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Live Reporting

By Kim Gittleson

All times stated are UK

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That's all from me today. Tomorrow, Ben Morris and Howard Mustoe will lead you through to the end of the business week.

HBO, Vice partner

HBO ceo in front of HBO now logo
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US cable network HBO and Vice media are teaming up to produce a daily news show. It is the first ever daily programme for HBO, and it marks the channel's efforts to appeal to younger demographics both with Vice as well as with its on-demand streaming service, HBO Now. HBO has already been airing Vice, a half-hour weekly news magazine, for three years.

Death's door

Ford logo
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has recalled approximately nearly 2,000 hearses in the US and Canada due to a potential problem with a vacuum pipe that could cause an engine fire. It also recalled 6,000 ambulances manufactured between 2011-2013 because of problems with a faulty temperature gauge.

Petrobras fallout

Petrobras oil rig
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Galvao Engenharia - one of Brazil's biggest engineering companies - has filed for bankruptcy in the wake of the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil's history. The firm said that it is owed more than $150m by Petrobras, the state-owned oil giant, which has been accused of accepting bribes from senior politicians and business leaders in return for contracts. The BBC's South America correspondent Wyre Davies says Galvao's bankruptcy "shows the [Petrobras] scandal could have wider economic consequences for Brazil".

Easyjet adds cockpit rules

EasyJet plane
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The BBC's transport correspondent Richard Westcott reports that Easyjet has also amended its cockpit rules. "From tomorrow, Easyjet will insist on two crew members in the cockpit at all times. If a pilot goes to the toilet a flight attendant will stand in," he says.

FTSE ends lower


FTSE 100 ended the day lower. The index fell 1.37%, or 95.64 points, to 6,895.33. The day's biggest loser was the
London Stock Exchange Group, which saw its share price fall by nearly 6% after Borse Dubai sold its 17% stake in the firm.

Sun shines on Lululemon

women practising yoga in lululemon clothing
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Beleaguered yoga pants manufacturer

Lululemon's shares are one of the biggest risers on the Nasdaq today, up more than 7% in midday trading. After
a series of missteps involving founder Chip Wilson - who has since been removed from the firm - the Canadian company
reported profits of $110m in the crucial holiday quarter, and said same-store sales increased by 8%.

Norwegian Air Shuttle rules

Norwegian air shuttle picture
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Norwegian Air Shuttle - Europe's third-largest budget airline - said it would adopt new rules requiring two members to always be in the cockpit of its planes while they are in the air. The move comes in the wake of revelations that the co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525, which crashed on Tuesday, had locked himself in the cockpit. The new rule will be adopted "as soon as possible".

Go south

the villages florida


latest US census data is in and the fastest-growing city is... The Villages. Never heard of it? That's because it's a retirement community for the over-50 set. The population of the town, located just outside Orlando, grew by 5.4% between 2013 and 2014 to 114,000. In fact, six of the top 20 fastest-growing metropolitan regions in the US are in the warm climates of Florida, where US boomers are increasingly looking to spend their retirement.

Oil recovers

Oil prices are in full recovery mode today,

as investors are cheered by Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. The price of
Brent crude is currently up 3.3% to $58.33 per barrel, and the price of US oil - known as
West Texas Intermediate crude - is up 2.1% to $50.23.

Greek deposits

Bank of Greece building
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More reason to worry. Greece's central bank said that deposits in the Greek banking system fell by more than €7.5bn($8.2bn; £5.5bn) to €140.5bn at the end of February, as businesses and citizens move their money into safety. That puts added pressure on Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government to reach a deal with creditors. He has promised to submit a list of reforms by early next week.

Liquidity storm

Smash troika graffiti
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The Bank of England has warned that instability posed by Greece's debt situation, low growth in the eurozone, and China's economic slowdown, pose the biggest threats to UK banks. The Financial Policy Committee (FPC), which oversees the safety of the banking system,

said in its quarterly report: "Any of these risks could trigger abrupt shifts in global risk appetite that in turn might lead to a sudden reappraisal of underlying vulnerabilities in highly indebted economies, or sharp adjustments in financial markets." The FPC also expressed concerns about liquidity in the banking system. Liquidity - that's banker speak for how easy it is to move money around by buying and selling assets - has been a focus since a "flash crash" in the US Treasury market last year.

Broadway bust

broadway sign

US regulators

have fined Oppenheimer & Co bank $3.75m (£2,5m) for failing to supervise an employee, Mark Hotton, who defrauded clients, including the producers of a cancelled Broadway musical. Mr Hotton, who was sentenced to 34 months in prison in October, misled the producers of the never-produced musical Rebecca - based on the Daphne du Maurier novel - of tens of thousands of dollars.

US economic outlook

Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank president Dennis Lockhart has said he thinks recent weak economic data will prove temporary and does not indicate that the US economy is downshifting to slower growth. He told a conference in Detroit that winter weather is to blame and low oil prices have slashed capital investment in the industry.

Saudi oil

Oil barrels

Reuters reports that Saudi Arabia has begun drawing down its foreign currency reserves for the first time since 2009 as it covers a budget deficit caused by falling oil revenues. It may mean billions of dollars withdrawn from Western banks and financial markets. The country could stop this, of course, by cutting production. But it won't. The speculation about why Saudi is happy to see oil prices fall will continue.

Draghi's bonds

Mario Draghi

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi has insisted his bond-buying programme, dubbed the "big bazooka", is taking effect, telling Italy's parliament: "Monetary policy is re-inforcing the cyclical recovery. I insist in saying 'cyclical' because this recovery is not structural", he said, in a reference to problems such as unemployment that remain.

Market update

Wall Street started the day down, with traders blaming the Yemen crisis and the potential overvaluation of some stocks, including in the biotech and semiconductor sectors. The Dow Jones was down 88.69 points, or 0.5%, at 17,629.85. The S&P 500 fell 0.46% to 2,051.64, while the Nasdaq lost 0.74% to 4,840.56.

Dilbert cartoon

Let's face it. Economics can sound baffling.

Today's Dilbert cartoon gets to the point.

Via Email

Lloyds Bank stake

Peter Turner

Live page reader

The government should not remain a shareholder as the bank derives no benefit from political sway. There is enough governance and press bashing as it is. So long as shares are sold above the purchase price, a profit is made. Hanging on for a dividend is not sensible as the funds should be better used to reduce interest burden of the national debt. The bank is hopefully learning the lesson and lending wisely.

Bilfinger Brazil investigation

German engineer Bilfinger said an internal report has found "potentially improper payments" of up to €1m (£737,000) to win business in Brazil. The company has commissioned auditors Ernst & Young to conduct a more comprehensive investigation.

India share slump

Indian shares fell more than 2% to their lowest in more than 10 weeks as investors worry foreign money may flee the market after Saudi Arabia launched air strikes in Yemen. The benchmark BSE index fell as much as 2.6% while the NSE index lost 2.4%, marking their lowest intraday level since 14 January.

'Drastic' cuts at Kraft

World Service

Kraft Heinz products
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"The food industry has long thought to be rather fat," says Jennifer Reingold from Fortune magazine on World Business Report. And the new bosses at Heinz Kraft will cut that fat "very, very, very drastically" she says.

You can listen to the show here.

Siemens order

Siemens HQ
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Here's one for the train buffs. German engineering giant has won a €1.7bn (£1.25bn) to supply and maintain regional trains in Germany. To be precise, 82 trains will be supplied for services in North Rhine-Westphalia.

Airlines weigh on FTSE 100

FTSE 100

Shares in airlines are weighing on the

FTSE 100.
British Airways owner, IAG and
Easyjet are both down more than 4%. A rise in oil prices has dampened enthusiasm for those shares. But higher oil prices are good for
Weir Group, which provides engineering for the oil and gas sector. Its shares are up 1.7% and lead the FTSE 100.

Business live page glitch

Ben Morris

Business Reporter

Sorry to anyone who is having trouble accessing the business live page using the Firefox browser. We seem to have a glitch that our boffins are now fixing. Other browsers work and I'm told that opening and closing Firefox can clear the problem.

Via Twitter

Jonty Bloom

Business correspondent, BBC News

car rental company outside Clarkson's home with a banner "Are you a good driver? Are you out of work? Need new delivery drivers - apply now."

Superdry high


Supergroup chief executive Euan Sutherland said the company will start paying dividends with an interim payout in its 2015-16 financial year, sending its shares up 8.3%, the top riser on the FTSE 250 Index. The firm also said actor Idris Elba would work with Superdry to design and produce a premium line of clothing.

Via Twitter

Oil exploration

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

Cost of oil exploring down by 33% by next year, @WoodMackenzie forecasts. It could see a rebound after drill spending slashed this year

Via Email

Lloyds Bank stake

Jason Dobson


The Govt. should definitely keep a stake for the time being - say 20%. The steady income stream from the dividends can be used to pay down the debt, and also without the threat of further shares sales weighing on the share price, the remaining 20% grows in value as well. Why should we always nationalise the loss and privatise the profit?

Via Twitter

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

@DailyMailUK group investor update: circulation -4%, print adverts -6%, MailOnline adverts +21%.

Coal mines to close

Kellingley coal face
UK coal

The Government will not provide an extra £338m to keep UK Coal's pits at Kellingley in North Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire open for a further three years, ministers announced today.

UK Coal says it will receive £4m to help it "safely close" the two mines.

Dubai exits London Stock Exchange

London Stock Exchange

Shares in

London Stock Exchange (LSE) remain the biggest losers among FTSE 100 shares, down 8.6%. That fall comes after Borse Dubai sold its 17.4% stake in the London market. The stake is worth £1.5bn. The Qatar Investment Authority is now the biggest shareholder in the LSE, with a 10% stake, according to Bloomberg news.

Adidas shares down

Adidas shares

Investors are not impressed by the grand plan from Adidas to revive its business,

shares are down 1.7%. "The goals are ambitious, but the steps incremental. Adidas is shunning drastic measures such as selling its struggling brands. Investors have good reasons to remain unimpressed," says Reuters Breakingviews.

Shell job cuts

Shell ship, Rotterdam

Shell UK plans to cut 250 staff and agency contractors in its North Sea operations. It said that tax changes made in the Budget "are a step in the right direction" but warned "the industry must redouble its efforts to tackle costs and improve profitability if the North Sea is to continue to attract investment".

Oil prices jump

Brent crude

The price of North Sea Brent Crude is up almost 4% (it was even higher overnight) on news that Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have carried out airstrikes in Yemen. But analysts say that oversupply will remain a problem for the market. "The upside potential is limited unless something escalates. We need to see how this unfolds over the next couple of days," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

Adidas rebooted

Adidas boots

Adidas has launched a grand plan to reinvigorate its business and catch up with Nike, which has been outperforming Adidas for years. It plans to "significantly" reduce production times, so new kit gets to the shelves more quickly. It is focusing on "six global key cities": Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Shanghai and Tokyo. It plans to invest "over-proportionally" in "talent, attention and marketing" in those cities.

Shopping stats

Shoppers, Oxford Street, London
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Falling prices and rising sales - the trend continued for the UK retail sector in February according to the latest figures from

the Office for National Statistics: Year-on-year estimates of the quantity bought in shops in February 2015 increased by 5.7% compared with February 2014. Department store spending and household goods stores led the way. Prices dropped 3.6% on the year, the eighth straight month of declines.

Greek banks under pressure

Greek philosopher Plato

Money continues to leave Greek banks. The level of deposits fell by €7.8bn (£5.75bn) in February, according to data from the European Central Bank.

Eggsellent work?

Some nifty footwork by the marketing people at Lidl. The band, One Direction, loses one of its five members, so Lidl reduces the price of their One Direction chocolate egg by 1/5th too.

Lidl chocolate egg

#Awkward - looks like we'll just have to knock a 1/5 off too. #AlwaysInOurHeartsZaynMalik #ByeZayn