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Summary

  1. UK unemployment rises by 21,000 in three months to February
  2. Mitsubishi Motors admits to falsifying fuel economy figures
  3. Coca-Cola shares slump after disappointing results
  4. Oil prices rebound

Live Reporting

By Bill Wilson

All times stated are UK

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Good night

That's all from the live page for another day. Back as usual from 6am tomorrow. Please join us then.  

Wall Street closes higher

The Dow Jones rose by 43.73 points, or 0.24%, to 18,097.33, while the S&P 500 gained 1.61 points, or 0.08%, to 2,102.42. Meanwhile, the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 7.80 points, or 0.16%, to 4,948.13.  

The biggest faller on the Dow was Coca-Cola, squeezed by weak European demand and a strong dollar.

New United Airlines board set to take off

United Airlines is to try and bring unity to the boardroom, by making changes after a tussle with two major shareholders. 

The carrier will name two new directors picked by PAR Capital Management and Altimeter Capital Management, which jointly own about 7% of the airline's shares. 

A third new board member, to be agreed on by all parties, will be added within six months. 

Meanwhile, Robert Milton, a former Air Canada boss, will become chairman of the third biggest US airline.

Jackson faces dollar axe but Hamilton to remain

$10 bill
Getty Images

Treasury officials in Washington have said that an African-American woman is to appear on US currency for the first time in the country's history. 

Harriet Tubman, a 19th century escaped slave who became an abolitionist, ferried thousands of slaves to freedom. Now she is poised to replace the seventh US president, Andrew Jackson, on the $20 note.

One of the US founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, will remain on the $10 bill, after mooted plans to remove him drew swift criticism from legions of fans of the hit Broadway musical "Hamilton".  

Oil price continues its comeback

World oil prices rebounded on news of a fresh fall in US crude production. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in May was up 68 cents to $41.76 a barrel, reversing earlier losses. 

Meanwhile Brent North Sea crude for June delivery gained 73 cents to $44.76 a barrel.

US oil output continued to drop last week on weak prices and increased stockpiles.

All kicking off over Italian TV football deal

Sami Khedira of Juventus
Getty Images

Italy's antitrust authority has handed out fines of €66m euros to the Italian football league and rights holders for what it said was the fixing of the sale of TV packages for Serie A matches. Mediaset Premium TV was fined  €51.4m, advisor Infront  €9m, Sky Italia €4m, and the league €2m. 

Authorities said the league had backed a pre-arranged deal that prevented other broadcasters from bidding successfully for the 2015-18 live rights. 

Mediaset said it would appeal and said the decision was "based on a theory built on sand."

Could VW be nearing a deal?

Reports are surfacing that German carmaker Volkswagen, could be closing in on a compensation deal with its customers over the emissions scandal. 

The firm admitted in September to using illegal so-called defeat devices in up to 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide.

According to Germany's Die Welt newspaper VW will pay $5,000 to each affected customer.

Die Welt said the agreement would be presented on Thursday to Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco, avoiding a trial that was set to start in the summer. 

VW may be ready to pay US customers $5,000 each to settle dieselgate via @welt

All eyes on Mitsubishi

Mitsubishi's shares closed 15% lower after the Japanese car firm admitted falsifying fuel economy data for more than 600,000 vehicles sold in Japan. All eyes will be on the firm's stock when Asian markets open to see if the slide continues.

Meanwhile, if anyone was wondering why the executives bowed so deeply at the press conference earlier, read our Asia business correspondent Karishma Vaswani's piece on the importance of saying sorry in Japan. 

View more on twitter

Energy shares boost Wall Street

The upturn in oil prices is helping to push Wall Street higher. The Dow Jones is currently up 0.5% at 18,139.0. But will the uptick in share prices continue?

If earnings surprise on the upside, "you could see people ... join the rally, and that money from the sidelines will move into the market," according to Nadia Lovell, US Equity Specialist at JP Morgan Private Bank.

Yik Yak app on a mobile phone

Tashaneish Crawford

Newsbeat reporter

The National Union of Students says it wants to work with Yik Yak - and other platforms which allow anonymity - to find a way to stop online abuse.

Read more

Microsoft to halt Xbox 360 production

Microsoft Xbox 360
Xbox

Microsoft has said it will stop production of its Xbox 360 video game console, first launched in 2005.

It said it would continue to sell existing stock of the consoles, with availability varying from country to country.

Xbox 360 means a lot to everyone in Microsoft. And while we’ve had an amazing run, the realities of manufacturing a product over a decade old are starting to creep up on us. Which is why we have made the decision to stop manufacturing new Xbox 360 consoles.

Phil SpencerMicrosoft Head of Xbox

City of London Corporation in Brexit warning

City of London skyline
Getty Images

The UK's financial services sector would be badly hit if the 23 June referendum results in a vote to leave the European Union, the City of London Corporation has warned. 

Speaking at a Brexit legal debate, its chairman Mark Boleat said that there would be "serious consequences" for the City's position as an international financial centre.

"We would see UK-based financial institutions lose access to the single market and some would consider relocating elsewhere in the EU - not overnight but over time. Lloyds of London, HSBC, JP Morgan, Barclays and Citigroup are among the institutions to have spoken up on the issue, warning about jobs losses or relocating some of their business overseas." 

US home sales boosted in March

US home for sale
Getty

Sales of existing US homes rebounded last month, up 5.1% to an annual rate of 5.33 million sales in March from 5.07 million in February.

"We expect the US housing market to remain in a gradual recovery mode." Lawrence Yun, National Association of Realtors chief economist said.

"Closings came back in force last month as a greater number of buyers, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest, overcame depressed inventory levels and steady price growth to close on a home."

Oil prices rebound

Oil prices rebounded on Wednesday as US government data showed crude stocks rose last week by slightly less than expected.

Brent crude oil was up 77 cents at $44.80 a barrel, while US crude was up 67 cents at $41.75 a barrel. Oil prices had been lower earlier as Kuwaiti workers ended a three-day strike. 

FTSE closes ahead

The FTSE has closed at a new high for the year, after it closed slightly ahead on Wednesday.

At close of trade it was up by 4.91 points, or 0.08%, at 6410.26.

Bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair was one of the biggest fallers, by 4.3% after Credit Suisse started its coverage of the stock with an "underperform" rating. 

It said there were concerns that the benefits from a merger between Paddy Power and Betfair had been overstated.

Dutch court annuls Yukos payout award

A Dutch court has annulled an international tribunal's award of $50bn (£35m) in compensation to shareholders of defunct Russian oil giant Yukos.

The district court in The Hague ruled that the international Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), based in the same city, had not been "competent" to rule in the matter. 

Former Yukos shareholders said they would appeal against the decision, but Russia's legal team said the Dutch ruling meant the end of the long-running saga.

Yukos had been controlled by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but just over a decade ago he was jailed on tax charges and Yukos was bankrupted.

US Treasury secretaries in EU exit warning to UK

EU and Union flags
Reuters

Leaving the European Union would be a "risky bet" for the UK, eight former US Treasury secretaries have said.

The advisors, who served both Republican and Democratic presidents, say it could threaten London's pre-eminence as a financial capital.

In a Times article ahead of President Obama's UK visit, they say it would be "difficult" to negotiate trade deals.

But Leave campaigners accused the men of double standards and "belittling Britain's place in the world".

Vote Leave's Dominic Cummings asked if Bank governor 'scaremongering'

Vote Leave asked if Bank of England governor 'scaremongering'

Daily Mail not ready to swoop for Yahoo!

Yahoo! logo
Getty Images

In response to media speculation Daily Mail and General Trust plc has said it "would like to clarify that it has not submitted a bid to purchase Yahoo!" 

But it says it "remains in discussions with parties who may potentially be interested in Yahoo!"

Yahoo! is under pressure from shareholders to turn itself around.

The activist hedge fund investor Starboard Value recently called for the replacement of the entire board at the loss-making company. Yahoo!'s media assets include Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports and a range of digital magazines.  

Panama Papers: US Justice Department investigation

Justice Department logo
US Department of Justice

The US Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into tax avoidance schemes exposed by the Panama Papers.

The US Attorney for Manhattan, Preet Bharara, made the announcement in a letter to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists.

The ICIJ worked with media outlets including the BBC and the Guardian to report on the leaked documents from Panama law firm Mossack Foncesa.

The letter asks for help from the ICIJ.  

The Office would greatly appreciate to opportunity to speak as soon as possible with any ICIJ employee or representative involved in the Panama Papers project in order to discuss this matter further

Preet BhararaUS Attorney for Manhattan
Netflix

The streaming company says it's "keeping an open mind" about allowing users to watch its shows offline.

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Wall Street flat at open

US stock indexes were very slightly down in early trading on Wall Street.

The Dow Jones industrial average was down 5 points at 18061.80. The wider Standard & Poor's 500 index was little changed at 2100.37.

And the Nasdaq edged down 6 points to 4934.27.    

Coca-Cola fell 4% in the first few minutes of trading after it reported another decline in revenue. 

Jobcentre terminal

Douglas Fraser

Business/economy editor, Scotland

The latest Scottish job statistics are disappointing, though in the context of a positive jobs picture. Recent evidence suggests the Scottish economy is not firing on all cylinders. So what's going on?

Read more

Tata 'reaches out' to 190 buyers for Port Talbot plant

Port Talbot steelworks
Getty Images

More developments on Tata and a potential sale of the Port Talbot steel plant.

Tata says it has "reached out" to 190 potential bidders for its giant site.

It follows news that the plant's chief Stuart Wilkie is set to launch a management buyout of the company's UK operations.

Tata, which is selling its entire loss-making UK business, would not be drawn on the identity of those approached.

"We are trying to find a responsible buyer. We don't want the process to last forever - our main aim is to find the right buyer," said a spokesman.

Read more here

Google's strategy 'protects and expands its dominance'

More on that story that European Union regulators have expanded their battle against Google, accusing it of abusing the dominant position of its Android mobile operating system to force its own apps on mobile phone customers. 

The European Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has been giving a news conference in Brussels:

Google screen
Getty Images

What we've found is that Google pursue an overall strategy on mobile devices to protect and expand its dominant position on internet search. It is doing so by imposing unjustified restrictions and conditions on manufacturers of devices who is running Android mobile operating system as well as on mobile network operators.

Margrethe VestagerEU Competition Commissioner

Coca Cola profits lack fizz

Profits fall for fourth quarter in a row

Coca-Cola's has reported a fall in quarterly profit, partly as a result of a stronger dollar.

Coca-Cola has focused on slashing costs and transforming its business.It is trying to revamp its packaging and marketing to better reflect changing habits and fend off competitors. Net profit was  $1.48bn in the quarter compared with $1.56bn a year earlier.   

Coca-Cola bottles
Getty Images

Bancorp quarterly profits fall 3%

US lender Bancorp has reported a 3% fall in quarterly profit, as a result of higher costs and increased provisions for bad loans to the energy industry.

Net income fell to $1.39bn in the three months to the end of March from $1.43bn a year earlier. Bancorp set aside $330m  the quarter to cover bad loans mostly related to struggling energy companies, compared with $264m a year earlier as lower oil prices continue to hurt shale oil and gas firms in the US. 

Consumer confidence in car manufacturers shaken again

Theo Leggett

BBC Business News Reporter

The chances are you’ve never heard of the Mitsubishi eK Wagon and eK Space. Or for that matter the Nissan Dayz. They’re so-called kei cars; miniature versions of ‘proper’ cars, which are popular on Japan’s crowded roads and which enjoy tax breaks in the country.

Yet the news that Mitsubishi has effectively been massaging fuel consumption data for about 600,000 of these little cars has made global headlines – and it’s pretty easy to see why.

Ever since the VW scandal erupted, there’s been a great deal of speculation about whether it was an isolated incident or a symptom of a wider problem in the new way cars are tested – and whether consumers can actually believe anything they’re told.

So here we have another manufacturer apologising for wrongdoing. As scandals go, it’s an order of magnitude different from the VW affair – which affected 11 million cars worldwide. It’s not even the first time a car maker has admitted overstating fuel economy.

But in the current climate that matters little. Consumer confidence will have been shaken once again.

PM promises help over British Gas job losses

5 Live business presenter tweets

Oil price heads south again

Nodding donkey in Texas
Getty Images

A short while ago Brent Crude was down 1.5% at $43.38 while US light sweet crude was down 1.7% at $41.73. 

Commentators say continuing fears about oversupply have helped to push the price down again.  

In Kuwait oil workers ended a three day strike that had halved the country's output. 

"Kuwait is moving back to full production, and we expected that oil would come off more after the Doha deal fell apart, so we're seeing the impact of that now," said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodity analyst at SEB in Oslo. 

Also last week, new figures showed US crude stockpiles rose - adding further to worries about surpluses. 

More than 100 jobs under threat at Monarch Aircraft Engineering

Monarch Plane
BBC

More than 100 jobs are at risk at Monarch's engineering base at Manchester Airport.

Monarch Aircraft Engineering Ltd, which carries out aircraft repairs and maintenance, is considering closing the facility and relocating elsewhere.

The union Unite said 109 jobs in Manchester, 12 in Luton and two in Birmingham will be axed.

Shrinking products cost same or more, says Which?

Digestives
Getty Images

A consumer group has revealed its latest list of shrinking supermarket items that still cost the same, or more.

Toilet roll, chocolate biscuits, orange juice and antibacterial wipes were all on the list of shrinking items reported by Which?.

The consumer group argued that making products smaller was a "sneaky way" of increasing prices.

It is further evidence of a trend towards shrinking products.

CBI: 'Not surprising' jobs market is levelling off

The latest jobs figures show that employment increased by 20,000 to 31.4 million in the three months to February 2016. Unemployment rose by 21,000 to 1.70 million.

The  employers' organisation, the CBI, has given its reaction to the ONS figures. 

With more uncertainty in the economy it’s not surprising that labour market performance shows signs of levelling off, with employment growing at the slowest rate since last summer while unemployment edged up a little. Employers are also having to take on increased costs associated with a range of new policies on wages and skills, which may have delayed growth plans.

Neil CarberryCBI, director for employment and skills

British Gas to shed nearly 700 jobs

BBC industry correspondent tweets

'Monetary policy is 'not the answer'

Mervyn King
Getty Images

The former governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has added to calls by central bankers to recognise that monetary policy is close to its limit, telling Bloomberg the world faces a “major disequilibrium.”

Central banks need to “argue much more forcefully than they are doing that the answer is not monetary policy,” King said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

While policy makers have bought time, they can do little more, he said, noting that the introduction of negative interest rates by some central banks demonstrates they are facing “diminishing returns".  

Mitsubishi to investigate whether cars sold overseas affected

Mitsubishi Motors says it has decided to  stop production and sales of the cars affected by the fuel test revelations. 

It adds:

During our internal investigation, we have found that the testing method which was different from the one required by Japanese law has been applied to other models manufactured by MMC for the Japanese domestic market. Taking into account the seriousness of these issues, we will also conduct an investigation into products manufactured for overseas markets.

London office rents driven up by shortage

London skyline
Getty Image

Office rents in London skyscrapers will continue to increase, after they rose almost 10% in second half of last year to an annual $126 (£87) per square foot, according to property consultancy Knight Frank.

The rise was the biggest among 21 cities that Knight Frank looked at in its Global Cities 2016 report, largely because of increased demand for prime office space and a supply shortage that’s pushed office vacancies across central London to a 15-year low. 

The most expensive location was Hong Kong, where rents rose 3% to $263, followed by New York and Tokyo. London came in at number four.

The cheapest location in the survey was Seoul, where office space in a skyscraper cost $33.50 per sq ft.

Parched India

BBC World Service

Saving water in drought-stricken Rajasthan. NGO-worker Bharat Dayal shows the BBC's Laurence Knight how farmers hope to reverse a long-term collapse in groundwater levels.

Saving water in drought-stricken Rajasthan.

Nissan stops sales of cars affected by fuel test issues

Nissan has issued a statement regarding the Mitsubishi Motors fuel test manipulation revelation after 468,000 of its cars were found to be affected. 

Nissan recently became aware of discrepancies in data obtained from Mitsubishi concerning our Mitsubishi-sourced, Japanese-market kei-cars. This discovery was made during Nissan’s assessment of data from the current model as part of our development of the next generation vehicle. We immediately brought the discrepancy to the attention of Mitsubishi as they are responsible for the development and homologation of the current vehicles. In response to Nissan’s request, Mitsubishi admitted that data had been intentionally manipulated in its fuel economy testing process for certification. Following consultation with MLIT, we have voluntarily directed dealers in Japan to stop sales of the affected vehicles. We are working on solutions to support impacted owners. Nissan remains committed to providing complete and accurate information to our customers. Nissan understands and regrets the inconvenience and concern this will cause our valued customers.

Nissan Motors

If you're currently scrambling for the dictionary to find out what "homologation" means it's to approve or certify.