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Summary

  1. US adds 215,000 jobs in March
  2. Brent crude back below $40 a barrel
  3. Losses more than double at Co-op Bank
  4. Sainsbury's wins battle to buy Argos
  5. National Living Wage rises to £7.20 per hour

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

That's all from me on the Business Live page for another day.

We'll be back at 6am on Monday morning with all the latest news and reactions. 

So do join us then. 

Brussels airport 'likely to reopen'

Brussels main airport is likely to reopen on Sunday, Reuters is reporting.

It says the police and the government have settled a dispute over new security arrangements following the bomb attacks on 22 March.

It's thought they've agreed all passengers will be screened on arrival.

Wall Street closes up following jobs figures

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

Having begun the trading day heading lower, shares in New York subsequently rallied and closed up.  

It seems investors were encouraged by upbeat US jobs and factory figure which could point to stronger company results - but not necessarily mean an imminent rise in interest rates.

Here are those figures in full ...

In New York the Dow Jones closed at 17,792.75 - a rise of 107.66 points or 0.61%. 

The Nasdaq was up 44.69 points (0.92%) - at 4,914.54.

And the S&P 500 rose 13.04 points or 0.63% to 2,072.78.

National Living Wage means 'our prices are going up'

And earlier, this is what one interviewee - a small business owner - told  Radio 5 live ...

View more on twitter

How will National Living Wage affect over 25s?

And another view on the National Living Wage ...

By 2020, on current projections, the much higher minimum wage that George Osborne is promising us will affect directly or indirectly close to 20% of people over 25 in the labour force. That's really quite a lot, and much more than in most other developed countries.

Jonathan Portes, National Institute of Economic and Social ResearchPrincipal Research Fellow

National Living Wage 'a risk'

Think back a few hours - and you may remember that today was the day the National Living Wage came into effect in the UK. 

Well, since then, of course, there's been plenty of opportunity to gather opinion about it.

Well there's clearly lots of people who will benefit from the increase in the National Living Wage. I think the overall judgement is though - it's a risk. We don't know what the negative impact on jobs and hours will be. We don't know who will really be paying for the increase in the living wage. In that sense , it's uncertain and therefor a risky policy.

Carl EmmersonDeputy director, Institute for Fiscal Studies

Javid says Port Talbot steel production has a future

Sajid Javid talking to Port Talbot steel workers
AFP/Getty Images

As we posted earlier, Business Secretary Sajid Javid has been in Port Talbot today

He told workers there is a future for steel production at Port Talbot, insisting the government is on "their side".

Hundreds of Tata Steel workers gathered to demand answers from Mr Javid as he left a meeting at the plant.

Holding a "Save our Steel" banner, workers asked him: "So you're not going to let us go to the wall?"

He said he would be "fully involved" in talks over a possible sale and there were "viable buyers" out there.

Zimbabwe's local ownership deadline passes

BBC World Service

In Zimbabwe a deadline for foreign companies to transfer the majority of their shares to local ownership has passed. 

There are conflicting reports about how many firms have complied with the controversial indigenisation law. 

A previous deadline two years ago was largely ignored. The government has said that any company that does not comply will have its operating licence cancelled. 

The law's supporters say it is a necessary measure to bring the economy under local control, but critics say it will scare away foreign investment and increase unemployment.   

South African president states his 'willingness to pay'

BBC World Service

Close up of Jacob Zuma
Reuters
Close up of Jacob Zuma

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa has said he will abide by the ruling of the country's highest court that he should pay back some of the public money spent on his rural home. 

On Thursday the court ruled that Mr Zuma had failed to uphold the constitution by ignoring the findings of an official anti-corruption watchdog.

 In an address to the nation, Mr Zuma apologised for the confusion caused by his actions, but insisted that he had not behaved dishonestly. 

The two main South African opposition parties had urged President Zuma to resign over the ruling.

Tata steel - the blame game begins

FT tweets:

Formula One suffers from falling oil prices

FT tweets

French telecoms merger is off

French phone shop
Getty Images

France's No 1 telecoms operator Orange has confirmed it has ended negotiations to take over smaller rival Bouygues Telecom to create the country's biggest telecoms group.

In a statement Orange said 'After in-depth discussions, the Board of Directors of Orange has concluded that an agreement regarding a possible consolidation with Bouygues Telecom has not been reached.'

Meanwhile Bouygues said its board had been unanimous in deciding to end talks with Orange. 'In a market where the possibility of consolidation is now ruled out for the long term, Bouygues Telecom will continue its standalone strategy.'

Brazil's Petrobras to shed 12,000 jobs

BBC South America correspondent tweets:

French telecoms merger appears to be off

orange and Bouygues logos
Getty Images

Reuters are reporting that merger talks between state-controlled telecoms group Orange and Bouygues Telecom to create France's biggest telecoms operator have failed. 

Would these spoof ads have fooled you?

Marketing Week magazine tweets

OK - so I said no more April Fool's Day references, but I just can't resist this round-up of spoof ad campaigns ... some more believable/funny - than others.   

View more on twitter

How do UK salaries compare?

ONS tweets

On the day the National Living Wage has come into effect the Office for National Statistics has this guide ...

View more on twitter

New electric cars selling like hot cakes?

Owner of Tesla cars tweets:

Business Secretary visits Tata's Port Talbot plant

Port Talbot steel workers protesting
PA

The Business Secretary, Sajid Javid, has visited the threatened Port Talbot steel works this afternoon - and said accusations that the British government blocked European Union plans to impose higher tariffs on cheap Chinese imports "could not be further from the truth": 

The UK has been the leader in the EU in getting tariffs imposed where there has been evidence of dumping. Now clearly in this industry, that evidence exists. And since we've been involved and since personally I've been involved calling an emergency council meeting months ago, we've seen tariffs imposed and we've seen them imposed much more quickly. The reality is the UK has been a leader in getting tariffs imposed where the evidence exists.

Sajid JavidBusiness Secretary

Apple at 40 - take trip down memory lane

FTSE ends the day down

The FTSE 100 has ended down by 28.85 points or 0.47% at 6,146.05.

Three of the biggest fallers were mining stocks Glencore (-4.80%), Fresnillo (-3.30%) and Antofagasta (-2.94%) - although until the miners were the best performers so far this year - see previous post.. 

The US jobs figures seem to have weighed on the FTSE, plus the fall in the oil price which, which has hit oil company shares. 

How has the FTSE fared so far this year?

Close up of London Stock Exchange sign
Getty Images

Now the first quarter of trading has ended what's the state of play on the FTSE 100?

Investment management firm Hargreaves Lansdown has been crunching the numbers - so here are some of the highlights. 

In 2016 the headline FTSE 100 index started the year at 6,242, sank to a low of 5,536 in February and recovered to close at 6,175 on 31 March. Pretty much back to where it started. 

"The rebound has come as a result of some recovery in commodity prices, and a retreat from the extreme pessimism that pervaded markets at the start of the year, says Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at the firm.

"A little loose monetary policy doesn’t hurt either, with more QE announced in the Eurozone, and Janet Yellen dampening expectations of rate rises in the US".

Top performing companies have been the mining companies - worst performers, the banks. 

Gap grows between property prices in north and south

BBC personal finance reporter tweets

Here's a take on the house price story we missed earlier ...

View more on twitter

Wall Street heads upwards

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

Shares in New York are on the way up now, following declines at the start of trading.

A short while ago the Dow was up 0.26% at 17,730.33 and the S&P 500 was up 0.12% at 2,062.2.

The Nasdaq had gained 0.36% to reach 4,887.60.

VW sales down more than 10% in US in March

VW badge
Getty Images

Reuters reports that US sales of Volkswagen vehicles fell by 10.4 pct in March.

The number of cars sold fell to 26,914 units - compared with 30,025 in March 2015.

More on those US jobs figures

The White House tweets

Banana fool

Banana rocket
Fyffes

Positively our last reference to April Fool's Day - at least until the next one ...

Fyffes, which earlier announced it was buying a mushroom farm to add to its current offering of bananas, melons and pineapples, continues to amuse Business Live.

As part of an April 1st spoof some years back, Fyffes took a page in The Sun newspaper and also produced some model “Saturn Fyffe” rockets.

The copy read:  "Fyffes me to the moon! It can now be revealed that the unmanned satellite, Lunar Prospector, was in fact part of a joint venture between NASA and Fyffes to land a commercial construction crew on the lunar surface. The team is to erect the “ Bananatarium’, an ecosphere contained within an armoured glass greenhouse the size of Swindon. Growing bananas on the moon will provide astronauts with a welcome fresh food for exploration further out into the solar system." 

Oil prices slump on Saudi comments

Oil production facilities
Getty Images

Oil prices have fallen sharply after Saudi Arabia said it would freeze production only if other major producers did the same.

The comments by deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Salman are seen as a challenge to Iran.

It has said it will up oil production following the lifting of Western sanctions.

Brent crude fell $1.63 cents, or 4%, to $38.70 a barrel.

Prices rose 6% in the first three months of this year - the first quarterly increase since a 15% rally between April and June 2015.  

Where do you stand on a sugar tax?

The Grocer magazine tweets

Indian cigarette factories close

Indian cigarette makers have shut their factories from Friday due to ambiguity over new warning rules on packs, Reuters reports.

The Tobacco Institute of India, which reckons its members account for 98% of local sales of duty-paid cigarettes, said in a statement it estimated the production halt would mean losses to the industry of 3.5bn rupees (£37.4m) a day. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said last week that India must implement rules on printing larger health warnings on cigarette and other tobacco packs, days after a parliamentary panel called for a reduction in the size of the proposed warnings to protect the industry.  

Bookies' take on Clinton v Trump

Wake up to Money presenter tweets

Coming up on BBC World Service

BBC technology correspondent tweets

BBC World Service

Wall Street opens down following jobs figures

Trading has just kicked off in New York and the three main indexes are all down. 

A short while ago the Dow Jones was down 0.59% at 17,581.20

The Nasdaq was down 0.70% at 4,836.90 and the S&P 500 had shed 0.73% to 2,044.83.

The non-farm payroll figures showed employers added 215,000 jobs in Mach, rather more than than expected. 

However, the markets now think that could mean the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates later this year - hence the falls. 

Yves St Laurent creative director leaves

Kering, parent company of YSL, shares are down 1.5% the day after the news that creative head Heid Slimane left the fashion house. He gathered a host of well-known fans of his grungey look and made the company pots of money but some didn't like the cut of his jib. Yves St Laurent himself of course was the epitome of elegance and there were those who thought it should have carried on in that vein. 

Yves St Laurent
Jean-Pierre Muller

Back to work...

BBC business correspondent Michelle Fleury tweets:

View more on twitter

Eight stocks suspended on NYSE

The New York Stock Exchange has suspended trading in eight stocks - including Amazon.com and both classes of Alphabet Inc shares - for the rest of the day due to a technical issue. It said all orders had been cancelled back to customers and an NYSE spokeswoman said it was not an April Fool's Day prank. 

A spokesman for Nasdaq said the stocks can be trading on their exchange regardless of issues at another exchange. 

Saudi Arabia continues effort to reduce dependence on oil

BBC World Service

Saudi Arabia says it wants to expand its state investment fund until it has amassed assets worth $2 trillion (£1.4 trillion). 

This would make it by far the world's biggest fund of its kind. 

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Bloomberg news agency that the investment strategy was aimed at weaning Saudi Arabia off its heavy dependence on income from oil. 

A major part of the plan will involve selling shares in the giant state oil corporation, Aramco -- the world's most valuable company.   

Good afternoon

Hello from the late shift on the Business Live page.

I'll be with you for the next few hours keeping you up to date on what's happening in the world of business and money. 

Do stay with me. 

US jobs report

London shares have recovered some losses after the US jobs report. The 100 share index is now down 1.3%, having been down 1.5% just before the numbers were released. US markets look set to open down. Main faller is Marriott Hotels, which is 5% lower in pre-market trading reacting to news that Anbang has called off its bid for Starwood Hotels. Starwood shares are down 4%.

US jobs report

Market reaction to the better-than-expected growth in US jobs has the dollar up and the oil price lower.