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Summary

  1. FTSE 100 closes at record high
  2. North Sea oil and gas industry suffers worst year since 1970s
  3. Greece unveils bailout reforms

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Over and out

    Chris Johnston

    Business reporter

    That's all from Business Live on a record-breaking day for the FTSE. We're back at 0600 GMT - join us then and thanks for reading.

  2. FTSE quiz

    Congratulations to Alan Wardle for correctly telling us that the FTSE 100 was not calculated on 16 October 1987 following the "Great Storm". However, that was not Black Monday, the global markets crash, which occurred three days later on 19 October.

  3. Sony Pictures

    Tom Rothman

    Tom Rothman has been announced as the new chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment, replacing Amy Pascal, who quit in the wake of embarrassing emails made public when the studio was hacked late last year. The 60-year-old (pictured in 2001 with actress Heather Graham) is a former boss of 20th Century Fox, who left in 2012 after 18 years.

  4. World Business Report

    WBR

    Presenter Susannah Streeter and producer Rob Champion are broadcasting the BBC World Service's World Business Report today from BBC Bristol - hearing about why the city has been crowned European Green Capital 2015. Listen live here.

  5. Even more FTSE fun

    London Stock Exchange

    BBC business reporter Joe Miller reveals everything you've ever wanted to know about the FTSE 100 - but have been just too scared to ask. Today's Business Live quiz: since its creation in 1984, the index has only failed to be calculated on one working day. Can you tell us why - and when?

  6. US house prices

    US house for sale

    US house prices rose 4.5% in December compared with the same month in 2013 - higher than the 4.3% increase in November, according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller figures. Despite the small rise, price increases have slowed for the past 12 consecutive months - prompting S&P's David Blitzer to declare: "The housing recovery is faltering."

  7. Via Twitter

    HSBC bosses

    BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed tweets:

    By calling HSBC's Gulliver and Flint, tomorrow's Treasury Select Cmttee is going to be much more about HSBC than about HMRC #SwissLeaks

  8. Via Twitter

    HSBC bosses

    Harry Wilson, City editor of The Times, tweets:

    HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver now going to appear alongside chairman Douglas Flint at Treasury Select Committee hearing tomorrow PM

    Douglas Flint and Stuart Gulliver

    The two HSBC chiefs are pictured at a media briefing in Hong Kong in 2011.

  9. FTSE 100

    The FTSE 100 has unofficially closed at 6,949.63, eclipsing the previous closing high of 6,930.2 set on December 30, 1999. The index has gained about 13% since December and is up nearly 6% this year.

  10. The FTSE - in pictures...

    FTSE chart

    Thanks to the wonders of Google Finance, this is what the FTSE 100 looks like since 1999. Since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008/9, the index has almost doubled. It might be a while until we see that feat again.

  11. FTSE record!

    Well there you have it - a new FTSE 100 intraday record has indeed been set. The index is up 41.6 points at 6,953.8 - an increase of 0.6%. BHP Biliton is up 6.2%, making it the day's top riser.

  12. FTSE record?

    Oh the excitement! The FTSE 100 stands at 6,948 - a mere whisper away from breaching the record intraday high of 6,950. And unless something goes very wrong in the last half hour of trading today, London's blue-chip index will close at a new high, breaking the record that has stood for some 15 years.

  13. Janet Yellen

    At least one commentator is convinced there will be no US rate rise this year. Todd Schoenberger of Landcolt Capital in New York, says: "The key is to look at what Yellen isn't saying, and she's not saying there will be a hike in rates anytime soon ... I've been saying 2016 is when we should expect the first hike and I don't see anything to change that."

  14. Janet Yellen

    Janet Yellen

    Janet Yellen has told Congress the Fed remains "patient" about when to raise interest rates as too many Americans are out of work and inflation is still below target. However, the central bank chair said it was prepared to consider a rise "on a meeting-by-meeting basis" in a subtle change of emphasis.

  15. Wall Street

    NYSE

    Wall Street is largely flat as trading gets underway ahead of testimony from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen. The Dow Jones was up 30 points at 18,140, the S&P 500 was up less than 1 point at 2,110 and the Nasdaq fell 3.4 points to 4,950.

  16. Via Email

    Greek bailout

    Andrew Walker

    Economics correspondent

    Christine Lagarde

    IMF boss Christine Lagarde has described the Greek reform proposals as a valid starting point, but she is also clearly disappointed about aspects of the Greek letter in several key areas including privatisation, and reform of the labour market and pensions.

  17. Via Blog

    Greek economic reforms

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    In the short course of the latest Greek financial crisis, Syriza appears to have transformed itself from what in the UK would be seen as traditional leftists into Blairites. In the reforms proposed by the Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to secure a four-month extension of its life-or-death bailout, vanished are the party's seeming implacable hostility to privatisation, determination to re-hire sacked public-sector workers, and desire for rapid rises in minimum wages. Or to put it another way, the platform on which Syriza won the recent general election has been significantly reconstructed.

  18. Greek bailout

    EC building

    Eurozone finance ministers have backed a four-month extension to Greece's bailout after approving a list of reforms submitted by Athens as demanded last Friday by its partners, European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis said. MPs in several countries, including Germany, must now vote on the deal.

  19. Nespresso patent

    Nespresso

    Shock news from the coffee world: a Nestle patent for a system used to extract capsules from its Nespresso coffee machines has been ruled invalid by a German patent court. Competitors, such as Switzerland's Ethical Coffee Company, have accused Nestle of modifying its machines so consumers cannot use capsules made by competitors.

  20. Post update

    Chris Johnston

    Business reporter

    Good afternoon and thanks to Matthew West and Tom Espiner for this morning's coverage. Do get in touch at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk with your comments or tweet us at @bbcbusiness

  21. Swiss franc surge sees pizza fallout

    Pizza

    There has been an unexpected repercussion from the surge in the Swiss franc against the euro. The Independent reports that German pizza delivery vans have been stopped at the Swiss border attempting to deliver up to 60 pizzas at once as people seek to take advantage of the exchange rate. People close to the border have also been doing their weekly shop, and visiting the dentist elsewhere, it adds.

  22. Macy's reports lower profits

    Macy"s shoppers leave the retailer's flagship store

    US department store chain Macy's has reported a less-than 2% rise in sales in the thee months to the end of January. It says net income (profit) fell to $793m (£514m) in its fourth quarter, from $811m for the same period a year earlier. Net sales rose to $9.36bn from $9.2bn.

  23. Aviva fined £17.6m for fixed income failures

    Aviva Investors has been fined £17,6m by the City watchdog for allowing conflicts of interest to occur on its fixed income trading desks that meant eight fixed income funds and their investors could have been left out of pocket. Aviva paid compensation of £132m to the funds last year. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) says between August 2005 and June 2013 Aviva allowed funds that paid different performance fees to fund managers to operate from the same desks. It meant traders who received a percentage of those fees had an incentive to favour funds that paid them more.

  24. UK productivity problem

    And we're back to the conversation about productivity. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says further progress in UK living standards depends on the country sorting out its productivity problem, just an hour after Dr Miles indicated to MPs that he doesn't think it's got any better. The OECD says the UK's economic growth rate is now the highest in the G7 leading nations at 2.6%, but output per worker needs to rise to maintain growth.

  25. HSBC - Swiss watchdog probe 'unlikely'

    HSBC Headquarters in London

    The Swiss market regulator Finma is unlikely to look into possible wrongdoing at HSBC's Swiss private bank in the light of leaked information that was published this month, its head of enforcement says. "In theory I can't rule out that something may come up which prompts Finma to look into it again. But I don't expect that to happen," David Wyss adds.

  26. Via Twitter

    James Cook

    BBC Scotland correspondent

    Boats

    tweets: "Bleak" picture for North Sea after 'worst year in four decades'.

  27. Market update

    FTSE midday

    The FTSE 100 share index is nearing its record closing high of 6930, up 8.75 points at 6920. It's been boosted by a 4.9% rise in BHP Billiton shares after its better-than-expected results. The rise helped to offset a 4.8% decline in the share price of aircraft parts supplier Meggitt.

  28. Eurozone deflation

    Euros

    A drop in energy prices in January has brought the eurozone inflation rate to its lowest level since July 2009, according to official figures. On an annual basis, prices in the 19 countries using the single currency were 0.6% lower than a year earlier, the EU's statistics office Eurostat said, confirming its earlier flash estimate.

  29. Carney at Treasury Committee

    Monetary Policy Committee member Professor David Miles says he is more pessimistic about the UK's productivity gap than he used to be. He says that he had expected that normal levels of economic growth would translate into normal levels of productivity growth, but it hasn't happened yet. Normal equilibrium is still a few years off, he says.

  30. Carney at Treasury Committee

    "Enjoy it while it lasts because petrol prices are not going to continue to fall. Food prices are not going to continue to fall," Bank of England governor Mark Carney tells MPs. But he says so far the Bank has not seen any evidence of deferred consumer spending based on falling prices - which would potentially lead the UK into a deflationary spiral similar to that facing Europe at the moment.

  31. Carney at Treasury Committee

    Bank of England policymaker Martin Weale is also in front of MPs on the Treasury Select Committee and says it may be appropriate for the bank to start raising interest rates "rather earlier than financial markets currently anticipate". He says the risk of a fall in sterling because of concern about the UK's balance of payments deficit "remains substantial".

  32. Carney at Treasury Committee

    Bank of England governor Mark Carney

    Bank of England governor Mark Carney is giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee this morning. So far he's been taking about Greece. "If there were to be a disorderly exit of Greece, we would expect that this would have ramifications for asset prices more broadly and potentially for confidence, and that those improvements in the institutional structure in the euro area would need to be used to reduce that," he says.

  33. Greek debt relief

    Eurogroup president and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem

    Eurozone ministers could consider further debt relief measures for Greece if the country meets all the criteria specified in the previous November 2012 deal, Eurogroup head Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said. He referred to the Eurogroup statement which said ministers could consider further measures to help Greek debt sustainability if Greece has a primary surplus and meets all the commitments in the bailout, which "hasn't happened yet."

  34. Wonga cuts jobs

    The Wonga logo

    Wonga has announced it is to cut 325 jobs under a "strategic refocus" of its consumer businesses. The job cuts are part of changes that the company's chairman Andy Haste said last year would see Wonga become smaller and less profitable in the near term. The remaining roles are expected to be based in London and Cape Town. Wonga plans to close its Tel Aviv office by mid-2015 and its Dublin office by mid-2016.

  35. Property sales down

    house

    There has been a 1.4% fall in the monthly number of UK property sales, and a 6% fall in yearly transactions, HMRC says. According to the latest figures, the "seasonally adjusted UK property transaction count for January 2015 was 97,320 residential and 9,810 non-residential transactions".

  36. Via Email

    Russian economy

    Ian Kemmish, Business live reader

    Isn't the flaw with Dimitry Afanasiev's theory that the US is waging "economic war" with Russia the fact that the only sanctions affecting the Chellovek (Russian) on the Moscow tram are those which were imposed by President Putin and not those imposed by the West?

  37. Oil and gas

    BBC News Channel

    Malcolm Bracken of Redmayne Bentley

    Malcolm Bracken, an oil analyst at stockbrokers Redmayne Bentley, says the North Sea oil industry "shouldn't qualify for extra support" from the UK government to prop it up. "The Americans have spent a long time supporting their oil industry, and it didn't really do them much good. It was new technology that kicked off their fracking revolution, and now they've actually got a problem with protectionist rules," he says. "They're not allowed to export crude oil, for example, which is causing them problems, because there isn't capacity to refine all the oil they're generating."

  38. Aer Lingus repeats IAG merge wish

    An Aer Lingus aircraft at Dublin airport

    The chairman of Aer Lingus, Colm Barrington, has reiterated his support for a merger with British Airways owner International Airlines Group (IAG) today as the Irish airline reported an 18% rise in operating profit to €72m (£52m). "It is the board's strong belief that the company should now take the opportunity to combine with IAG," he says. The Irish government, which holds a 25% stake in the airline, is thought to have concerns about the deal, despite assurances from IAG last week over the future of Aer Lingus.

  39. Greek economic reforms

    The list of Greek reform measures demanded by the country's international creditors in return for extending its bailout programme has arrived "on time," the European Commission has said. The list was supposed to have been delivered by a midnight Monday deadline after eurozone finance ministers and Greece's creditors agreed Friday to give Athens another four months to put its economic house in order.

  40. North Sea oil and gas

    Radio 5 live

    Ed Davey

    Energy secretary Ed Davey says that the UK needs to utilise its North Sea oil and gas reserves so as not to be to be reliant on Russian imports (which currently make up less than 1% of the total). "If we don't tend [to] and nurture the North Sea we'll be reliant not on British gas but on [president] Putin's gas," Mr Davey said. He added that the UK would also have to use a lot more oil from the Middle East if it didn't use its North Sea reserves.

  41. Market update

    London's FTSE 100 index is about as flat as it can be, up just 0.04% at 6915. Shares in BHP Billiton are among the top rises this morning after its first half results came in better than expected. The firm also cuts costs and raised its dividend.

  42. Russian economy

    BBC Radio 4

    People walk in Red Square, with St. Basil"s Cathedra

    Is the US waging an economic war against Russia in the hope that the Russian people will rise up and overthrow President Putin? Certainly that appears to be the view of Dimitry Afanasiev, a lawyer with close ties to the Russian government. But, he says, this is to misunderstand the Russian people. Russians fear regime change would actually be worse. "It is an open question to what extent the Russians will be prepared to endure economic hardship to preserve their sovereignty, but if you look at history Russians are used to suffering and hardship and they have gone to great lengths in the past... to defend their sovereignty," he says.

  43. The Big Oil Drop

    Big Oil Drop

    BBC News is going to be exploring the global impact of the recent shift in oil prices all day today - on TV, on radio, and online. Coverage will look at the specific impact on both consumers and on those who depend upon the oil industry for their livelihood.

  44. Newspaper review

    Pile of newspapers

    The Financial Times is leading on research it has done into living standards, which suggests young adults now have much lower living standards compared with pensioners. HSBC's woes occupy the top spot in The Guardian's financial pages. The Times leads with news and comment on HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver and his use of a Panamanian-registered company and Swiss bank account to funnel his pay. And the The Daily Telegraph also highlights HSBC's Swiss and financial troubles.

  45. North Sea oil firms call for tax cuts

    BBC Radio 4

    An oil platform in the North Sea

    Unless some fundamental changes are made "operators will just stop investing here [in UK oil and gas]," Sir Ian warns. "They will go ahead and do their own thing internationally and UK plc won't have recovered our reserves," he says. Sir Ian is calling for the supplementary corporation tax on oil firms' profits to be cut from 32% to 20%. "It would still be 20% more than the normal rate," he points out.

  46. Via Twitter

    Russian economy

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    Putin & Russians see deep recession as result of economic warfare by US & West, Russian lawyer close to him tells me on Today

  47. North Sea oil firms call for tax cuts

    BBC Radio 4

    Sir Ian tells Today there has been a "huge reduction in anticipated investment". Last year, investment in the North Sea was £14bn, he says. But by 2018 it is expected to be no more than £2.5bn. He says forecasts see "the complete death of exploration wells". He says oil companies are not asking for subsidies. What we are talking about here is an industry that was "extraordinarily taxed", he says. "My concern is that UK plc must attract sufficient investment if we are going to maximise the recovery of our reserves," he adds.

  48. North Sea oil firms call for tax cuts

    BBC Radio 4

    North Sea Oil and Gas firms pumped £5bn more in than they got out last year. A big fall in the oil price over the last year has seen wells not drilled, exploration abandoned and jobs cut. Sir Ian Wood, former chief executive of Wood Group, who last year conducted a review into offshore oil and gas recovery for the UK, tells Today there are "some fundamental underlying problems with North Sea Oil and Gas" that mean those oil fields are not attracting investment.

  49. Tudor borrowing rates

    BBC Radio 4

    Mark Rylance

    Some European governments are borrowing money from the international markets at the lowest rates in their history. Merrill Lynch has researched historic bond yields and it says the Netherlands, for example, is borrowing money at interest rates not seen since 1517. Anne Richards, chief investment officer at Aberdeen Asset Management tells Today it is "extraordinary that on the one hand we are talking a possible breakup of the eurozone" and a potential Greek default and yet there is "absolutely no default risk priced into European bond markets".

  50. North Sea oil firms call for tax cuts

    BBC Radio 4

    There are billions of barrels [of oil] left in the North Sea, Mr Tholen of OGUK tells Today. "At $60 to $80 a barrel we have to have a more competitive future ahead of us and a more efficient tax regime," he says. Companies are already taking a very cautious outlook in their investment plans. If oil prices stay low for a long period of time parts of the North Sea will become unviable, he says. "We are not asking for subsidies, all we are asking for is to tax us a lot less," Mr Tholen adds.

  51. North Sea oil firms call for tax cuts

    BBC Radio 4

    An oil rig in the North Sea as the North Sea

    Mike Tholen, economics director at Oil and Gas UK, tells the Today programme that while North Sea oil firms "are trying to look through short term volatility" they either need to be comfortable that they can spend enough to get out of their current difficulties or cease production. The industry would like to see the government take off taxes that were imposed in 2011, he says.

  52. North Sea oil firms call for tax cuts

    Chancellor George Osborne is to promise further support for the North Sea oil and gas industry today when he meets industry leaders later. It comes as Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) release a survey that shows the industry's investment plans for the future, as well as production. OGUK says the industry is facing a difficult period as a result of falling oil prices and has once again called for tax cuts. Collectively North Sea oil firms lost £5bn last year due to falling prices.

  53. Barings bank - Nick Leeson

    Radio 5 live

    Nick Leeson

    Mr Leeson adds that he does feel remorse for bringing down the bank, but that he can "look people in the eye". "I can't remember the judge saying that there was a minimum or a maximum amount of remorse that I needed to show," he says "I did five years in prison, [and] slowly rebuilt my life after that. Twenty years is an awful long time. I'm not a leper. I can look people in the eye."

  54. Barings bank - Nick Leeson

    Radio 5 live

    Mr Leeson says a common factor in banking scandals is a lack of accountability. "You can probably fast forward through some of the other scandals over the past twenty years and some of the factors are the same," he says. "There isn't really a consequence to action any more. Banks are being handed out some very serious fines and still it's having no effect."

  55. Barings bank - Nick Leeson

    Radio 5 live

    Twenty years after Barings bank went bust "rogue trader" Nick Leeson tells Wake Up to Money that he's always been clear that it was his fault. "The cause of the collapse of the bank was my illegal activity. I did that knowingly, and therefore am responsible for all of the consequences," he says.

  56. Oil and gas

    Radio 5 live

    Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst for Energy Aspects, tells Wake Up to Money that the North Sea oil and gas industry was in trouble even before the dramatic fall in oil prices that started in August last year. "Even at $100 [a barrel] they [oil producers] were not able to grow production because costs were soaring," she says.

  57. BHP Billiton profits fall

    The copper/uranium/gold/silver processing plant near the Olympic Dam mine in South Australia.

    Profits at mining giant BHP Billiton have been hit by the falling price of iron ore, coal, copper and other commodities. Underlying profit for the half-year to 31 December fell by 31% to $5.35bn (£3.46bn), but that was better than industry analysts were expecting. To compensate for falling prices BHP has made deep cuts in its spending on exploration and other investment.

  58. Post update

    Matthew West

    Business Reporter

    Morning. We also have results from GKN and some property transaction data from HMRC. Do get in touch with your views. As always you can contact us by email at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on twitter @bbcbusiness.

  59. Post update

    Tom Espiner

    Business Reporter

    Hello. Today we'll be following stories including the ongoing discussions between Greece and the EU over its debt agreement, and the UK Competition and Markets Authority's final report on payday lenders.