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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Institute of Directors chair resigns
  3. US adds 313,000 jobs in February
  4. FTSE 100 closes higher
  5. Obamas in Netflix talks

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

Goodnight

That's all from Business Live. We'll be back on Monday at 6am.

JCB announces 600 new jobs

JCB diggers
BBC

It's been a bad week for employees, with Airbus, New Look and Babcock all proposing jobs cuts.

However, today construction equipment giant JCB announced it would create 600 new jobs.

A third of the temporary roles at the Staffordshire-based firm will be available immediately.

The rest will be needed across the next 12 weeks for the firm's production lines in Rugeley, Rocester, Cheadle, as well as Foston, Derbyshire.

A local councillor described the news as a "boost" for the area.

Read more

Wall Street ends the week on a high

Traders in New York
Getty Images

The three major US stock indexes ended up more than 1% today, with the Nasdaq hitting a record high, as February's jobs report soothed fears of inflation and aggressive interest rate hikes.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 440.46 points, or 1.77%, to 25,335.67. The Nasdaq Composite added 132.86 points, or 1.79%, to 7,560.81, while the S&P 500 rose 47.53 points, or 1.74%, to 2,786.50.

Trump's steel tariffs: What harm could they do?

Fake news 'travels faster' than truth, study finds

US steel tariffs: Germany's Merkel calls for EU exemption

Trump and Merkel
Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also called for the European Union to be exempted from new US tariffs on steel and aluminium imports.

"The best option would be [for the EU] to be excluded," she told business leaders gathered in Munich.

Ms Merkel warned that no one could win a "race to the bottom" and said the tariffs risked "hurting everyone".

President Donald Trump says the US has suffered from "unfair trade" and that the tariffs will boost industry.

Read more

US stocks power ahead

US trader
Getty Images

It's been a good day on Wall Street.

Strong US jobs figures, along with suggestions there could be fewer rate rises than expected this year, have pushed all the major indexes higher.

A cooling of tensions between North Korea and the US also helped.

A short while ago the Dow Jones was up 1.5% at 25,265.11 points, while the S&P 500 was 1.4% higher at 2,777.54.

The Nasdaq has also advanced 1.5% to 7,538.79.

Macron hits out at Trump Tariffs

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump
Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron has warned Donald Trump against forging ahead with planned tariffs on European steel and aluminium, saying it risked starting a mutually destructive "trade war".

In a telephone call with Mr Trump, the French leader expressed his "deep concerns" over the measures, saying that while he shared Mr Trump's concern over unfair trade practices, the tariffs due to come into effect in two weeks "risked triggering a trade war, in which all affected countries would be losers".

Lady Judge resignation 'a victory' - IoD director general

Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors, has come out swinging after Lady Judge accused the organisation of conspiratorial behaviour in her resignation letter.

Ms Judge, former chair of the IoD, had been accused of racist, bullying behaviour - claims she denied.

Mr Martin said: “This is a victory for ordinary staff members, who had the courage to risk jeopardising their careers, to speak out and make complaints about the conduct and language of people in very senior positions.

“This is a victory also for good governance. Our HR department took these complaints seriously and instigated a truly independent process through an external law firm, which fully and fairly considered the allegations before producing their conclusion in a final report that the majority of the allegations were true.

“Today marks the start of a new era for the IoD where we are freed to focus on modernisation, where we are able to share our learnings from this difficult challenge with other companies across the country who find themselves in extraordinary circumstances. The new IoD will strive to be even more supportive and collaborative, reflecting the culture of its courageous staff members."

'Pharma bro' Martin Shkreli sentenced to seven years

Martin Shkreli
Reuters

Martin Shkreli, the former drug firm executive found guilty of defrauding investors, has been sentenced to seven years in prison.

The 34-year-old wept at a hearing as a federal court judge in Brooklyn, New York, handed down the prison term.

Shkreli was convicted last year of sending fake account statements to investors while concealing huge losses from two hedge funds he ran.

He first became notorious in 2015 for hiking the price of a lifesaving drug.

Read more

Marstons' secret weapon

Pressure mounts on ING over boss's pay

ING boss Ralph Hamers
Getty Images
ING boss Ralph Hamers has been promised a 50% payrise

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has weighed in on a row about chief executive pay at ING, the country's top bank.

On Thursday the bank said it would give boss Ralph Hamers share rewards worth half his current salary of 1.75m euros.

Joining a chorus of disapproval, Mr Rutte said: "I think the wage increase is excessive... it is unwise."

He also called it "unhelpful" for the bank's reputation, given ING had to be bailed out by taxpayers during the 2008 financial crisis.

Along with a 16% bonus, Mr Hamers' annual income will rise to more than 3m euros if the package is approved.

Have you ever dreamed of flying in your car?

BBC Business News Reporters Theo Leggett and Matthew Wall

A flying vehicle
BBC

As Dutch company Pal-V unveils its latest flying car gyrocopter at the Geneva motor show, we ask if the dream of flying cars for all could ever become a reality.

"007 was here" says the graffiti emblazoned on the wall of Pal-V's stand at the Geneva motor show. Beneath it sits a creation James Bond would certainly be proud of.

The Dutch company has just launched its first flying car on to the market.

It's a compact three-wheeler, which it says can offer sporty performance on the road then take to the air using a set of extendable rotors.

Read more

Nigeria's dessert-inspired beauty products

Goldman boss 'preparing to step down'

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs' boss
Getty Images

Lloyd Blankfein is preparing to step down as Goldman Sach's chief executive, the Wall Street Journal has reported, quoting people familiar with the matter.

It said the 63-year-old would retire ahead of or early in 2019, capping a more than 12-year run at the investment bank.

The paper said there was likely to be a quick transfer of power to one of Goldman’s two co-presidents, Harvey Schwartz and David Solomon, although the timing of any moves could still change.

Saudi jet deal 'good for UK industry'

Typhoon jet
Getty Images

A preliminary agreement to sell 48 Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia will be good for UK industry, says ADS, a trade organisation for the aerospace sector.

Boss Paul Everitt said: "The Memorandum of Intent is welcome news for BAE Systems and its UK supply chain, which has a 37.5% workshare on the Typhoon programme.

“Today’s announcement, coupled with the MoD's work to develop a Combat Air Strategy, will help ensure the UK remains a world leading military air power and a highly competitive and capable option in the export market."

'I deeply regret the language I used'

Lady Judge also attacked the leaking of a recording of a private conversation to the press, "obtained by entrapment", but added:

Although I strongly object to the breach of trust arising from the secret recording of a private conversation, I accept that the language used when discussing the employment situation of individuals with protected characteristics was not of the modern standard. I deeply regret the language I used and apologise if this caused any distress or upset. However, this in no way reflects my life long firm commitment to ethnic minorities, beginning with civil rights work in the 1970's, and the promotion of women in the workplace.

Lady Judge resignation letter

In her resignation letter, Lady Judge said she continued to "strongly refute" the allegations made against her.

She also said she was "deeply disturbed by the gross and conspiratorial mishandling of the process which has lead to the damaging circumstances in which I and the Institute are now placed."

Shed said:

On Wednesday I voluntarily agreed to step aside from my role as chair for the duration of the internal process that had been commenced against me. The clear flaws in this process were identified in the statement I read to the Council yesterday which included the Institute's failure to give me an opportunity to reply to the allegations, the leaking of a confidential legal document to the press and the misrepresentations made by the Institute and its investigators to my legal advisors."

BreakingChair of the IoD resigns

Lady Judge, former chair of IoD
PA

Lady Judge, chair of the Institute of Directors, and Sir Ken Olisa, deputy chair, have resigned.

Lady Judge had been suspended pending an investigation into allegations of racist, sexist and bullying behaviour.

She contests the allegations and has accused the IoD of smearing her reputation.

The IoD met on Thursday to discuss the contents of a report it commissioned into her alleged behaviour.

Facebook signs licencing deal with Warner Music

Bruno Mars
Getty Images

Facebook has signed a licensing with Warner Music allowing it use any of the label's music on its platforms.

Under the deal Facebook and Instagram users will be able to post videos with music from Warner Music artists, including Bruno Mars (pictured) and Ed Sheeran. That includes the artists' actual music videos as well as fan cover versions of hit songs or wedding dance videos.

Music videos are already widely shared on Facebook, but until recently this content was unlicensed. This angered some big record labels which had taken legal action.

It comes as Facebook battles for viewers with Google's Youtube, the internet's number one destination for music.

In recent months Facebook has struck similar deals with Universal Music and Sony/ATV.

Why Trump tariffs are illegal

Saudi poised to buy UK fighter planes

Typhoon Eurofighter
Getty Images

Saudi Arabia is poised to buy 48 Typhoon Eurofighter jets from Britain's BAE Systems.

The memorandum of intent was signed after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with British Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson.

"The UK government has signed a memorandum of intent with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to aim to finalise discussions for the purchase of 48 Typhoon Aircraft," BAE said in a brief statement to the London Stock Exchange.

"This is a positive step towards agreeing a contract for our valued partner. We are committed to supporting the Kingdom as it modernises the Saudi armed forces and develops key industrial capabilities."

BAE's share price jumped 2% on the news.

The UK government holds a strategic stake in BAE, which is Europe's biggest defence contractor.

US jobs report 'will put brakes on dollar'

Dollar note, pound and euro coins
Getty Images

As we reported earlier the US added a chunky 313,000 jobs in February but wage growth slowed.

The pay figures suggest calls for "four rate rises this year may well be a little bit premature", says Michael Hewson of CMC Markets.

"The fact that we saw wage growth slow to 2.6% from 2.9% would suggest that there is much more slack in this particular jobs market than most people think.

"This is likely to prompt a little bit of a brake on the US dollar rebound we’ve seen this week."

The dollar is currently 0.1% lower against the euro at 0.8115 euros.

US tariffs: What do we need to know?

GKN and Dana agree auto-engineering merger for $6.1bn

GKN workers
GKN

UK engineering giant GKN has agreed to merge part of its business with US company Dana, as it seeks to fend off a takeover bid from Melrose Industries.

The merger will combine GKN's Driveline division with US auto-engineer Dana in a deal worth $6.1bn (£4.4bn).

It comes as Melrose has a £7.4bn offer on the table to buy all of GKN.

But GKN said the Dana deal "provides significantly greater value" than Melrose's bid, which is subject to scrutiny by UK MPs and regulators.

Read more

Toys r Us 'preparing to close all US outlets'

A Toys r Us store
Getty Images

Shares in US toy firms have fallen on reports Toys r Us is considering closing all of its US stores.

The firm's US arm filed for bankruptcy protection in the US and Canada last year in a bid to shore up its finances. But Bloomberg has reported it is now preparing to liquidate its operations, quoting sources familiar with the matter.

Shares in toy-makers Hasbro and Mattel are down 3.6% and 9% respectively.

Toys r Us's UK subsidiary went into administration in February.

US stocks open higher on strong jobs figures

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

Wall Street has opened higher after official data showed US jobs growth hit an 18-month high in February.

A slowdown in wage growth also pointed to a gradual rise in inflation, tempering expectations of faster interest rate increases.

A short while ago the Dow Jones index was up 0.6% at 25,050.17, while the S&P500 had gained 0.5% to 2,738.97.

The Nasdaq had advanced 0.7% to 7,476.80.

Robot holiday

Burger-flipping robot begins first shift

Who said robots don't need brakes? Flippy the burger-flipper has been taken offline at a Californian restaurant after just one day - because it was too slow.

Cali Burger planned to replace human cooks with Flippy at its Pasadena outlet.

It is being upgraded to cook more quickly (and hasn't even demanded a pay rise).

Flippy was unavailable for comment.

Wake Up once more

BBC business editor Simon Jack tweets:

View more on twitter

'Pharma Bro' Shkreli to be sentenced for defrauding investors

Martin Shkreli
Getty Images

Notorious "pharma bro" Martin Shkreli is due to be sentenced for fraud on Friday.

The former drug company boss made headlines by jacking up the price of a lifesaving drug before he was found guilty of defrauding investors.

Shkreli, 34, is expected to appear before US District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto in federal court in Brooklyn, New York. His lawyers have asked the judge to impose a sentence of 12 to 18 months, while prosecutors have sought at least 15 years.

US jobs boosted by construction

US construction worker
Getty Images

That US jobs number is the biggest increase in more than one and a half years, but a slowdown in wage growth pointed to a gradual increase in inflation this year.

Nonfarm payrolls were boosted by the largest gain in construction jobs since 2007, the Labor Department said.

But average hourly earnings edged up four cents, or 0.1%, to $26.75 in February, a slowdown from a 0.3% rise in January. That lowered the year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings to 2.6% from 2.8% in January.

BreakingUS economy creates 313,000 jobs in February

Burgers with US flags in
get

The US economy created 313,000 jobs last month, according to the latest report from the Labor Department.

The report is closely watched as a barometer of the health of the US economy and feeds into expectations about future interest rate moves.

Spotify seeks fraud chief

Rita Ora
Getty Images
Rita Ora performs at a Spotify event in New York in January

Fancy a new job? Spotify is looking for a head of fraud prevention.

The music streaming site, which is gearing up for an unusual listing on the NYSE, has been the target of fraudsters.

Music Business Worldwide recently reported that a Bulgarian playlist-maker scammed the Spotify payout system for several months last year and could have made as much as $1m in the process.

BreakingGKN agrees automotive merger with Dana

GKN has agreed to merge its auto parts business with US firm Dana in a deal worth $6.1bn.

You might remember that GKN is fighting off a hostile takeover bid from Melrose Industries.

It will be interesting to see how Melrose reacts to this development.

On Tuesday executives from GKN and Melrose (see our Business Live page around 09:30) also appeared before a panel of MPs to answer questions about the deal.

During that hearing a founder of Melrose said that GKN is a "business that has lost its way, partly from the way that is is managed".

How much does The Rock make?

Dwayne Johnson
Getty Images

It's rare to get detailed information on the economics of the movie business. But the Wall Street Journal has seen the terms requested for a movie project starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.

The film, called Red Notice, attracted some of the highest bids of any new film project in recent years, according to the report.

Mr Johnson wanted $20m, plus 30% of the movie's profits.

There's no script for the film yet, but the producers said it could cost up $160m to make.

Despite that, Universal Pictures bought Red Notice based on a pitch of about 40 minutes, the Journal reported.

'Not much good news'

Is Netflix worth it?

Queer Eye cast
Getty Images
Netflix shows include the revamped Queer Eye

Today's stock market surprise is that Netflix shares have soared almost two thirds since the start of the year and closed at $317 in New York last night.

Three brokerages have raised their price targets this week, with Pivotal Research rising by $100 to $400, while UBS raised its target by $50 to $345.

However, one of the top-rated analysts for the stock, Stifel's Scott Devitt, cut Netflix from "buy" to "hold" on Thursday while raising his target to $325 from a previous $283. "We are attracted to Netflix's business and competitive position but believe share price may have sprinted ahead of fundamentals in the short-term," he said.

And for more on why Queer Eye is proving a hit with viewers, click here.

Thorburn quits PRA

BBC Scotland business editor Douglas Fraser tweets:

View more on twitter

Bitcoin dips

Bitcoin
Reuters

Bitcoin has fallen below $9,000 after something of a rollercoaster week following moves by US and Japanese regulators to tighten their grip on crypto-currencies.

It's down 4% today to $8,947 according to Coindesk.

Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People's Bank of China, has also had a pop: "We don't like the idea of creating a speculative product that prompts people to fantasise about striking it rich overnight. This is not a good thing."

Earlier this week Japan's financial regulator punished seven crypto-currency exchanges, suspending business at two of them, to bolster consumer protection in the wake of a $530m theft from Tokyo-based Coincheck.

UBS eyes Frankfurt moves

UBS logo
Getty Images

UBS has told employees in a memo it will take a "decentralised" approach to relocating staff following the Brexit decision, with the majority of those affected moving to Frankfurt.

Staff affected will be informed in the next few months and while relocations will depend on where clients are, most of the moves will be to Frankfurt, according to memo.

A UBS spokesman has confirmed the contents of the memo.