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  1. FTSE 100 closes at record high
  2. North Sea oil and gas industry suffers worst year since 1970s
  3. Greece unveils bailout reforms

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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Over and out

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

That's all from Business Live on a record-breaking day for the FTSE. We're back at 0600 GMT - join us then and thanks for reading.

FTSE quiz

Congratulations to Alan Wardle for correctly telling us that the FTSE 100 was not calculated on 16 October 1987 following the "Great Storm". However, that was not Black Monday, the global markets crash, which occurred three days later on 19 October.

Sony Pictures

Tom Rothman
Getty Images

Tom Rothman has been announced as the new chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, replacing Amy Pascal, who quit in the wake of embarrassing emails made public when the studio was hacked late last year. The 60-year-old (pictured in 2001 with actress Heather Graham) is a former boss of 20th Century Fox, who left in 2012 after 18 years.

World Business Report


Presenter Susannah Streeter and producer Rob Champion are broadcasting the BBC World Service's World Business Report today from BBC Bristol - hearing about why the city has been crowned European Green Capital 2015.

Listen live here.

Even more FTSE fun

London Stock Exchange
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BBC business reporter

Joe Miller reveals
everything you've ever wanted to know about the FTSE 100 - but have been just too scared to ask. Today's Business Live quiz: since its creation in 1984, the index has only failed to be calculated on one working day. Can you tell us why - and when?

US house prices

US house for sale
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US house prices rose 4.5% in December compared with the same month in 2013 - higher than the 4.3% increase in November, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller figures. Despite the small rise, price increases have slowed for the past 12 consecutive months - prompting S&P's David Blitzer to declare: "The housing recovery is faltering."

Via Twitter

HSBC bosses

BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed


By calling HSBC's Gulliver and Flint, tomorrow's Treasury Select Cmttee is going to be much more about HSBC than about HMRC #SwissLeaks

Via Twitter

HSBC bosses

Harry Wilson, City editor of The Times,


HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver now going to appear alongside chairman Douglas Flint at Treasury Select Committee hearing tomorrow PM

Douglas Flint and Stuart Gulliver
Getty Images

The two HSBC chiefs are pictured at a media briefing in Hong Kong in 2011.

FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 has unofficially closed at 6,949.63, eclipsing the previous closing high of 6,930.2 set on December 30, 1999. The index has gained about 13% since December and is up nearly 6% this year.

The FTSE - in pictures...

FTSE chart
Google Finance

Thanks to the wonders of Google Finance, this is what the FTSE 100 looks like since 1999. Since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008/9, the index has almost doubled. It might be a while until we see that feat again.

FTSE record!

Well there you have it - a new FTSE 100 intraday record has indeed been set. The index is up 41.6 points at 6,953.8 - an increase of 0.6%. BHP Biliton is up 6.2%, making it the day's top riser.

FTSE record?

Oh the excitement! The FTSE 100 stands at 6,948 - a mere whisper away from breaching the record intraday high of 6,950. And unless something goes very wrong in the last half hour of trading today, London's blue-chip index will close at a new high, breaking the record that has stood for some 15 years.

Janet Yellen

At least one commentator is convinced there will be no US rate rise this year. Todd Schoenberger of Landcolt Capital in New York, says: "The key is to look at what Yellen isn't saying, and she's not saying there will be a hike in rates anytime soon ... I've been saying 2016 is when we should expect the first hike and I don't see anything to change that."

Janet Yellen

Janet Yellen
Getty Images

Janet Yellen has told Congress the Fed remains "patient" about when to raise interest rates as too many Americans are out of work and inflation is still below target. However, the central bank chair said it was prepared to consider a rise "on a meeting-by-meeting basis" in a subtle change of emphasis.

Wall Street

Getty Images

Wall Street is largely flat as trading gets underway ahead of testimony from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. The

Dow Jones was up 30 points at 18,140, the
S&P 500 was up less than 1 point at 2,110 and the
Nasdaq fell 3.4 points to 4,950.

Via Email

Greek bailout

Andrew Walker

Economics correspondent

Christine Lagarde
Getty Images

IMF boss Christine Lagarde has described the Greek reform proposals as a valid starting point, but she is also clearly disappointed about aspects of the Greek letter in several key areas including privatisation, and reform of the labour market and pensions.

Via Blog

Greek economic reforms

Robert Peston

Economics editor

In the short course of the latest Greek financial crisis, Syriza appears to have transformed itself from what in the UK would be seen as traditional leftists into Blairites. In the reforms proposed by the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to secure a four-month extension of its life-or-death bailout, vanished are the party's seeming implacable hostility to privatisation, determination to re-hire sacked public-sector workers, and desire for rapid rises in minimum wages. Or to put it another way, the platform on which Syriza won the recent general election has been significantly reconstructed.

Greek bailout

EC building
Getty Images

Eurozone finance ministers have backed a four-month extension to Greece's bailout after approving a list of reforms submitted by Athens as demanded last Friday by its partners, European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said. MPs in several countries, including Germany, must now vote on the deal.

Nespresso patent

Getty Images

Shock news from the coffee world: a Nestle patent for a system used to extract capsules from its Nespresso coffee machines has been ruled invalid by a German patent court. Competitors, such as Switzerland's Ethical Coffee Company, have accused Nestle of modifying its machines so consumers cannot use capsules made by competitors.

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

Good afternoon and thanks to Matthew West and Tom Espiner for this morning's coverage. Do get in touch at with your comments or tweet us at @bbcbusiness

Swiss franc surge sees pizza fallout


There has been an unexpected repercussion from the

surge in the Swiss franc against the euro.
The Independent reports that German pizza delivery vans have been stopped at the Swiss border attempting to deliver up to 60 pizzas at once as people seek to take advantage of the exchange rate. People close to the border have also been doing their weekly shop, and visiting the dentist elsewhere, it adds.

Macy's reports lower profits

Macy"s shoppers leave the retailer's flagship store

US department store chain Macy's has reported a less-than 2% rise in sales in the thee months to the end of January. It says net income (profit) fell to $793m (£514m) in its fourth quarter, from $811m for the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose to $9.36bn from $9.2bn.

Aviva fined £17.6m for fixed income failures

Aviva Investors has been

fined £17,6m by the City watchdog for allowing conflicts of interest to occur on its fixed income trading desks that meant eight fixed income funds and their investors could have been left out of pocket. Aviva paid compensation of £132m to the funds last year. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says between August 2005 and June 2013 Aviva allowed funds that paid different performance fees to fund managers to operate from the same desks. It meant traders who received a percentage of those fees had an incentive to favour funds that paid them more.

UK productivity problem

And we're back to the conversation about productivity.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says further progress in UK living standards depends on the country sorting out its productivity problem, just an hour after Dr Miles indicated to MPs that he doesn't think it's got any better. The OECD says the UK's economic growth rate is now the highest in the G7 leading nations at 2.6%, but output per worker needs to rise to maintain growth.

HSBC - Swiss watchdog probe 'unlikely'

HSBC Headquarters in London

The Swiss market regulator Finma is unlikely to look into possible wrongdoing at HSBC's Swiss private bank in the light of leaked information that was published this month, its head of enforcement says. "In theory I can't rule out that something may come up which prompts Finma to look into it again. But I don't expect that to happen," David Wyss adds.

Via Twitter

James Cook

BBC Scotland correspondent


tweets: "Bleak" picture for North Sea after 'worst year in four decades'.

Market update

FTSE midday


FTSE 100 share index is nearing its record closing high of 6930, up 8.75 points at 6920. It's been boosted by a 4.9% rise in
BHP Billiton shares after its better-than-expected results. The rise helped to offset a 4.8% decline in the share price of aircraft parts supplier

Eurozone deflation


A drop in energy prices in January has brought the eurozone inflation rate to its lowest level since July 2009, according to

official figures. On an annual basis, prices in the 19 countries using the single currency were 0.6% lower than a year earlier, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said, confirming its earlier flash estimate.

Carney at Treasury Committee

Monetary Policy Committee member Professor David Miles says he is more pessimistic about the UK's productivity gap than he used to be. He says that he had expected that normal levels of economic growth would translate into normal levels of productivity growth, but it hasn't happened yet. Normal equilibrium is still a few years off, he says.

Carney at Treasury Committee

"Enjoy it while it lasts because petrol prices are not going to continue to fall. Food prices are not going to continue to fall," Bank of England governor Mark Carney tells MPs. But he says so far the Bank has not seen any evidence of deferred consumer spending based on falling prices - which would potentially lead the UK into a deflationary spiral similar to that facing Europe at the moment.

Carney at Treasury Committee

Bank of England policymaker Martin Weale is also in front of MPs on the Treasury Select Committee and says it may be appropriate for the bank to start raising interest rates "rather earlier than financial markets currently anticipate". He says the risk of a fall in sterling because of concern about the UK's balance of payments deficit "remains substantial".

Carney at Treasury Committee

Bank of England governor Mark Carney

Bank of England governor Mark Carney

is giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee this morning. So far he's been taking about Greece. "If there were to be a disorderly exit of Greece, we would expect that this would have ramifications for asset prices more broadly and potentially for confidence, and that those improvements in the institutional structure in the euro area would need to be used to reduce that," he says.

Greek debt relief

Eurogroup president and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem
AFP/Getty Images

Eurozone ministers could consider further debt relief measures for Greece if the country meets all the criteria specified in the previous November 2012 deal, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said. He referred to the Eurogroup statement which said ministers could consider further measures to help Greek debt sustainability if Greece has a primary surplus and meets all the commitments in the bailout, which "hasn't happened yet."

Wonga cuts jobs

The Wonga logo

Wonga has announced it is to cut 325 jobs under a "strategic refocus" of its consumer businesses. The job cuts are part of changes that the company's chairman Andy Haste said last year would see Wonga become smaller and less profitable in the near term. The remaining roles are expected to be based in London and Cape Town. Wonga plans to close its Tel Aviv office by mid-2015 and its Dublin office by mid-2016.

Property sales down


There has been a 1.4% fall in the monthly number of UK property sales, and a 6% fall in yearly transactions, HMRC says. According to the

latest figures, the "seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for January 2015 was 97,320 residential and 9,810 non-residential transactions".

Via Email

Russian economy

Ian Kemmish, Business live reader

Isn't the flaw with Dimitry Afanasiev's theory that the US is waging "economic war" with Russia the fact that the only sanctions affecting the Chellovek (Russian) on the Moscow tram are those which were imposed by President Putin and not those imposed by the West?

Oil and gas

BBC News Channel

Malcolm Bracken of Redmayne Bentley

Malcolm Bracken, an oil analyst at stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley, says the North Sea oil industry "shouldn't qualify for extra support" from the UK government to prop it up. "The Americans have spent a long time supporting their oil industry, and it didn't really do them much good. It was new technology that kicked off their fracking revolution, and now they've actually got a problem with protectionist rules," he says. "They're not allowed to export crude oil, for example, which is causing them problems, because there isn't capacity to refine all the oil they're generating."

Aer Lingus repeats IAG merge wish

An Aer Lingus aircraft at Dublin airport

The chairman of Aer Lingus, Colm Barrington, has reiterated his support for a merger with British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) today as the Irish airline reported an 18% rise in operating profit to €72m (£52m). "It is the board's strong belief that the company should now take the opportunity to combine with IAG," he says. The Irish government, which holds a 25% stake in the airline, is thought to have concerns about the deal, despite assurances from IAG last week over the future of Aer Lingus.

Greek economic reforms

The list of Greek reform measures demanded by the country's international creditors in return for extending its bailout programme has arrived "on time," the European Commission has said. The list was supposed to have been delivered by a midnight Monday deadline after eurozone finance ministers and Greece's creditors agreed Friday to give Athens another four months to put its economic house in order.