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  1. EU files a complaint over Google Shopping
  2. Southern oil field estimate 'clarified'
  3. Lib Dems and UKIP publish manifestos

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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Greece downgrade

Greek flags flutter as people walk down a central pedestrian street of Athens, 14 April 2015

The Standard and Poor's rating agency has downgraded Greece's sovereign credit rating further into junk status, saying it expects the country's financial commitments will be unsustainable without "deep economic reform or further relief". The agency downgraded Greece to CCC+ from B- "given the risk of further worsening in liquidity for the sovereign, the banks, and the economy".


ashley madison logo
Ashley Madison

Adultery is clearly a booming business., a website for cheating spouses, has announced plans to float on the London stock market. The Toronto-based company said it wants to raise about $200m to fund expansion in the "international market of adultery". The site's parent company, Avid Life Media, has previously tried to list on the Canadian stock market. The firm's slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair".


Picture of the Woolworths campaign for Anzac Day 2015

Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has taken down an online Anzac Day campaign after it attracted strong criticism on social media. The campaign used the slogan "fresh in our memories" over photos of World War One soldiers, echoing Woolworth's slogan "The fresh food people". Woolworths said it regrets any offence caused.

FTSE 100 close

FTSE 100 graph

London's top share index hit a new record close today, helped by big gains for

Sports Direct and
CRH. The
FTSE 100 ended up 21.52 points, or 0.30%, at 7,096.78. The index had earlier reached an intra-day high of 7,111.72 points. The FTSE 100 is now up 8% since the start of the year. Airlines
IAG and
Easyjet fell 2% and 1.4% respectively on a jump in oil prices.
Brent Crude was 3.1% up at $61.65 a barrel.

Game of Thrones

Daenerys Targaryen, portrayed by Emilia Clarke

Games of Thrones broadcaster HBO has sent "take down" notices to Periscope, the live-streaming video app owned by Twitter, after users of the app broadcast episodes of the hit show on Sunday night. HBO also said Saturday's online leaks of four episodes had come from within a group that had received preview DVDs.

Greek banks

Greek banks made more use of emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) in March, increasing their borrowing by 4.4% from the previous month as an outflow of deposits continued, according to latest Bank of Greece data. Banks switched to using ELA, provided by the Greek central bank, in February after being cut off from European Central Bank funding. Emergency funding from the Greek central bank, which is more costly than borrowing from the ECB, rose to €68.51bn.

Via Blog

Minimum wage

Linda Yueh

Chief business correspondent

"Is it a choice between higher pay or a job?" Linda's

latest blog looks at issues around raising the minimum wage.

FTSE 100 update

FTSE 100 graph

London's top share index reached an intra-day record, helped by big gains for

Sports Direct and
Burberry. The
FTSE 100 reached 7,111.72 points, and is currently 28.53 points ahead at 7,103.79. Airlines
IAG and
Easyjet fell around 1.5% on a jump in oil prices.
Brent Crude is 2.2% up at $61.12 a barrel.


Roy Franklin is replacing former BP boss Lord Browne as chairman of shale gas company Cuadrilla Resources. Mr Franklin, a Cuadrilla board member since 2012, has also worked at BP, where he headed the exploration arm's acquisition and divestitures unit.


A Petrobras sign in Brazil
Getty Images

Brazilian police arrest the treasurer of the ruling Workers' Party Joao Vaccari as part of an investigation into corruption at state-run oil company Petrobras. Federal police say they arrested Mr Vaccari at his home in Sao Paulo. He is regarded as part of President Dilma Rousseff's inner circle.

ECB press conference

ECB protester

The protester who jumped onto the table while European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi was giving his press conference seems pretty happy about her actions. But who is she? There's still no news.

Via Twitter

IMF report

Robert Peston

Economics editor

tweets: IMF warns European mid-sized life insurers face distress risks - 1/4 unable to meet solvency capital requirements if low interest rates stay.

Wall Street open

US stocks opened higher following mixed corporate profits news and weak Chinese economic data fuelled talk of more monetary stimulus in the world's second-biggest economy. A few minutes into trading, the

Dow Jones was up 72.6 points, or 0.40%, at 18,109.3, while the broader
S&P 500 rose 8.08 points, or 0.39%, to 2,103.92. The
Nasdaq gained 15.4 points, or 0.31%, to 4,992.69.

ECB press conference

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi says "there is clear evidence that the monetary policy measures we have put in place are effective". He told a press conference that the eurozone economy is recovering thanks to the ECB's €1.1 trillion bond buying plan. He was speaking after the bank announced it would keep its key interest rate at an all time low.



German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says there are no signs that financial markets are worried about a possible Greek default or exit from the eurozone. "You can't see any contagion," he said in a speech in New York. "Most participants of financial markets are telling us that markets have already priced in whatever will happen."

IMF report

The risks to global financial stability have risen, the International Monetary Fund says. In a report just published, the IMF says that countries which export oil and other commodities have been severely affected by falling prices, and that some emerging economies have been hurt by sharp moves in the global currency markets.

ECB press conference


The protester is a woman who was quickly subdued and Mr Draghi reappeared minutes later to carry on the press conference. Mr Draghi went on to play down recent market speculation that recent signs of recovery in the eurozone economy could see the central bank scale back its buying programme at some point.

ECB press conference


High drama at the European Central Bank press conference. Someone has leapt at Mario Draghi, shouting "End ECB dictatorship".

Oil prices


World oil prices have risen after forecasts that US shale production would probably drop and help ease a supply glut. US benchmark

West Texas Intermediate rallied to a two-month high at $54.25 per barrel, before easing to $53.89, up 60 cents from Tuesday. "Speculative financial investors are clearly taking the latest news of a declining US oil supply as reason enough to further step up their investments in the oil market," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Russia cuts

Anton Siluanov, Finance Minister of Russian Federation

Russia may review its membership of international financial organisations because the country is paying too much in fees, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. "We need to review our participation in international funds and organisations," he said in the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament ,according to Reuters. He didn't say which ones, however.

Via Email

ECB stimulus

Jessica Hinds

European Economist, Capital Economics

euro symbol
Getty Images

After leaving interest rates on hold today, the ECB is likely to dampen speculation that its quantitative easing programme may not be implemented in full. At the forthcoming press conference (13.30 BST), President Mario Draghi is likely to express satisfaction that the ECB met its target of €60bn of asset purchases in March. And he will almost certainly point to the positive impact on the economy

BreakingBreaking News

ECB Decision

The European Central Bank has left its main interest rates unchanged. It said the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.05%, 0.30% and -0.20% respectively.

Google reaction

Google blog post

In a blogpost called "the search for harm" Google says it "respectfully" but "strongly" disagrees with the EU's competition concerns over its online shopping service. The company says it looks forward to making its case over the weeks ahead.

Bank of America results

Bank of America sign
Getty Images

Bank of America has reported a first quarter net income of $3.4bn. That's a big improvement on the same period last year when it reported a $276m loss. However, revenue was down $1.3bn from the first quarter of 2014 at $21.2bn.

Via Blog

New cab sharing service

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

London taxis on the Mall
Getty Images

Maaxi's strategy is all about giving taxi drivers a better chance of competing with Uber. Its key idea is to use its technology to let customers share a black cab. But even after six months of marketing to the taxi trade by their own association, only around 10% of London's 25,000 cab drivers have signed up. For both Maaxi and Splyt, the question is whether they can make any kind of impact on Uber, the global giant of rides-by-app.

Via Twitter

UKIP manifesto

Laura Kuenssberg

Chief correspondent, BBC Newsnight

Key in UKIP numbers, audited by CEBR who are independent - numbers seem 'sound' but add up IF we leave EU and get money back, big IF ... Interesting and smart tactic from UKIP to publish independent analysis on their numbers alongside manifesto

UKIP manifesto launch

UKIP leader Nigel Farage

Nigel Farage is launching UKIP's manifesto in Thurrock, Essex. "The rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer" and "giant corporate interests" have been been working at the disadvantage of small business, Mr Farage said. He promised an £18bn tax giveaway, paid for by reviewing the Barnett formula (which allocates public funds to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) and scrapping big projects - among other things.

Google competition probe

"I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe," EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said.

BreakingBreaking News

Google competition probe


The European Union's competition chief is filing a complaint alleging Google has been abusing its dominance in internet searches and is opening a probe into its Android mobile system. The widely-anticipated competition probe follows a five-year EU investigation into the company.

Liberal Democrats manifesto

More detail from the Lib Dem manifesto: "To make banks safer, we will complete the separation of retail and investment banking. To increase competition we will encourage new entrants to the sector as well as innovations like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and community banking. To ensure banks make a fair contribution to the job of balancing the books, we will continue the coalition's Bank Levy and raise an extra £1bn from a time-limited supplementary Corporation Tax for the banking sector."

Via Email

Housing policy

Hannah Maundrell

Editor in chief of

"It's clear the UK is facing a housing crisis and the government does need to do more to ensure that supply meets demand. Building more properties will not only make it possible for more wannabe homeowners to get on the ladder, but also help support our construction industry, and alleviate some of the upward pressure on house prices. However, with any such plans it's vital that measures are put in place to ensure that it's consumers, and not landlord investors that get to put their name on the deeds."

Liberal Democrats manifesto


Nick Clegg is presenting his party's manifesto in Battersea. He says his party can moderate the cutting or spending of a Conservative or Labour government. He says he wants to balance the budget fairly through a mixture of cuts and taxes on higher earners and increase the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500.

Via Blog

Google sanctions

Kamal Ahmed

BBC Business editor

At a press conference at 1100 BST today, it is expected that the European Union's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, will outline the case against Google's dominant position in the search market. Google claims that is because it offers the best service which is most relevant for us, the consumers, who carry out three billion searches every day. Detractors say it has used its position to skew the market in its favour.

Read more on Kamal's blog.

Via Email

Oil clarification

Faarea Masud

BBC Business reporter

UK oil & Gas Investments have told the BBC why they issued today's clarification about the amount of oil under the South East of England. They were told to by AIM - that's the market their shares are listed on. A spokesman said: "AIM wanted us to clarify and reinforce the numbers."

Stripy house

South End, Kensington, London

You might think this paint job is rather cheerful, but neighbours in the London street, which is in the extremely upmarket district of Kensington, are not at all happy. The Mirror speaks to one who lives opposite: "We all hate it" she says. "It's a cross between a beach hut and a circus". Reports say the owner of the house painted it after neighbours objected to plans to redevelop the house with a two-storey basement.

Haulage firm administration

The most-read business story at the moment: A haulage firm with offices at ports and cities across England has gone into administration. Deben Transport was formed in 1987 in Felixstowe. Administrators Ensors said staff were told on Monday and most were sent home.

A former employee for the company told BBC Radio Suffolk there had been a decline in business in recent months.

Oil output rises

North Sea Brent Crude, one month

Global oil supply rose by 1 million barrels per day in March to 95.2 million barrels per day,

according to estimates by the International Energy Agency (IEA). OPEC nations recorded their highest monthly increase in almost four years, it says. It thinks production might rise further in April.
North Sea Brent Crude is up 1.2% so far today.

German post strike


German union Verdi said it will call for further strikes at Deutsche Post because of plans by the company to expand its parcel delivery service using workers on lower pay. Verdi held a two-day strike earlier this month. Deutsche Post said in January it will create 10,000 new jobs at its parcel business by 2020, but said new workers would have to accept lower wages than other staff.

Newspaper review

Newspaper review

More from the newspapers.

Guardian economics correspondent Phillip Inman warns: "Time to realise the world is on borrowed time". He says that yesterday's assessment by the IMF of the world economy "skates over" deeper worries about the world economy. HSBC is preparing to refresh its board of directors
reports the Financial Times. It notes that the company has had a "bruising" few months with senior board members criticised over the Swiss tax evasion scandal.

Market update

Burberry's trading update has been a hit with investors.

Its shares are up 2% making them the biggest winners on the FTSE 100 so far. The
FTSE 100 is up 9 points in early trading.
JD Sports shares lead the FTSE 250, up 4%, following its final results. Tyre makers are doing well in Europe today.
Continental is leading Frankfurt's Dax higher, up 1.2% and
Michelin is the biggest winner on the the Cac-40 in Paris, up 2%.