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Live Reporting

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 Wednesday.

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

  2. Wall Street ends slightly ahead

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares have ended slightly ahead, as investor fears over a continuing trade war between the US and China were only somewhat mollified by comments from the president.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended 0.03% higher at 25891.32 points, while the S&P 500 closed 0.15% up at 2779.76.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.2% to 7486.77.

  3. Greggs is 'bringing home the bacon'

    Vegan sausage roll

    Back to Piers Morgan's favourite baker Greggs.

    After the firm raised its profit forecast this morning, Laith Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said the new vegan sausage roll has helped the firm "bring home the bacon".

    He said it was clear that adding vegan options is becoming a top priority for food retailers, following on from the recent launch of Marks & Spencer's new vegan range Plant Kitchen.

    "This isn't just a flash in the pan for Greggs either, it builds on a strong performance last year, and demonstrates it's still possible for bricks and mortar retailers to earn a crust on the UK high street," he added.

  4. Ford exits truck business in Brazil

    New Ford trucks are seen at a parking lot of the Ford factory in Sao Bernardo do Campo, Brazil, February 12, 2015.

    Further to the news that Ford is exiting the heavy truck business in Brazil.

    The automobile manufacturer said that sales of the Cargo lineup, F-4000 and F-350 - along with the Fiesta small car - will end once inventories are sold.

    The move is the latest part of a bigger overhaul by the US automaker, which is trying to boost profitability. It has also announced plants to close plants in Europe, cutting thousands of positions.

    The closure of the Sao Bernardo do Campo plant, which Ford opened in 1967, will have a "significant impact" on jobs, a spokesperson said. However, the firm declined to say how many jobs will be affected, saying it was working with the local labour union on next steps.

  5. Reality Check

    Brexit: UK will apply food tariffs in case of no deal

    Cows eating from a trough

    Environment Secretary Michael Gove has promised that the government will apply tariffs to food imports in the event of a no-deal Brexit, to provide "specific and robust protections" for farmers.

    His remarks come as the government is poised to release details of tariffs (taxes on imports) that would apply to thousands of products coming in from around the world, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

    Many supporters of Brexit argue that tariffs on food and other items should be scrapped in order to lower prices for consumers. But farmers fear that cheap imports and lower standards would destroy many parts of British agriculture.

    "Your concerns have absolutely been heard," Mr Gove told a conference of the National Farmers' Union (NFU). "It will not be the case that we will have zero-rate tariffs on food products.

  6. MSPs approve Scottish government income tax plans

    Finance minister Kate Forbes
    Image caption: Finance minister Kate Forbes said the majority of Scottish taxpayers paid less than those elsewhere in the UK

    MSPs have voted to approve the Scottish government's income tax plans for the coming year.

    Finance Secretary Derek Mackay chose not to pass on a tax cut given to higher earners elsewhere in the UK.

    This gives the government extra money to spend but means the gap between the Scottish income tax regime and that in the rest of the UK continues to grow.

    The move was signed off at Holyrood by a vote of 61 to 52, with the six Green members abstaining.

  7. Wall Street shares recover slightly

    Wall Street

    Wall Street shares are still flat, but they're slightly less flat than before.

    Stock prices rose very slightly on comments made by US President Donald Trump on Tuesday that he is open to delaying the looming deadline of 1 March to conclude trade negotiations with China.

    He added that the trade talks are currently going well.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now 67.4 points or 0.3% ahead to 25,950.69, the S&P 500 is now 8.5 points or 0.3% higher to 2,784.09, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq is now 32.7 points or 0.4% up to 7,505.08.

  8. Ford exits heavy truck business in South America

    A Ford truck

    Ford announced today it will close down its plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo, in the Greater Sao Paulo area of Brazil.

    It is exiting the heavy commercial truck business as part of a restructruring plan to try to make South American operations profitable again.

    It is believed 2,800 people will lose their jobs.

    Ford said it expects to record pre-tax charges of about $460m as a result of the action.

  9. AI fake face website launched

    A selection of faces from the website

    A software developer has created a website that generates fake faces, using artificial intelligence (AI). generates a new lifelike image each time the page is refreshed, using technology developed by chipmaker Nvidia.

    Some visitors to the website say they have been amazed by the convincing nature of some of the fakes, although others are more clearly artificial.

    And many of them have gone on to post some of the fake faces on social media.

  10. Nobody will block Brexit extension, says Juncker

    Jean-Claude Juncker

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday that none of the member countries will stand in the UK's way, if it asks for a delay to departing the EU.

    Mr Juncker made the comments at a press conference in Stuttgart, Germany.

    However, he added that if the UK's extension were to last until the European Parliament elections at the end of May, British voters would have to take part in the polls.

  11. The battle between cash and mobile payments in Africa

    A man hands over cash at a kiosk in Lagos, Nigeria

    Nigeria might be Africa's largest economy, but when it comes to financial matters, people typically favour cash payments over technology.

    Despite high mobile penetration, only 6% of the population uses mobile phones to make financial transactions.

    And 60% of Nigerians still do not have a bank account, so they don't have access to digital services on offer.

    In contrast, 73% of the population in Kenya have a mobile payment account.

  12. Investment paused by Brexit claims Skates


    Business investment in Wales is being "paused and cancelled" due to Brexit uncertainty, a Welsh minister has said.

    Ken Skates said an unnamed manufacturer has put on hold investment in north-east Wales "because of Brexit".

    The minister said the investment, which would create 250 jobs, "will be lost" in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    He said ministers could possibly spend money on school and road building projects "to stimulate economic growth" if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

  13. Brexit Party B&B 'trolled' on TripAdvisor

    Annapurna Bed & Breakfast

    TripAdvisor has suspended reviews for the bed and breakfast used as the official address for the new Brexit Party after "malicious trolling".

    Annapurna Bed & Breakfast in Norfolk, run by leader Catherine Blaiklock's husband, was the address used when the party registered on 5 February.

    Reviews included the comments "breakfast means breakfast" and "couldn't wait to vote leave".

    A party spokesman said the venue's rating had dropped in recent days.

    TripAdvisor said it halted reviews after "an influx of review submissions that did not meet our guidelines".

  14. London closes lower

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended lower, as Brexit uncertainty and weak productivity figures weighed on investors, despite record employment data.

    The FTSE 100 closed 40.3 points or 0.6% down to 7,179.17. Top of the losers was HSBC, which fell 4% to 637.1p after reporting a lower-than-expected annual profits and a weak global economic outlook due to a slowdown in China and the UK.

    The FTSE 250 ended 58.4 points lower or 0.3% to 19,068.89. British pharmaceutical firm Indivior led the losers, dropping 11.4% to 104.8p after a top US court rejected a request to block a copycat version of Indivior's opioid addiction treatment Subozone Film.

  15. Welsh plum given protected status

    The Denbigh plum - Wales' only native plum fruit

    A Welsh plum has been given the same protected status as French Champagne, Italian prosciutto ham and Spanish manchego cheese.

    The Denbigh Plum has been awarded protected designation of origin (PDO) status by the European Union.

    It marks a lengthy fight to recognise the fruit, which is Wales' only native variety.

    It joins Anglesey sea salt, Conwy mussels, and Caerphilly cheese among foods of protected status.

  16. Working towards an 'ambitious' Japan-UK trade deal

    Video content

    Video caption: Japanese Ambo to the UK says negotiations will lead to "liberal" economic partnership

    The Honda announcement follows reports that Britain's negotiations for a post-Brexit trade deal with Japan have run into trouble because a letter signed by Liam Fox, the Trade Secretary, and Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary, caused offence.

    The Japanese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Koji Tsuruoka tells Radio 4's World at One that no offence was taken and that negotiations between Japan and UK are working towards "a very liberal, very ambitious Japan - UK economic partnership agreement" which he thinks will "be better" than the current deal they have with the EU.

  17. Honda axe impact for 12 Welsh firms

    Honda Civic car at a showroom

    As many as 12 Welsh suppliers will be hit by the decision to close Honda's UK factory in Swindon, motor industry insiders have said.

    The Japanese car maker confirmed it will close its only EU plant in 2021 - with the loss of 3,500 jobs.

    But the Welsh Automotive Forum has warned there will be an impact in Wales, among the companies that directly supply the car maker.

    Kasai in Merthyr Tydfil employs 200 people supplying both Honda and Nissan.

  18. Goods made from recyclables

    MPs have been calling on major brands in all industries to do more to help the environment, by reducing plastic waste and incorporating recyclables into new products.

    British fashion designer Christopher Raeburn has a line of sustainable clothes, but he admits that it will mean a higher cost is passed onto consumers.

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