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Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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  1. Greece downgrade

    Greek flags flutter as people walk down a central pedestrian street of Athens, 14 April 2015

    The Standard and Poor's rating agency has downgraded Greece's sovereign credit rating further into junk status, saying it expects the country's financial commitments will be unsustainable without "deep economic reform or further relief". The agency downgraded Greece to CCC+ from B- "given the risk of further worsening in liquidity for the sovereign, the banks, and the economy".

  2. Adultery

    ashley madison logo

    Adultery is clearly a booming business., a website for cheating spouses, has announced plans to float on the London stock market. The Toronto-based company said it wants to raise about $200m to fund expansion in the "international market of adultery". The site's parent company, Avid Life Media, has previously tried to list on the Canadian stock market. The firm's slogan is "Life is short. Have an affair".

  3. Woolworths

    Picture of the Woolworths campaign for Anzac Day 2015

    Australian supermarket giant Woolworths has taken down an online Anzac Day campaign after it attracted strong criticism on social media. The campaign used the slogan "fresh in our memories" over photos of World War One soldiers, echoing Woolworth's slogan "The fresh food people". Woolworths said it regrets any offence caused.

  4. FTSE 100 close

    FTSE 100 graph

    London's top share index hit a new record close today, helped by big gains for Sainsbury, Sports Direct and CRH. The FTSE 100 ended up 21.52 points, or 0.30%, at 7,096.78. The index had earlier reached an intra-day high of 7,111.72 points. The FTSE 100 is now up 8% since the start of the year. Airlines IAG and Easyjet fell 2% and 1.4% respectively on a jump in oil prices. Brent Crude was 3.1% up at $61.65 a barrel.

  5. Game of Thrones

    Daenerys Targaryen, portrayed by Emilia Clarke

    Games of Thrones broadcaster HBO has sent "take down" notices to Periscope, the live-streaming video app owned by Twitter, after users of the app broadcast episodes of the hit show on Sunday night. HBO also said Saturday's online leaks of four episodes had come from within a group that had received preview DVDs.

  6. Greek banks

    Greek banks made more use of emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) in March, increasing their borrowing by 4.4% from the previous month as an outflow of deposits continued, according to latest Bank of Greece data. Banks switched to using ELA, provided by the Greek central bank, in February after being cut off from European Central Bank funding. Emergency funding from the Greek central bank, which is more costly than borrowing from the ECB, rose to €68.51bn.

  7. Via Blog

    Minimum wage

    Linda Yueh

    Chief business correspondent

    "Is it a choice between higher pay or a job?" Linda's latest blog looks at issues around raising the minimum wage.

  8. FTSE 100 update

    FTSE 100 graph

    London's top share index reached an intra-day record, helped by big gains for Sainsbury, Sports Direct and Burberry. The FTSE 100 reached 7,111.72 points, and is currently 28.53 points ahead at 7,103.79. Airlines IAG and Easyjet fell around 1.5% on a jump in oil prices. Brent Crude is 2.2% up at $61.12 a barrel.

  9. Cuadrilla

    Roy Franklin is replacing former BP boss Lord Browne as chairman of shale gas company Cuadrilla Resources. Mr Franklin, a Cuadrilla board member since 2012, has also worked at BP, where he headed the exploration arm's acquisition and divestitures unit.

  10. Petrobras

    A Petrobras sign in Brazil

    Brazilian police arrest the treasurer of the ruling Workers' Party Joao Vaccari as part of an investigation into corruption at state-run oil company Petrobras. Federal police say they arrested Mr Vaccari at his home in Sao Paulo. He is regarded as part of President Dilma Rousseff's inner circle.

  11. ECB press conference

    ECB protester

    The protester who jumped onto the table while European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi was giving his press conference seems pretty happy about her actions. But who is she? There's still no news.

  12. Via Twitter

    IMF report

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    tweets: IMF warns European mid-sized life insurers face distress risks - 1/4 unable to meet solvency capital requirements if low interest rates stay.

  13. Wall Street open

    US stocks opened higher following mixed corporate profits news and weak Chinese economic data fuelled talk of more monetary stimulus in the world's second-biggest economy. A few minutes into trading, the Dow Jones was up 72.6 points, or 0.40%, at 18,109.3, while the broader S&P 500 rose 8.08 points, or 0.39%, to 2,103.92. The Nasdaq gained 15.4 points, or 0.31%, to 4,992.69.

  14. ECB press conference

    European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi says "there is clear evidence that the monetary policy measures we have put in place are effective". He told a press conference that the eurozone economy is recovering thanks to the ECB's €1.1 trillion bond buying plan. He was speaking after the bank announced it would keep its key interest rate at an all time low.

  15. Grexit


    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says there are no signs that financial markets are worried about a possible Greek default or exit from the eurozone. "You can't see any contagion," he said in a speech in New York. "Most participants of financial markets are telling us that markets have already priced in whatever will happen."

  16. IMF report

    The risks to global financial stability have risen, the International Monetary Fund says. In a report just published, the IMF says that countries which export oil and other commodities have been severely affected by falling prices, and that some emerging economies have been hurt by sharp moves in the global currency markets.

  17. ECB press conference


    The protester is a woman who was quickly subdued and Mr Draghi reappeared minutes later to carry on the press conference. Mr Draghi went on to play down recent market speculation that recent signs of recovery in the eurozone economy could see the central bank scale back its buying programme at some point.

  18. ECB press conference


    High drama at the European Central Bank press conference. Someone has leapt at Mario Draghi, shouting "End ECB dictatorship".

  19. Oil prices


    World oil prices have risen after forecasts that US shale production would probably drop and help ease a supply glut. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rallied to a two-month high at $54.25 per barrel, before easing to $53.89, up 60 cents from Tuesday. "Speculative financial investors are clearly taking the latest news of a declining US oil supply as reason enough to further step up their investments in the oil market," said Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch.

  20. Russia cuts

    Anton Siluanov, Finance Minister of Russian Federation

    Russia may review its membership of international financial organisations because the country is paying too much in fees, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said. "We need to review our participation in international funds and organisations," he said in the Federation Council, the upper house of parliament ,according to Reuters. He didn't say which ones, however.

  21. Via Email

    ECB stimulus

    Jessica Hinds

    European Economist, Capital Economics

    euro symbol

    After leaving interest rates on hold today, the ECB is likely to dampen speculation that its quantitative easing programme may not be implemented in full. At the forthcoming press conference (13.30 BST), President Mario Draghi is likely to express satisfaction that the ECB met its target of €60bn of asset purchases in March. And he will almost certainly point to the positive impact on the economy

  22. BreakingBreaking News

    ECB Decision

    The European Central Bank has left its main interest rates unchanged. It said the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.05%, 0.30% and -0.20% respectively.

  23. Google reaction

    Google blog post

    In a blogpost called "the search for harm" Google says it "respectfully" but "strongly" disagrees with the EU's competition concerns over its online shopping service. The company says it looks forward to making its case over the weeks ahead.

  24. Bank of America results

    Bank of America sign

    Bank of America has reported a first quarter net income of $3.4bn. That's a big improvement on the same period last year when it reported a $276m loss. However, revenue was down $1.3bn from the first quarter of 2014 at $21.2bn.

  25. Via Blog

    New cab sharing service

    Rory Cellan-Jones

    Technology correspondent

    London taxis on the Mall

    Maaxi's strategy is all about giving taxi drivers a better chance of competing with Uber. Its key idea is to use its technology to let customers share a black cab. But even after six months of marketing to the taxi trade by their own association, only around 10% of London's 25,000 cab drivers have signed up. For both Maaxi and Splyt, the question is whether they can make any kind of impact on Uber, the global giant of rides-by-app.

  26. Via Twitter

    UKIP manifesto

    Laura Kuenssberg

    Chief correspondent, BBC Newsnight

    Key in UKIP numbers, audited by CEBR who are independent - numbers seem 'sound' but add up IF we leave EU and get money back, big IF ... Interesting and smart tactic from UKIP to publish independent analysis on their numbers alongside manifesto

  27. UKIP manifesto launch

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage

    Nigel Farage is launching UKIP's manifesto in Thurrock, Essex. "The rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer" and "giant corporate interests" have been been working at the disadvantage of small business, Mr Farage said. He promised an £18bn tax giveaway, paid for by reviewing the Barnett formula (which allocates public funds to Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) and scrapping big projects - among other things.

  28. Google competition probe

    "I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe," EU Commissioner in charge of competition policy Margrethe Vestager said.

  29. BreakingBreaking News

    Google competition probe


    The European Union's competition chief is filing a complaint alleging Google has been abusing its dominance in internet searches and is opening a probe into its Android mobile system. The widely-anticipated competition probe follows a five-year EU investigation into the company.

  30. Liberal Democrats manifesto

    More detail from the Lib Dem manifesto: "To make banks safer, we will complete the separation of retail and investment banking. To increase competition we will encourage new entrants to the sector as well as innovations like crowdfunding, peer-to-peer lending and community banking. To ensure banks make a fair contribution to the job of balancing the books, we will continue the coalition's Bank Levy and raise an extra £1bn from a time-limited supplementary Corporation Tax for the banking sector."

  31. Via Email

    Housing policy

    Hannah Maundrell

    Editor in chief of

    "It's clear the UK is facing a housing crisis and the government does need to do more to ensure that supply meets demand. Building more properties will not only make it possible for more wannabe homeowners to get on the ladder, but also help support our construction industry, and alleviate some of the upward pressure on house prices. However, with any such plans it's vital that measures are put in place to ensure that it's consumers, and not landlord investors that get to put their name on the deeds."

  32. Liberal Democrats manifesto


    Nick Clegg is presenting his party's manifesto in Battersea. He says his party can moderate the cutting or spending of a Conservative or Labour government. He says he wants to balance the budget fairly through a mixture of cuts and taxes on higher earners and increase the tax-free personal allowance to £12,500.

  33. Via Blog

    Google sanctions

    Kamal Ahmed

    BBC Business editor

    At a press conference at 1100 BST today, it is expected that the European Union's competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, will outline the case against Google's dominant position in the search market. Google claims that is because it offers the best service which is most relevant for us, the consumers, who carry out three billion searches every day. Detractors say it has used its position to skew the market in its favour. Read more on Kamal's blog.

  34. Via Email

    Oil clarification

    Faarea Masud

    BBC Business reporter

    UK oil & Gas Investments have told the BBC why they issued today's clarification about the amount of oil under the South East of England. They were told to by AIM - that's the market their shares are listed on. A spokesman said: "AIM wanted us to clarify and reinforce the numbers."

  35. Stripy house

    South End, Kensington, London

    You might think this paint job is rather cheerful, but neighbours in the London street, which is in the extremely upmarket district of Kensington, are not at all happy. The Mirror speaks to one who lives opposite: "We all hate it" she says. "It's a cross between a beach hut and a circus". Reports say the owner of the house painted it after neighbours objected to plans to redevelop the house with a two-storey basement.

  36. Haulage firm administration

    The most-read business story at the moment: A haulage firm with offices at ports and cities across England has gone into administration. Deben Transport was formed in 1987 in Felixstowe. Administrators Ensors said staff were told on Monday and most were sent home. A former employee for the company told BBC Radio Suffolk there had been a decline in business in recent months.

  37. German post strike


    German union Verdi said it will call for further strikes at Deutsche Post because of plans by the company to expand its parcel delivery service using workers on lower pay. Verdi held a two-day strike earlier this month. Deutsche Post said in January it will create 10,000 new jobs at its parcel business by 2020, but said new workers would have to accept lower wages than other staff.

  38. Newspaper review

    Newspaper review

    More from the newspapers. Guardian economics correspondent Phillip Inman warns: "Time to realise the world is on borrowed time". He says that yesterday's assessment by the IMF of the world economy "skates over" deeper worries about the world economy. HSBC is preparing to refresh its board of directors reports the Financial Times. It notes that the company has had a "bruising" few months with senior board members criticised over the Swiss tax evasion scandal.

  39. Market update

    Burberry's trading update has been a hit with investors. Its shares are up 2% making them the biggest winners on the FTSE 100 so far. The FTSE 100 is up 9 points in early trading. JD Sports shares lead the FTSE 250, up 4%, following its final results. Tyre makers are doing well in Europe today. Continental is leading Frankfurt's Dax higher, up 1.2% and Michelin is the biggest winner on the the Cac-40 in Paris, up 2%.

  40. Surrey oil boom?

    Shares in UK Oil & Gas Investments are down 2.3% in London trading to 2.23 pence per share. On 9 April shares tripled in value to 4.25p when the company announced details of the oil find. But they have been falling since then.

  41. Newspaper review

    Newspaper review

    Five members of the board and senior management of Phones 4U lent themselves hundreds of thousands of pounds months before the collapse of the phone retailer, reports The Daily Telegraph in its business section. The Times also reports on the collapse of Phones 4U, but says four American owners of the company's debt could recover at least 20 times more than the British taxpayer.

  42. Strong Burberry sales

    Models wear creations by designer Burberry Prorsum at the end of their Autumn/Winter 2015 collection show

    Burberry has reported a 9% rise in underlying sales for the six months to 31 March. It reported strong demand for trench coats and scarves.

  43. Surrey oil boom? A clarification

    This looks like backpedalling from UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG). Last week the company claimed that there might be 100 billion barrels of oil beneath the south of England. Well today they have issued some clarification. The firm reiterates that surveyor Nutech estimates that a site UKOG part-owns has 158m barrels of oil per square mile. But it also highlights that their field is only 55 square miles. "The company has not undertaken work outside of its licence areas sufficient to comment on the possible [oil in place] in either the approximate 1,100 square miles or the whole of the Weald Basin."

  44. JD Sports leaps ahead

    JD Sports website

    JD Sports has reported an 18% rise in annual pre-tax profit to £90.5m. The company said there had been an "exceptional performance" at its sports fashion stores, which includes JD, Chausport and Size?.

  45. Slyced bread

    Well done Charles Owen for this headline for our Warburtons post.

    "The best thing since Slyced bread"

  46. BreakingBreaking News

    Nokia Alcatel deal agreed

    Alcatel-Lucent HQ

    We have a deal. Nokia has agreed to buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-share deal that values the French firm at €15.6bn ($16.58bn; £11.2bn). Nokia will hold 66.5% of the combined company. Investors were not enthused about the deal yesterday, when Nokia's shares fell 7%.

  47. Global growth

    BBC Radio 4

    The IMF has reported that growth in developing economies is slowing while richer economies are picking up pace. Jane Sydenham of money manager Rathbones tells Today that quantitative easing (bond buying through money printing) didn't help poorer economies because the extra funds were not invested for long enough to help less well off nations.

  48. China growth

    BBC Radio 4


    Some analysis of China's growth. It has hit a 7% growth target and "one of the hardest things for China is this is a slow-down from last year's 7.5% growth target", says BBC chief business correspondent Linda Yueh on the Today programme. "There's a dramatic fall in exports," she says. Construction and investment is still a big driver of growth and falls in house prices could slow growth.

  49. Sly headline needed

    I'm sure our creative readership can come up with a better headline for the previous post on Sly Stallone appearing in a Warburtons bread advert. Come on - there's loads to work with. Email

  50. Celebs in UK ads

    Radio 5 live

    Sylvester Stallone in Warburtons advert

    "For Warburtons it's a real coup," says Nicky Unsworth, chief executive of advertising agency BJL. She referring to Sly's appearance in the bread maker's adverts. "It's so talkable, it's given them cut through in a really cluttered market," she says. We think she means that people have been staggered that an A-list celebrity would be pitching for the Bolton based baker. He's not the only Hollywood celeb to feature in British ads, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been doing a turn with the meerkats of

  51. China's 'new silk road'

    BBC World News

    China construction site

    Chinese growth slowed to the slowest pace in more than six years in the first quarter. First quarter growth came in at 7%. To boost the economy the Chinese government is likely to bring forward new infrastructure spending, says Alexander van Kemenade, from the Economist Intelligence Unit on World Business Report. In particular new roads across western and central China will be built to create a new silk road he says. Lower interest rates are also likely.

  52. Google targeted by EU

    Radio 5 live

    Google logo

    The EU is expected to set out later the action it will take against Google over allegations of anti-competitive behaviour. "It's possible that if action is taken here there could be a fine of up to 10% of Google's worldwide turnover," Steve Kuncewicz a lawyer from law firm Bermans told Wake Up to Money. Other tech companies argue that Google is distorting the market by pushing its own products ahead of theirs, he explains.

  53. Post update

    Ben Morris

    Business Reporter

    Good morning! Lawyers will be circling Brussels today as the EU prepares to outline its case against Google. Meanwhile, Chinese growth has slowed to 7% and later the LibDems and UKIP launch their election manifestos. You can email us at or tweet @bbcbusiness.