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Summary

  1. Banking stocks lead Wall Street lower
  2. Morgan Stanley settles mortgage charge for $3.2bn
  3. Main European markets slide again
  4. Google bosses quizzed by MPs

Live Reporting

By Richard Anderson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    That's it for another day. Join us again bright and early at 06.00 tomorrow.

  2. Wall Street dragged down by banks

    US trader

    Wall Street has closed sharply lower as investors continued to fret about the strength of the global economy.

    The Dow Jones Industrial fell 254.56 points, or 1.6%, to 15,660.18.

    Boeing led the way down, losing 6.7% after Bloomberg reported the aerospace giant was being investigated by the US Securities Exchange Commission over profit forecasts for two of its aircraft.

    Banks also suffered, with Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan down 4.3%.

    The wider S&P 500 closed down 1.2% at 1,829.08, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was 0.4% lower at 4,266.84.

  3. SA to cut wasteful spending, says Zuma

    Jacob Zuma

    In his state of the nation address at the South African parliament in Cape Town, President Jacob Zuma has said measures will be put in place to cut wasteful expenditure. 

    Hundreds of opposition supporters took to the streets in Cape Town earlier to protest over various issues, including Mr Zuma's handling of the economy.

    Quote Message: We have made an undertaking to spend public funds wisely and to cut wasteful expenditure, but without compromising on the core business of government and the provision of services to our people. In 2013 the minister of finance announced a number of cost containment measures. Excessive and wasteful expenditure has been reduced but there is still more to be done to cut wastage.
  4. 'Less me me me key to happiness'

  5. Oil price 'heading higher'. Maybe.

    Patrick Pouyanne

    Some more comments from Total boss Patrick Pouyanne following the announcement that his company will cut back on spending this year.

    "It's quite a crisis that this industry is facing," he said, stating the blindingly obvious.

    He then gave this prediction for the oil price: "I think that the price will be higher at the end of the year 2016 than it is today." Well there you have it, no hedging bets there.

    But the serious point is that Mr Pouyanne, an oil industry man for nearly 20 years, has little idea of where prices are going. And he's not alone - no-one can say with any certainty where prices will be in 12 months.

  6. Remember MySpace?

  7. Dow continues to fall

    The Dow Jones is now down almost 340 points, or 2.1%, at 15,576.57. 

    "It's a very difficult market right now - clearly anything perceived as a risk asset is being sold down," said Steven Baffico, chief executive at Four Wood Capital Partners in New York. 

    But he thinks the bigger issue "driving all this sell-off is that markets are losing confidence in central banks' ability to act as an effective referee". 

  8. L'Oreal 'sees profits slump'

    L'Oreal advert

    Cosmetics giant L'Oreal has reported a sharp fall in annual profits, which it attributed to higher taxes and "disappointing" performance at the Body Shop, reports the AP news agency.

    Net profit in 2015 was €3.3bn in 2015, down from €4.9bn the year before.

  9. Oil price drop forces Total to cut investment

    Total oil refinery

    French oil giant Total has announced it will cut investment this year by up to $2bn as it tries to adapt to the collapse in global oil prices.

    Rather than investing $20bn-$21bn as planned, it will invest $19bn. In 2015, Total invested $23bn.

    "We have to be good on what we can control, our expenses. So we are going to continue to make efforts to control our expenses," chief executive Patrick Pouyanne said. 

  10. Rouble volatility 'worrying'

    Elvira Nabiullina

    The head of Russia's central bank has expressed concern about volatility in the rouble and hinted that interest rates may have to rise again after falling sharply in recent months.

    "Right now, there is elevated volatility. This worries us," Elvira Nabiullina said.

    Referring to the weakening rouble making imports more expensive, she added:

    "Because of this inflationary pressure and elevated volatility on financial markets, we stopped our cycle of softening our monetary policy. 

    "If inflation risks grow stronger, if the negative scenario unfolds, we don't rule out a toughening [of monetary policy]." In other words, raising rates again.

  11. Big corporates embracing renewable energy

    More big companies joining the commitment to 100% renewable energy...

  12. Boeing shares hit by SEC probe report

    Boeing 787

    Shares in aerospace giant Boeing have plunged more than 10% in New York on reports by Bloomberg that the US Securities Exchange Commission is investigating whether the company "properly accounted for the costs and expected sales of two of its best known jetliners".

    The investigation involves Boeing's forecast of long-term profitabilty for its 787 Dreamliner and 747 aircraft, the news service said.

  13. European markets slide again

    European markets have closed after another bruising day, as investors were gripped again by fear of a global economic slowdown.

    The UK's FTSE 100 was down 123.38 points, or 2.2%, at 5,548.92, with Barclays losing 7% and insurance giant Prudential falling 7.5%.

    Continental stocks fared even worse, with Germany's Dax down 238 points, or 2.6%, at 8,779.29, and France's Cac 40 losing 153.36 points, or 3.8%, to end the day at 3,907.84.

  14. Morgan Stanley settles mortgage charge for $3.2bn

    Morgan Stanley

    US banking giant Morgan Stanley has agreed to pay $3.2bn to settle US charges that it mis-led investors in mortgage-backed securities in the run up to the financial crisis of 2008.

    "Morgan Stanley securitised and sold residential mortgage backed securities with underlying mortgage loans that it knew had material defects," the New York attorney general's office said. 

    As part of the settlement, the bank acknowledged that it had mis-represented the risks involved.

  15. Pepsi profits up, but for how long?

    Pepsi cans

    Drinks giant PepsiCo has reported profits of $1.72bn for the final three months of 2015, up almost a third on a year earlier.

    However, investors focused on the fact the company forecast revenues for the full year below analysts' estimates, pushing Pepsi shares down 1.2%.

  16. Foodles in court over Han Solo's broken leg

    Harrison Ford

    A film production company involved in filming Star Wars: The Force Awakens is being sued over an incident in which Harrison Ford broke his leg.

    Mr Ford also suffered other injuries when he was struck by a metal door on the set of the Millennium Falcon at Pinewood Studios in June 2014. 

    The Health And Safety Executive has brought criminal charges against Foodles Production (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of Disney, which was responsible for production of the film over four alleged breaches of Health and Safety Law.  

  17. Lagarde to continue as IMF head

    Christine Lagarde

    The International Monetary Fund has said that current head Christine Lagarde is the only candidate for the new five-year term as managing director beginning in July. 

  18. Banks lead the way down

    Banks are leading the way down on Wall Street, with JP Morgan down 4.2% and Goldman Sachs 3.7% lower.

    Financial groups American Express and Visa are also suffering, down 3.2% and 2.7% respectively.

  19. Wall Street sharply lower

    US trader

    Wall Street has opened sharply lower, with the Dow Jones Industrial index down 240 points, or 1.5%, at 15,674.43.

    The wider S&P 500 is down 1.3% at 1,827.34, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is down 1% at 4,238.13.