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Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner and Simon Read

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Test card

    That's it from Business Live for today.

    But we'll be back bright and early from 06:00 tomorrow morning.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis.

  2. US stocks set fresh records on China hopes

    wall street

    Here's a last look at American markets before our day's end.

    High hopes for a trade deal between the US and China bounced the S&P 500 to an intra-day record at 3,297.

    The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite and the Dow Jones Industrial Average indexes also reached new heights.

    US Crude Oil traded down to a six week low at $58 (£44.53) a barrel, on new data released which indicated a rise in supplies.

  3. Even more pet sounds...


    Finally a last selection of pet playlist songs sent in by readers:

    • Livin' On A Hare (Emma Pateman)
    • Eternal Feline (Dorian Preece)
    • Westie End Girls (James Jones)
    • Hound of the Underground (Hannah Langston)
    • Daydream Retriever (James Richards)

    Thanks for brightening our afternoon, everyone!

  4. Clipper loses 5% after takeover collapses

    Clipper building

    Shares in retail logistics firm Clipper Logistics fell 5.48% to 276 today after US private equity firm Sun Capital abandoned its takeover plans for the group.

    Clipper said the pair had been unable to agree terms that would have been "recommendable to Clipper shareholders, given the medium-term growth prospects of the company".

    Sun Capital had reportedly been working on a takeover bid worth around £300m.

  5. Jobs lost as armoured vehicle firm enters administration

    Penman Engineering

    Some late-breaking bad news as dozens of staff have been made redundant after administrators were appointed at an armoured vehicle firm.

    Penman Engineering in south Scotland was bought out of administration by Hull-based Martin Williams Limited about three years ago.

    However, KPMG said that despite "considerable efforts" from staff and owners at the site near Dumfries the business had become "unsustainable".

    A total of 44 staff have been made redundant with 17 workers retained to assist the administration process.

    The company dates back to 1859 and specialises in armoured military and security vehicles.

  6. FTSE closes


    The FTSE 100 closed at 7,642.80, a small rise of 0.27% or 20.45.

    Meanwhile the wider FTSE 250 index closed slightly down on the day, losing 42.94, or 0.20% at 21,713.11.

  7. We spent £92bn on apps last year

    picture of an iphone5

    Consumers spent more than ever downloading apps on their phone last year, according to new figures by research firm App Annie.

    Mostly, the cash is blown on games.

    However, while the number of downloads in India, Brazil and Indonesia grew, they leveled off in the US, Japan and Korea.

    People in China spend the most money on their apps making up 40% of mobile spending.

    UK company Monzo is counted as a 2019 breakout finance app which doubled its downloads over the last year.

    The mobile industry is expected to contribute £3.69trn to global GDP this year.

  8. Flybe crisis an early test for the new Government

    Commenting on the Government's decision to support Flybe, Ian Bell, RSM's head of travel and tourism said:

    Quote Message: The financial difficulties facing Flybe have set the new Government an early test. In responding to the crisis, Boris Johnson has had the unenviable task of balancing the competing priorities of honouring election promises to promote regional connectivity, sticking to climate change commitments, staying on the right side of EU state aid rules and protecting the tax take.
  9. More pet sounds...

    Girl with dog

    Another selection of pet playlist songs suggested by readers:

    • Everything I Do, I Do it For Cockerpoo (Steve Gracey)
    • I'm a Retriever (Gary Naylor)
    • Wherever I Lay My Cat (The Aperitif Guy)
    • You Can't Hurry Pug (Martha Lawton)
    • Cat's The Way I Like It (Annie Shaw)

    Are you groaning yet!

  10. Pound slips further against euro

    Pound graph

    The pound's day has been largely bleak.

    It's now down 0.22% at €1.1674 against the euro as our graph (above) shows.

    "The pound had another gloomy day, softened up by a pro-rate cut appearance from Bank of England MPC member Michael Saunders – less of a shock given he has voted for a cut twice recently – and a weaker than forecast inflation reading," said Connor Campbell of SpreadEx.

    Against the dollar it's fared a little better and is now up 0.2% at $1.3023.

  11. New advice on preventing workplace harassment

    A woman in the workplace under pressure, as two colleagues talk behind her back

    New guidance setting out steps for preventing harassment and victimisation in the workplace has been issued by the UK's equality watchdog.

    The advice from the Equality and Human Rights Commission includes developing effective policies, training and knowing how to deal with complaints.

    In time, the new guidance will become statutory measures enforceable by law.

    The EHRC said there was an "overwhelming" need for tougher action on harassment in the workplace.

    Read more

  12. Still feline groovy!

    House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle with his pets
    Image caption: House of Commons Speaker Lindsay Hoyle with his pets

    More pet playlist suggestions from our purrfect readers.

    • Hairy-tail of New York (Jon Sellors)
    • Budgie Holly (Oscar Williams-Grut)
    • You've Lost That Loving Feline (Edmund Greaves)
    • Puppy On A String (Sarah Poulter)
    • Cant Fight this Feline (Howard Ludbrook)

    Meanwhile Suzanne Lantos suggests "Love Cats".

    Keep 'em coming!

  13. Senior UN official blames Lebanese government for economic collapse

    Citiscape of Beirut as seen from Zaitunay Bay
    Image caption: Beirut as seen from Zaitunay Bay

    Jan Kubis, the UN special coordinator for Lebanon has criticised the government on Twitter.

    Mr Kubis says he is dismayed that the leader of the country's central bank (BDL) has requested more authority to step in on Lebanon's commerical banks.

    For the last two months, in order to prevent a capital flight, banks in Lebanon have gated savers' access to their accounts and blocked bank transfers.

    Dozens were dispersed by tear gas after protesting in front of Lebanon's BDL on Tuesday.

    View more on twitter
  14. Cookies crumbling as Google phases them out


    Google is to restrict the number of advertising cookies on websites accessed via its Chrome browser, in response to calls for greater privacy controls.

    It said that it would phase out third-party cookies within the next two years,

    Cookies are small text files that are used to track users across the web.

    It comes as a study suggests that many cookie consent pop-ups are flouting EU privacy laws.

    Read more here.

  15. Interest rate cut 'should be done quickly', says MPC member

    City of London

    UK economic growth is likely to remain sluggish over the next year and if a cut in interest rates is needed it should be done quickly, reckons Michael Saunders, a member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee.

    He voted for a rate cut at the MPC’s November and December meetings, the FT reported.

    “The economy still has a slow puncture and this seems to be spreading to the labour market,” he said.

    A swift rate cut would aim to reduce the risk “that the economy ends up in the difficult situation of a self-perpetuating low inflation trap” in which policymakers were unable to return inflation to target, he said, adding: “You just have to look across other major advanced economies to appreciate that the risk . . . is not just a theoretical possibility”.

  16. Feline groovy?


    News reaches us of Spotify's new personalised Pet Playlists.

    The music streaming service promises customers a curated playlist based on their tastes and their pet’s character attributes.

    So, if your pet has an energetic personality, the company says, they’re likely to receive a playlist with more upbeat music.

    That's prompted us to compile some pet appropriate tunes:

    1. Puppy Don't Preach
    2. Des-paws-ito
    3. Harlem Snake
    4. Jai Ho, Lassy!
    5. Old Town Toad
    6. Fur-ever and Ever
    7. Puptown Girl
    8. Don't stop Retrieving

    Feel free to send us your own suggestions (in fact we paws-itively demand it!) to

  17. Wall Street opens lower

    Wall Street

    The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones both opened lower, dragged down by banking shares after disappointing results from Goldman Sachs.

    Meanwhile investors awaited the release of details of an initial US-China trade deal.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 37.87 points, or 0.13%, at the open to 28,901.80.

    The S&P 500 opened lower by 0.88 points, or 0.03%, at 3,282.27.

    The Nasdaq Composite gained 2.43 points, or 0.03%, to 9,253.76 at the opening bell.

  18. UN warns people away from North Korean conference

    picture of a Bitcoin amid several coloured wires

    United Nations sanctions experts have told potential attendees of a cryptocurrency conference in North Korea that if they attend it would violate international sanctions, according to a Reuters report.

    North Korea has been sanctioned since 2006 over its nuclear weapons program.

    But last year, the country held its first blockchain and cryptocurrency conference where more than 80 organisations attended.

    An American who went to last year's event was charged with violating US sanctions.

  19. Goldman Sachs hit by £1bn litigation bill

    Screen with Goldman Sachs label

    Having to pay almost £1bn in litigation expenses thought to be linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal meant US banking giant Goldman Sachs missed earnings expectations for a second straight quarter.

    Annual investment banking revenues fell by 7% to £5.8bn while trading, consumer and wealth management and asset management all rose by single percentage points.

    "We aim to drive higher returns in the future, and look forward to sharing our strategic goals and financial targets at Investor Day later this month,” said the firm's chief executive David Solomon.