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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Opel may merge with Peugeot-maker PSA
  3. Inflation rises to 1.8% in January
  4. Toshiba warns of write-down in nuclear division
  5. Rolls-Royce books record £4.6bn loss

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

That's all for another day on the livepage. Please join us again from 6am tomorrow.

Nigeria spells out lost oil revenues

Militants in Nigeria
AFP

Nigeria's oil minister has spelled out the cost of militant attacks on installations last year. He said Nigeria lost between $50bn and $100bn in oil revenues.

At their worst point, the attacks cut production to 1.2 million barrels a day - a loss of 1 million barrels a day, Ibe Kachikwu said in a video posted on social media.

The video announced a 20-point plan to end decades of insurgency through investment in social and infrastructure development in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Another record day on Wall Street

Wall Street stocks pushed to fresh records on Tuesday, with financial shares rallying after Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen signaling higher interest rates are on their way. Banks tend to make more money in a higher interest rate environment.

All three major indices set records for the fourth straight session, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 0.5% at 20,503.59. The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.4% to close at 2,337.46, while the tech-rich Nasdaq climbed 0.3% to 5,782.57. 

Vauxhall jobs 'not safe'

Motor industry expert Professor David Bailey is warning that Vauxhall won't escape the impact of restructuring if it is taken over by Peugeot's owner PSA.

The Aston Business School academic tells the BBC: "Cutting costs, I think, would mean closing some plants in Europe to try and get their costs down. 

"General Motors has already indicated that it faces a financial headwind from Brexit. I think there's going to be some vulnerability for the UK plants if this deal goes ahead."

Oil price retreats from session highs

Oil workers
Reuters

The price of oil has settled slightly higher, with traders saying that rising supply from US shale gas output has helped limit further price rises.

Brent crude was up 38 cents at $55.97 a barrel, well off the session high of $56.46 a barrel. US light crude was up 27 cents at $53.20. On Monday, both benchmarks fell 2%.

A new take on Valentine's Day

Bou-cake
Mr Kipling

Do you like flowers? Do you enjoy the odd cake or five? Well, has Mr Kipling got a treat for you.

Behold the "bou-cake". 

It is confection of Aqua and Celeb pink roses interspersed with Bakewell tarts, French Francies and slices of Battenburg.

Mr Kipling claims that choosing the right Valentine's Day treat is a stressful endeavor and says that one in ten people "would even consider finishing their romantic relationship, if their partner gave them the wrong card or gift on Valentine’s Day".

Thank goodness for the bou-cake then.

Boots owner to meet Trump

Stefano Pessina
Getty Images

US President Donald Trump is due to meet with chief executives from a number of major retailers on Wednesday, including the company that owns British high street staple Boots.

Stefano Pessina, the billionaire boss of Walgreens Boots Alliance, will be among a group including Target, Best Buy and JC Penney who will sit down with Mr Trump to discuss areas such as tax reform and infrastructure.

Mr Trump recently promised to make a major announcement regarding tax in the coming weeks. There are proposals for a cut to corporation tax and the implementation of a 20% tax on imports.

A spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association told Reuters: "Given the retail industry's position as America's largest private-sector employer, retailers welcome the opportunity to speak with President Trump about policies that will spur job creation and economic growth here in the United States." 

Inside Toshiba's troubles

BBC World Business Report takes a look at what has gone wrong at Toshiba.

View more on twitter

US ethics office recommends Conway investigation

Kellyanne Conway
Getty Images

More on that Nordstrom controversy in the US. 

The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has recommended that the Trump administration investigate Kellyanne Conway and consider disciplinary action. 

The senior adviser to US President Donald Trump has drawn fire for telling people to buy Ivanka Trump's fashion line after retailer Nordstrom dropped the brand, citing poor sales.

The decision prompted an angry Twitter outburst from Mr Trump and the subsequent comments by Ms Conway. 

In a letter released this evening, the OGE said: "There is strong reason to believe that Ms Conway has violated the Standards of Conduct and that disciplinary action is warranted."

It has recommended that the investigation and any disciplinary action should be taken by 28 February. 

Meanwhile, Nordstrom's shares rose 1.89% to $45.20 today.

Union 'concerned' about Peugeot/GM deal

Vauxhall Astra
Getty Images

It looks like everyone was surprised at today's bombshell that Peugeot-owner PSA is in talks to buy General Motors' European Opel business.

Len McCluskey, secretary general of Unite the union, said: "This has come out of the blue and it is a concern."

A deal would include Vauxhall, Opel's UK affiliate, which employs about 35,000 people in the UK, including 4,500 at its manufacturing plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton, and at its warehouse and head office in Luton.

Mr McCluskey said: "I think the most important thing, the biggest message is that we want an urgent meeting with General Motors and with Peugeot because one thing is clear, we've got no intentions of allowing our plants both in Ellesmere Port and in Luton to close or to be under threat of closure as a result of what is happening."

Twitter criticised over abuse u-turn

Google's YouTube cancels its top star's show

The Wall Street Journal reports...

BreakingUS judge backs VW settlement

A US federal judge has granted preliminary approval to German carmaker Volkswagen's proposed settlement to pay at least $1.22bn to fix or buy back nearly 80,000 of its 3.0 litre diesel-engine vehicles. 

The proposed settlements for the 3 litre cars are the last major US hurdle for VW over its emissions scandal.

VW previously agreed to spend up to $10bn to compensate the owners of about 482,000 two-litre vehicles after it admitted it had installed secret software to disguise emissions.

RMT union hits back at Southern

Southern Rail worker
Getty Images

Following the break down in talks between Southern Rail operator GTR and the RMT union, the latter has put out its own statement on the impasse in talks.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: "RMT entered today's talks in good faith but it soon became clear that the only thing Southern were interested in was bulldozing through driver-only operations further and faster with safety and access to services not even on their agenda. 

"That pig-headed attitude has today wrecked the talks process. 

"Not only have Southern refused point blank to give a guarantee on a second safety critical member of staff, but the company have also made it clear that the deal set up by the TUC in the drivers' dispute is even worse than we first expected and gives Southern a free run to kick the legs from under our members who have fought for nearly a year on the principles of safety and access. 

"RMT's negotiating team is furious at the way this union and its members have been treated. This is dire news not just for staff but for passengers who rightly demand a safe, reliable and accessible services. I will now take a full report back to the union's executive." 

Southern criticises union as talks fail

Southern Rail strike action
Getty Images

Talks between GTR, the operator of Southern Rail, and the RMT union have broken down.

The two had held discussions to resolve a long-running dispute over the role of guards on Southern, which has resulted in nearly 30 days of strikes and disruption for rail passengers.   

Nick Brown, chief operating officer of GTR, said on Tuesday: "We came to today’s meeting hopeful we could find a way forward to end the RMT’s dispute and we’re saddened it’s ended so prematurely.

"The travelling public will find the union’s obstinate refusal to engage in meaningful and constructive talks disappointing, disheartening and increasingly destructive. Over the past year the RMT has had 28 days of strikes on this one issue, we’ve seen in excess 20,000 trains cancelled as a result,  thousands of journeys disrupted, people’s work and family lives badly impacted and the cost to the regional economy is in excess of £300m." 

He said that conductors had transferred to a new customer service role - known as the on-board supervisor - from the beginning of January and "are now operating effectively in that role".

Mr Brown added: “So the conclusion that most reasonable people will reach is that the RMT is seeking to hang on to its power to cancel trains.

"Everyone is sick and tired of the RMT’s strikes and their pointless and intransigent stance needs to stop, and stop now.”

Up, up in the air

Dubai has announced that a drone that can carry passengers will begin operating in July.

That's right. Live people. In a drone.

Would you try it?

View more on twitter

BA will fly despite strike action

BA strike action
Getty Images

British Airways has promised to fly all passengers to their destinations after Unite the union announced further strikes for 22-25 February.

The industrial action is over pay.

BA said: "Our pay offer for mixed fleet crew is consistent with deals agreed with Unite for other British Airways colleagues. It also reflects pay awards given by other companies in the UK and will ensure that rewards for mixed fleet remain in line with those for cabin crew at our airline competitors.

"Our pay offer for mixed fleet cabin crew is consistent with deals agreed with more than 90% of British Airways colleagues, including many Unite members. More than 9,000 cabin crew, represented by a different Unite branch, this week voted overwhelmingly to accept the deal."

Yellen: US growth is 'very disappointing'

Senator John Kennedy is taking an aggressive stance against Janet Yellen.

Firstly, he presses her on the rate of US GDP growth which rose at 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Ms Yellen concedes that it is a "very disappointing level of growth".  

Then the Republican senator for Louisiana asks whether community banks contributed to the financial crisis. Mr Yellen says they did "nothing" and agrees that the regulatory burden is "high" on community banks. 

And in his final question, Mr Kennedy asks Ms Yellen if she thinks those responsible for the financial crisis should have been sent to jail. 

"I think those accountable should have had appropriate punishment, " she says, adding that it is up to the Justice Department.

Although she says that she understands that "in many cases they could not get criminal convictions". 

March? June? When will the US raise rates?

Janet Yellen
Getty Images

Janet Yellen is asked directly if the US Federal Reserve will lift interest rates in March. 

She says the central bank "will try to evaluate whether or not the economy is progressing" by examining if employment and inflation are in line with expectations. 

Ms Yellen reiterates that any increase in interest rates will be "gradual", that there may be three increases and that the Federal Open Market Committee meets eight times a year.

London shares end day in the red

Rolls-Royce aircraft engine factory in Berlin, German
G

London stocks ended down on Tuesday with Rolls-Royce retaining its place as the day's top faller.

The FTSE 100 closed down 10.36 points at 7,268.56. Shares in Rolls-Royce, the engineering group which reported a record £4.6bn loss on Tuesday, declined 3.9% to 710.5p.

In contrast, TUI gained 5.25% to £12.18 after it reported narrower losses and said it would begin offering holidays to customers from countries such as China, India, Spain and Italy.

US bank law review risks return to the 'good old days'

Elizabeth Warren
Getty Images

Senator Elizabeth Warren takes aim at US President Donald Trump and his comments that Dodd-Frank is a "disaster" and has stopped banks from lending.

She claims that Mr Trump and his advisers want to scrap the rules so "they can go back to the good old days" of big risks and big bonuses.

At the hearing before the Senate Banking Committee, Janet Yellen says that lending has risen since 2010, when the post-financial crisis law was introduced. In fact, Yellen says the US Federal Reserve has seen a "healthy growth" in lending. 

BreakingBA workers announce strike

British Airways is facing strike action after Unite the union said it would stage four walkouts from 22 February in a dispute over pay.

HSBC names new UK bank chief

HSBC
Getty Images

Meanwhile, back in Britain, HSBC has appointed Ian Stuart as the first chief executive of its ring-fenced UK bank.

Mr Stuart is currently head of commercial banking for the UK and Europe. 

HSBC is separating its retail division under new regulations that require lenders to protect customers and business clients from more risky investment divisions.

The head office of HSBC's UK retail bank is being relocated from London to Birmingham. 

US stocks claw back ground

US market trader
Getty Images

US stocks have improved but are still trading in negative territory.

The Dow Jones industrial average is currently 4.89 points lower at 20,407.27.

Yellen pledges to complete term

Yellen intends to complete her tenure as chair of the US Federal Reserve which runs until February next year. 

Banks are lending, says Yellen

Donald Trump signs executive order
Getty Images

Janet Yellen appears to undermine claims by US President Donald Trump that banks are not lending to customers - one of the reasons he signed an executive order for the review of Dodd-Frank, laws that were introduced in 2010 to regulate financial institutions.

She says that lending has increased including at smaller banks. She also says that consumers have had a "significant" recovery since the financial crisis.

Yellen's testimony in full

Janet Yellen is now answering questions from senators. In the meantime, here is her full testimony to the Senate Banking Committee. 

Yellen: US economy to expand at 'moderate' pace

Ms Yellen says she expects the US economy to expand at moderate pace and that employment will strengthen further. Inflation will rise to the US Federal Reserve's target of 2%.

'Unwise' to wait too long for US interest rate rise

Janet Yellen
Getty Images

Yellen repeated earlier comments that waiting too long to raise interest rates would be unwise. She told the Senate Banking committee that the Federal Open Market Committee will "evaluate progress at our upcoming meetings". 

Markets are forecasting three interest rate rises in 2017.

Stock markets fall on Yellen comments

The Dow Jones industrial average has dropped quite sharply following remarks by US Fed chair Janet Yellen.

The index fell 25.62 points to 20,386.54. 

Yellen: too early to forecast impact of policy changes

Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve, is now testifying before the Senate Banking Committee. 

She says the central bank recognises that changes in tax policy and government spending could influence the Fed's decisions, but says: "It's too early to know what policy changes will be put in place or how their economic effects will unfold." 

US markets subdued ahead of Yellen testimony

Janet Yellen
Getty Images

US stocks have again opened in positive territory but it looks like markets are less ebullient than they were on Monday.

The Dow Jones industrial average opened up 2.82 points at 20,414.98 amid subdued trading. 

Markets could be waiting for testimony from Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve who is due to address the Senate Banking Committee very shortly.   

The Nasdaq fell 7.26 points to 5,756.70 while the S&P 500 opened 3.77 points at 2,324.48.

Office love is in the air

Office romances are usually frowned upon but sometimes these situations can create a frisson of excitement often missing in the normal working day.

Seeing that it's Valentine's Day, employees at smoothie-maker Innocent have been turning the sauciness up to 11 with these sexy love notes. Watch out Cupid!

View more on twitter

US wholesale prices rise on energy costs

US factory worker
Getty Images

In the US, the producer price index is creeping up thanks to higher energy prices.

Producer prices rose 0.6% in January compared to the month before, according the to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and ahead of a forecast for a 0.3% increase.

This beats December when producer prices grew by 0.3% and a 0.4% rise in November.  

Wholesale prices for gasoline jumped 12.9% over the past month. 

However, for the year to January inflation was broadly in line with expectations at 1.6%.

The US Federal Reserve is carefully watching inflation as it weighs up when to raise interest rates. Markets are expecting three increases this year.

Later today, US Fed chair Janet Yellen will appear in front of the Senate Banking Committee.   

BreakingNuclear body welcomes Toshiba's UK commitment

The UK Nuclear Industry Association has welcomed Toshiba's "commitment" to the NuGen nuclear new build project at Moorside in Cumbria.

Its chief executive Tom Greatrex,  says: “With more than two thirds of our power generation capacity retiring between 2010 and 2030, we urgently need to ensure we have a secure, reliable, always available way of providing electricity to homes, businesses and public services for our future needs, and to do that in as low carbon a way as possible.

“As both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn have made clear over recent weeks, building new nuclear capacity in west Cumbria is an integral part of the UK being able to replace old power stations, keeping a balanced mix as carbon emissions are reduced. This is a vital part of our country’s energy future.”

Toshiba: What's going wrong?

Toshiba logo
Reuters

Toshiba has had a terrible day today, having booked a huge loss and seen its chairman step down. 

But what has gone wrong at the Japanese conglomerate?

Read our explainer to find out more.

Roll-er coaster?

BBC business editor tweets

Chancellor: 'Economy working well'

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Getty Images

The inflation figure announced this morning, at 1.8%, is still below the Bank of England's target. Their monetary policy committee is seeking to manage inflation to maintain itself at or around 2%. So when inflation is at this level the economy is working well.

Philip HammondChancellor of the Exchequer

Are higher fuel prices driving motorists away?

Petrol pump in silhouette
Getty Images

The latest figures show that the average price of petrol in the UK has gone up by a further 1.4p since January, adding 77p to the cost of filling a typical fuel tank. 

Diesel has risen by nearly half a penny so far in February.  

Over the weekend, petrol averaged 120.01p a litre and diesel 122.31p.

Topping 120p a litre echoes the 2008 peak that started to break the back of motoring family finances. Early indications point to history repeating itself and drivers starting to cut back. Commentators in the fuel retail industry say that trading since Christmas has been worse than usual, with one retailer saying that January sales fell off a cliff.

Luke BosdetAA spokesman

Toshiba committed to Cumbrian reactor - Greg Clark

Greg Clark, business minister
Getty Images

The Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark says Toshiba has reassured him it is still committed to its role in building the Nugen power plant in Moorside, Cumbria.

It comes after Toshiba projected a 712.5 billion yen ($6.3 billion) loss for its nuclear business, and said it would not take on any new projects to build reactors.

"I welcome the continued commitment of the Nugen consortium to the Moorside project," Mr Clark said.

“The UK is one of the most attractive countries to invest in new nuclear and we continue to work closely with partners to see Moorside built.”