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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Oil trades at highest price since May 2015
  3. Spotify moves towards stock market listing
  4. Next, John Lewis and Poundland report strong Christmas sales
  5. Mifid II financial rules come into force

Live Reporting

By Dan Macadam

All times stated are UK

  1. Goodnight

    That's it from us today, but don't worry we'll be back first thing in the morning.

    Check in from 6am.

    We'll have the new car sales for the whole of last year and will also be reporting on how UK services - the major driver of the economy - did in December.

  2. Another record high for Wall Street

    US traders

    Another day and yet another record high on Wall Street.

    All three of the main indexes closed at new all-time highs boosted by strong US manufacturing data and the rise in the oil price.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 98.67 points, or 0.4%, to 24,922.68, the S&P 500 gained 17.26 points, or 0.64%, to 2,713.07 and the Nasdaq Composite added 58.63 points, or 0.84%, to 7,065.53.

  3. Three US rate rises in 2018?

    Jerome Powell

    Most policymakers at the US central bank continue to favour gradual increases in interest rates, according to minutes of their latest meeting.

    The consensus estimates imply three rate rises in 2018 under the leadership of incoming chair Jerome Powell (pictured). That would match the three seen last year.

    But "a few" members think that might be too fast, since inflation remains low.

    And "a few others" think it might be too slow, since rate hikes so far haven't seemed to slow the economy.

  4. Deutsche Bank faces €740m lawsuit

    Deutsche Bank offices

    Investors are suing Deutsche Bank for €740m for allegedly underpaying them in connection with its takeover of German rival Postbank.

    They argue that Deutsche Bank effectively took control of Postbank in 2008 when it bought a stake of just under 30% at a much higher price than the 25 euros they received in 2010.

    A spokesman for Deutsche Bank said the complaint was unfounded, as were other similar suits that are currently making their way through the courts.

  5. Tomorrow's FT today

    The Financial Times leads its front page on reported fears that EU countries are mounting fresh raids on the City of London's £8 trillion fund industry.

    Its other top story is that new EU financial regulations - known as Mifid II - got off to a smooth start on their launch today.

    View more on twitter
  6. 'You can't beat vinyl'

    Figures out today show that streaming now accounts for more than half of UK music consumption.

    Vinyl is still a pretty small contributor - despite talk of a resurgence - but Michelle Reid says she much prefers listening to records to downloading music.

    Video content

    Video caption: 'I love vinyl'
  7. A divided Fed

    Federal Reserve seal

    Members of the US Federal Reserve are uncertain about how recently approved tax cuts might affect the US economy, according to minutes from the bank's December meeting, which were published on Wednesday.

    The cuts could boost consumer spending, capital investments - and even the labour supply, meeting participants said.

    But in each case, they added that "the magnitude" of the effect is unclear. That makes plans for future interest rate increases uncertain.

  8. The long view of German unemployment

    Today's news of continued record lows in German unemployment seems a good excuse to step back and take a look at the trend over the last 15 years.

    Germany unemployment graph
  9. Why is oil at a two-and-a-half year high?

    Oil pumpjack

    Oil has hit its highest price since May 2015 - at $67.84 a barrel - after rising by almost 2%.

    Analysts pointed in part to the street protests in Iran, a member of oil cartel Opec, even though there's no evidence of disruption to its oil supplies.

    "While the Iran tensions are certainly a factor, the slew of remarkably strong economic data today is also forcing the rally," said John Kilduff, partner at Again Capital.

    Germany's unemployment rate hit a record low in December, while US factory activity increased more than expected last month, a further sign of strong economic momentum.

    As the chart below shows, oil has been making steady gains in the last six months as fears of a global over-supply of oil ease and the global economy picks up.

    Oil chart
  10. Brazil's Petrobras agrees $3bn payout

    Petrobras protester

    The Brazilian state oil company, Petrobras, has agreed to pay out almost $3bn (£2.2bn) to settle a class action suit in the United States brought by investors.

    They allege they have been damaged by a huge corruption scandal within the company.

    Lawyers acting for Petrobras said the payout was not an admission of guilt and that the company was itself a victim of the scheme.

    Brazilian prosecutors discovered Petrobras executives had been accepting billions of dollars in bribes for years from companies seeking contracts with the oil giant.

  11. Macron targets fake news

    Emmanuel Macron

    French President Emmanuel Macron says his government will introduce legislation to combat fake news during election campaigns.

    In his New Year's address to the press, Mr Macron said such measures were needed to protect liberal democracies from determined propaganda.

    He said the law would enable judges to block websites that spread fake news, and counter destabilisation efforts by television services controlled or influenced by foreign states.

    Mr Macron accused Russian media outlets of spreading falsehoods about him during his campaign for the presidency last year.

  12. Trump: Bannon 'lost his mind'

    Donald Trump and Steve Bannon

    President Trump says his former chief strategist Steve Bannon "lost his mind" after losing his job at the White House.

    The outburst comes in response to a book about the Trump White House in which Mr Bannon describes a meeting between the president's son and a Russian lawyer.

    "Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind," Mr Trump said in an official statement.

  13. Oil surges on Iran unrest

    Iran protester

    The price of oil has shot up to its highest level in two and a half years, with buying spurred by the sixth day of unrest in Iran.

    The protests are the biggest in Iran since 2009, and have prompted speculation among traders that they could disrupt the country's oil supply.

    Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose by more than a dollar to hit $67.84 a barrel, the highest since May 2015.

    Analysts also pointed to strong economic data in Germany and the US, which, they said, suggested demand for energy would continue to grow.

  14. Green and pleasant land?

    Ever wondered how much of the UK is concreted over?

    British people apparently wildly overestimate the amount, and think the country is much more of a concrete jungle than it actually is.

    The BBC's Home Affairs editor Mark Easton has this fascinating chart which - using satellite imagery - shows that less than 6% of UK land is built on.

    Map of British Isles
  15. Major Intel flaw discovered

    Intel chip

    A serious flaw in the design of Intel's chips will require Microsoft, Linux and Apple to update operating systems for computers around the world.

    Intel has not yet released the details of the vulnerability, but it is believed to affect chips in millions of computers from the last decade.

    The UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said it was aware of the issue and that patches were being produced.

    Some experts said a software fix could slow down computers.

    Read more here.

  16. Botox-maker Allergan cuts 1,000 jobs

    Botox injection

    Irish pharmaceutical giant Allergan has announced plans to cut over 1,000 jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive.

    The company, best known for making Botox, is facing competition for its second most important drug, dry-eye treatment Restasis.

    It said the job cuts would mostly focus on products and categories where it expects to lose exclusivity. Cost savings should be about $300m to $400m a year, it added.

  17. One way to skip the queues...

    Ryanair flew a record-high 129 million passengers last year - 10% more than the year before - but it's safe to assume that not many of them will have left the plane the way this passenger did. We don't recommend following his example...

    Video content

    Video caption: Fed up Ryanair passenger waits on the wing of the plane
  18. FTSE finishes just shy of record

    ETX Capital trader

    The UK's 100 share index started the year on the back foot yesterday but has bounced back with a 0.3% rise.

    The FTSE 100 has finished 23 points higher at 7,671.11, just 16 points shy of the record high it hit at the end of 2017.

    Next was the big winner - rising by more than 6% - but there were also gains for BP and Shell as oil prices rose above $67 a barrel on the back of protests in Iran, a major oil producer.

    Analysts said the index - which contains a large number of companies which make money outside the UK - benefited from a fall in the pound.

    Sterling is trading 0.5% lower against the dollar at $1.35210 and has fallen 0.3% against the euro to €1.12410.

  19. Retailers top London leaderboard

    Sale sign

    It's been a good day for retailers as we head towards the closing bell in London.

    Strong Christmas sales from Next, John Lewis and Poundland led to optimism that others will follow suit when they report results for the festive period in the coming weeks.

    Next was the biggest winner on the FTSE 100, with its shares rising by more than 6%. Fellow retailers Marks & Spencer and Primark owner ABF were pulled higher, each rising by more than 1.5%.

    On the smaller FTSE 250 index, N Brown - which owns Simply Be and Jacamo - saw its shares rise by more than 7% and Superdry owner Supergroup was up nearly 5%.