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Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Test card F

    That's it for another day, thank you for joining Business Live.

    We'll be back tomorrow at 6.00am sharp - see you then.

  2. Ghosn to stay at Renault's helm

    Carlos Ghosn

    The board of French car-maker Renault has proposed that Carlos Ghosn (pictured) remain as chairman and chief executive. It also proposed that he remain as chairman and chief executive of the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance.

    It has also appointed Thierry Bollore as chief operating officer and confirmed that chief performance officer Stefan Mueller is leaving Renault due to health reasons.

    The board also set out its priorities, which are:

    • Oversee the strategic objectives of the "Drive the Future" plan ending in 2022
    • Take decisive steps to make the Alliance irreversible
    • Strengthen the succession plan at the head of Groupe Renault.
  3. US stock markets close higher

    Stock market trader

    US stock markets closed higher on Thursday.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.24% at 25,200 points.

    The S&P 500 was up 1% at 2,725.

    The Nasdaq closed 0.88% higher at 1,535.

  4. Roche 'set to buy' Alphabet-owned cancer start-up

    Zach Weinberg and Nat Turner are the co-founders of Flatiron Health
    Image caption: Zach Weinberg (L) and Nat Turner (R) are the co-founders of Flatiron Health

    CNBC reports that Flatiron Health, a start-up founded by two former Google employees, is about to be acquired by Swiss pharma giant Roche.

    Flatiron Health is owned by Alphabet, the parent company of the search giant Google, and CNBC says the company owns a medical record system which is used by doctors treating patients with cancer.

    Roche is a backer of Flatiron Health and it is thought is will pay $2.1bn to buy the business.

  5. Instagram submits to Russia censor's demands


    Instagram has blocked posts in Russia relating to corruption claims made by the country's most prominent opposition leader.

    It follows a demand by the country's internet censor that the Facebook-owned service restrict access to posts on its platform connected to allegations made by Alexei Navalny.

    Its response contrasts with that of Google's YouTube service.

    It had been ordered to block several clips before the end of Wednesday.

    Read more here...

  6. Oil price fall subsides

    Oil prices have trimmed earlier falls, buoyed by a weaker dollar.

    Brent crude is now down 0.4% at $64.08 per barrel and West Texas Intermediate is now up 0.8% at $61.06.

    Speaking earlier, Rob Thummel, portfolio manager at energy investment manager Tortoise Energy, said: "I'm surprised that oil prices are falling today given the weaker US dollar.

    "Currently, the direction of the dollar is having a bigger impact on oil prices than fundamentals."

  7. Scottish Widows draws veil on Standard Life Aberdeen deal

    Douglas Fraser

    Scotland business & economy editor

    Scottish Widows

    Standard Life Aberdeen, the newly-merged financial giant, is set to lose a large tranche of the assets it has been managing after Scottish Widows pulled out of a partnership deal.

    It is reckoned that more than a trillion pounds of investment funds are now managed out of Edinburgh, which is quite a vote of confidence from those who trust asset managers with their moola.

    Roughly two-thirds of that has been at the newly-merged Standard Life Aberdeen, last September managing £648m.

    For those who see Scotland's financial world as a wee bit too cosy, this Scottish Widows announcement proves that relationships within this asset management community can get quite rocky.

    Read more here...

  8. Strong earnings fuel stock markets

    Stock market trader

    The most recent company results season seems to be fueling stock market gains.

    Peter Kenny, senior market strategist at Global Markets Advisory Group, says: "The momentum is being fueled by the realisation that earnings season continues to be the best we've had since 2009.

    "We're going to continue to see some aftershocks in the market, but they will incrementally become less dramatic over time."

  9. ECB member warns on Bitcoin

    Yves Mersch

    Bitcoin is climbing higher despite comments earlier on Thursday from Yves Mersch, a member of the European Central Bank's executive board, who declared it was "not a currency but simply a speculative digital asset".

    Speaking at a conference in Paris, the long-time Bitcoin critic also said that virtual currencies "may become worthless at any time".

  10. US stocks spring back to life

    And up it goes again.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average has regained some momentum and is now up by 184.38 points at 25,077.87.

    The S&P 500 is ahead 20.48 points at 2,719.11 and the Nasdaq has jumped 79.84 points to 7,223.46.

  11. Bitcoin breaches $10,000


    Speaking of roller coasters, Bitcoin is back over $10,000 again.

    The cryptocurrency is trading up 6.19% at $10,064.46, according to CoinDesk.

  12. Shake it off

    There was much speculation that the latest US inflation figures and producer price index (PPI) data this week could send American stock markets back on a roller coaster ride.

    But Leo Grohowski, chief investment officer at BNY Mellon Wealth Management, says: "In the midst of all the nervousness of the past two weeks, we're winding out a really strong earnings reporting season.

    "There were a lot eyes fixating on the PPI number this morning, it came in a little hot. But much like yesterday, the market's shaking it off."

  13. Sands runs thin for Halliburton

    Oil pump

    Halliburton, the US oilfield services group, expects profit to fall in its first quarter because of delays in deliveries of the sand used for fracking.

    Christopher Weber, Halliburton's chief financial officer, said: "We got multiple sand operators whose operations in the region were impacted and from which we purchase about one-third of our total sand volumes."

    He said the company has been facing delays of up to 72 hours since February.

    Shares in Halliburton are down 1.9%.

  14. Oil prices slide

    Oil rig workers

    Oil prices are down after stronger than expected inventories in the US overshadowed plans by major producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia to agree a long-term alliance.

    Brent crude fell by 1.2% to $63.58 a barrel. West Texas Intermediate is off 0.6% at $60.22.

    The Energy Information Administration said that US crude output hit a record 10.27 million barrels per day. Also US crude and gasoline inventories rose last week.

    Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix, said: "What we have now is a bit of a re-adjustment from the price rise we had yesterday, which was a bit overdone.

    "I don't think the [EIA] data was that supportive."

  15. Quiet close for London stocks

    The stock markets in London have closed and the FTSE 100 has ended up 20.84 points at 7,234.81.

    Standard Life Aberdeen remained the biggest faller of the day, down 7.9% at 358.41p.

    Precious metals miner Fresnillo jumped to top of the leaders' board with its shares 4.5% ahead at 13.90.

    The FTSE 250 finished up 111.39 points at 19,559.77.

  16. Steinhoff appoints restructuring chief


    Troubled retailer Steinhoff International has put the former head of KPMG's global restructuring group in charge of overhauling the business.

    Richard Heis was with KMPG until last November.

    Steinhoff, which owns discount chain Poundland, is attempting to restructure its debts after finding irregularities in its accounts.

    Heather Sonn, acting chairperson of Steinhoff, said Heis should "bring significant benefit to the group".