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  2. FTSE 100 and 250 close lower
  3. US stocks in negative territory
  4. Aslef rejects strike deal
  5. Austria to sue Airbus over warplanes

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    Thanks for tuning in to Business Live. We will be back tomorrow at 6am sharp with more news and views on the markets. 

  2. US stocks close mostly lower

    US trader

    Wall Street markets closed mostly lower on Thursday, bringing an end to the rally seen over the past five days.

    The Dow Jones index gained 0.04% to 20,619.77, the S&P 500 lost 0.09% to 2,347.22, and the Nasdaq shed 0.08% to 5,814.90.

    It comes after all three indexes chalked up records yesterday after Donald Trump pledged to slash business taxes from .

    On Thursday Bruce McCain, chief investment strategist at Key Private Bank, said:  "It's certainly a market that has confidence. The problem with that is, when confidence gets that high, it's harder to push the market considerably higher."

  3. Zuckerberg: my Facebook manifesto to re-boot globalisation

    Kamal Ahmed

    Economics editor

    Mark Zuckerberg

    Mark Zuckerberg has revealed deep-seated concerns that the tide is turning against globalisation.

    In an interview with the BBC, the Facebook founder said that fake news, polarised views and "filter bubbles" were damaging "common understanding".

    He said people had been left behind by global growth, sparking demands to "withdraw" from the "connected world".

    In a call to action, he said people must not "sit around and be upset", but act to build "social infrastructures".

    Read more.

  4. Strike at BHP Billiton's mine in Chile rolls on

    Strikers at BHP Billiton's Escondida copper mine

    A strike at BHP Billiton's Escondida copper mine in Chile is set to roll on after the union involved said it was some way off an agreement. 

    Escondida's 2,500-member union walked off the job on 9 February after contract talks with the company collapsed. Workers have picketed the site since (see picture).

    Copper prices spiked to 20-month highs then on supply fears, but cooled on Tuesday after the parties agreed to meet to see if talks could be restarted.

    However, union spokesman Carlos Allendes told reporters on Thursday that the proposals of the company remain far from those of the workers.

  5. Auto union to run 'buy-USA' advertising campaign

    US car plant, Ford

    The United Auto Workers union is preparing an ad campaign urging people to buy US-made cars as it tries to tap into the nationalist upswell triggered by Donald Trump's election. 

    Union president Dennis Williams said the ads could be similar to a 1970s campaign run on behalf of garment workers, which encouraged people to buy US-made clothing. 

    Mr Williams said the UAW wanted to capitalise on efforts to bring jobs back to the US from cheaper-labour countries such as Mexico. 

  6. Italy's parliament approves bank rescue plan

    Monte dei Paschi bank

    With all the fuss about Vauxhall earlier, we forgot to mention that Italy's parliament has approved a government rescue plan to support the country's ailing banks.

    As per plans outlined in December, a 20bn-euro fund will be created to help banks who are weighed down by some 350bn euros of bad loans. 

    The first bank likely to benefit will be Monte dei Paschi (pictured), the world's oldest bank, which last year failed to win investor backing for a desperately needed capital increase. 

    However, there are concerns the bailout will contravene EU laws that only allow governments to help viable banks. 

  7. 3D printer firm lays off a third of staff

    Makerbot printer

    A few years ago 3D printers were touted to become ubiquitous in households - but it seems reaching that point is taking some time. 

    Today Makerbot, one of the leading operators in the field, said it was cutting 30% of its staff - the fourth time it's shed jobs in two years. 

    The company, which was purchased by manufacturing firm Stratasys in 2013 for $403m, also closed a 175,000 square foot factory last year. 

    Desktop 3D printers remain a tiny market as decent models are still too expensive for consumers, and the technology has not advanced quickly enough. 

    In fact, only 278,000 desktop 3D printers were sold in 2015.

  8. TED takes on India

    BBC World Service

    TED, the American company behind the popular TED Talks, has teamed up with the Bollywood star, Shah Rukh Khan, and 21st Century Fox's Star India to produce a Hindi TV version of the show, reports BBC World Service.

    It's the first time TED's worked with a major network and star to produce TV talks in a language other than English. 

    TED Talks, videos from expert speakers on a variety of topics, have become a global industry reaching hundreds of millions of viewers. Speakers have included Steve Jobs, Monica Lewinsky, Bono and Bill Clinton.

  9. US stocks 'take a breather'

    Wall Street trader

    Let's take a quick look at Wall Street. The main US stock indexes are still in negative territory, as the record-breaking run of the last few days pauses for breath.

    The Dow Jones is down 0.2% at 20,579.26 points. The broader S&P 500 is off 0.3% at 2343.11. And the tech-heavy Nasdaq is also 0.3% lower at 5,802.38.  

    US stocks have hit record highs in recent days on hopes President Trump can push through lower business taxes and looser regulations. 

    "And on top of that, we've had a pretty darn good earnings season" that has pushed stocks even higher, said Nate Thooft, senior portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management. "It just needs a little bit of a breather today."

  10. More on Vauxhall-PSA deal

    After meeting with executives from Vauxhall-owner General Motors earlier, the UK business secretary Greg Clark has headed to Paris to speak to ministers there. 

    Later he is expected to meet with execs from PSA, the French-listed owner of Peugeot and Citroen, the BBC understands.

    It comes after the UK raised concerns that a proposed merger between PSA and GM-owned Opel (which incorporates Vauxhall) could cost jobs. 

    View more on twitter
  11. Netherlands to block takeovers 'in name of national security'

    Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp

    The Dutch government has proposed a law enabling it to block takeover bids of communications firms by foreign companies "in the name of national security".

    "There is no gain to our country from takeovers by businesses with links to criminal activities, or which are financially weak or do not have a transparent ownership structure," Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp said.

    It comes a month ahead of general elections, already marred by concerns of foreign hacking into Dutch government websites. 

    Mr Kamp said the law would be aimed at companies active in telecommunications, data collection and the internet. 

  12. Snap IPO: fair value?

    Snapchat app

    As we reported earlier, Snap - which owns messaging service Snapchat - will list its shares for considerably less than previously thought. 

    After talk of an IPO valuation of $25bn or more, it now looks like the firm will float with a market cap of around $18.5bn. 

    Neil Wilson of ETX Capital says this may still be a bit steep, though. 

    The company lost over $500m last year, up from $373m in 2015, and more worryingly it's user growth is slowing, he says.

    "Loss-making tech firms with a limited prospect of making a profit listing on the stock market has an all-too-familiar ring about it," he says.  

    "Snap’s IPO has the hallmarks of the dotcom bubble and this should have investors running for cover.

    "Nevertheless there ought to be plenty of buzz around the IPO and with equity markets operating on rocket fuel at present, no shortage of demand.”

  13. Donald Trump 'to announce new pick for Labor Department'

    Alexander Acosta

    US reports suggest that Donald Trump is about to announce Alexander Acosta as his new choice for head of the Labor Department, a day after Andy Puzder withdrew from consideration. 

    Acosta,- who served as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division under President George W Bush - would be the first Hispanic in Mr Trump's cabinet.

    He has also been a member of the National Labor Relations Board and was most recently the dean of Florida International University College of Law.

    Puzder, Trump's first choice, withdrew after failing to gain enough support from Senate Republicans for his nomination.

  14. FTSE 100 and 250 close lower


    The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 indexes both closed lower today following poor performances by commodities firms and a slump in shares in Cobham.

    The blue-chip FTSE 100 ended the day down 0.4% at 7,273.95, as shares in miners Anglo American and Antofagasta lost 2-2.2% after the price of copper fell.

    A seven-day winning streak for the FTSE 250 also came to an end, after engineering firm Cobham lost 15.1% following yet another profit warning. 

    The firm took a £150m writedown on a troubled contract with Boeing, leading it to downgrade its 2016 profit target. 

  15. Who owns Stoli vodka?

    Stolichnaya vodka

    A long-running trademark dispute over the Russian vodka brand Stolichnaya may be coming to a head, with the matter back in court this week. 

    As the FT reports , 'Stoli' has ostensibly been owned for the last two decades by Spirits International - a Dutch-incorporated company owned by an exiled Russian billionaire.

    But for about 15 of those years, Russia has disputed his ownership and tried to retake the formerly state-owned brand. 

    Staring Thursday, the Hague will hear an appeal against a 2015 ruling that SPI should hand back the brand to Russia in the Benelux countries. 

    A separate Hague court is also considering a call to extend that order to 13 other European countries.

    Billions of dollars of revenues are at stake, as Stolichnaya was the world?s fourth best-selling premium vodka in 2015, according to industry figures.