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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Wizz Air sticks to guidance as profit falls
  3. Carlos Ghosn accuses Nissan of 'treason'
  4. Auditors face MPs following company collapses
  5. French GDP growth beats forecasts

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

    That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Thursday.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis.

  2. Airbus cyber issue

    European plane giant Airbus had reported a cyber security breach of the information systems of its commercial aircraft business which had “resulted in unauthorised access to data”.

    The firm said the incident was being investigated and that there had been “no impact on Airbus’ commercial operations”.

  3. Facebook trumps forecasts

    3D printed Facebook logo

    Facebook has trumped forecasts for quarterly revenue and profit, helped by growth in its Instagram business and a steady rise in advertising spending by companies.

    Monthly active users rose to 2.32 billion, in line with estimates while net income rose to $6.88 billion, or $2.38 per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31.

  4. Wall Street ends higher

    Bull statue on Wall Street in the snow

    Wall Street shares have closed higher, due to investor optimism from positive earnings results and the Fed's decision to maintain interest rates.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day more than 1.75% higher, the S&P 500 gained 1.56% and the Nasdaq increased 2.2%.

  5. Foxconn reconsiders Wisconsin factory plans

    Foxconn factory site

    Foxconn, which raised hopes of a US manufacturing revival by announcing a new factory in Wisconsin, is now reconsidering its plans.

    The Taiwanese manufacturing giant no longer expects to make liquid crystal display panels at the Wisconsin plant, a company official told Reuters.

    It plans to hire mostly engineers and researchers not manufacturing workers.

    The changes are a significant shift from the firm's plans announced at a White House ceremony in 2017.

  6. Fed 'sensitive' to market developments

    The Federal Reserve

    The Federal Reserve has said it will be "patient" about changing interest rates, marking a shift from earlier statements that suggested further gradual hikes.

    "Some may take this as a cue that the Fed is about to pause and is indeed sensitive to financial market developments, and even willing to support financial markets with a 'loose for longer' monetary policy, however, the more judgemental among us might label this wishful thinking as hubristic," said Bart Hordijk, Market Analyst at Monex Europe.

    "As they already hiked four times in 2018, they have the patience to wait until Q3 and Q4 to hike. This time it may be the markets that are behind the curve."

  7. Fed changing their tune

    Andrew Walker

    World Service economics correspondent

    Macro of the US Federal Reserve System as seen on a $50 bill

    No change in policy from the Fed, but there are some revealing changes to the statement compared with what they said in December.

    The suggestion that further increases in interest rates will be consistent with achieving their economic objectives has gone, as has the view that risks to the economic outlook are balanced.

    Inflation pressures are now seen as muted and the Fed says it will be patient in making decisions about interest rates.

    The changes all point in the same direction: a central bank that is more wary about the economic outlook in terms of growth and is less worried about the risks of significantly higher inflation.

    That’s not to say the Fed is anywhere near suggesting that a recession is an imminent danger. It still sees sustained growth as the most likely path for the economy.

    But there are what the Fed Chairman Jerome Powell called cross currents, such as the trade tension with China, which suggest there are increased risks of a less favourable outcome.

  8. Fed decision not a response to Trump

    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell has just told reporters that the central bank did not choose to maintain interest rates due to any "political considerations" - referring to the numerous attacks President Donald Trump has made over previous interest rate hikes.

    "What we care about, and really the only thing we care about at the Fed, is doing our job for the American people and using our tools," he said.

    "We're always going to do what we think is the right thing, we're never going to take political considerations into account or discuss them as part of our work.

    "We're human, we make mistakes, but we're not going to make mistakes of character or integrity. I wouldn't want the public to know that and I wouldn't want them to see that in our actions."

  9. 'The case for raising rates has weakened'

    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell is giving a press conference right now, following the conclusion of the two-day Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

    "The case for raising rates has weakened somewhat," he said, stressing that inflation would be a key factor going ahead. "I would need to see a need for further rate increases."

  10. Wall Street higher on Fed comments

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares are trading higher following the Fed's decision to keep interest rates unchanged and reduce its balance sheet.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average has jumped 431.4 points or 1.8% ahead to 25,011.37, the S&P 500 is 39 points or 1.5% up to 2,679.02, and finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq has soared 140.2 points or 2% higher to 7,168.44.

  11. A difficult road ahead

    Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell

    While investors might be glad that the Fed is demonstrating a “wait and see” attitude with regard to rate rises and shrinking its balance sheet, Kully Samra, Vice President of Charles Schwab, thinks the Fed's job in 2019 will not be an easy one.

    "Jerome Powell still has a difficult road to navigate. Recession concerns have somewhat subsided, jobs numbers rocketed earlier this month, and corporate earnings are in line with expectations – albeit growing at a gentler pace than last year, when tax cuts boosted profits," he said.

    "The Fed has emphasised that it has no pre-set course.

    "However, the assumption of no additional rate hikes may need to be adjusted if we get more strong jobs reports, especially if they include hotter wage growth.”

  12. 'Fed has become more cautious'

    Nancy Curtin, chief investment officer at Close Brothers Asset Management, says the Fed's decision to hold interest rates is now more cautious than before.

    "[The Fed has] moved back into wait-and-see mode. A slowdown in global growth and market volatility has caused some concern," she said.

    "However, should trade negotiations with China and the outlook for growth improve, the combination could lead to a better second quarter for the economy, giving Powell more confidence to normalise monetary policy.

    “The Fed will also be concerned about corporate debt levels, with an estimated $3.5tn pile up due to come into maturity over the next three years. Concern surrounds a number of highly leveraged companies, that survived the financial crisis, may be unable to pay back their debts as interest rates rise.”

  13. BreakingFed votes to keep rates on hold

    US Federal Reserve

    The US Federal Reserve has voted not to raise interest rates, as expected.

  14. Shipowners: 'Be constructive'

    Container ships

    The European Community Shipowner’ Associations (ECSA) has released a statement calling on both Brussels and Westminster to work together to ensure a Brexit withdrawal deal, following comments made by the EU about the Irish backstop being non-negotiable,

    “We call upon EU and UK authorities to be constructive and do their utmost to ensure the Withdrawal Agreement can be agreed to by all sides.” comments Martin Dorsman, Secretary-General of ECSA.

    The ECSA is a trade association representing the national shipowners’ associations of the EU and Norway. The European shipowners control 40% of the global commercial fleet, contribute €147bn to the EU GDP and provide 2.1 million Europeans with careers both onboard and ashore.

    The ECSA is concerned that there will be serious impacts on trade between the UK and the EU, to the detriment of shipowners, logistics partners, passengers and consumers.

  15. Bosch sales stall

    Bosch building

    Sales at German engineering firm Bosch were flat in 2018, it said in a statement.

    "Despite the difficult economic conditions and weak markets, sales and result in 2018 once again reached last year’s level, which was an all-time high," it said.

  16. DJI pledges painful anti-corruption action

    DJI drones

    DJI, the world's bestselling drone-maker, has published an open letter promising to take "painful" steps to tackle corruption within its company.

    The Chinese firm had previously revealed that some employees had inflated the cost of some of the components and materials it used, for personal gain.

    DJI blamed "inefficient and ineffective management processes" in part.

    But it added that it could not ignore cases of "outright theft".

  17. Electric checks in rented homes confirmed by government

    Kevin Peachey

    Personal finance reporter

    An electrician testing a household fuse box

    Plans for mandatory five-year electrical safety checks in privately rented homes in England have been confirmed by the government.

    The move, which requires legislation, means that landlords will be required to call in qualified inspectors to carry out the checks.

    The rules will mirror those already in operation in Scotland.

    New tenancies will be the first to be checked with existing lettings following later.

  18. 'A month is not enough time'

    BBC World News

    Jeff Moon, a former Assistant US Trade Representative for China Affairs, has told BBC World News that he isn't sure the US and Chinese delegations will be able to resolve all trade problems during their talks.

    View more on twitter
  19. London closes higher

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended higher, boosted by MPs rejecting an amendment that would enable the UK to leave the EU without a deal.

    The FTSE 100 closed 107.7 points or 1.6% higher to 6,941.63, led by British American Tobacco, which rose 4.4% to £26.21, after analyst Piper Jaffray upgraded its stock from "neutral" to "overweight" on Monday.

    The FTSE 250 ended 125.4 points or 0.7% ahead to 18,827.97. Top of the winners was TI Fluid Systems, which climbed 6.3% to 191.8p after analyst Peel Hunt reiterated its "buy" rating on the firm's stock.

  20. EU rejects calls to reopen Brexit deal

    Michel Barnier speaks in the European Parliament, as MEP Nigel Farage takes notes

    The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier says the Irish backstop is "part and parcel" of the UK's Brexit deal and will not be renegotiated.

    Speaking at the European Parliament, Mr Barnier said it was a "realistic solution" to preventing a hard border.

    British MPs voted earlier this month against the deal agreed by the UK and EU during 18 months of negotiations.

    Instead, on Tuesday, they voted for PM Theresa May to seek "alternative arrangements" to the backstop.