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Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon and Lora Jones

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC test card

    That's it from Business Live for today.

    But we'll be back bright and early from 06:00 tomorrow morning with our usual mix of the latest breaking news and analysis from the business world.

    Do join us then.

  2. The Ethiopians returning home to start businesses

    An Ethiopia travel campaign poster at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport

    Need something to read on your commute home?

    Check out this piece about the hundreds of Ethiopians returning to the country, following reforms brought in by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

    Mr Abiy's reforms include changing the law to enable more Ethiopians living abroad to come back and help rebuild the economy.

    For years, Ethiopia's economy has been tightly controlled by the state and closed to many international investors.

    About two million Ethiopians live in the diaspora, the government estimates.

    Abiy Bister owns an Ethiopian restaurant in Washington DC. He hasn't seen his homeland in almost two decades, but he's now considering returning to Ethiopia to start a business there.

  3. WPP weighs on FTSE 100

    WPP sign being cleaned

    Advertising giant WPP reported a sharp slowdown in sales on Thursday morning. Its pre-tax profit also dropped by 21.9% to £982m last year.

    That pushed its share price down by more than 15%, making it the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 index today.

  4. London markets close down

    Financial traders

    The FTSE 100 has had another bad day.

    The UK's blue-chip index closed at 6,796.33, after dropping 246.14 points, or 3.50%.

    The wider FTSE 250 index lost 764.63 points, or 3.71%, to close at 19,858.32.

  5. Heathrow decision 'not good news', says Conservative MP

    The World at One

    BBC Radio 4

    View more on twitter

    Sir Roger Gale, president of the All Party Parliamentary Group on General Aviation, spoke to the BBC's World at One about the Court of Appeal's decision on Heathrow.

  6. Airlines UK: Enormous economic prize if Heathrow done right

    Heathrow runway

    Another comment on the Court of Appeal's ruling against Heathrow's expansion this morning.

    Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, called the decision "extremely disappointing".

    He said: "The economic prize is enormous if expansion is done right, with airlines ready to respond to the unlocking of new capacity by creating new routes and helping to connect the UK to new markets and destinations, and Heathrow to regions across the country.

    "UK aviation has committed to 'net zero' carbon by 2050 and this factors in the emissions created by Heathrow expansion. It is not a question of being pro-aviation or pro-environment."

    He added: "We are clear that as a country we cannot keep fudging this issue if we are to maintain our credibility internationally. We urge ministers to appeal the decision, back expansion publicly, and ensure it delivers for the whole country."

  7. Global stock markets suffer sixth day of losses

    Stock market trader

    Global investors were hit with a sixth day of stock market losses on Thursday, as traders responded to the threat of the coronavirus.

    The string of declines pushed indexes in Europe and the US down more than 10% from their recent highs - sending them into so-called "correction" territory.

    In the US, the three main indexes slumped more than 2.5% in opening trade, while London's FTSE 100 was almost 4% lower.

    Japan's Nikkei 225 led losses in Asia.

    Read more on the story here.

  8. Third runway must not be at the 'expense of the environment'

    Environmental campaigner
    Image caption: Environmental campaigners waited for the decision outside the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday morning

    The Unite union has commented on the ruling against the expansion of Heathrow Airport.

    Its assistant general secretary, Diana Holland, said: "Hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk if the government does not take immediate action to ensure that the Heathrow expansion goes ahead. However, Unite is adamant this must not be at the expense of the environment."

    She added: "The government must bring forward new proposals that are in line with the UK’s environmental commitments."Urgent action is needed to tackle the climate emergency that we all face but that must be through a just transition which does not demonise particular sectors or industries."

  9. No plain sailing for travel stocks

    Royal Caribbean cruiseship

    Travel stocks have not had a good start to the day on Wall Street.

    At 15:45, the Royal Caribbean cruise company had dropped by 7.29%.

    Delta Airlines saw a fall of nearly 5%, down 2.26 points.

    American Airlines was also down by 8.94%.

    Some investors suspect that the travel industry will be badly hit by travel restrictions and a slowdown in business caused by the coronavirus outbreak.

  10. New technology could end trains' wi-fi 'notspots'

    Woman using wi-fi device on train

    Researchers have developed a satellite antenna that could end the frustrations of millions of rail passengers.

    It has been designed to provide high speed broadband on the move without the breaks in connection that plague many rail journeys, particularly in rural areas.

    Researchers at Heriot-Watt University say it could also be adapted to provide fast broadband aboard airliners much more cheaply than existing systems.

    Gone are the days when a rail journey meant the morning paper, a cuppa and peace from the demands of work for a while.

  11. City watchdog investigating NMC Health

    NMC Health building

    NMC Health (which stands for New Medical Centre) has announced that it's under investigation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

    The FTSE 100-listed hospital group said it would "continue to co-operate with the FCA" and any other relevant authorities.

    NMC Health fired its chief executive this week after it found discrepancies in its financial statement and accounting. Its shares are currently suspended.

    The company has been under scrutiny since Muddy Waters, the US-based short seller run by Carson Block, raised questions over its cash balance, profits and debt levels.

  12. Heathrow decision 'a blow to the economy'

    Quote Message: This decision is a blow to the economy. However, planning consent for a third runway at Heathrow Airport has always been contingent upon meeting climate obligations, and with the rapid improvements in aviation fuel and engine technology we are confident that Heathrow will be able to demonstrate that this challenge can be met. Now more than ever, the UK needs world class global gateways. from Alex Veitch Head of multimodal policy at the Freight Transport Association
    Alex VeitchHead of multimodal policy at the Freight Transport Association
  13. 'Cracks starting to show' at Persimmon

    House being built by Persimmon

    More on the news that the UK housebuilder's chief executive is to stand down.

    Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor says "the company's reputation is continuing to show cracks as reports of customer complaints are rife", with concerns over build quality.

    "This has ultimately led to Dave Jenkinson’s departure and his replacement will need to rebuild the company’s image in the wake of an independent review that reported a failure to install fire-stopping cavity barriers in properties causing a wave of customer complaints.

    She added: "Persimmon will need to find someone who has the right tools to fix the crisis and shareholders will be concerned with the potential impact on the company’s figures. With the Help to Buy scheme now in its last year, which has been a source of much revenue, if this ongoing struggle for customer satisfaction is not sorted by the new boss, the housebuilder’s results will eventually take a beating."

  14. Wall Street slumps too

    Wall Street trader

    Wall Street has slumped on opening.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 459.96 points, or 1.71% at the open. This is its sixth day of losses in a row.

    The S&P 500 also opened lower by 66.41 points, or 2.13%, at 3,049.98.

    The Nasdaq Composite dropped 241.41 points, or 2.69%, to 8,740.34.

  15. Heathrow Airport 'plays a key role'

    Plane landing at Heathrow

    Further comment on the Court of Appeal's ruling against a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

    AGS Airports owns Glasgow, Aberdeen and Southampton airports.

    A spokesperson said: "Heathrow is the UK’s only hub airport and plays a key role in supporting regional connectivity by providing access to established and emerging markets.

    "As an industry, we’re very clear on the need to balance the economic and social benefits aviation undoubtedly delivers alongside our climate change responsibilities.

    "It’s for this reason the industry, including Heathrow, came together to set out how we will achieve 'net zero' carbon emissions by 2050 while delivering the routes that will allow us to compete on a global stage when it comes to trade, tourism and investment."

  16. NMC Health: FTSE 100 exit its only certainty

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    shares

    NMC Health, the middle eastern healthcare firm, said its chief executive Prasanth Manghat has left amid the possibility of discrepancies in its cash balances, uncertainty about a complicated financing arrangement, and suggestions an independent investigation into the situation was obstructed.

    Russ Mould, Investment Director at stockbroker AJ Bell, told Today that the only certainty is that the company will soon exit the FTSE 100, because of how much its share price has dropped.

  17. FTSE 100 further in the red

    London Stock Exchange

    A quick update on the FTSE 100 after lunch.

    At 14:00, the UK's blue-chip index was down by 3%, or 220 points, to 6,821.

    Some analysts have suggested that fears over the coronavirus outbreak have impacted shares.

    But Artur Baluszynski, head of research at Henderson Rowe, says that the impact of the virus on the global economy is difficult to quantify and forecast "as we know very little about infection rates and recovery rates inside China".

  18. UK's EU trade stance will cost Welsh jobs, says FM

    Mark Drakeford

    The UK government is "putting ideology ahead of people's livelihoods" by "rushing" to get any trade deal with the EU, Wales' first minister has said.

    UK ministers say they will decide in June whether to abandon negotiations and prepare for a no-deal Brexit.

    Ministers say the decision depends on how much ground is covered in talks.

    Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford warned of the risk of tariffs "crippling for our farmers and food sector" if the negotiations fail.

  19. Government takes climate commitments 'seriously'

    Plane landing at Heathrow

    The Department for Transport has just released its official statement on the Heathrow decision.

    Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "Airport expansion is a core part of boosting our global connectivity and levelling up across the UK and it is critical that vital infrastructure projects, including airport expansion, drive the whole UK economy.

    "We have always been clear that Heathrow expansion is a private sector project which must meet strict criteria on air quality, noise and climate change, as well as being privately financed, affordable, and delivered in the best interest of consumers."

    Mr Shapps confirmed that the government "has taken the decision not to appeal" today's judgement.

    He added: "We take seriously our commitments on the environment, clean air and reducing carbon emissions. We will carefully consider this complex judgement and set out our next steps in due course."