacks.

    Jon Hulme, Craft Gin Club's boss, said: “We aim to use the proceeds of the Gin Bond to grow our business."

    However if you're tempted here's a sobering warning: bonds like this have no protection under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. If the company goes bust, investors lose out.

  8. Cyber-security firm falls victim to data breach

    Trend Micro sign

    What's the worse thing that could happen to a cyber-security business?

    Becoming victims of a data breach.

    Embarrassingly, cyber-security company Trend Micro has had to admit that the personal data of thousands of its customers has been exposed by a rogue member of staff.

    The company says an employee sold information from its customer-support database, including names and phone numbers, to a third party.

    It became suspicious after customers started receiving phone calls from scammers posing as Trend Micro staff.

    The company says it has contacted those whose details were exposed.

    Read more

  9. More FTSE 100 fallers

    JD Sports store

    There's a fair bit of red in the blue-chip index this afternoon.

    As we reported earlier, BT is the biggest faller, but sports retailer JD Sports is having a bad day with its shares falling 3.08% to 736.20.

    Food delivery firm Ocado has dropped 2.79% to 1,322 while British Land is down 2.12% at 591.00.

  10. BT falls more than 5% after Virgin news

    BT sign

    BT remains the biggest faller in the FTSE 100.

    It's fallen more than 5% now, down 10.16 to 192.44.

    The company's been hit by the news that Virgin Media is ditching it and switching its three million mobile phone customers to Vodafone.

  11. Fatal Uber car had safety flaws

    Uber sign

    Uber has also been in the news today after the US National Transportation Safety Board found one of the company's self-driving cars that killed a pedestrian had software problems.

    The fatal crash occurred in March 2018, and involved a Volvo XC90 that Uber had been using to test its self-driving technology.

    The detailed findings raised a series of safety issues but did not determine the probable cause of the accident.

    Read more

  12. Uber shares fall to lowest-ever level

    Uber car

    Shares in Uber are trading at their lowest-ever level today.

    They opened a shade above 26, and are now hovering just above that level at 26.84, down 4.18% on the day.

    At the end of June the shares reached their highest point of 46.38.

    Today is the first day that employees and insiders have been able to flog shares following a six month lock-in after the company's May IPO.

  13. US productivity has highest fall since 2015

    New York

    US workers’ productivity has unexpectedly fallen by the most in nearly four years, according to figures from the US Labour Department.

    US non-farm business sector productivity shrank 0.3% in the third quarter - its biggest fall since the fourth quarter of 2015.

    Economists had expected a 0.9% increase.

    The fall in productivity came as the number of hours worked increased 2.4%, while output grew 2.1%.

  14. US markets open near record highs

    Wall Street

    The S&P 500 and Dow Jones indexes have opened close to record highs.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 10.11 points, or 0.04%, at the open to 27,502.74.

    The S&P 500 opened higher by 0.48 points, or 0.02%, at 3,075.10.

    The Nasdaq Composite, however, dropped 8.11 points, or 0.10%, to 8,426.57 at the opening bell.

  15. Gail's bakery chain 'up for sale'

    Luke Johnson

    Sky News is reporting that Luke Johnson (pictured) has hired bankers to prepare a sale of Gail's, the bakery group.

    It reports that Nomura is reviewing the strategic options for Bread Holdings, Gail's parent company.

    A sale process is expected to be launched in the next few months that could value the business at more than £150m, Sky reported.

    A spokesman for Mr Johnson did not comment to Sky.

  16. HP shares jump on reports of bid

    keyboard

    Reports that Xerox is considering a bid for personal computer maker HP have sparked an 8% jump in the latter's share price in pre-market trade.

    Xerox shares were down 3.1%.

    It follows a report in the Wall Street Journal that Xerox's board discussed the possibility of a bid for the $27bn computer maker on Tuesday.

  17. M&S has 'no spark'

    More thoughts on M&S's woes from Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor. She said:

    Quote Message: It’s difficult to see M&S making a quick recovery, especially while current market conditions and global trading remain difficult and the current business structure in unchanged. Until the firm can concentrate on growth rather than cutting costs, it may well be some time before we see any ‘spark’ back in the brand.
  18. Disappointments 'piling up' for M&S

    Piles of unsold sweaters yesterday
    Image caption: Piles of unsold sweaters yesterday

    “The disappointments are piling up for Marks & Spencer like unsold sweaters and cardigans on its shelves," says AJ Bell investment director Russ Mould.

    He points out that food has done well but the clothing and home business is struggling "although a combination of low expectations and slightly improved recent trading helped give a bombed out share price a bit of a lift."

    Looking ahead he predicts pressure on the company to split into the two separate parts of the business "if food becomes increasingly successful".

  19. WH Ireland boosts capital

    notes and coins

    Investment firm WH Ireland is raising £2.5m to provide it with a "a significant buffer to its minimum regulatory capital requirement."

    The group expects to treturn to monthly profitability by the start of the new financial year and says its internal management forecast indicate a £1m loss before exceptional items for the 12 months ending March 2020.

    It mad the announcement as it said first half revenue declined 11% to £11.36m and reduced its first half loss to £1.35m.