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  1. Jaguar Land Rover recalls 36,000 cars in China
  2. TSB agrees takeover by Spain's Sabadell
  3. Britain's public finances improve in February

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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Formula One

Valtteri Bottas of Finland and Williams drives during Formula One Winter Testing at Circuit de Catalunya on February 21, 2015 in Montmelo, Spain
Getty Images

The German Grand Prix is dropped from this year's Formula One calendar, motor sport's world governing body, the FIA, announces. The race had been in doubt due to questions over which circuit would host the race, which has been shared between Hockenheim and Nurburgring in recent seasons. Officials from both circuits had voiced concern that time was running out to organise the race.

Via Twitter

Guardian editor

Robert Peston

Economics editor

tweets: This from @mediaguardian on @KathViner: the last Guardian editor who attended a state school was Alfred Wadsworth, editor 1944 to 1956.

Via Email

FTSE 100 record

Guy Foster

Head of Research, Brewin Dolphin

"As we pass this latest milestone, no doubt some will feel it marks a frothy top to the equity market rally. But with inflation low and policy loose there is every indication that we are still at the mid-point in the current investment cycle."

Guardian editor

Katharine Viner

Katharine Viner has been named new editor-in-chief of the Guardian newspaper. Currently editor-in-chief of Guardian US, she will take up the role in the summer from incumbent Alan Rusbridger, who is to stand down after 20 years.

FTSE 100 record

With the FTSE 100 closing above 7,000 for the first time, where might the index be at end of 2015? Bookies Ladbrokes is offering odds of 8/11 that the index will be at more than 7,400 points. Those who think the 8,000 barrier will be reached can take 5/2. And it's odds of 12/1 to be below 6,000. Ladbrokes' Alex Donohue says: "The 8,000 mark is no longer a rank outsider. Punters seem to believe it's now within reach."

FTSE 100 record

FTSE 100 graph

London's benchmark FTSE 100 closes above the 7,000 mark for the first time, rising to 7,022.5 points. The index, up 0.86% for the day, has been boosted by a positive reaction to this week's Budget and fresh hopes that Greece will reach a deal over its debt re-negotiations. Germany's Dax also set a record, ending at 12,039.37 points, the first time the index has closed above 12,000.

Oil and gas

Oil platform in the North Sea

The UK's new offshore energy regulator is to be given powers to fine companies and take away drilling licences, the Treasury announces. The Oil and Gas Authority, based in Aberdeen, is to have a right to attend corporate meetings and to see sensitive company data. Read more


Via Email

FTSE 100

Tom Stevenson

Investment director, Fidelity Personal Investing

"The FTSE 100 finally cracks through the 7,000 barrier, but no-one should be celebrating. It's been nearly 17 years since it first broke 6,000 on 1 April 1998. The performance is even more disappointing when you consider that the growth of the UK market has progressively slowed since its launch in 1984. While it took just three years to double the index between 1984 and 1987, it was nearly a decade for it to double again between 1987 and 1996. Even if the market races ahead from 7,000 to 8,000 it will have taken the best part of 20 years for it to double for a third time."

Small firms

Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband has told small business leaders that any future Labour government would consider introducing a law to stop "supply chain bullying" through so-called pay-to-stay contracts. The Labour leader told the Federation of Small Businesses annual conference: "It's wrong and it must end, and if it's necessary to legislate to prevent it, we will do so."

Via Email


Live page reader Paul emails in response to our request for your thoughts on apprenticeships. "I had not realised apprenticeships were for a specific duration. They should be until the apprentice has met a pre-determined level of competency, not just hitting the 2 year mark and being let loose."

Money advice

Piggy Bank

The Money Advice Service, the government-funded financial awareness body, must "change its mindset" to help consumers, according to a Treasury-commissioned review. The review questioned its success in improving the public's ability to make good decisions with their money. The service spent £100m on developing and promoting its website, but unnecessarily duplicated advice given on other respected websites and in the media.

Market update

The FTSE 100 has passed the 7,000 mark for the first time in its history, reaching 7,013.83 points. Continuing the theme of record-setting, Germany's Dax index advanced past the 12,000 points, another first.

Via Email


Jeff Leaver

Business Live reader

More of your thoughts on apprenticeships: "My father started his apprenticeship as a gardener for Admiral Beatty of Jutland in 1920. It lasted 7 years. In the 1960's they lasted for 5 years. Cannot see that they are in anyway as comprehensive in both the theory or practical if only lasting 1-to-2 years. This is not the fault of the apprentice but a combination of employers and government."

Greece aid

An elderly homeless woman sleeps on a bench in Athens. Photo: 6 March 2015

The European Union is giving Greece €2bn to help Athens deal with the "humanitarian" crisis caused by its financial problems. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the funds will not be linked to international loans keeping Greece afloat. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras praised the decision. "It is a good sign," he says.


Nike shoes

Nike's quarterly profit beat market estimates as the world's largest sportswear maker sold more higher margin shoes and clothes. Income rose 16% to $791m. But Nike warned Wall Street that the stronger dollar would take a toll on its current quarter. That didn't stop investors driving up Nike shares 3.5% in early trading.

Every little helps

Statues at the Athens Academy

A German couple holidaying in Greece walked into a town hall in Nafplio and handed over €875 (£630), saying they wanted to pay their share of Second World War reparations. "They came to my office on Tuesday morning, saying they wanted to make up for their government's attitude. They made their calculations and said each German owed €875 for what Greece had to pay during World War II," says Dimitris Kotsouros, Nafplio's mayor.

Via Email


Jonathan Mellor

Business Live reader

In response to our post about apprenticeships earlier, this reader emails: "The new generation of electricians can be working within two years; it took me five years. I was not a slow learner, but what I could do was check drawings, read panel drawings, fault-find and know what should be in a basic design. We are now heading to the American-style tradesman who can do a first fix and containment - but not the full job."

Wall Street opens

US shares are higher as trading begins for the last time this week, with the S&P 500 on track to snap a three-week losing streak, boosted by strong results from

Nike. The
Dow Jones rose 91 points, or 0.5%, to 18,050, the
S&P 500 gained 10.5 points - also 0.5% - to 2,099.8 and the
Nasdaq was 40 points, or 0.8%, higher at 5,032.

Greece cash

Getty Images

The European Union has €2bn ready for Greece to use in projects that would boost its economic growth potential, cut youth unemployment and help the poorest citizens, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker says. The EC has set up a team of officials to help Greece absorb the money as part of its efforts to help alleviate what Greek PM Alexis Tsipras calls a "humanitarian crisis" after years of recession, he adds.

Meerkat Movies

Compare the Market has stepped in to replace Orange as the sponsor of a two-for-one cinema ticket deal. It will now be called

Meerkat Movies (after the character in its advertising campaign) and available on Tuesday as well as Wednesday, from April. The offer will be available to those who have bought a product through the comparison website.

Morrisons boss

Getty Images

We posted a tweet earlier today about new Morrisons chief executive Dave Potts' decision to spend a cool £1m on 508,000 shares in the troubled supermarket at 205.85p apiece. It seems he is more than £11,000 better off already, given the

1% rise in the stock today to 207.3p.

Petrol prices

Getty Images

Unleaded fuel cost an average of 112.2p a litre this week, according to Experian Catalist - the highest this year. Diesel is 118.35p a litre.

Via Twitter

World Cup

Dan Roan

BBC sports editor

Qatar 2022 calendar upheaval means FIFA to pay $209m to clubs releasing players for next 2 World Cups. Big increase on current deal of $70m. FIFA ruled out possibility of compensation for the clubs for WC2022 upheaval; but this agreement is - in effect - $209m of compensation. But a good deal when you consider FIFA's revenue for 2014WC was $4bn - mostly from TV & marketing rights. Will be lot more in 2022


FSB conference

John Allan, FSB chairman, says George Osborne's commitment to reforming business rates will be well received by small businesses. "Business rates cause so many problems for our members, often holding back their growth plans. For many firms, they are the biggest costs they face after rent and staff wages. A new system must be in place in 2017 and support measures must continue until we have fundamental reform."

Productivity question

Apprentice at Honda UK
Getty Images

According to Duncan O'Leary, director of research at Demos, the average German apprenticeship lasts twice as long as the average British apprenticeship. Could that be part of the reason why Germany is more productive? Or perhaps German youngsters are just slow learners? Does anyone know? Email Mr O'Leary was speaking on Bloomberg TV.

Market update

FTSE 100

The FTSE 100 has been bumping around break even - it's up just a few points at 6,967. In Paris shares are a bit stronger - the

Cac-40 is 0.2% higher, led by
Lafarge which is up 3%. Lafarge has been boosted by news that its deal with Holcim is back on.
Frankfurt's Dax is up 0.9%.

Tiffany sales slip

Tiffany store, Zurich

Sales slipped 1% at Tiffany in its fourth quarter to $1.3bn. The jeweller reported a net income of $196m.

Via Twitter

Linda Yueh

Chief business correspondent

Australia signals approval to join China-led development bank & S Korea & maybe even Japan open despite US opposition

Via Twitter

FSB conference

Simon Jack

Radio 4 Today business presenter

Osborne: New small biz act will expose and shame late payers


Business rates pledge


George Osborne has promised small business owners that he is "deadly serious" about a review of business rates. The chancellor told the FSB conference in Birmingham that "things have changed" since the last overhaul: "We will make a major change to business rates and have it in place by 2017."

Range Rover recall


Ana Nicholls, automotive analyst at the Economist Intelligence Unit, says the China recall is small but fairly significant for Jaguar Land Rover as a low-volume luxury carmaker. It sold just over 122,000 vehicles in China last year - about a quarter of the global total. "Perhaps worse than the number of cars being recalled is the fact that the brand was targeted in a national television programme ... JLR will have to work hard to restore its reputation," she comments.

HSBC board reshuffle

Getty Images

Sir Simon Robertson is stepping down as HSBC's senior independent director and remuneration committee chairman after nine years on the board, the bank said on Friday. Former Bank of England deputy governor Rachel Lomax will become the SID, while former Centrica boss Sam Laidlaw will chair the remuneration committee. Sir Simon will stay on as deputy chairman for another 12 months following the annual meeting. Both Lomax and Laidlow have been directors since 2008.

'End the blame game'

Getty Images

Yanis Varoufakis, the Greek finance minister, has published

a new blog post titled "Of Greeks and Germans: Re-imagining our shared future" in which he says the two nations "should work towards ending the toxic 'blame game' and the moralising finger-pointing". He adds: "Our joint task is to re-design Europe so that Germans and Greeks, along with all Europeans, can re-imagine our monetary union as a realm of shared prosperity." And it gives us an excuse to re-use a picture of the world's most stylish finmin arriving at Downing Street in early February.

PLC awards

In what could well be its Business Live debut, Skyepharma has

proudly trumpeted its dual wins at the PLC awards last night. The oral and inhalation drug development company picked up "Best Performing Share" and "Turnaround of the Year" gongs awards at the
2014 PLC Awards. The shares rose 183% over the course of 2014 and the company is now worth almost £340m.

Via Twitter

Simon Neville

Evening Standard retail correspondent

Morrisons' new boss David Potts

splashes out £1m on shares in the supermarket

Government borrowing down

Pound coins
Getty Images

Government borrowing excluding state-controlled banks totalled £6.9bn in February - down by a third from a year earlier, according to the

Office for National Statistics (ONS). As in January, finances were boosted by a strong recovery in income taxes. The government's latest target is to borrow £90.2bn in the current fiscal year, which looks likely.

Ladbrokes boss

Cenkos leisure analyst Simon French on Ladbrokes' decision to appoint head of digital Jim Mullen as its new chief executive: "We think the market will be disappointed that an outside candidate was not appointed." via


Via Twitter

Steve Collins, global head of dealing at London & Capital Asset Management,

tweets: Finland's Stubb unusually positive on Greece - saying y'day's meeting was positive and confidence building .... ball now in Greece's court. @TradeDesk_Steve

Market update

FTSE 100

Just a modest gain for the

FTSE 100 in the early going this morning.
CRH shares have jumped 3.7%. Ireland's biggest firm is set to win from the merger between Holcim and Lafarge, which appears to be back on. Miners are among the big losers, with Anglo American down 1%. But builder
Persimmon is down the most with a 5% fall - related to a special dividend payment.

TSB takeover

Getty Images

TSB chief executive Paul Pester says he sees no regulatory red flags that would prevent Spain's Sabadell from winning control of the bank in a £1.7bn deal. Sabadell's chairman Oliu Creus says TSB will become a much more serious challenger in UK banking following the takeover.

Shares in TSB are up about 2% in morning trading.