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Live Reporting

Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC Testcard

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

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

  2. UK could trigger no-deal Brexit plans early

    Deal or no Deal UK and EU playing cards

    Sources have told Bloomberg that the UK government will ask ports and shipping firms to implement no-deal Brexit plans the week before the 29 March deadline.

    The plans have not been made public, but if a Brexit deal or extension has not been agreed by the time an EU summit takes place on 21 March, then no-deal plans will have to be initiated.

  3. Wall Street closes higher

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street has ended higher, as indexes gained modestly amidst hopes that the US-China trade war could end positively.

    Gains were then trimmed slightly on the news that Chinese President Xi Jinping sent President Trump a letter saying that he hoped the US and China could redouble efforts to strike a deal on trade.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 0.7% ahead at 26,032, while the S&P 500 gained 0.48% to 2,788.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 0.91% to 7,526.

  4. Crypto-currencies gaining popularity in Kenya

    A woman in a spa that accepts Bitcoin payments

    Interest in virtual currencies is rising across the African continent, especially in Kenya, Africa's Silicon Valley.

    Despite warnings from Kenya's central bank about the volatility of crypto-currencies, some businesses in Nairobi are now accepting Bitcoin payments.

    The total number of Bitcoin transactions in Kenya are estimated to be worth over $1.5m, according to the Blockchain Association of Kenya.

    But can the technology really take off?

  5. Australian ski resorts sold by Merlin Entertainments


    Merlin Entertainments - the company behind attractions such as Madam Tussauds and Legoland - has sold its Australian ski resorts, Hotham and Falls Creek, to Vail Resorts for 174m Australian dollars ($124m; £95m).

    Merlin's chief executive, Nick Varney, said: "We are pleased to reach this agreement with Vail Resorts, which will allow us to focus on our core business of location-based entertainment.

    "It will see the business transfer to a company with a strong track record in ski resort development, and we wish Vail Resorts and the teams in Australia well."

  6. BreakingUS and China reach currency deal

    US treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin has told CNBC that the US and China have now reached a deal on currencies.

    The Chinese delegation will also be extending their stay in Washington DC for another two days.

  7. US-China planning to meet again in March


    Sources have told CNBC that US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are in discussion to have a summit in late March at Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf club in Palm Beach, Florida.

    The sources also said that China has committed to buying up to $1.2tn in US goods, however there is no progress on the intellectual property issues.

  8. A quick history of the British car industry

    Video content

    Video caption: Economist Dan Coffey on the British car industry

    In this quick history of the British car industry, economist Dan Coffey explains how a once thriving British-owned car manufacturing industry, largely disappeared.

    From its heyday in the 1960s when only 10% of cars were imported into the UK, to the European imports and arrival of foreign car manufacturers, welcomed by Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

  9. Nike app for self-tying shoe comes undone

    Nike self-lacing trainer

    Nike's new self-lacing trainer, the Adapt BB, has fallen at the first hurdle after the Android app that controls the shoe malfunctioned.

    Billed as the "future of footwear", the $350 (£268) a pair Adapt BB launched on Sunday.

    However, an update to the Google Android app that allows wearers to loosen or tighten the trainer failed to work.

    Customers complain that the Android app only syncs with one shoe.

  10. Members of Unite vote for platforms strike

    An off-shore oil rig platform in the North Sea

    More than 200 oil workers have voted for industrial action in a row over changes to rota patterns.

    Unite said its members on the Elgin-Franklin, North Alwyn and Dunbar platforms, as well as the Shetland gas plant, were reacting to plans to put workers on shift for three weeks continuously before having time off.

    Unite said it had been a "resounding" vote for action.

    The platforms are operated by Aker and Petrofac on behalf of Total.

  11. Sacked Barclays trader wins £1m in compensation

    Barclays logo

    In 2016, David Fortheringhame, Barclays’ head of automated FX flow trading, was fired from his £1m-a-year job.

    The bank had settled with the New York Department of Financial Services for $150m over the probe of a trading practice called "last look".

    According to the FT, this is a small window of time where banks can decide whether to reject or accept client trades.

    As part of the settlement, DFS ordered Barclays to terminate Mr Fortheringhame's employment, but in January, he won a remedy hearing, and Barclays has been ordered by the court to pay him just under £1m, in lieu of rehiring him and giving him back pay based on his previous salary.

  12. The Fed is listening

    US Federal Reserve

    The US Federal Reserve has announced that it will be holding a series of sessions across the country, in order to get input from the public on how it can further improve monetary policy.

    The first session will be held in Dallas, Texas on Monday 25 February, followed by a session in Minneapolis in April, and then various other locations over the course of 2019.

    "The economy is constantly evolving, bringing with it new policy challenges," Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said during a speech on Friday in New York, according to CNBC.

    "So it makes sense for us to remain open minded as we assess current practices and consider ideas that could potentially enhance our ability to deliver on the goals the Congress has assigned us."

  13. Royal Mail 'sorry' for rising stamp price above cap

    1st class stamp

    Royal Mail has apologised after announcing a price rise which breaches a cap designed to make the postal service "affordable" for all consumers.

    From 25 March, the price of a first-class stamp will rise by 3p to 70p and a second-class stamp by 3p to 61p.

    Raising the cost of second-class post breached Ofcom's current price cap of 60p which is in place until 1 April.

    Royal Mail says it will donate the extra revenue, about £60,000, to charity Action for Children.

  14. London closes flat

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended flat, as hope for the end of the US-China trade war meant miners were in demand.

    The FTSE 100 closed just 11.2 points or 0.2% ahead to 7,178.60. Top of the winners was mining firm Evraz, which rose 3.5% to 550.2p.

    The FTSE 250 ended 32.7 points or 0.2% higher to 19,269.59, led by Dairy Crest Group, which jumped 15.3% to 640p after agreeing to be taken over by Canadian firm Saputo for £975m.

  15. Looking for bodies, looking for answers

    Families arrive at the cemetary to bury a victim of the Brazil dam disaster

    On 25 January, in the heartland of Brazilian mining, a dam collapsed releasing 11.7 million cubic metres of toxic mud.

    A month on, bodies are still being found.

    So far, 171 people have been confirmed dead, but the recovery operation continues to search for the bodies of another 141 people - all reported missing by their families.

    In this tight-knit Catholic city, where almost everyone either worked at the mine or knew someone who did, the community is still in shock.

    Read our interactive feature here.

  16. Solarplicity banned from taking on new customers

    A man pours water from a kettle into a coffee cup

    Energy supplier Solarplicity has been banned temporarily from taking on new customers due to its poor switching process and customer service.

    Energy regulator Ofgem has also banned the company from increasing vulnerable customers' direct debits.

    Ofgem warned that the firm, which has 60,000 customers, could have its licence revoked if it did not improve.

    Solarplicity said Ofgem's decision "disregards the vast improvements that we have made to our customer service".

  17. How to win an Oscar

    When it comes to winning Oscars, sometimes it's really all about the marketing, according to celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev.

    View more on twitter
  18. Fishing bid

    man and a big fish

    Angling Direct is in "advanced negotiations" regarding a potential acquisition of Chapmans Angling.

    "There can be no certainty that a transaction will be concluded and a further announcement, as appropriate, will be made in due course," said Angling Direct, which is the largest specialist fishing tackle and equipment retailer in the UK.

  19. Kraft Heinz shares plunge on open

    Kraft Heinz product mascots

    Shares in Kraft Heinz plunged over 26% on market open, after reporting a $12.6bn loss due to higher-than-expected manufacturing and logistics costs after the bell on Thursday.

    Despite the fact the food products firm saw sales rise 1% in the fourth quarter of 2018, operational costs meant it had to also write down the value of its Kraft and Oscar Mayer brands by $15bn.

    The firm had hoped savings from its merger in 2015 would help to off-set outgoings, but this was not the case.

    On top of this, the trading update also revealed that Kraft Heinz's accounting practices are now being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

    "We are overly optimistic on delivering savings that did not materialize by year-end," Kraft Heinz's chief executive Bernardo Hees told investors on Thursday.

    "For that, we take full responsibility, and we have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again by planning process, procedures and organisation structure."

  20. Wall Street opens slightly higher

    Wall Street

    Wall Street shares have opened only slightly higher, as investor hopes of a possible trade deal between the US and China offset plunging Kraft Heinz shares.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now 27 points or 0.4% higher to 7,486.73. Top of the winners is Microsoft, rising 2.1% to $109.4. Yesterday the tech giant launched a new free Office app for Windows 10.

    The S&P 500 is flat - just 7.6 points or 0.3% ahead to 2,782.50. Intel tops the winners, climbing 3% to $52.93 after Morgan Stanley upgraded its stock to "overweight" and raised its price target.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 30 points or 0.4% up to 7,489.62, led by Chinese internet firm JDcom, which rose 2.6% to $24.89 on the news it is working with Japan's Rakuten to offer drone ecommerce deliveries in Japan.