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Summary

  1. Wall Street closed higher thanks to late rally
  2. VW's US recall plans rejected
  3. Supermarkets help push the FTSE 100 higher
  4. BP to cut 4,000 jobs, 600 from North Sea operations
  5. Volatile trading see oil price slip back

Live Reporting

By Richard Anderson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodbye everybody

    That's it for today, we'll be back bright and early tomorrow morning at 06:00. See you then.

  2. Wall Street closes higher as oil slides

    US traders

    A rally in the last two hours of trading meant Wall Street banked modest gains at the end a choppy day's trading.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Index closed up 117.65 points, or 0.7%, at 16,516.22. Energy stocks gained ground despite the fall in the oil price, with Chevron and Exxon Mobil both up about 2%.

    The wider S&P 500 was up 0.8%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was 1.1% higher.

    After a volatile day's trading on the oil markets, Brent was down 1.5% at $31.07 a barrel, with US crude at $30.61.

  3. HSBC 'to stay put'

    HSBC headquarters

    HSBC is likely to keep its headquarters in London, according to one of the bank's biggest shareholders.

    Talking to Bloomberg TV, Aberdeen Asset Management boss Martin Gilbert said: “The logistics of moving their headquarters out of London are so vast... I suspect much as they might want to move their headquarters, they will probably on balance stay here.”

    The bank said last year it was reviewing whether to move its HQ, with Hong Kong touted as the most likely alternative.

  4. Mexican central bank 'most popular'

    Banco de Mexico

    The number of people following central banks on social media jumped by more than a half to more than two million in the year to October, according to a survey by Central Banking Publications.

    At that time, the US Fed Reserve was the most popular, but it has been overtaken by the Banco de Mexico. The Fed now has 323,000 followers, but Mexico's central bank has 327,000.

    Next is the European Central bank on 311,000, followed by Bank Indonesia, with 276,000.  

  5. Bankers 'won't accept pay cuts'

    Tidjane Thiam

    Bankers' inability to accept pay cuts is a serious obstacle to long-term profitability, Credit Suisse boss Tidjane Thiam has said.

    “The business is structurally quite profitable provided the pay can go up and down. It’s the ‘and down’ that they don’t accept,” he said at a Paris conference covered by Bloomberg.

    “A business model where you have a cyclical revenue stream and fixed salary base does not work.” 

    This is one reason why Mr Thiam is shrinking the investment banking division of the bank while building up its asset management arm, Bloomberg says.

    Mr Thiam is not a career banker, having spent six years as the head of insurance giant Prudential before joining Credit Suisse.

  6. VW responds to recall plan rejection

    This is what VW had to say in response to the US authorities rejecting its recall plans...

    Quote Message: Today's announcement addresses the initial recall plans Volkswagen submitted to CARB in December. We are committed to working co-operatively with CARB and other regulators, and we plan to continue our discussions tomorrow when we meet with the EPA.
  7. Strong words for Volkswagen

    Some pretty harsh words for VW from the head of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, as she announced the rejection of the carmaker's recall plan...

    Quote Message: Volkswagen made a decision to cheat on emissions tests and then tried to cover it up. They continued and compounded the lie and when they were caught they tried to deny it. The result is thousands of tons of nitrogen oxide that have harmed the health of Californians. They need to make it right. Today's action is a step in the direction of assuring that will happen."
  8. VW's US recall plans rejected

    VW sign

    US authorities have rejected Volkswagen's plan to recall 2-litre diesel cars following the recent emissions scandal.

    The California Air Resources Board (CARB) said that "the proposed plans contain gaps and lack sufficient detail... [and] do not adequately address overall impacts on vehicle performance, emissions and safety".

    The US Environmental Protection Agency said it agreed with CARB's verdict.

    In September last year, the German car giant admitted fitting so-called defeat devices to 11 million cars worldwide that were designed to cheat emissions tests.

  9. New gas reserves in eastern Mediterranean

    Europe could import more gas from newly-found deposits in the eastern Mediterranean, according to Maros Sefcovic, the man in charge of the EU's energy policy, reports the AP news agency.

    He said early estimates of resources were "very promising", with one field off the coast of Egypt potentially holding enough gas to meet Europe's needs for many years.

    Europe is currently keen to find new supplies of gas to wean itself off Russian supplies, on which it relies.  

  10. Russia 'to cut spending by 10%'

    Vladimir Putin

    The fallout from the oil price slump continues.

    Russia may cut government spending by 10% if the current economic situation becomes worse, state-owned TASS news agency reports. This would be a repeat of cuts implemented last year.

    Moscow needs an oil price much nearer $100 to balance its budget, so at the current price of $30 it is looking at major shortfalls.

  11. Oil price slips again

    The oil price is all over the place today. Down 2.5%, up 2% and now down 2.7%. Brent is currently trading at $30.70 a barrel, while US crude is at $30.30.

    We could well be dipping below $30 very soon. To think that the price was above $110 in the summer of 2014, and above $140 in 2008.

  12. Supermarkets push FTSE higher

    Morrisons supermarket

    The FTSE 100 has closed up on the day despite a late-afternoon dip.

    The index was 57.41 points, or 1%, higher at 5,929.24. Supermarkets performed well after Morrisons beat sales forecasts. On the FTSE 100, Tesco was up 6.7% and Sainsbury's was 3.3% higher. Morrisons, which is part of the FTSE 250, rose 8.7%.

    The German and French markets outperformed the UK, with Paris's Cac 40 closing up 1.5% and Frankfurt's Dax up 1.6%.

  13. US lottery prize up to $1.5bn

    Man buying Powerball ticket

    The Powerball jackpot in the US has climbed to $1.5bn, making the largest world lottery jackpot for a single winner even larger, according to lottery officials.

    The jackpot is worth $930m if a winner chooses an immediate cash payout instead of annual payments over 29 years, according to the Multi-State Lottery Association. 

    The Powerball lottery is drawn on Wednesday. 

    Just think of the poor winners of the UK lottery this week who had to make do with a jackpot of £66m ($95m). And two winners had to share it!

  14. Lufthansa sees record numbers despite strikes

    Lufthansa workers on strike

    Despite several days of strikes leading to hundreds of cancelled flights and tens of thousands of grounded passengers, Lufthansa says it carried a record number of passengers last year.

    Passenger numbers grew by 1.6% to 107.7 million, the airline said. Much of this was down to the 17 new aircraft the carrier brought into service in 2015.

  15. Petrobras slashes investment plans

    Brazil’s giant state-owned oil company Petrobras has announced $32bn in cuts in its investments over five years, reports Daniel Gallas, the BBC's business correspondent in Sao Paulo.

    "The company says it is adapting its plan to a new economic outlook – with strong devaluation of the Brazilian currency and falling global oil prices," he says.

    Petrobras has been at the centre of a corruption scandal in Brazil and has been restructuring its operations after heavy losses reported in 2014 as a result of the scandal.

  16. 'Big drop in oil industry jobs'

    Oil workers

    On the back of the BP job-cuts announcement, Oil & Gas UK, which represents the industry, has crunched some numbers on what it sees as the wider impact of the low oil price:

    "We believe the number of jobs supported by the industry has dropped 15% since last year. 

    "From 440,000 to 375,000 – this includes from those employed directly by oil and gas companies, to Aberdeen taxi drivers and hotel staff whose livelihood depends on a thriving oil industry. 

    "The number directly employed by oil and gas companies is likely over 5,500 people."