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Live Reporting

Nell Mackenzie

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. London markets close in the red

    Stock traders

    The FTSE 100 index of shares in London has closed the day down 7.7%, to its lowest level in almost four years, in the biggest single-day fall since the 2008 financial crisis.

    The market closed down 496.78 points at 5965.77, wiping £125bn off the value of companies following an oil price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

    The wider FTSE 250 index lost 1,199.36 points, or 6.40%, to close at 17,547.15.

  3. Retail investors locked out of Robinhood trading app, again

    View more on twitter

    Investors looking to trade stocks on their phones via Robinhood, have been shut out of trading again on a very busy market day, reports TechCrunch.

    The news comes a week after their outage last Monday, which was the busiest trading day of the year.

    The Silicon Valley based firm said it would compensate customers of its "Robinhood Gold" premium subscription services with three months of free service.

    Monthly fees are only $5 - which would not touch the amount of money someone would have made buying into Apple stocks last Monday when they recovered by 9%.

  4. Analysts characterise markets as 'panicked'

    man in front of falling markets

    "Equity markets are in full-on correction-mode, with the latest spike in volatility fuelling forced selling by exchange traded funds, targeted volatility strategies, and all-weather funds – which has ultimately amplified the downward move in stock prices.

    Meanwhile, global bond yields are in free-fall as investors seek a refuge from the storm. Not surprisingly, oil currencies such as the Canadian dollar, Norwegian krone, and Mexican peso have slumped precipitously, while traditional safe havens such as the Japanese yen and gold have thrived in the tumultuous trading environment," says Candice Bangsund, Vice President and Portfolio Manager, Global Asset Allocation, Fiera Capital.

  5. Market tool to measure fear hits highest level since the crisis

    market charts

    The Vix, or the volativity index, a financial tool that is used to measure the amount of fear in the markets, hit 62.12 today, its highest level since the financial crisis.

    It is currently trading at 55.13, according to the Bloomberg terminal.

    Market volatility is basically measured by how much prices swing up and down.

  6. Chair US bank Wells Fargo quits

    wells fargo storefront

    Elizabeth Duke, the chair of Wells Fargo, one of the biggest US banks has quit the same week she was due to testify at a congressional hearing about on the bank's fake-account scandal in 2016, the Wall Street Journal reports.

    In February, the company agreed to pay $3bn (£2.3bn) to resolve a government investigation into its sales practices, including opening millions of fake customer accounts.

    The bank admitted it had wrongly collected millions of dollars in fees, misused customer information and harmed the credit rating of customers.

    Charles Noski, will step out of retirement to replace her. He joined the board in June 2019, will serve as chairman. Previously, he worked as the former chief financial officer of Bank of America.

  7. Good news klaxon: Tesco shares have risen 0.25%

    tesco storefront

    After following its FTSE100 peers into negative territory, Tesco shares have recovered by 0.25% to 241.21 - on the news of the £5bn dividend its shareholders will receive on the sale of its Malaysian and Thai businesses.

    The supermarket said it will use £2.5bn of the sale to make a pension contribution.

  8. Ryanair cuts flights to Italy until 8 April

    ryanair plane

    Ryanair will suspend flights to and from the area of Italy that is on "lockdown".

    All of the company's domestic flights are cancelled to and from Bergamo, Malpensa, Parma, and Treviso until 8 April.

    A Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday only schedule will be in operation Bergamo, Malpensa, Venice, Parma, Rimini and Treviso.

  9. When is it a bear market?

    a bear

    Technically, it is a bear market when any of the stock indexes or averages loses 20% of its value from its 52 week high, says Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

    In the FTSE’s case, he says, those levels were breached on 17 January and currently, the index is currently down 21-22%.

    A fall in value of 10% it would be called a market correction.

    A depression is when stocks "fall below 20% and keep on going," says Mr Mould.

  10. European markets eased up following US stocks

    cat jumping over snow

    Is it a dead cat bounce?

    The FTSE100 has retraced from its morning lows but is still down 6.15% at 6065.18 alongside the FTSE250 which is 5.64% lower at 17688.55.

    All European stocks have plunged below 6%.

    The Dutch AEX has fallen 6.22% to 498.23, the Paris Cac40 has slid 6.48% to 4805.98, the Frankfurt Dax is down 6.50% at 10791.76.

    Sterling has held strong and has climbed 0.59% against the dollar to $1.3124 but has dipped 0.56% below the euro at €1.1489 and fallen 2.37% against the Yen to ¥134.1860.

  11. AA expects savings of almost £4 per tank of petrol

    hand at petrol

    The AA, the roadside assistance and motoring association also believes drivers are due a windfall.

    A $15-a-barrel crash in the price of oil, when set against the oil industry’s rule of thumb, could produce a 7p to 8p a litre fall in the pump price of petrol, they predict.

    If this does occur, the price of petrol could reach as much as £3.85 saving per tank.

    “The spat between oil producers echoes the oil price crash in 2015, when £1-a-litre fuel returned to UK petrol stations. There is still a long way to go and the chances of another major collapse in forecourt prices will depend on how long the oil price plunge continues and how quickly UK retailers take to pass on savings,” says Luke Bosdet, the AA’s fuel price spokesman.

  12. Oil price drop should translate to discounts at the pump

    mother and baby filling car with petrol

    Simon Williams, a spokesman from the RAC hopes consumers may benefit from the fall in oil prices.

    “The price of both petrol and diesel is still overpriced despite two rounds of cuts from the supermarkets last month," says Mr Williams.

    He continued: “Having said that, much will depend on what the Chancellor does in his Budget on Wednesday and we strongly hope he does not see this an opportunity to hike fuel duty given the currently volatility of the oil market.

    Mr Williams says he hopes that retailers will pass on any savings to the customer.

    “We strongly urge every fuel retailer – large and small – to pass on these savings as soon as possible. But we expect the big supermarkets who sell the lion’s share of fuel to lead the way with some swift and significant cuts in the next few days.

  13. US stock markets resume trading after trading freeze


    Stocks have re-opened after a trading halt.

    The S&P 500 is currently trading down 7.34% at 2,762.94.

    The tech focused Nasdaq is down 5.53% to 104.38 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average Index has slipped 7.40% to 23,950.99.

    Sectors which have suffered lowest falls are energies companies - down 37% and financials down 24%.

    One of the largest economic expansionary periods for the US stock market may have come crashing to a halt today on news of coronavirus disruption and rising tensions sparked between Saudi Arabia and Russia over oil prices.

    After the S&P 500 index fell more than 7% trading was paused for 15 minutes to allow time for shares to settle.

  14. American stock markets halted after 7% plunge

    trader looks at screen

    US stocks have been suspended for the next 10 minutes tripping a trading limit.

    If stocks breach 13% trading will halt for 15 minutes - and if they fall below a fifth of their value, trading will stop for the day.

  15. US Markets dive lower on open

    Coronavirus disruption and the burgeoning price war over oil plunged stock prices lower on the Wall Street open.

    Wall Street shares tumbled on open with the Nasdaq soaring downward 4.76% points to 102.72.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average sunk 1,801 points or 6.96% from Friday's close.

    The S&P 500 stumbled over 200 points or 7% to 2,764.21.

  16. John Wood Group completes sale of nuclear business

    Nuclear power plant

    Scottish energy services giant John Wood Group has completed the sale of its nuclear business to US engineering firm Jacobs for £250m.

    The announcement came after the deal was cleared by the Competition and Markets Authority on 4 March.

    Its nuclear business was focused on decommissioning work at the Sellafield site in Cumbria.

    The sale is part of Wood's strategy to rationalise its portfolio and focus on energy and built environment projects.

    Last month, the Aberdeen-based firmsold its industrial services armto a German firm for up to $118m (£91m).

    The cash proceeds from the sales will be used to reduce debt.

  17. UK gilt yields turn negative for the first time

    There was a historic moment on the bond markets this morning as yields on benchmark UK government bonds turned negative for the first time ever.

    When the yield on a bond turns negative it means investors will lose money from holding the bond, but in times of huge falls on the stock markets some might consider this a price worth paying.

    The yields on benchmark gilts for two-, three-, four-, six- and seven-year maturities turned negative when the market opened, but have since turned positive again.

    It also means that when the UK government borrows money, it will do so for free as the interest rate will be zero.

  18. Easyjet cancels 'a number of Italy flights'

    Easyjet plane

    Easyjet says it is reviewing its flying programme to Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona airports for the period from now until 3 April 2020.

    “In the short-term we will be cancelling a number of flights to and from these destinations on Monday 9 March," it says. "We will be advising all affected passengers of the cancellations by email and SMS."

    The airline says customers on flights scheduled to operate to and from these airports will be given the option of a full refund or to change their flight.

    “We expect to continue to reduce the number of flights in and out of Milan Malpensa, Milan Linate, Venice and Verona airports in the period up to 3 April and will provide a further update on our schedule in due course," it added.

    “Whilst these circumstances are outside of our control, we apologise to all affected customers for any inconvenience caused.”

  19. Worst days on the FTSE

    The 8.4% drop in the FTSE 100 seen first thing this morning would - if maintained - make it the fourth biggest drop seen in the index's history.

    The only three worst days so far relate to the events of "Black Monday" in October 1987, and following the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

    The biggest falls to date are:

    • 12.2% fall on 20th October 1987
    • 10.8% fall on 19th October 1987
    • 8.8% fall on 10th October 2008
  20. Aon to buy Willis Towers Watson for $30bn

    Coins and notes

    UK-based insurance giant Aon is to buy peer Willis Towers Watson for $30bn (£22.5bn) in an all-share deal, to create the world's biggest industry broker.

    The agreement will combine the world’s second and third-largest insurance brokers, and is the latest stage of consolidation of the insurance broking industry.

    The deal has been sealed a year after rival Marsh & McLennan bought the UK's Jardine Lloyd Thompson for $5.6bn

    Aon will keep its headquarters in London and the combined firm will be led by Aon chief executive Greg Case Greg and Aon chief financial officer Christa Davies.