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Summary

  1. Brent crude trades more than 6% higher
  2. Apple rejects 'dangerous' government request
  3. Bombardier cuts 7,000 jobs; reports $5.3bn loss
  4. UK unemployment steady at 5.1%
  5. RWE shares plunge after dividend halt

Live Reporting

By Matthew West

All times stated are UK

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  1. That's all folks

    BBC test card

    That's it for another day. Tomorrow is looking quite busy with both British Gas-owner Centrica and BAE Systems reporting full-year earnings. Asda-owner Wal-Mart reports fourth quarter earnings later in the day.

    There are also profit figures from Nestle, Air France and Eurotunnel. 

    And we also have Chinese inflation data. Join us from 06:00.

  2. US shares rally continues into third day

    US shares have closed higher for a third day helped by a surge in oil prices and despite concerns raised by the US Federal Reserve about the effects of the global slowdown on the economy.

    Stocks rallied on fresh hopes of a new deal between Opec and non-Opec nations to curtail crude production.

    US light sweet crude was 4.99% higher at $30.49, Brent crude was higher by 6.34% at $34.22.

    The Dow Jones ended the day up 1.57% at 16,450.96 points. The S&P 500 was 1.63% higher at 1,926.57, and the Nasdaq closed up 2.21% at 4,534.06.

  3. Aston Martin in electric car venture

    Aston Martin RapidE

    British super car manufacturer Aston Martin has announced a tie-up with LeEco, the Chinese backer of the electric car start-up Faraday Future.

    The firms said the partnership was designed to develop a production version of Aston Martin's RapidE concept vehicle.

    A prototype edition of the electric sports saloon was unveiled in October.

    The companies said there was also the "potential" for their joint venture to team with Faraday to make other cars.

    The signing was announced at a news conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

  4. Russia files lawsuit against Ukraine over $3bn debt

    Russia has filed a lawsuit against Ukraine at London's High Court over a $3bn (£2.1bn) debt.

    The action was taken following unsuccessful attempts to agree on a debt restructuring, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov has said.

    Ukraine announced in December that it would not make the repayment, claiming that Russia had refused to accept terms offered to other creditors.

    The countries have been at loggerheads since Russia annexed Crimea in 2014.

    The $3bn eurobond had a maturity date of 20 December of last year. It was issued in late 2013, shortly before pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych was removed from power following massive protests.

  5. Mexico raises interest rates

    Mexico's central bank has raised its interest rates by 50 basis points to 3.75% following a sharp slide in the peso.

    The central bank also intervened directly in the forex market to sell dollars as part of an aggressive new program in a major policy shift to support the peso, which plunged to fresh lows in recent weeks.

    The finance ministry also said it would make spending cuts for 2016. 

    Finance minister Luis Videgaray said the cuts would be 0.7% of gross domestic product. 

    The move marks an unexpected break from Banco de Mexico's general preference for rules-based intervention and is the first time since 2009 that it has opted for direct dollar sales. 

  6. Fears expressed over China

    US Federal Reserve policy makers also voiced concerns about recent structural changes and financial imbalances in China that "might lead to a sharper deceleration in economic growth in that country than was generally anticipated". 

    This alone suggests that one or two members of the FOMC fear China is heading for a "hard landing" after all. 

    "Such a downshift, if it occurred, could "increase the economic and financial stresses" on other emerging markets and on commodity producers, including Canada and Mexico, among the top US trade partners, the minutes show.

  7. Global markets have clouded US economic outlook

    US Federal Reserve building

    Global financial market volatility has clouded the US economic outlook and will be a key factor in charting interest rate increases, the minutes of the Federal Reserve's January meeting show.

    The meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee on 26 and 27 January emphasized that the timing and pace of interest rises would depend on" future economic and financial market developments and their implications for the medium-term economic outlook."

    Policymakers noted "tighter" financial conditions in the United States, including a recent rise in market volatility and the stronger dollar.

    After raising interest rates by 0.25% in December - the first rise in nine years - the Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged at the January meeting, noting a slowdown in the US economy in the fourth quarter and the market turbulence. 

  8. India to launch smartphone for a fiver

    Indian smartphone

    An Indian company is due to launch what is being billed as the world's cheapest smartphone.

    Ringing Bells said their Freedom 251 phone would be priced under 500 rupees (£5; $7), but Indian media reports said it would cost just 251 rupees ($3.67; £2.56).

    Reports say the phone has 8GB of storage and cameras in the front and back.

    India is the world's second-largest mobile market and has one billion mobile phone subscribers.

    Freedom 251 is expected to target a market already dominated by low-cost handsets.

  9. Wall Street climbs as oil prices surge

    Wall Street is on track for a third day of gains in a row after a surge in oil prices.

    Brent crude is up more than 6% after Iran welcomed a move to freeze production by major oil producers such as Saudi Arabia and Russia.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 1.6% at 16,461 points, the S&P 500 was up 1.8% at 1,929 points, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was 2.35% higher at 4,540 points.

  10. Former Deutsche analyst fined $100,000 over stock rating

    A former Deutsche Bank analyst has been fined $100,000 and been suspended for one year after improperly approving a rating on a stock, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has said.

    The former analyst, Charles Grom, did not downgrade the stock for discount retailer Big Lots from a "buy" recommendation in 2012, despite having concerns about the company, because he wanted to maintain his relationship with the company's management, the SEC said.

    Mr Grom, whose industry license was registered through Deutsche Bank from July 2011 until March 2013, neither admitted nor denied the SEC's allegations, according to a settlement document.

    His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.

    A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman also declined comment.

  11. Is a New Day coming?

    printing press

    The publisher of the Daily Mirror is planning to launch a new national newspaper at the end of February a week after the Independent announced it was dropping its print edition.

    New Day, according to the Guardian could (some might argue probably should) still undergo a name change before it launches nationally on 29 February, is expected to target the mid-market audience occupied by the Mail and Express.

    It is expected to be initially priced at about 20p, the same price as the cut-price national i when it launched in 2010, but will be raised depending on reader demand.

    The Guardian reports one source as briefing that while the ultimate pricing was fluid it is has been described as ultimately being “anywhere up to under £1”.

    Trinity Mirror is "not commenting on speculation" apparently. 

  12. How business votes: from indyref to Brexit

    Douglas Fraser

    Scotland business & economy editor

    Eu and Scottish flags

    No, I know - businesses don't get votes in a referendum. People do. But they can't avoid involvement in the campaigns.

    That's partly out of corporate self-interest. They don't like Westminster influence over Scotland/Brussels red tape, or they see opportunities from shaking things up. Alternatively, they abhor upheaval, uncertainty, new barriers and new sets of regulations.

    It's also partly because they can get dragged in anyway, even while trying to remain neutral. Their votes may not count, but their voices do, and they are sought out.

    A new study of the Scottish independence referendum campaign observes that it's the bit companies don't say that can cause them problems.

    Read more on Douglas's blog.

  13. Sugar in hot drinks

    You learn something new everyday. Thanks to John for explaining this one I genuinely had no idea.

  14. Markets in 'trampoline' territory

    Quote Message: We’re in a trampoline market right now, where stocks are bouncing around wildly almost every day. Very often the stocks that fall to the bottom of the Footsie on one day rise to the top on the next. The implication is that fundamentals have gone out of the window and sentiment is dominating market movements. With markets so volatile, both buying and selling are likely to be painful experiences in the short term, but long term investors can take some comfort from the fact that the chance of getting a positive return from stocks increases with time spent in the market. from Laith Khalaf, senior analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:
    Laith Khalaf, senior analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown:
  15. European shares rally on oil deal hopes

    Europe's main share indexes have all closed higher as stocks rallied on hopes a new deal to curtail oil production between both Opec and non-Opec nations were boosted by indications of Iranian support. 

    Iran had been planning on ramping up oil production later this year as international sanctions are lifted, believed to be a major sticking point for Saudi Arabia, which has thus far refused to limit production for fear of losing market share.

    Iran's oil minister made no comment on output levels from the world's third largest oil producer but did say his country supported efforts to stabilise oil prices by freezing production at January's level of output, as agreed by Qatar, Iraq and Venezuela.

    That led to a surge in oil prices and stocks with commodities firms another beneficiary.

    The FTSE 100 index closed 2.87% higher at 6,030.32, its highest close since the start of the month. 

    Meanwhile, Germany's Dax was also 2.71% higher at 9382.40 and France's Cac-40 closed the day up 3.01% at 4234.19.

    Glencore was one of the leading gainers on the FTSE 100 up 14.76% at 118.15p following news of early debt refinancing. Anglo American, which on Tuesday reported a $5.5bn loss for 2015, also saw its share price rise 17.62% to 468.05p after Deutsche Bank said the miner's plan to sell certain assets would help take its debts to a more manageable level. 

  16. London property madness

    £360,000 garage

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen the London property madness has gone into overdrive.

    The Guardian provides the latest example of the madness by reporting that a single garage - yes not even a double - in Chelsea sold at auction for £360,000. That's roughly the same price as a two-bedroom flat 15 miles across town in Leytonstone and well over £100,000 above the average price of property across the rest of the UK. 

    The Guardian, which handily has sent a photographer to the... property (above) reports that a few eyebrows were raised when the garage was first listed with a guide price of £180,000. 

    But it adds: "Its close proximity to South Kensington tube station and some of London’s most desirable streets appears to have more than made up for its size." 

    It's a total of 146 square foot, or what an estate agent might refer to as "bijou".

  17. 'Shocking' sugar levels in High Street hot drinks, warns charity

    Coffee cup

    There are "shocking" amounts of sugar in some hot drinks sold in High Street cafes, a campaign group has warned.

    Action on Sugar analysed 131 hot drinks and found a third contained at least as much sugar as a can of Pepsi or Coca-Cola, which contains nine teaspoons.

    The charity said in some of the worst cases the drinks contained 20 or more teaspoons of sugar.

    Coffee shop chains Starbucks, Costa and Caffe Nero said they were committed to reducing sugar content in their drinks.

    The drinks assessed included flavoured coffees such as mochas and lattes, hot fruit drinks and hot chocolates from coffee shops and fast food chains.

  18. Why global markets are rallying

    oil lrig

    So it seems there is a very simple explanation for the rally on the stock markets in afternoon trade and it's this:

    Iran supports the decision by Opec and non-Opec oil producers to keep a "ceiling" on production.

    That's according to the official Shana news agency, which quotes the Iranian Oil minister Bijan Zanganeh. 

    Quote Message: The decision that was taken for the OPEC and non-OPEC members to keep their production ceiling to stabilise the market and prices for the benefit of producers and consumers, is supported by us. from Iranian Oil minister Bijan Zanganeh.
    Iranian Oil minister Bijan Zanganeh.

    On Tuesday three of the major oil producing nations - Iraq, Venezuela and Qatar - met to discuss a proposal to freeze output at January levels. 

    Mr Zanganeh did not explicitly say in his remarks quoted by Shana that Iran would keep its own output at its January level.  But clearly it's been taken as a positive sign by the markets.

    The Dow Jones has jumped 200 points to 16,414, while European markets are all up between 2.4% and 2.9%.

    Brent crude has risen 5.81% to $34.05, while US light sweet crude is 5.2% higher at $30.55.

  19. BreakingFTSE crosses 6,000

    London's FTSE 100 index has briefly crossed 6,000 this afternoon before dropping back again but it's clear shares are still pushing for gains. And one way or another it's going to be another good day. Whether it closes above 6,000 is another matter but I'll be keeping a close eye on it.

    The FTSE 100 is up 2.36% at 6000.58.