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Live Reporting

By Ben Morris and Matthew West

All times stated are UK

  1. Post update

    Ben Morris

    Business Reporter

    That's it for this week. Thanks for visiting the Business live page and come back next week. We'll be here from 06:00 on Monday.

  2. Goldman earnings

    Goldman Sachs has reported net earnings applicable to shareholders of $2.032bn for the three months to the end of December. That's down 10% from a year earlier.

  3. HMV Top of the Pops

    A pink sign glows at the entrance to the HMV music

    Music store HMV has retaken the number one spot as the UK's largest retailer of physical CDs and vinyl from Amazon. Total sales climbed to £365.7m in the year to December, up from £311.2m from the same period the previous year. Like-for-like CD sales enjoyed a bump of 1.5% but sales of vinyl albums rocketed 170%. HMV has come a long way since falling into administration two years ago.

  4. Switzerland

    World Service

    Swiss flag

    Is Switzerland in danger of losing its status as a safe haven? Business Daily on the World Service speaks to Kern Alexander, professor at the University of Zurich. Download and subscribe to the podcast here.

  5. Fracking permits

    Cuadrilla shale fracking facility, October 2012, Preston, Lancashire

    The Environment Agency has approved plans by the energy firm Cuadrilla for its proposed shale gas exploration site at Preston New Road in Lancashire. The company says this is the first EA permit granted for onshore fracking in the UK. Cuadrilla is awaiting a similar permit for a second nearby site. Lancashire County Council is due to take a view on planning permission at both sites later this month.

  6. Alpari statement

    In a statement Alpari says that the "majority" of its clients sustained losses due to the volatility and lack of liquidity in the currency market yesterday. "Where a client cannot cover this loss, it is passed on to us," it said. That forced Alpari UK into insolvency. Alapri UK had 240,000 client accounts in December of last year.

  7. Alpari radio

    The currency broker, Alpari, had just announced a partnership with Jazz FM to launch a daily early morning business show. It was due to feature Alpari experts. Little did they know, they would be the news.

  8. Market update

    FTSE 100

    The FTSE 100 has bounced around this morning, most recently trading 0.5% lower.

  9. Luxembourg confident in Amazon tax case

    Luxembourg's government has issued a statement saying it is confident that allegations it broke state aid rules in offering tax breaks to Amazon will prove unfounded. It says it has provided the European Commission with the detailed transfer pricing information requested and is cooperating fully with the Commission's investigation.

  10. FX firm Alpari ceases trading

    West Ham United"s English striker Andy Carroll (L) jumps for the ball with Everton"s English defender Phil Jagielka

    As the picture above shows Alpari is (or should that be, was, given today's news?) the shirt sponsor of London Premier League side West Ham United. So could the firm ceasing trading also have wider implications? Alpari and West Ham only signed their latest three year deal in 2013 and it still has 18 months to run.

  11. BreakingBreaking News

    FX firm Alpari ceases trading

    Foreign exchange spread betting firm Alpari has ceased trading because of the Swiss National Bank's move on Thursday to remove its currency peg to the euro and the ensuing volatility of the Swiss Franc, the BBC has learned. Traders at the firm were told this morning there is no money to meet their liabilities.

  12. Economist on energy

    Economist magazine

    "Far too many economies are littered with the detritus of daft energy policies," says this week's Economist Magazine. It says the dramatic fall in oil prices is a chance to sweep that away. Subsidies for the production and consumption of fossil fuels should be the first to go, it says.

  13. Oil price forecast

    Oil field worker

    Oil prices could fall further "but signs are mounting that the tide will turn" says the International Energy Agency which has released its oil market report for January. The agency has cut its outlook for global oil supply this year but said "lower prices do not appear to be stimulating demand just yet".

  14. Greek banks cash call

    Ekathimerini newspaper says bank deposits fell by €3bn in December - a month when they traditionally grow - and the first couple of weeks of January has seen more money flowing out of the banking system. Right now the banks say the situation is under control but this appears to be the first time since 2011 - during the last crisis - any of them have accessed the ELA.

  15. Greek banks cash call

    The Greek and EU flags flutter in front of the ancient Acropolis hill in Athens

    Two Greek banks have requested help from the European Liquidity Assistance (ELA) fund with the rest of the Greek banking industry expected to follow suit, Greek newspaper Ekathimerini reports quoting unnamed sources. The banks have suffered a cash drought as a result of uncertainty around the country's bailout arrangements caused by the snap election called earlier this month.

  16. Swiss shares down

    SMI Index

    Switzerland's SMI share index has fallen more than 4% so far this morning.

    • Julius Baer shares are the biggest losers, down 8.5%
    • Swatch Group is down 5.7%
    • Nestle is down 4.3%
  17. Chips are down

    UK computer chip designer, ARM Holdings is the biggest loser on the FTSE 100, with a loss of 1.9%. Late on Thursday rival chip firm, Intel reported quarterly results that disappointed some investors. It forecast sales in the current quarter and profit margins that were weaker than some analysts were hoping for.

  18. German inflation

    Inflation in Europe's largest economy, Germany, has been confirmed as slowing to 0.2% in December compared with a year ago, its lowest level in more than five years. Inflation slowed from 0.6% in November, the federal statistics office Destatis said.

  19. Small business lending

    BBC Breakfast

    Lord Digby Jones (left)

    More than one in three small firms are being turned down by their banks for a loan reports BBC Breakfast. Lord Digby Jones, former head of the CBI, says the terms and conditions, arrangement and management fees, and interest rates are so high that many businesses reject loan offers. Banks have to go back to a model of "local engagement" he says.

  20. Via Twitter

    Douglas Fraser

    Business and economy editor, Scotland

    "Schlumberger, oilfield services co, sheds 9k jobs (7% of workforce), takes £1bn hit to asset valuation"

  21. North Sea oil crisis

    BBC Radio 4

    Sir Ian tells Today most operators in North Sea oil are paying an average 62% in tax and some are paying as much as 80%. "For goodness sake don't tell me it's a subsidy to take that down to 50%, which is 22% above the normal rate anyway," he adds.

  22. North Sea Oil crisis

    BBC Radio 4

    Sir Ian Wood, who produced last year's analysis of North Sea oil, tells Today, there is "virtually nothing" oil firms can do when oil prices are at $45 to $50 a barrel. He says North Sea oil corporation tax should be cut by 10%. If the government doesn't do that some operators will go out of business, which the country can't afford, he adds.

  23. North Sea oil crisis

    BBC Radio 4

    An oil rig in the North Sea

    Nick Butler, former head of strategy at BP, tells Today claims oil firms failed to prepare for lower oil prices and the subsequent downturn in North Sea oil are "exaggerated". But he adds the oil fields are "more mature" and unless there are changes "we will start decommissioning very soon". That means oil rigs, which have been temporarily switched off, will be shut down.

  24. Amazon's tax arrangements

    The key comments in the European Commission's document on Luxembourg's tax arrangement with Amazon, come towards the end (paragraph 86): "The Commission's preliminary view is that the tax ruling of 5 November 2003 by Luxembourg in favour of Amazon constitutes State aid ... and the Commission has doubts at this stage as to that ruling's compatibility with the internal market."

  25. Google glass 'failure'

    Radio 5 live

    Google co-founder, Sergey Brin wearing Google glass

    "Sales were pretty much a failure," says Brier Dudley technology columnist for The Seattle Times about Google Glass. He says that Google will try a new model later this year, which will be "more discreet" and "less obnoxious". It was frustrating to use says Mr Dudley, but at least it got software developers thinking about the technology.

  26. Via Twitter

    Nick Bubb

    Independent retail analyst

    Mike Ashley hasn't yet succeeded in wiping out his rival JD Sports: profit forecasts upgraded today after a very strong Xmas (+12% LFL)

  27. Sainsbury's changes auditor

    A Sainsbury"s supermarket in Cambridge

    Sainsbury's has announced that it will recommend shareholders approve a change in auditor at its annual general meeting later this year. It wants to appoint Ernst & Young to audit its accounts from its next financial year onwards.

  28. Amazon's tax arrangements

    Amazon parcel

    The European Commission has published the document that it sent to Luxembourg back in October about Amazon's tax arrangements with the country. The document has formidable detail about Amazon's corporate structure. It's going to take a little time to go through. If you can make any sense of it, do let us know.

  29. JD Sports sales

    A JD Sports shop front

    JD Sports has reported a 12% rise in like-for-like sales in the five weeks to 3 January.

  30. Inflation

    BBC Radio 4

    Professor John Kay of the London School of Economics has some reassurance for those listening to Today who fear the UK is about to fall into a deflationary spiral. He points out the latest inflation figure is just a rough average. "If I told you the average temperature in the UK is 32 [degrees] then that doesn't tell us what people are actually experiencing," he says.

  31. Newspaper review

    Newspapers

    The lead in the Guardian's business section says that authorities in Brussels will today give their first detailed criticism of Amazon's favourable tax arrangements. The FT's Lex column says that while shares in Swiss firms like Nestle may have fallen yesterday, because the franc rose 15% overseas holders of the those shares are still well ahead. The Telegraph and Times business sections lead with the Swiss franc story.

  32. Swiss franc impact

    BBC Radio 4

    A Swiss coin is seen beneath a euro banknote o

    Swiss exporters are not the only people who will be hurting after the SNB's surprise currency move. Sue Noffke of Schroders on the Today programme says: "There are people in Europe [particularly in Poland and Hungary], who have borrowed in Swiss francs because interest rates were very low, and they have just seen both their mortgage debt and their mortgage payments increase 15% in a day." Ouch.

  33. Swiss franc impact

    Radio 5 live

    Lotscher website

    Lotscher describes itself as the only genuine Swiss cuckoo clock maker. On Wake Up to Money chief executive Christian Vaffi says that his company exports 60% of its output and the soaring value of the Swiss franc means those exports will be 20% more expensive. Also tourists visiting Switzerland will find everything, including his clocks, 20% more expensive.

  34. Elusive interest

    Radio 5 live

    piggy bank

    There was a rush to invest in the new pensioner bonds from NS&I yesterday. But why, given that some current accounts pay 5% interest? Yvonne Goodwin, independent financial adviser says you can get 5% but there are conditions. Often you only receive 5% on £2,000 of the balance. Banks find a way to make the money back, like charging higher fees for using cash machines overseas, she points out.

  35. Swiss franc vs. euro

    Radio 5 live

    The violent reaction on the currency markets to yesterday's move by the Swiss National Bank partly reflects how gloomy investors are about the eurozone and the euro, says Sue Noffke, UK equities fund manager at Schroders on Wake Up to Money. Next week the European Central Bank (ECB) may launch a QE stimulus scheme, which could push down the value of the euro further, she says.

  36. Market update

    Radio 5 live

    Share screen Tokyo

    Yesterday's surprise move by the Swiss National Bank to abandon the peg against the euro is being felt on Asian markets this morning, says the BBC's Rico Hizon on Wake Up to Money. In Japan the Nikkei 225 is down 2.5% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng is down 0.8%. The Swiss franc appears to have levelled off against the euro at 1.0150 Swiss francs to the euro.