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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Facebook says 87m people affected by data breach
  3. C&C buys Conviviality's wholesale arm
  4. Spotify shares retreat as Wall Street slips
  5. WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell rejects allegations 'unreservedly'
  6. FTSE 100 ends flat
  7. Topps Tiles sales slide in second quarter

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

Good night!

That's all from Business Live today - we're back at 06:00 Thursday so do join us then.

HSBC whistleblower arrested

Herve Falciani
BBC

And finally tonight, Spanish police have arrested a former employee of HSBC's Swiss private bank who was convicted of industrial espionage after leaking clients' tax information, Spain's interior ministry said.

Herve Falciani, a French citizen, fled Geneva to France in 2009 after HSBC discovered the leak and put him under investigation. He says he is a whistleblower who wanted to help governments track down tax evaders.

France, Austria, Belgium, Spain and Argentina launched investigations based on the information, but Switzerland's highest court rejected a French request for help in a case saying the data was stolen and therefore inadmissible.

Falciani has been living in France, which does not usually extradite its own citizens and where there are no legal proceedings against him.

But police in Spain, learning that he was due to deliver a speech at a Madrid university, acted on an international detention and extradition order from Swiss authorities dated 19 March, the Interior Ministry said.

Not just Europe...

MZ says N.O.

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones asked Mark Zuckerberg whether he would give evidence to MPs - and this is the response he got:

View more on twitter

Zuckerberg speaks

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg is holding a conference call for reporters after the shock revelation that the social network improperly shared the data of 87 million people with Cambridge Analytica.

The BBC's Dave Lee is live tweeting the call:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Late rally for New York

Wall Street's three main indexes staged a big comeback to close higher as investors turned their focus away from a trade conflict between the US and China that wreaked havoc earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 230 points, or 1%, to 24,264, the S&P 500 gained 30 points, or 1.1%, to 2,644 and the Nasdaq Composite added 1.4%.

One million Britons affected by Facebook data breach

Facebook
PA

Facebook has said it now believes up to 87 million people's data was improperly shared with the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The BBC has been told that about one million of them are UK-based.

The overall figure had been previously quoted as being 50 million by the whistleblower Christopher Wylie.

The tech firm has faced intense criticism after it emerged that it had known for years that Cambridge Analytica had harvested data from millions of its users, but had relied on the London-based firm to self-certify that it had deleted the information.

Deadline fast approaching

Working professionals
Getty Images

Just a reminder, UK companies have until midnight tonight to submit their gender pay figures.

By 18:00 BST, 9,406 companies had done so, with more than 1,000 companies reporting in the last day alone.

Firms with more than 250 staff must state the average difference between male and female employees.

Of those that have published data, 78% pay men more than women, 14% pay women more and 8% said they had no gender pay gap, based on the median measure.

There is no sector that doesn't have a pay gap in favour of men.

Construction is the sector with the biggest pay gap (24.7%), followed by finance & insurance (22.2%) and education (20%).

Household employers is the sector with the smallest pay gap (0.6%), followed by accommodation and food (1%) and health (1.8%).

Equifax could see more lawsuits in the US

Equifax
Reuters

Credit reporting firm Equifax could see even more lawsuits in the US - the state of Massachusetts has sued the firm for failing to secure its databases or promptly inform users of the data breach.

Equifax had tried to get the state of Massachusetts' lawsuit dismissed, but Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Kenneth Salinger in Boston denied the motion.

The Equifax data breach exposed the personal data of 147 million people, including almost 400,000 Britons.

Breaking87 million people affected by Facebook data fiasco

Facebook
Getty Images

Facebook has revealed that up to 87 million people's personal information may have been improperly shared with data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

The social network originally said that 50 million people were affected.

In a blog post, Facebook's chief technology officer Mike Schroepfer said the social network has improved requirements for accessing data on the platform.

The new measures include:

  • Phone numbers and email addresses can no longer be used to locate individuals
  • Mobile call and text histories will no longer be stored by Facebook
  • Apps no longer allowed to access personal information
  • Tightened controls for Page and Group APIs
  • Users will be taught how to remove apps

Mr Schroepfer also said that Facebook will tell people if their information may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica.

How badly could new US tariffs hurt China?

A woman solders a motherboard in a factory
Getty Images

What do bakery ovens, high definition colour television sets, juice presses, rocket launchers and uranium have in common?

Well, they're all on a list of about 1,300 Chinese products the US is considering slapping a 25% tariff on.

The juice press might not cause too much of a squeeze for Beijing.

But many of the goods on that list are in industries like aerospace and engineering - areas of innovation that China wants to become a world leader over the next decade.

And the planned 25% tariffs do have the potential to hurt China.

Read more here.

Saudi Arabia to open its first cinema

Fans dressed as famous film characters at a Comic Con Arabia event in Riyadh
AFP

Saudi Arabia is to open its first cinema in almost 40 years, after Islamist clerics closed them down in the 1970s.

The first cinema will open on 18 April in the country's capital city Riyadh.

AMC has signed an agreement to open up to 40 cinemas in 15 Saudi cities over the next five years.

What do women think?

"Do women really have a say?" The gender pay gap results are in - what do women think?

Gender pay gap: What do women think?

'A spat between mum and dad'

BBC World

Mary Lovely is a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute and she specialises in international trade and China.

She told us that when it comes to the products that have made it on to the US and Chinese lists for tariffs, “It's like there's a spat between mum and dad we're trying to avoid it spilling over onto the children” because they are trying not to disrupt global supply chains.

View more on twitter

Spotify shares fall

Spotify
Getty Images

Shares in music streaming service Spotify have fallen on their second day of trading after listing on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday.

The stock was about 5% lower at just over $141 in afternoon trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now 45 points, or 0.2%, lower at 23,988 points. Nike was the biggest riser, up 5.9% to $67.87 after launching its latest Kevin Durant line of "What The" trainers.

The S&P 500 has also recovered and is also 0.2% higher at 2,618. The winners are led by US construction firm Lennar, which reported a rise in fourth quarter profits on Wednesday.

The technology-focused Nasdaq is 0.4% ahead at 6,966.24, led by Helios and Matheson Analytics, up 10.5% to $2.84 despite filing its annual report late.

US-China trade war to hurt American farmers

World Business Report

The trade war between the US and China has become far more rancorous in the last 24 hours. The US has said it will impose a 25% tariff on around 1,300 separate Chinese goods - from robotics to flat screen TVs.

China has replied with 100 targeted tariffs, including planes, cars and soybeans. American farmers, already operating in financial difficulties, worry this will hurt them further.

The BBC's Vivienne Nunis talked to Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union.

Rural areas are reeling from a proposed 25% Chinese tariff on soybeans

London market mixed on close

London Stock Exchange
Getty Images

London shares have been mixed on close, with a small rise on the FTSE 100 despite global trade war worries.

The FTSE 100 closed 3.6 points or 0.05% higher, led by Morrisons, rising 2.9% to 218.4p on the news that it has outperformed rival "big four" British supermarkets with 2.4% sales growth.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 slipped 133.8 points or 0.69% to 19,264.22. The winners were topped by plastic piping manufacturer Polypipe Group, rising 3.5% to 363.4p.

Investors on the alert

Joe Miller

Business reporter

Wall Street traders
Getty Images

After the Dow Jones dropped 500 points on the US market open, the Trump administration has been doing its best to reassure investors.

The White House’s newly installed economic advisor, Wall Street stalwart Larry Kudlow, has been chastising traders for overreacting, telling CNBC that the president is a “free trader at heart”.

But whether or not we are witnessing the start of trade war, we’re certainly beginning to see some casualties - particularly Boeing and Caterpillar, two of the companies that helped fuel the stock market boom last year. Both are hugely exposed to China, with Boeing expecting to do $1tn – yes that’s ONE TRILLION DOLLARS – worth of business with China in the coming two decades.

Automakers are also at risk, including General Motors, which sells more cars in China than in does in the US, and even ships some cars from Asia to America.

But as has been the pattern in recent weeks, the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 have settled down a little, and recovered from their lows for the day so far.

That’s because many investors are waiting for more information – will there be exceptions for certain companies, when will these tariffs go into effect, and is this more of a negotiating tactic than a serious threat. The answer to those questions is worth billions of dollars.

What's your company doing to tackle the gender pay gap?

Here's a video on the gender pay gap, helpfully explained using Playmobil figures...

Remember, UK companies have until midnight tonight to submit their gender pay figures.

View more on twitter

Why does everyone want Turmeric?

BreakingC&C acquires several Conviviality brands

Magners cider
Magners

Magners cider owner C&C has snapped up several brands belonging to troubled firm Conviviality.

C&C is to acquire Matthew Clark, Bibendum, Catalyst, Peppermint, Elastic and Walker & Wodehouse for an undisclosed price.

These brands essentially make up the wholesale arm of Conviviality, which employs up to 2,000 people.

"We know the Matthew Clark and Bibendum businesses very well. They are great businesses with unparalleled on-trade market access, a wide range of supplier relationships and supported by a knowledgeable and loyal employee base," said C&C's chief executive Stephen Glancey.

"The last few weeks have been challenging for employees, customers and suppliers alike. We hope today's announcement can put an end to this period of disruption and uncertainty."

Bahrain discovers offshore oilfield 'containing 80bn barrels'

A Saudi sheikh inspects a pipeline
Getty Images

Bahrain says a newly-discovered oil field contains up to 80 billion barrels of tight (or shale) oil, dwarfing the Gulf island kingdom's current reserves.

Appraisals of the offshore Khaleej Al Bahrain basin by two US firms also suggest the presence of 280bn to 560bn cubic metres of natural gas.

Oil Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said it was not yet known how much oil could be extracted.

But it could turn Bahrain into a major player in the global market.

More on Boeing's woes

Boeing 737 Max 8
Boeing

Earlier today, China announced that it plans to place a 25% tariff on certain US aircraft, causing Boeing's shares to tumble over 6% in early trading.

The tariffs are believed to affect at least some Boeing 737 aircraft, particularly the 737 Max series, which is meant to be a key source of future profits for the firm.

The tariffs concern aircraft that have an "empty weight" of between 15,000-45,000kg. As the aerospace industry has several different definitions for "empty weight", this could impact Boeing's best-selling 737 Max 8 jetliner.

Stripping away the veil

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Labour MP Harriet Harman and head of financial institutions at ANZ bank Brenda Trenowden speak to BBC Radio 4's World at One programme about the gender pay gap, as thousands of UK companies with more than 250 staff publish the average difference in pay between male and female employees.

What's your company's gender pay gap?

Wall Street plunges on open

A Wall Street trader
Getty Images

Wall Street shares have fallen on open, as US manufacturers, chipmakers and grain merchants bore the brunt of investor fears over a possible trade war between China and the US.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 506.2 points or 2.11% to 23,527.15. The losers were led by aerospace giant Boeing, which dropped 3.77% to $318.10.

The S&P 500 slide 40.5 points or 1.45% to 2,576.43, with chemical company LyondellBasell Industries falling the most - its shares are now down 5.4% to $98.51

And finally, the tech-rich Nasdaq slid 87.3 points or 1.26% to 6,853.94. Blockchain technology firm Longfin Corp tops the losers, sliding 8.6% to $9.04 on news it is being investigated for securities law violations by the SEC.

Good afternoon

People walk across London Bridge
Getty Images

Thanks Dearbail and Simon for this morning's live coverage of all things business.

Mary-Ann Russon with you until 21:30 for the rest of the day's news and views.

Got a point of view? Tweet me at @concertina226 and @BBCBusiness

Trade war will lead to 'negotiated deal'

Wilbur Ross
Getty Images

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said he expects trade actions between the United States and China will likely lead to a negotiated deal.

However he added that it was unclear whether such possible talks would happen by the end of May or later.

"It wouldn't be surprising at all if the net outcome of all this is some sort of a negotiation," Ross told CNBC in an interview.

"It's very difficult to put a specific time denomination on negotiations that are as complex as these."

Is this the lowest gender pay gap?

Trains
Getty Images

The job with the smallest gap in wages between men and women is train driving, according to drivers' union Aslef.

The gender pay gap for train drivers is just 0.7%, it says.

Officials said they have strong collective bargaining agreements with rail companies, which have helped keep any wage differences down.

General secretary Mick Whelan said: "Train drivers are highly unionised and covered and protected by strong collective bargaining agreements - factors which have helped deliver this success story."

Beano accuses Rees-Mogg of copying character

Walter the Softy and Jacob Rees-Mogg
Beano Studios

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been accused of copying Dennis the Menace's arch-enemy Walter the Softy.

Beano Studios has written to the Tory MP, warning that his distinctive style is a rip-off of Walter and calling on him to "cease and desist".

The Beano’s Mike Stirling listed alleged infringements of the comic’s copyright including Walter’s hair parting, round glasses, spotty ties and vintage apparel, and enjoyment of classical music.

And he said the North East Somerset MP had copied Walter’s “snootiness” and his efforts to stop others having fun.

Euro stocks slide on China trade war news

Euro flags in Brussels
Getty Images

Stock markets across Europe are all down on worries about the growing US-China trade war.

Frankfurt's Dax has fallen 1.34% to 11841.49 while the Paris Cac 40 is down 0.89% to 5106.25.

Meanwhile the pan-European Eurostoxx 50 has dropped 1.06% to 3311.42.

The skill in grabbing a live guest...

Zuckerberg to testify over data breach

Mark Zuckerberg
Getty Images

The US House Energy and Commerce Committee has just announced that Facebook co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg will testify on Wednesday 11 April at 10:00am "regarding the company’s use and protection of user data".

Committee chairman Greg Walden said: "This hearing will be an important opportunity to shed light on critical consumer data privacy issues and help all Americans better understand what happens to their personal information online."

It follows the revelations that Facebook knew for years that Cambridge Analytica had harvested data from about 50 million of the social network's users.

Trade war 'is like a game'

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping
Getty Images
US President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R)

China Air isn't too worried about a potential trade war between the US and China.

A representative for the company said: "The relationship between the United States and China is a complementary one. It's very strong. This trade war is like a game.

"We don't think this issue will impact on our passenger and cargo volumes, there shouldn't be much impact."

'Ball back in Trump's court'

Donald Trump
Getty Images

David Madden says that following the escalation in the trade row between US and China, there will be a lot of uncertainty hanging over global stock markets.

He says: "Now that China has stepped up and have an equal sized imposition in relation to tariffs that the US have imposed on them it looks like we are now fully engaged in a trade war between the two largest economies in the world.

"Now the ball is going to be in President Trump's court and he is not a man to take things lying down so it is quite likely there is going to remain a lot of uncertainty in global equity markets in the next few days or possibly even weeks and the downward spiral that we have been in is likely to be exacerbated and I do foresee a continuation of the exit from equities."

China airline fears US trade war

China Eastern plane
Getty Images

The China-US trade dispute could impact passenger travel and cargo, the boss of China Eastern Airlines has warned.

Ma Xulun said: "A trade war is not good for the two countries. We hope that China and the United States can negotiate together to avoid a trade war.”

The airline has set up a group to come up with a relevant plan.

When asked about the airline's plane buying plans, he said: "it's too early to say, we will keep an eye on the situation of the China-US trade war."

Trump: We are not in a trade war with China

The US President is awake and tweeting...

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Scottish economy 'grew throughout 2017'

Grangemouth oil refinery
Getty Images

Scotland's economy grew by 0.3% during the final three months of 2017, official figures show.

After four quarters of positive growth, Scottish GDP was up 1.1% by the end of the year compared to the same point in 2016.

Equivalent UK growth was 1.4% over the same period, and 0.4% for the quarter.

The Scottish government figures showed that annual GDP growth - the measurement of the four quarters of 2017 against the four which came before, comprising 2016 - was 0.8% for Scotland, and 1.8% for the UK as a whole.

Read more here...

Gender pay: midday update

BBC business correspondent Emma Simpson tweets...

View more on twitter

There has been a scramble ahead of the midnight deadline, with over 1,000 companies reporting in the last day alone.

Some 78% of businesses pay men more than they pay women. 13% pay women more and 8% report no pay gap at all.

Don't add water