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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Lyft prices IPO
  3. Pound lifts off last night's lows
  4. Numis warns of lower profits
  5. Tui knocked by 737 groundings
  6. US says China trade talks 'constructive'
  7. Brexit: Leave without a deal says King
  8. Debenhams secures £200m lifeline
  9. UK Q4 GDP confirmed at 0.2%

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night!

    That's all from us for today - and for this week. Do join us again at 06:00 on Monday for all the latest developments in the world of business. Have a great weekend!

  2. Poundland: 'Make a decision'

    Poundland is definitely fed up with Brexit uncertainty. It has put out a statement asking Parliament to "make a decision" and saying it is considering starting its own party.

    View more on twitter
  3. Call for drugs export ban

    Hugh Pym

    BBC News Health Editor

    Blue and white pills

    Pharmaceutical industry leaders want a temporary ban on drugs exports to prevent the NHS being hit by shortages in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    The call came from the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry.

    It told the BBC a drop in the value of the pound would create an incentive for wholesalers to sell medicines overseas instead of to the NHS.

    The Department of Health says it is working closely with the industry to ensure continuity of supply.

  4. Wall Street ends quarter on a high note

    US stocks ended the final trading day of the first quarter on a strong note, with the S&P 500 registering its best quarterly gain since 2009.

    Shares were boosted by optimism over trade talks between the US and China, as well as the success of Lyft's first day of trading.

    At the closing bell, the Dow Jones rose 211.22 points, or 0.82%, to 25,928.6, the S&P 500 gained 18.96 points, or 0.67%, to 2,834.4, and the Nasdaq added 60.16 points, or 0.78%, to 7,729.3.

    For the quarter, the S&P rose 13.07%, the Dow added 11.15%, and the Nasdaq gained 16.49%.

  5. Trump adviser add pressure for rate cuts

    Larry Kudlow and Donald Trump
    Image caption: Larry Kudlow and Donald Trump

    President Donald Trump's top economic adviser has said the White House would like the Federal Reserve to reverse some of its recent interest rate hikes.

    "I am echoing the president's view," National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told CNBC television.

    "He [Trump] would also like the Fed to cease shrinking its balance sheet, and I concur with that view," Mr Kudlow said.

    "There's no emergency," he added. "The economy looks fundamentally quite healthy. We just don't want that threat."

    Mr Trump and the US central bank have had a uneasy relationship. Previous administrations have taken care not to comment on Fed policy, but Mr Trump has railed repeatedly against the rate hikes.

    But the Fed last week brought that rate-hike cycle to an abrupt end as it abandoned projections for any further increase in borrowing costs.

  6. Apple cancels charging mat

    Apple has cancelled its wireless charging mat, citing that it "will not achieve our high standards".

    The AirPower pad was announced in September 2017 and questions were being raised about when the product might hit the market.

    “After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project. We apologize to those customers who were looking forward to this launch. We continue to believe that the future is wireless and are committed to push the wireless experience forward,” said Dan Riccio, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering.

    Techcrunch, which first reported the news, said it is one of several hardware issues, citing delay with bringing AirPods to market.

    "AirPower, however, has had far more time to marinate in the soup of public opinion since it was announced. Along with recent MacBook keyboard troubles, this has functioned as a sort of flash point over discussion that something isn’t right with Apple’s hardware processes," Techcrunch said..

  7. Clooney calls for hotel boycott

    George Clooney

    Hollywood actor George Clooney is calling for a boycott of nine luxury hotels with links to Brunei, after the country said gay sex and adultery would soon be punishable by death.

    From 3 April, homosexuals could face being whipped or stoned in the tiny South East Asian state.

    In 2014, Brunei became the first East Asian country to adopt Islamic Sharia law despite widespread condemnation.

    "In the onslaught of news where we see the world backsliding into authoritarianism this stands alone," the actor wrote in a column for the entertainment website Deadline.

    "Brunei is a Monarchy and certainly any boycott would have little effect on changing these laws", he said. "But are we really going to help pay for these human rights violations?"

    He said Dorchester Collection hotels in the US, UK, France and Italy, which are owned by the Brunei Investment Agency, should be avoided by those who oppose the measures.

    "I've stayed at many of them," Mr Clooney wrote, "because I hadn't done my homework and didn't know who owned them.

  8. Oxfordshire fusion project gets EU funds

    Image caption: The government said discussions on an "appropriate funding split" would take place if the contract is extended

    An UK-based nuclear fusion project has secured its future for two years with £92m of EU funding.

    Oxfordshire fusion project gets EU funds


    An UK-based nuclear fusion project has secured its future for two years with £92m of EU funding.

    Read more
  9. Should Google, Facebook, Amazon be broken up?

    Icon logos

    US presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren says she'd consider dismantling the tech giants should she ever get the top job. But is this really necessary, or even possible?

    A growing chorus of people think the big beasts of the tech world - Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon - are getting too big for their boots and should be dismantled.

    But as Prof. Harry First, an expert in competition law at New York University, says: "Breaking up is hard to do", recalling the old Neil Sedaka song.

    So what should be done? Read more here.

  10. Russia police probe 'dark net' murder

    Lt Col Shishkina worked for the interior ministry investigating fraud and drug trafficking
    Image caption: Lt Col Shishkina

    Police in Russia are investigating what could be the world's first documented case of a contract killing ordered via the so-called dark net.

    High-ranking police investigator Yevgeniya Shishkina was shot dead outside her home near Moscow in October 2018.

    Five months later, local police announced they had arrested two people in connection with the killing - a 19-year-old medical student called Abdulaziz Abdulazizov, and a 17-year-old schoolboy, who cannot be named for legal reasons. Both are from St Petersburg.

    Preliminary details of the case, which has shocked Russian investigators, have been shared unofficially with BBC Russian by sources close to the investigation.

    A court case is expected later this year, in which the two students face prosecution.

    You can read more here.

  11. Wall Street stays positive

    Wall Street stock markets have continued to edge ahead, putting them on track to end the final trading day of the first quarter on a strong note, boosted by optimism over trade talks between the US and China.

    The two sides have said they made progress on negotiations, which concluded on Friday in Beijing. Washington called the talks "candid and constructive", while the Chinese state news agency reported the two countries discussed "relevant agreement documents".

    That helped give a boost to share markets around the world, and in New York the Dow Jones is up 0.59% at 25,869.7. The S&P 500 is up 0.43% at 2,827.4, and the Nasdaq is 0.57% ahead at 7,713.2.

  12. 'Doomed to decline'

    mike hawes

    Business leaders have weighed in to condemn yet more uncertainty over Britain's trade relations with the EU, following Theresa May's latest Brexit vote defeat in the House of Commons.

    The latest is Mike Hawes, chief executive of the car manufacturers' body, the SMMT.

    "Another defeat means more uncertainty, more disruption, and the very real risk that the UK has become uninvestable.

    "Whether this is revocable depends on the ability of parliament to urgently find a compromise, that will deliver frictionless trade. No deal would doom us to decline."

  13. FTSE 100 closes up

    The FTSE 100 closed 0.72% higher at 7,286.3 points, buoyed by a rise in mining stocks which rose on the back of hopes of a US-China trade deal.

    AstraZeneca, down 5.7%, was the biggest faller after the drug maker struck a deal with a Japanese rival that investors fear could mean the UK firm paying several billion pounds.

  14. Muted rebound


    Back to the US spending data released earlier.

    "The muted 0.1% rebound in real consumption in January was much weaker than most had expected and provides further evidence that domestic demand over the first quarter of as a whole slowed sharply," said Andrew Hunter, senior US economist at Capital Economics.

    He also sees little inflationary pressure, with the biggest concern for most officials being that inflation has still not risen up to the 2% target in a sustained way.

    He said he expects the Federal Reserve's next move will be to cut rates

  15. Blackberry profits

    Blackberry Key 2 mobile phone

    BlackBerry has reported a profit for the fourth quarter, after making a loss the same time last year.

    Once the must-have item, Blackberry is now trying to sell software to manage mobiles for companies and governances.

    “We delivered on all of our fiscal 2019 financial commitments and created a solid foundation for continued profitable revenue growth in fiscal 2020,” said John Chen, chief executive of the Canadian-based company.

    “I am pleased to note that BlackBerry is recognised as a $1bn-plus revenue company in security software".

    Net profit was $51m compared with a loss of $10m a year ago.

  16. Lyft shares lifted

    Lyft shares have jumped more than 20% on the first day of trading for the ride-hailing service. On Thursday the company said it sold about 32.5 million shares at $72 a piece. When trading started on Friday they rose to $87.24.

    Lyft rival Uber is expected to go public before the summer.

  17. Article 50 extension 'looks likely'

    Brexit protesters outside Parliament

    After another defeat for Theresa May, what now? There's no easy answer, but economist Dean Turner believes a long extension to Article 50 seems likely.

    Mr Turner, of UBS Global Wealth Management, says: “The third defeat of the Withdrawal Agreement crystallises the UK’s departure date as 12 April.

    "Before then, we expect MPs to converge on the view that more time will be needed in order to determine the path for Brexit. Therefore, a long extension to Article 50 looks increasingly likely, boosting the chances of a general election.

    “Sterling hasn’t responded favourably to today’s result, likely interpreting an increased risk of a no-deal scenario two weeks hence. That said, our view remains that MPs will ultimately avoid this outcome.”

  18. Brexit: 'The fun stopped a long time ago'


    Yet more despair from business after Theresa May's latest defeat in the House of Commons.

    Says Edwin Morgan, interim director general of the Institute of Directors: “The Brexit merry-go-round continues to spin, but the fun stopped a long time ago.

    "We are running out of words to express how sick business leaders are of being stuck in this spirit-sapping limbo. The inability to make any decision is doing lasting damage to enterprise."

  19. Pound falls after Brexit vote

    Sterling sank immediately after the result of the latest MPs' Brexit vote was announced, in which Theresa May suffered another defeat.

    Against the dollar, the pound is now down 0.4% at $1.2995, after having risen in the hours before the vote. Against the euro, sterling was 0.38% lower at €1.1577.