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Live Reporting

Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    The live page is closing a little earlier tonight. Thanks for joining us on what's been a busy day of business news. We'll be back on Monday at 6am.

    Have a good weekend.

  2. Dow Jones on course to break winning streak

    Wall Street's three main share markets remain in negative territory, although they have not moved much since the start of trading.

    Financial stocks are under pressure, with JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs the two biggest losers on the Dow Jones. They are down 1.39% and 1.38% respectively.

    The Dow is off 0.28% at 20,751 points and is on track to break a 10-day winning streak.

    The S&P 500 is down 0.25% at 2,357.8 points, although retailer Nordstrom is 6.2% higher after posting strong sales figures on Thursday after the markets had closed.

    The Nasdaq index is down 0.24% at 5,821.6 points.

  3. Aston Martin: profits up, sales down

    Aston Martin DBX

    Aston Martin's losses have widened due to a weaker pound and restructuring costs.

    The luxury carmaker has reported a £162.8m pre-tax loss for 2016, up from £128m a year earlier.

    But the 104-year old firm, made famous by fictional secret agent James Bond's 1960s DB5 sports car, said sales rose nearly 50% in the final quarter as its new DB11 model hit major markets. 

    Aston Martin, which posted a 1.9% increase in full-year sales to 3,687 cars, has lagged behind rivals such as Ferrari and McLaren in recent years and is now updating its range of luxury sports cars to widen its appeal. 

    Dr Andy Palmer, Aston's president and chief executive, said: "These results demonstrate the benefits of our Second Century plan, in which we have stabilised the company, strengthened the balance sheet and transformed our profitability. 

    "We have seen extremely strong demand for the DB11 in the fourth quarter and, together with our continued financial discipline and growth plans, this has enabled us to increase our 2017 forecasts meaningfully.”

  4. Trump's golf resort facing planning setback

    The Doonbeg golf course

    The Irish Times is reporting that the Doonbeg Golf Resort, from which US President Donald Tump resigned last month, has again run into planning problems.

    Clare County Council wants more information on a scaled-back coastal defence scheme, the paper reports.

    The resort has scrapped plans for a major coastal barrier involving a €10m, 200,000-tonne rock barrier, citing delays in the planning process.  

  5. Arsenal's record spending

    Arsenal players

    Arsenal's latest financial results show a record £110.5m spent on players, and an increase in turnover to £191.1m, for the six months ending 30 November 2016.

    During the summer, the club signed midfielder Granit Xhaka for £38.25m, defender Shkodran Mustafi for £34.85m, and forward Lucas Perez for £17m.

    The club's profit before tax was £12.6m, compared to a loss of £6.2m for the same period in 2015.

    Arsenal's cash reserves stand at £100.5m, down from £135.9m a year ago.

    You can read the BBC's full report here .

  6. Gold glitters

    Gold bars

    Gold, always a favourite investment in riskier times, rose 0.5% Friday as investors fled the stock markets for safety.

    With the main markets in Europe closing down and Wall Street slipping, the gold price rose to $1253.65 an ounce.

    And the dollar lost some of its recent shine against the euro and the yen, another sign that cracks may be appearing in investors' belief in the so-called Trump Rally.

  7. BA strike: Airline says it is willing to talk

    Unite cabin crew plan another seven days of strikes in ongoing pay dispute

    BA aircraft at Heathrow

    BA has responded to news that cabin crew are planning another round of strikes, these ones from 24 February.

    The airline says: "We have flown all customers to their destinations during the previous strikes by Mixed Fleet Unite and we will ensure this happens again.

    "We will publish more details next week once we have finalised our contingency plans.

    "Our pay offer for Mixed Fleet crew is consistent with the deal accepted by 92% of colleagues across the airline, most of whom are represented by Unite.

    "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."

    A spokeswoman rejected Unite's claims that the airline was not prepared to negotiated.

    "We have always made it clear that we are willing to talk provided there is no strike threat hanging over us," she said.

  8. FTSE 100 closes 0.38% down

    The FTSE 100 closed down, with Royal Bank of Scotland weighing heavily on the index. 

    Another set of huge losses for the bank sent RBS shares 4.49% lower. Miners also fell, with Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton each down about 3%.

    British Airways-owner IAG was the biggest gainer, with a 4.46% rise.

    The FTSE 100 finished 0.38% down at 7,243.7 points.

    In Paris, the Cac-40 ended almost 1% lower, while Frankfurt's Dax fell 1.2%.

       0.38% at 7,243.7 points  

  9. Mother's ruin

    'Gin Lane' by William Hogarth

    William Hogarth would be proud.

    Gin exports hit record levels of nearly £500m last year, a rise of 12%,  the Guardian reports .

    Domestic consumption of mother's ruin also rose, the article added.

  10. Trinity Mirror pulls out of advertising talks

    Front page of Daily Mirror

    The BBC's media editor, Amol Rajan, has a scoop about Trinity Mirror pulling out of talks to create a joint advertising initiative across Britain's national newspaper industry.

    The talks have been hampered by personality clashes, the competing priorities of different groups, and the sheer novelty of companies whose commercial operations had hitherto been aggressive rivals.

    You can read more here

  11. BA 'can afford to address low pay

    BA aircraft

    Members of Unite working as cabin crew for BA's mixed fleet have announced a further round of seven days of strikes - from 24 February - in their ongoing pay dispute, taking the total number of strike days to 26.

    Here's what Unite national officer Oliver Richardson had to say about the move, announced on the day BA-owner IAG unveiled a rise in profits .

    Quote Message: Striking mixed fleet cabin crew continue to demonstrate their determination to achieve a fair deal on pay in the face of British Airways’ bully boy tactics. It is clear from today’s £2bn rise in IAG’s pre-tax profits that British Airways can afford to address low pay among its mixed fleet cabin crew and settle this dispute. We would urge British Airways to meet Unite at Acas to resolve this dispute, as it claims to want to, and enable us to cancel these further damaging strike days.”
  12. Sheffield's global ambitions

    Boeing aircraft

    More on the decision by Boeing to open a factory in Sheffield, the aerospace giant's first manufacturing plant in Europe:

    The facility will be sited next to Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, where McLaren Automotive announced this month it would relocate chassis production from Austria.

    Unsurprisingly, the people of Sheffield are pretty pleased. 

    Says Professor Sir Keith Burnett, vice-chancellor of Sheffield University: “This is hugely important, not only for our region and the North of England, but also the UK’s global industrial ambitions in high-productivity, high-value manufacturing."

  13. Wall Street's main markets open lower

    Wall Street is being dragged lower at the open by falls in financial and technology stocks.

    Traders said there were suggestions some investors felt the "Trump rally" has gone too far too soon. 

    At the start of trading, the Dow Jones was down 0.31% to 20,745.83 points. The S&P 500 lost 0.40% to 2,354.29, and the Nasdaq fell 0.54% to 5,803.94. 

  14. Ukrainian tycoon Firtash released on bail

    Dmytro Firtash

    A Vienna court has granted Ukrainian billionaire Dmytro Firtash bail, three days after a decision to extradite him to the US on bribery allegations and his arrest on charges of money-laundering in Spain.

    "The application to impose provisional detention pending surrender was dismissed," the court said in a statement. Firtash would be released from jail immediately, a court spokeswoman said. 

    The businessman, who strongly denies any wrongdoing, is a former supporter of Ukraine's ousted pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovich. 

    Firtash made a fortune selling Russian gas to the Kiev government when Yanukovich was in power. 

  15. Brazil jobless numbers underline recovery struggle

    Brazil's unemployment rate hit a new record high of 12.6% between November and January, official data showed Friday, despite government assertions of economic recovery.

    It means that about 12.9 million people are out of work in Latin America's biggest country after two years of recession. 

    The unemployment rate has dented the popularity of the market-friendly government of President Michel Temer, who took over last year after the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff with promises to restore the economy to health.

    Brazil's economy shrank 3.8% in 2015 and is expected to have contracted a further 3.5% in 2016, the most painful recession in a century. 

  16. BA-owner IAG 'making reasonable progress'

    BA plan tailfin

    2016 was a challenging year for the airline industry - so how did BA-owner IAG manage to boost profits by 7.2%?

    George Salmon, an analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says: "Despite holding a premium position in the sector, IAG has been caught up in the trend for lower fares as increasing supply squeezes pricing.

    "However, with much of the supply coming in to the bottom of the pricing scale, there is an argument to say the group has a degree of insulation that more value-focussed rivals lack."

    He adds: "While things might be up in the air for the time being, it’s encouraging to see the group making reasonable progress. Costs are heading in the right direction and the dividend is being rebuilt.”