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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. US markets turn negative
  3. Pound rises after UK interest rate decision
  4. FTSE 100 hits record closing high
  5. Euro jumps on Dutch election result
  6. Toyota to invest £240m in UK

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    Thanks for reading Business Live. Do tune in again tomorrow if you can. We'll be back from 6am. 

  2. The perils and pratfalls of the business lunch

    People having lunch

    You might think that going for a business lunch is a simple thing, but it is in fact beset with a whole menu of potential perils and pratfalls.

    From the choice of venue, to what food you pick, whether you order alcohol, and how you share the bill, any number of things can go wrong.

    Talking politics and religion is almost always a complete no-no, but what if an innocent chat about current affairs quickly turns to President Trump, Brexit or Scottish independence?

    We asked some etiquette experts and business coaches to guide us through the minefield.

    Read more here

  3. Trump's 'skinny budget'

    Donald Trump's first budget was presented to Congress earlier, and it proposes hefty cuts to most departments, as this chart from the Washington Post shows:

    View more on twitter
  4. Germany's Stada rejects €3.7bn takeover bids

    Medicines

    German pharma company Stada has rejected two competing private equity takeover bids which valued the firm at €3.7bn. 

    In a statement, the generic drug maker said: "The executive board and the supervisory board mutually agree that the indicative bids do not yet reflect the fundamental value of Stada. 

    "Thus, the company, for the time being, wants to provide the bidders the opportunity to increase their offers."

    According to the Financial Times , two consortia made bids - one comprising Advent International and Permira and another Bain Capital and Cinven. 

    Each had offered to pay €58 per share for the Frankfut-listed group.

  5. US stocks end lower

    US traders

    US markets broadly ended lower after poor performances from energy and healthcare stocks.

    The Dow Jones index lost 0.07% to 20934.55, the S&P 500 was 0.16% lower at 2,381.38, and the Nasdaq was flat at 5,900.76.

    Oil prices eased back after Wednesday's surge, sending shares of ExxonMobil, Chevron and other oil producers lower. 

    And healthcare stocks sagged due to mounting uncertainty over Donald Trump's policy proposals. The S&P healthcare index lost 0.9% 

  6. SFO aware of French Airbus investigation

    The UK's Serious Fraud Office tells the BBC it is aware of the French investigation into Airbus. 

    "We are aware of Parquet National Financier's investigation and we continue to work with and assist our overseas law enforcement partners whenever it is appropriate to do so,” a spokesperson said.

    The Parquet National Financier is France's financial police unit.

  7. France to investigate Airbus over fraud claims

    Airbus planes

    French authorities have initiated a preliminary investigation against Airbus over alleged fraud, bribery and corruption claims, the firm has said. 

    France is investigating the same allegations made by Britain's Serious Fraud Office, the aerospace company said in a statement. 

    "Airbus will cooperate fully with both authorities," it said.  

  8. Firms divided over when driverless cars will hit roads

    Driverless car

    One of the biggest questions about driverless cars is when, if ever, they will hit public roads, and it seems the industry itself is divided on the issue. 

    Today, Chipmaker Nvidia (whose tech is used in autonomous vehicles) forecast that the cars could be on the road as early as 2025. 

    "Because of deep learning, because of artificial intelligence computing, we've really supercharged our roadmap to autonomous vehicles," chief executive Jen-Hsun Huang said.

    But Germany's Bosch, the world's biggest automotive supplier, declined even to forecast when a totally self-driving car might take to the streets.

    "We still have to prove that an autonomous car does better in driving and has less accidents than a human being," Bosch chief Volkmar Denner said at a news conference.

  9. Regulators to examine Lloyd's purchase of US credit card firm

    Regulators are to investigate Lloyds Banking Group’s £1.9bn purchase of US credit card firm MBNA,  the Telegraph reports .

    It was the bank's first acquisition since the financial crisis in 2008. 

    Lloyds' share of the UK credit card market will increase from about 15% to 26% after the transaction.  

    Regulators are examining whether it will hurt competition.

  10. Toyota plant investment 'long-term'

    Video content

    Video caption: Toyota plant investment 'huge part of preparing for long-term future'
  11. More on Canada Goose...

    Just perusing the document filed by the high-end jacket firm Canada Goose as part of its listing on the stock market.

    It says it is to be considered an "emerging growth company" and that it intends to grow by expanding - including in China, where it currently has a minimal presence.

    It also plans to expand its product range in "key categories such as knitwear, fleece, footwear, travel gear and bedding". 

    In terms of risk factors (an obligatory part of any filing) it warns, amongst other things, that it "may be unable to maintain the strength of our brand" and "may not be able to manage our growth effectively". 

  12. US 'does not want trade wars'

    Wolfgang Schaeuble and Steve Mnuchin

    The US Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin has said he and his German counterpart, Wolfgang Schaeuble will work together to boost global growth and achieve a balanced trading relationship. 

    The two were meeting in Berlin on Mr Mnuchin's first trip abroad since taking office - ahead of a meeting of the 20 leading industrial nations on Friday. Mr Mnuchin sought to allay concerns sparked by President Trump's America First policy. 

    He said the US did not want to get into trade wars, but wanted to redress imbalances in trading relations where they existed. Germany currently has one of the largest trade surpluses with the US. 

  13. Russia denies Yahoo hack

    The Kremlin has denied allegations by US authorities that its intelligence agency was involved in a huge data breach affecting Yahoo.

    Two FSB officers were accused of conspiring with two alleged criminal hackers in a Department of Justice indictment announced on Wednesday.

    The charges are believed to be the first that the US has filed against Russian government officials.

    Yahoo's 2014 breach affected 500 million user accounts.

    "As we have said repeatedly, there can be absolutely no question of any official involvement by any Russian agency, including the FSB [intelligence agency], in any illegal actions in cyberspace," said spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

  14. Market update

    A choppy day for the Dow Jones. The index opened higher, the turned negative and now has climbed back up and is virtually flat.

    As of about 1800 gmt it traded just 12 points lower at 20937.44.

  15. Ferrero Rocher-maker to buy US confectioner for $115m

    Ferrero Rocher chocolates

    Italian confectioner Ferrero (of Ferrero Rocher fame) is paying $115m to buy US peer Fannie May (the chocolate firm not the mortgage company - that's Fannie Mae).

    Fannie May, founded in Chicago in 1920, makes chocolate bars, praline and chocolate snacks, which are mainly sold online. 

    "The US represents an important market with a high growth potential for Ferrero and we are excited to support the development of a great American brand," said Ferrero boss Giovanni Ferrero in a statement.

    The US is the fifth-biggest market for the Italian firm, which also produces Nutella chocolate spread. 

  16. Latin America's top airline makes first profit since 2011

    Latam plane

    Latin America's largest airline, Latam, has turned its first profit in five years thanks to improving operating margins.

    The Chilean-Brazilian firm made a profit of $69.2m in 2016 - the first since 2011 - despite a 5.9% drop in sales, to $9.5bn. 

    The firm said that despite a deterioration of the region's economies, its margins in Brazil, its main market, improved late last year.

    The company, which is 10% owned by Qatar Airlines, serves 140 destinations in 24 countries. 

  17. BP in talks to sell largest North Sea oil pipeline

    North Sea oil rig

    BP is in talks with chemicals firm Ineos to sell the North Sea’s largest oil pipeline. 

    The 100 mile pipeline transports oil from the offshore Unity platform to the terminal at Cruden Bay near Ineos’s Grangemouth refinery.

    The firms both confirmed the talks, which first emerged last year but were believed to have failed last summer due to an disagreement over how to price the assets.  

  18. FTSE record due to 'powerful mix' of factors

    Richard Dunbar of Aberdeen Asset Management.

    Today's record FTSE close was due to a "powerful mix of politics, interest rates and profits", says Richard Dunbar of Aberdeen Asset Management.

    First there was the "benign" outlook from the US Federal Reserve yesterday, which showed interest rates going up, "but not by very much", and inflation and job creation "under control", he says.

    The Dutch election result also helped, as it "puts back some of the worries and angst about the continued rise of populism" in Europe.

    And then there's the fact that UK companies are generally "producing good profits and good dividends", he says.