That about wraps up the Business live page for today. We saw plenty to keep us occupied, including healthy US jobs gains, and a proposal by the Greek government to use tourists as undercover tax inspectors. Have a great weekend.
- Apple to join the Dow Jones Industrial Average
- US adds 295,000 jobs in February
- All change at Rangers after shareholder vote
In Latin America, the Mexican peso lost 1.5%, followed by the currencies of Chile and Colombia, which slid 0.9% and 0.6%.
The Brazilian real lost earlier gains and fell 1.5% after data showed US non-farm payrolls rose 295,000 last month, driving the unemployment rate to its lowest since May 2008. The South African rand fell 1.8%, while the Turkish lira lost 1.2%.
Emerging markets currencies weakened sharply after better-than-expected US jobs data fed into fears that US interest rates will soon go up, potentially reducing the allure of high-yielding, risky assets offered by developing nations. Jitters knocked down currencies in emerging Europe, the Middle-East, Africa and Latin America.
Forbes looks back at gloomy predictions by Republicans in 2010 that the 'Obamacare' health act would kill US jobs. "March marks five years since the Affordable Care Act was passed … amid Republican cries that the ACA was a job-killer... Were Republicans wrong?"it asks.
In Greece undercover casual tax inspectors, which could include tourists, could be hired on a maximum two month basis,according to documents published by the FT. "The very 'news' that thousands of casual 'onlookers' are everywhere, bearing audio and video equipment on behalf of the tax authorities, has the capacity to shift attitudes very quickly, spreading a sense of justice across society and engendering a new tax compliance culture," wrote finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. But what happens if the inspectors get discovered?
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis wants to recruit all sorts of people as casual short-term tax inspectors, as part of efforts to combat off-the-books tax evasion, and get hold of a tranche of EU bailout cash. The inspectors, who would be wired for sound and video, could come from "all walks of life", and include students, housekeepers, and even tourists, according todocuments published by the Financial Times.
Blimey. Greece has proposed seven economic reforms that it plans to put in place to get hold of a final €7.2bn bailout disbursement - and one of the reforms is to recruit undercover casual tax inspectors, wired for sound and video, to combat off-the-books VAT evasion. The FT hasa PDF of the proposals here.
Luke Bartholomew, investment manager at Aberdeen Asset Management said: "The job creation and unemployment figures are clearly striking and this is what the market seems to be focussing on. However, wage growth disappointed and that makes the Fed's decision about when to raise rates even harder... The hope is that more jobs and lower unemployment will finally translate into better wage growth but there is disappointingly little sign of that so far."
Neil Azous, founder of Rareview Macro said: "It's the natural evolution as [Apple is] the largest company. And it's long overdue. There isn't a reweighting situation that will have to go on because no one really benchmarks themselves to the Dow. It's purely psychological in that sense. There's irony in that they [Apple] are replacing AT&T, which helped them lift off to begin with."
Kevin Landis, chief investment officer of Firsthand Capital Management said: "The Dow Jones is such a backwards looking list, I cringed when Intel and Microsoft were added. I'm cringing today. Let's hope Apple can defy the forces of history."
Dave King, one of the replacement directors at Rangers, said if he's not found "fit and proper" as a director then he won't sit on the board. "To me, being on the board is not critical. I don't think it will be an issue, but if it turned out to be an issue, it wouldn't make any difference to Rangers going forward." Mr King was a director of the Rangers oldco that went into insolvency.
Dave King, Paul Murray and John Gilligan have been handed the keys to Ibrox after Rangers shareholders overwhelmingly voted to remove Derek Llambias and Barry Leach from the club's board. Just 15% of the club's shareholders voted to keep Mike Ashley's placemen in power, with almost 86% backing King's bid to claim the throne.
February's robust job gain wasn't enough to boost wages by much. The average hourly wage rose just 3 cents to $24.78 an hour. Average hourly pay has now risen just 2% over the past 12 months, barely ahead of inflation.
US stocks opened lower on Friday, with the S&P 500 on track for a second week of declines, as a strong monthly jobs report heightened expectations the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates sooner than anticipated. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 80.27 points, or 0.44%, to 18,055.45, the S&P 500 lost 6.25 points, or 0.3%, to 2,094.79 and the tech heavy Nasdaq dropped 12.06 points, or 0.24%, to 4,970.75.
Richard Sichel, chief investment officer at The Philadelphia Trust Company, said: "It will make the Dow a more interesting index to watch, but also more volatile since it is replacing a nice, steady old name with an interesting and exciting tech and retail company. This is a sign of the times, and it might get everyone to look at the Dow more than they have been."
Apple has been notable by its absence in the 30-stock average, precluded from inclusion because its stock price was too high for the price-weighted index. The move by S&P Dow Jones Indices had been widely anticipated since a seven-for-one stock split in June 2014.
Apple has a market capitalisation of about $736bn (£488bn), making it the largest publicly traded company in the world. AT&T, by contrast, has a market value of $176.5bn.
North America Business Correspondent
A solid report. In the last 12 months, the US economy has added 266,000 jobs on average. Wages are up 2% over the year - a reminder that broad wage growth isn't here yet despite moves by retailer Walmart to raise the minimum wage for its workers.
Apple, the largest US company by market value, will join the Dow Jones Industrial Average on 18 March, replacing AT&T, S&P Dow Jones Indices has said.
Reports are coming through that Apple is to replace AT&T in the Dow Jones Industrial Average - Reuters is quoting CNBC.
So that's it from Matt West and Chris Johnston for another week. Expect some more comment on US employment, and more Friday afternoon fun.
It seems unlikely that the US employment figures today will dampen speculation the US Federal Reserve might begin to contemplate an interest rate rise. In reality, the Fed will probably hold off raising rates for another few months at the very least. January's numbers began to fuel speculation, when non-farm payroll data showed 257,000 jobs were created in the month, and the unemployment rate stood at 5.7%, missing expectations of a fall to 5.6%.
Jobs were added in food services and drinking places, professional and business services, construction, health care, and in transportation and warehousing. Employment in mining was down over the month.
US non-farm payrolls came in somewhat better than expected. Analysts had forecast 240,000 new jobs to have been added to the US economy in February and the unemployment rate to have fallen to 5.6%.
Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 295,000 in February, and the unemployment rate edged down to 5.5%.
Apple fans - and there are plenty of them out there - will be beside themselves on Monday as Tim Cook reveals the finer details of the Apple Watch to the world. It will be the company's first new product since the iPad way back in 2010. Companies including Facebook and BMW have spent recent weeks at Apple headquarters to test and fine-tune apps that will debut along with the device,Bloomberg reported.
Greek PM Alexis Tsipras wants to issue short-term debt to plug his government's financing gap and has warned the ECB of the dangers of trying to stop him. "Then it will be back to the thriller we saw before February 20," he told Germany's Der Spiegel, referring to the date Greece agreed a four-month bailout extension with the eurozone. "The ECB has still got a rope round our neck," Tsipras added.
The World Bank's director for Uganda has told Business Update on the World Service that fast-growing Kampala could become a slum if the government fails to invest in infrastructure. Philippe Dongier says Africa should learn from the urbanisation that happened in Asia 20 or 30 years ago. It's a question of aiming to be more like Bangkok than Lagos, he adds. Catch Business Update onAudioboom.
Not so fast... The Scottish affairs committee would like to know exactly what commitments Mike Ashley has "throughout the entirety of March which are preventing him from appearing before the committee before the dissolution of Parliament on 31 March". These are invitations you cannot really refuse, after all.
United Biscuits boss Martin Glenn - the man who came up with using Gary Lineker to flog Walkers Crisps,according the Daily Telegraph - has been appointed chief executive of the Football Association. Oxford-educated Mr Glenn, 54, is a former Leicester City director and a Wolverhampton Wanderers season ticket holder.
However, the number of homeowners behind in mortgage payments for more than two years increased by 0.8%. That was the slowest increase to date - but almost half of the 78,699 customers in financial distress for more than 90 days have now fallen behind in the mortgage repayment for more than two years.
Greece's central bank chief, Yannis Stournaras, says Greek banks have sufficient capital and face no problem with deposit outflows. "There is full support for Greek banks [from the ECB] - there is absolutely no danger," he said after meeting with Alexis Tsipras. Move along, nothing to see here...
It's a bit of a slow news day, so astory on FT.com has caught our eye. For years Tokyo has had a strict 45-decibel noise limit - library levels in short - in its suburbs, but is considering changing it because of... noisy children. Some residents are complaining loudly because noisy kids affect property values, apparently. But it is this quote that really says a great deal about Japan: "Children should be taught to speak and sing at an appropriate volume, and age four is old enough to understand that," said one Tokyo resident.
Ireland's slow recovery in the property market continues to trundle along. The number of Irish households in mortgage arrears for more than 90 days fell to 10.4% the three months to December, down from 11.2% in the previous quarter, Ireland's central bank has said. That's the lowest level since March 2012.
The Co-operative Group is hiring Ian Ellis as chief financial officer. He joins from retailer Wilko, where he has the same role.