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Live Reporting

By Jill Treanor and Lucy Hooker

All times stated are UK

  1. Good evening

    That's all from the Business Live page for today.

    Join us again at 0600 for the latest business and economics news.

  2. Two eyes good, four eyes bad

    young asian woman in glasses

    The hashtag "glasses are forbidden" is trending on social media in Japan according to online news site Quartz,

    A TV programme that aired this week highlighted how some Japanese companies won't allow female staff to wear glasses at work because it gives a "cold impression", doesn't go with traditional dress, or for "safety reasons".

  3. London market closes higher

    graph of FTSE's day's trading

    After a bumpy day's ride London's index failed to make as strong gains as other European indexes on Thursday.

    But it ended the day marginally higher, up 0.05% at 7,400.

  4. HSBC 'warned on financial crime risks'

    HSBC logo

    Banking giant HSBC has been warned twice by the Bank of England that it's not doing enough to address concerns about it handles risks such as financial crime and staff conduct, Bloomberg reports.

    HSBC's top investment banker Samir Assaf considers it "an emergency" that needs attention, the news agency said.

  5. With friends like these

    scene from TV series Friends

    Chinese customers have been buying more Ralph Lauren Polo shirts and tweed jackets, pushing up sales for the high-end fashion label.

    The fifty-year-old company has opened more stores across China and partnered with local platforms such as Alibaba's Tmall and WeChat to boost online sales.

    Revenues rose 22% in mainland China in the most recent quarter, although in Hong Kong they fell 27% amidst political unrest.

    The apparently immortal TV sitcom Friends - in which Ralph Lauren himself makes a cameo appearance - has also proved a life-giving elixir for the brand. The series is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

    Profits rose 6.5%. Ralph Lauren shares rose 11%.

  6. Would a shorter trading day hurt UK?

    New Financial is a think tank launched in 2014 that believes capital markets can and should be be a force for economic and social good. It says it believes " Europe needs bigger and better capital markets".

    View more on twitter
  7. Global shares trade up

    The Dow Jones has jumped in early trading

    US Dow Jones index

    Share markets are positive across the board.

    Earlier Asian shares closed higher.

    As the end of the day's trading in Europe approaches Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris and Madrid are all higher. London's FTSE is only 0.2% up on the day, but it's moving with the trend.

    On Wall Street, as the graph above illustrates, the Dow Jones has pushed 0.8% higher in the first hour of trading.

  8. Beijing wants simultaneous removal of tariffs

    Earlier today China's commerce ministry said Washington and Beijing had agreed to cancel the trade tariffs imposed on each others' goods. A spokesman declined to provide a timetable but said there had been an agreement.

    Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China daily, The Global Times, articulates Beijing's stance over the prospect of resolving trade differences with the US.

    View more on twitter
  9. Ikea finds key to green sales

    Ikea doorway

    Others may be invoking the challenging retail climate, but Swedish flatpack giant Ikea has reported a rise in UK sales.

    The chain says consumers were keen on lunchboxes for preserving leftovers (sales were up by 127%), reusable water bottles (up 55%) and recycling bins (15% increase).

    Its UK sales jumped 8% to reach £2.1bn in the year to 31 August, outstripping the 5% rise in group-wide sales.

  10. Sainsbury's strategy 'uninspiring'

    Sainsbury's sign

    Sainsbury's share price has been up and down all day and is now back about where it started.

    That follows results that Richard Hunter at Interactive Investor described as "uninspiring".

    He they raise questions about the supermarket's strategy, although he admits the Argos acquisition has proved to be "a shot in the arm" for the chain.

    "At the moment, the company is clearly using price as a weapon," he says, though with like-for-like sales down around 1% he's not fired up with longer-term optimism for that approach.

    Investors have a bit more faith. Sainsbury's shares are up 1.39%.

  11. US market jumps on trade hopes

    The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 have both opened around 0.3% higher.

    It puts them at record highs, after the news that the US and China have agreed in principle to reduce the tariffs imposed against each others' exports.

    A meeting between Donald Trump and Xi Jinping lined up for this month will now not take place until December at the earliest, but that hasn't diluted the hope that a thaw in trade relations is on the cards.

  12. 'Dangerous traders'

    Tired trader

    Should the London trading day be curtailed?

    Given traders need to be at their desks for a few hours either side of the open and close every day, some say long hours are affecting their mental health and the diversity of the workforce.

    They'd like trading to be 9am to 4pm.

    Ian Mason, head of financial services at Gowling WLG thinks the proposal is sensible.

    "There is a higher risk of market abuse and market manipulation in less liquid markets," he says.

    "A tired trader is a dangerous trader".

  13. Siemens 'brilliant' fourth quarter

    company logo

    Siemens shares are up more than 4% today after it reported what it described as "a powerful growth performance" in its fourth quarter despite "deteriorating industrial investment sentiment".

    The German company, which makes trains and turbines, said revenue came in at €24.5bn, an 8% increase year-over-year, and orders of €24.7bn, up 4% from a year earlier.

    "The weakening of the global economy accelerated clearly during fiscal 2019," said chief executive Joe Kaeser.

    "Nevertheless, we were again able to underscore Siemens' performance aspiration with a brilliant fourth quarter. We fully achieved our fiscal-year guidance in all aspects."

  14. Is the UK 'shovel ready'?

    Digging in soil

    Back to the spending plans outlined by the Conservatives and Labour earlier today. Both are proposing to substantially increase investment.

    The Institute for Fiscal Studies says its analysis suggests:

    • Public investment at 3% of GDP – the Conservatives’ proposed cap – would be the highest level sustained at any point in the last 40 years
    • Labour plans to spend an extra £55bn per year on investment over the next five years would represent more than a doubling of public investment spending, to a level last seen in the 1970s.

    The question, says IFS research economist, Ben Zaranko, is, could either party in government find enough worthwhile "shovel ready" projects, with enough suitably skilled workers to fulfill them, in the kind of short timeframes they're promising?

    "Practical issues relating to delivery will be challenges the next government will need to think carefully about how to overcome,“ he says.

  15. Forecasts could change if UK stays in EU

    The Bank of England governor has been asked what will happen to the forecasts if the UK stays in the EU.

    "They'll change if there is a fundamental difference in the path the country takes."

    And with that the Bank of England press conference ends.

  16. So will rates go up or down?

    Szu Ping Chan

    Business Reporter, BBC News

    two dice - one showing a percentage sign another with red and green arrow

    Mark Carney has been asked if the next move in interest rates is likely to be up or down.

    He hedges his bets. The Bank of England governor says if uncertainty around Brexit fades and the global backdrop brightens, then the Bank says interest rate rises “may be needed” to keep the economy on a steady path.

    But he says that the UK and world economy are at the mercy of some “pretty big tectonic forces” at the moment.

    Policymakers will wait to see what the impact is going to be of any future trade deal announced between the UK and EU, and developments in the global economy, before deciding where interest rates will go next.

  17. Would a spending spree change rate outlook?

    Szu Ping Chan

    Business Reporter, BBC News

    pound coin on a graph

    Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, refuses to be drawn on how a spending spree by either a future Labour or Conservative government would affect interest rates.

    He says that Bank policymakers always factor in policies on taxes and spending as they are announced, and will not be drawn on hypothetical scenarios.

    Mr Carney notes that government spending across the G7 group of nations rose to the highest in a decade in the second quarter.

    The Bank also said that extra cash released in the government's latest Spending Review would also boost growth by 0.4 percentage points over the next three years.

  18. Would Carney stay on at the Bank?

    Szu Ping Chan

    Business Reporter, BBC News

    Mark Carney

    The government has said it willl wait until after the general election on 12 December to name the new governor of the Bank of England.

    Mark Carney, a former governor of the Bank of Canada is due to leave the post on 31 January, the date when the UK's Brexit extension period runs out.

    He seems to be opening the door to staying on again.

    He says that he agreed to extend his term twice in order to ensure the financial system was prepared for Brexit, and also to ensure a smooth transition to a successor.

    He says it’s understandable that a decision on the new governor has not been made “given the priority” that the Brexit negotiations have taken.

    "I think it's entirely understandable that given the priority of the Brexit negotiation and then the political process that is underway that a decision has not been made about my successor," he says.

    He commits to making sure that the transition to the new governor is “smooth”.

  19. 'Prepared to pull trigger on a cut'

    PwC chief economist John Hawksworth says the Bank of England concerned about the downside risk to growth and "prepared to pull the trigger on a rate cut if and when these risks materialise" rather than inflationary pressures.

    "The tone of the Monetary Policy Committee minutes is also markedly more dovish than after their previous meeting, with greater concern about both global slowdown and signs that the UK jobs market is beginning to turn. If these trends worsen over the next few months, the minutes suggest that the majority view might well switch to supporting a rate cut in early 2020.

    "On the other hand, the MPC minutes also point to the prospect of a recovery in UK growth later in 2020 and beyond if an orderly Brexit can be achieved, leading to a comprehensive trade deal with the EU.

    "In this case, the committee sees inflationary pressures picking up gradually in the medium term, potentially bringing back the possibility of a gradual rise in interest rates in later years".

  20. Growth will pick up because of Brexit deal

    Szu Ping Chan

    Business Reporter, BBC News

    sign saying get ready for Brexit

    More from Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England.

    Growth will pick up because of the Brexit deal, he says.

    While the new trading relationship remains uncertain, the chance of a no deal Brexit has now been reduced. The pound is up, and uncertainty is down, which will support growth and investment.

    In terms of interest rates, Mr Carney suggests that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) could cut interest rates to respond to any ongoing Brexit uncertainty, or weaker global growth.