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This is Business Live from BBC News with Sally Bundock and Ben Thompson.
Has the Santa rally skidded to a halt?
The Dow Jones is in touching distance of the historic 20,000
mark, but can it hit the top spot before Christmas?
Live from London, that's our top story on Thursday 23rd December.
US markets have closed at record highs 17 times since Donald Trump
We'll ask an expert if the run is set to continue.
And a view on the latest Trump appointments, as ever controversial.
The Chinese e-commerce giant has been placed on the US list
We'll cross live to Asia for the latest.
Here, the markets lower slightly, we talk you through the winners and the
And we'll be getting festive with Fortnums.
The boss of iconic food drink retailer Fortnum and Mason will be
here to give us the Inside Track on the busiest time of the year.
And new research says using Facebook and Twitter at Christmas will make
So we want to know - are you taking a break from social
Don't panic, it is December 20 seconds today, I said 23rd and I got
worried because I have got so much to do!
We start on Wall Street, where it seems this chap has
made an appearance - because the Grinch has,
temporarily at least, stolen Christmas.
They have been calling it a Santa Rally -
and after a week of record closes, investors were expecting
to celebrate the Dow Jones Industrial Average hitting 20,000
points for the first time on Wednesday.
Instead they got this - the Dow closed down 32
It got within 15 points of 20,000 before falling back.
Market watchers say investors have been cashing in their profits
after what has been the biggest post-election rally
Since Donald Trump was elected, the Dow has climbed 9% -
putting gains for this year at almost 15%.
The US Dollar has also been soaring against major currencies,
Against the Pound in particular, it's up over 16% this year
And the price of oil has rebounded massively - gains for Brent Crude
Some experts are warning though that the US stock market
in particular is getting ahead of itself.
Tom Stevenson is the Investment Director at Fidelity International.
Sally touching on the idea that the market is getting ahead of itself.
It is very close to that 20,000, especially look King at the doubt,
is that the danger there is this euphoria and New Year is the harsh
reality when we find out what President Donald Trump will deliver?
That is a danger and I suspect it will not happen in the New Year but
at some point next year, there might be a bit of a wobble. The market has
borrowed a lot from next year, we have had a very strong rally. And
the rally is right up with the biggest post-election rallies of the
last century and some of those did not end well, one of the biggest was
1920s before the crash. 2004 was big and it led up to the financial
crisis. Yes, there is a lot of optimism and anticipation about the
growth which Trump is expected to deliver next year. Is there a sense
that because for once we can look at something other than monetary
policy, it is no longer about interest rates and inflation, that
seems to have stabilised? The economy in America is looking OK and
people think they can talk about something else and not keep their
eyes just on the Fed. There is an element on that. Since the financial
crisis over the last seven years, it has been a poor market, the Dow has
tripled in that seven year period. And it has been a really grudging
move. Investors looking forward to next year, spending, tax cuts,
deregulation and they are very excited about it. They are looking
at top Trumps. Some of President-elect Donald Trump's
appointments and the latest is Peter Navarro, an economist, in markets
adviser who has written a book about China, talking about... You can see
him here, the bad influence China has had on the US economy and so on.
He will head up a newly created body on trade will stop what is your take
on these appointments, like Rex Tillotson, Secretary of State. It is
a mixed bag! Donald Trump made some pretty bullish promises during the
campaign and everybody said, let's see what happens when he gets into
power, will he follow through with that or will he become more
presidential and predictable? If you look at the Cabinet appointments so
far, they are pretty punchy appointments. Peter Navarro is a
good example, very outspoken and China. He has talked about getting
closer to Taiwan, very per property of the China. We will see how that
turns out. What does that mean for trade? Thinking about the New Year
with the Trump presidency and also Brexit. That is the flip side of
Donald Trump, we have optimism about growth but what he has said about
global trade could be potentially quite negative. We just saw a
graphic showing market performance over the year, put it in
international context, not the best performing, the Dow? No, it is very
strong but the emerging markets are very good.
Argentina and Brazil right up there. Wonderful, nice to see you, thank
you. He will be back later, he has more to do including looking at some
of the other business stories in the press today.
The Italian Parliament has approved a government plan
for a possible E20bn bailout of the country's banks.
The Italian Treasury will probably have to rescue Italy's
third largest lender, Monte dei Paschi, by
The rescue fund will be used to prop up other banks as well.
Ride-sharing firm Uber has suspended tests of its self-driving cars
in San Francisco after regulators revoked the registration
Passengers had recently been given the option of a booking
But authorities had threatened legal action if Uber did not obtain
Billionaire investor Carl Icahn will serve as a special adviser
to President-elect Donald Trump - focusing on regulatory reform.
Mr Icahn has criticised what he called "excessive
He is a major shareholder in companies including insurer AIG
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba is back on America's blacklist over
The list is a rollcall of so-called "notorious markets".
to Alibaba's attempts to expand out of China.
Being on this blacklist is not great for a firm that wants to portray
itself as an international player to take some the likes of eBay and
Amazon. Not at all. And the company was only taken off the list four
years ago but the US authorities have said that the company and its
online platform is used to sell high-level goods. Alibaba has
rejected these allegations, saying it polices the marketplace a lot
better than in the past. And it also suggested today's political climate
in America might have something to do with the fact it is back on the
blacklist. They are talking about President-elect Donald Trump
repeatedly accused China of stealing intellectual property during the
election. And just appointing an outspoken China critic as the head
of the new trade body. But Donald Trump has not taken office so I am
sure the US authorities would disagree with Alibaba's speculation
that has anything to do with the fact it is back on the blacklist.
Thank you very much, from Singapore. Plenty more to come.
The boss of iconic food drink retailer Fortnum and Mason will be
here to give us the Inside Track on the busiest time of the year.
You're with Business Live from BBC News.
The Government is to reinvest more than ?440 million to improve
high-speed broadband coverage across the UK.
It is expected the funds, which have been recouped
from the superfast broadband programme, could bring better
connectivity to an extra 600,000 rural homes.
Theo Leggett is in our Business Newsroom.
This is not new money, this is from a fund already, but long overdue for
people struggling with slow service in rural areas. Absolutely. The
Government's target is by the end of next year, 95% of the country should
have so-called superfast broadband. What does that mean? A broadband
speed of 24 megabits per second. Enough for several people in the
House to stream video at the same time. 95% sounds good and the
Government is on track, BT is on track to deliver that. But that last
5% is people in remote areas, rural areas, hardest to connect. This is
extra money to help that process. Where is it from? 150 million from
cost savings and the rest from BT which is subsidised to set up the
infrastructure for this. If enough people sign up to superfast
broadband, it has to give some of that back. That is why it 290
million is coming from it. We have to be careful about this because
what the Government is doing is superfast broadband to the Cabinet,
which means fibre-optic cables laid the cabinets and villages and people
get connected by copper wires to their homes. But the further you are
away from this Cabinet, the slow at your broadband speed gets, like
putting the brakes on. From opponents, the argument is more
needs to be done to improve the service from the cabinets to the
home and deliver fibre-optic broadband to the home and until that
is done, we will still be stuck in the slow lane. 440 million is
welcome money and it does represent progress, at least, that is what
people are saying. Thank you very much. Maybe we are in
the slow lane but pushing up a gear. You would hope so, especially for
people in rural areas, it is a real problem for business and consumers.
More detail on that on the website, the top story this morning.
Broadband boost for MOTs parts of the UK. -- remote parts.
We are looking at the rally on financial markets in the US,
hovering near 20,000. Some investors are pointing
to the influence of The billionaire businessman has
picked several high-profile figures Yes, most recently, he's
appointed Peter Navarro - an outspoken critic of China -
as the head of a new White A quick look at how
markets are faring. They are in Europe and they are all
slightly down, if not flat, following a similar close the night
before. So a lot of people bringing down and some traders might not even
be at work today. But Tom is at work!
I am at work today. We will look at some of the newspaper stories. This
caught my eye, Saudi Arabia against the shift from oil to solar power. I
found the second line interesting, it brings more fossil fuels than any
other country to generate power, so there is a feeling Saudi Arabia
produces this oil and sells at overseas but that is not the case.
Yes, Saudi Arabia uses 900,000 barrels a day to generate
electricity, costing the equivalent of $16 billion. Which it is not
gaining in exports to other countries. Saudi Arabia is going
through a big transition to get itself weaned off a dependence on
oil revenues, to diversify its economy. And so one thing it is
talking about is shifting from oil to solar energy. It needs that $16
billion which is essential to balance its budget.
It is introducing a lot of new changes and today is budget day in
Saudi Arabia and they are expected to announce new taxes for expats.
The price of electricity and water, a lot of things expected to go up, a
big shift in the near future. This is behind this decision to lead
Opec into a production cut. It needs higher revenues. Let's talk about
Facebook, Twitter. In fact, Facebook lurking makes people miserable.
Looking at wonderful pictures of family and friends having a great
Christmas and you are sitting looking at it and it makes you
miserable? Social interaction via social media is fine, you are
connecting with people. But if you are sitting there looking at how
wonderful other people's lives are, then it will be miserable. We ask
people to get in touch with us. All I am going to do is upload. Danny
says quitting Facebook is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
Baby, who are you? We like your name. Christmas Eve and Christmas
Day gaining ?15 from tasty goodies and lots of booze.
Steve says, it I would rather give up social media for 2017. It is a
necessary evil in many jobs these days? Absolutely, in our world, it
is a fantastic source of information. But you can find
yourself spending a lot of time staring at the screen. You have
teenage children, do you have a family rule? My children are a bit
beyond rules on social media. They are a bit older than that and they
do what they like. They do spend a lot of time on social media. I have
not been out for a meal with my daughter for a very long time when
she has not taken a picture of it. I am with briny, it is time to put the
tech down and go out and have a nice walk around the Yorkshire
countryside. Friend of mine has complete ban on
social media on Sundays. Lots of people take a week out, take a week
out and switch everything. That is a good resolution, sugary sign up to
that now. This is our pledge in 2017. Nice to see you. Merry
Christmas. Have a good one, we will see you in the New Year.
Now, no festive gifts for a Brazilian firm that's facing
Ode-brecht - which is the largest engineering firm in Latin America,
and its affiliate Braskem - appeared at a court
These are their lawyers arriving - before agreeing to pay more
than $3 billion to settle charges under the US
They have admitted paying out hundreds of millions of dollars
to Brazilian state oil firm Petrobras and others to secure
From New York, here's Samira Hussain.
In a New York court on Wednesday Odebrecht agreed to pay
at least $2.6 billion to US, Swiss and Brazilian authorities
making this the largest foreign bribery case in history.
But this is a Brazilian company, so why is this case happening
It's because the company was found guilty of violating the US foreign
The American laws are so vast and wide sweeping, that as soon
as a company has any dealings that tie it to the US, they are
And the troubles for some Brazilian firms may not end here.
The sources I have here in Brazil who were directly involved
in the negotiations for this leniency for this plea
deal that we saw play out today, they have told me that literally up
to 100 new investigations could come from this still.
The reason for that is because Odebrecht agreed
to pay this enormous fine, this historic fine.
The flip side is, 77 of their executives have turned
state witness and they are now giving testimony to Brazilian
prosecutors about anyone's guess, about what other crimes
It is expected up to 200 Brazilian politicians could be
Earlier this year, the Odebrecht chief executive was jailed in Brazil
for paying bribes to executives at Brazil's state run oil firm
Petrobras, which has been under investigation for corruption
and bribery that has entangled Brazil's political officials.
Just to say, we shocked you at the beginning saying it was the 23rd of
December, it is not, it is the 22nd. If you are like me, there is so much
to do before the 25th. Have you done your Christmas shopping?
It has not all arrived. I am waiting for things.
Turkey? Two things for two children. Bit of a problem. I will not mention
the company names. And now - have you done
your Christmas shopping? This week is the busiest time
of year for many businesses, especially supermarkets
and grocery stores. With record amounts
expected to be spent over the next 48 hours -
what's life really Well, one man who knows that all too
well is the Chief Executive of high-end retailer Fortnum
and Mason, Ewan Venters. Fortnum Mason is one
of the world's most famous It is most known for its food
hampers, which can cost The first hamper was sold in 1730,
and it still enjoys impressive popularity today, with the company
saying sales for this In the course of the past financial
year, Fortnum's has served more than 2 million customers and has
delivered its products to 128 Let's talk to the man in charge. He
has brought in the classic hamper, I understand. Classic Christmas
hamper. Various things on the table here as well, which are extremely
tempting. 20% so far this year, where is it coming from which a big
boost in sales, is it because the pound has fallen in value? Over the
last few months we have seen a positive impact with international
visitors. Fundamentally, just because the fall of the pan, people
don't buy more smoked salmon, more hampers? It makes it cheaper? It
does, but it is the strength of the domestic consumer. We have seen
fantastic group of people living in London and around the United Kingdom
from our web business. That is a shift you have introduced since she
became the boss at Fortnum Mason, you have been with them for four
years? Yes, 60% of our business was international. We set out on a
journey to make that shift. 60% of our business is now led by people
with a UK address. We have become more relevant to more people across
the UK. Why did you engineer that shift? When I think about Fortnum
Mason and I think about these gorgeous products, I do think it is
the tourism issue, tourist attraction? We have been in business
for over 300 years and we have always been relevant to the smart
people of the United Kingdom. It was easy to re-engage and become more
relevant. International visitors, they want to know where the people
of Britain shop, where the smart people of Britain shop, where the
Royals shop and whether great quality ingredients can be found. It
was an obvious strategy to deploy and it is working. It is not only
about where they shop, and also where this stuff comes from. You
make a big thing of sourcing the stuff from the UK. All made
particularly in the North of England? 70% of the stuff is bought
from British suppliers. Christmas puddings are made by two sisters in
Lancashire who have been making thousands of Christmas puddings for
the last 20 years. Shortbread comes from Leith in Edinburgh, chocolate
from Brighton, that he is blended in Newcastle. Every part of the United
Kingdom can benefit from the sales that go to the Fortnum Mason
brand. Of your products, what percentage are made in the UK, what
percentage from overseas? 70% is made here in the United Kingdom. It
is all the small producers. Sieve ingredients that go into every
single product that is produced in different parts of the British
Isles. The aspects that are not made in the UK, so for example, the tea
or other elements made in other countries, how across Ayew of the
supply chain? I remember one of our journalists did a piece about tea
picking in India and said some of this tea is sold in Fortnum Mason,
Harrods and various other big stores around the world. How can you be so
diligent about that because it is so important to your brand? It is
hugely important, we have a strong team of buyers and technologists who
travel the world, meet with our producers and suppliers. They
understand all of the upstream products. It is expensive, but an
essential part of us doing business because people expect very high
standards, exacting high standards from our brand. Speaking of people
who expect high standards, at the Royal warrant. How important is
that? Potential queens to be, royal family from around the world are
regular shoppers? They are and we are proud of that association. We
have had a Royal warrant since the beginning, I think it is 165 years.
How important is it to be to sell off the back of that? We were issued
the warrant is because the Royals considers to be so good at what we
do. We are honoured to have the warrant of Her Majesty The Queen and
the Prince of Wales. It does make a difference. People look at the Royal
warrant as a standard-bearer of great quality, authenticity and
trust. It is true of domestic customers, but certainly of
customers around the world. You did have European queens? The Duchess of
Cornwall is a great shopper of ours and on a more recent visit I was
taking her around the store and we bumped into three European queens
and a queen to be. It was a good moment. Goodness me. Thank you for
coming in. Happy Christmas. Tomorrow is the Christmas live Christmas
special. So June into that.