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Live Reporting

Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    Test card f

    That's it for another week with Business Live.

    Next week Chancellor Philip Hammond reveals his new Budget but until then, enjoy your weekend.

  2. US shares flat following Fed boss comments

    Snap Inc's float

    There was little change on Wall Street on Friday following comments by Federal Reserve boss Janet Yellen that the central bank is likely to raise interest rates in March if employment and other economic data remain on target.

    The Dow Jones closed at 21,005.71, a slight increase of 3 points or 0.01%.

    The S&P 500 rose by 1 point or 0.05% to 2,383.12.  

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq also edged up to  5,870.75, a rise of 10 points or 0.16%.  

  3. Markets expects three rate rises

    Three interest rate rises is looking likely for this year, according to Douglas Borthwick, managing director at Chapdelaine Foreign Exchange.

    He said: "There's a lot of positive news now priced into the market, and I think we'll probably see some profit-taking, so I think we'll probably see the dollar weaken from here.

    "Yellen's comments have caught up with market expectations, in that she's looking for three rate moves this year."

  4. US Fed 'positive' on future growth

    Janet Yellen

    The financial market took a positive view on Janet Yellen's speech today.

    Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network, said: "The real takeaway here is if the Fed is willing to start moving, they see the economy as not only doing better but likely to do better going forward.

    "The Fed is notorious for waiting until the evidence of growth is absolutely undeniable.''

  5. Deutsche Bank set to boost capital

    Deutsche Bank headquarters

    Deutsche Bank appears to be making progress on strengthening its balance sheet.

    Bloomberg is reporting that the bank's board is considering a share sale and the partial flotation of its asset management business.

    The supervisory board is due to meet for two days beginning 16 March. 

    In January, Deutsche Bank was fined $630m by US and UK regulators in connection with a Russian money laundering plan.

    And in December it agreed a $7.2bn penalty with US authorities over the sale of mortgage-backed securities. 

  6. Mike Ashley 'not sexy enough' for Agent Provocateur

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Mike Ashley

    The co-founder of upmarket lingerie chain Agent Provocateur says the sale to a business linked to Sports Direct's major shareholder , Mike Ashley, is "scandalous".

    Joe Corré, son of Dame Vivienne Westwood and former Sex Pistols manager, the late Malcolm McLaren, cast doubt on the new owner's strategy.

    He said: "They've been quite clear about what they're going to do with the brand. They said that what they want, aside from the UK stores, is to keep the brand name which they are going to develop for their own store groups. So what does that mean? Where are they going to sell it Sports Direct?"

    Mr Corré continued: "What's it going to be? Tracksuits with Agent Provocateur on it? Are we going to have some knock-off Juicy Couture line with "AP" on it?

    "Listen, the guy's not a sexy guy. It is a very sexy brand. It is a terrible fit. Lets be honest, Sports Direct stores are not sexy places."

    Four Holdings, which controls Four Marketing in which Sports Direct is a 25% shareholder, brought Agent Provocateur out of administration. It had been owned by private equity firm 3i.

    Following the acquisition, Four Marketing will control Agent Provocateur. A Four Marketing spokeswoman the company "has built a strong reputation over 20 years, as distributor and agent for a number of premium fashion brands. We also service brands with retail, e-commerce, PR and marketing”.

  7. A new French owner for Vauxhall and Opel

    BBC World Business examines why General Motors is giving up its European business and what the buyer PSA Group has in store for Opel and Vauxhall. The BBC's Russell Padmore reports...

    Video content

    Video caption: General Motors is closer to exiting Europe, as it finalises a deal to sell Opel to PSA.
  8. Rate rises forecast for September and December

    US factory worker

    Scott Anderson, chief economist and executive vice president of the Bank of the West Economics, reckons a rise of 150,000 jobs or more in February "would be sufficient for the Fed to move another time at the March meeting". 

    He said the Bank of the West Economics is currently forecasting a payroll gain of +186,000 for February.

    Non-farm payrolls will be announced next Friday on 10 March.

    Mr Anderson expects three quarter-point interest rate rises from the Federal Open Market Committee [FOMC] in 2017. "We expect another FOMC rate hike in September and December," he said. 

  9. Immigration 'contributes a lot' to US economy

    Janet Yellen says that she and colleagues will "be patient and see what happens" in terms of fiscal policy.

    She also said that immigration "contributes a lot" to the American economy.

  10. US economic growth 'slowest since WWII'

    US factory worker

    Janet Yellen has reiterated her concerns about the slow pace of economic growth in the US.

    She says: "For instance, as we noted in our latest Monetary Policy Report to the Congress, the ongoing expansion has been the slowest since World War Two, with real GDP growth averaging only about 2% per year.

    "This subdued pace reflects, in part, slower growth in the labor force in recent years, compared with much of the post-World War Two period, and disappointing productivity growth both in the United States and abroad."

  11. BreakingUS rates will rise in 2018 and 2019

    Janet Yellen says she and her US Fed colleagues have "projected additional gradual rate hikes in 2018 and 2019".

  12. The US numbers to watch

    The key numbers for the US Fed are inflation, the unemployment rate and wage growth.

    The next US non-farm payroll data will be released next Friday on 10 March.

    The current unemployment rate is 4.8%. The US economy added 227,000 jobs in January this year but wages grew at 2.5%, the lowest since last August.

    Inflation is 2.5%.

  13. US rate rise in March 'quite likely'

    Gennadiy Goldberg, interest rate strategist at TD Securities, said: "[Janet] Yellen has given us the strongest signal that she could that a March rate hike is quite likely, without explicitly pre-committing. This is the firmest way that Yellen could have communicated that a March hike is likely."

  14. Foreign risks have 'receded' says Yellen

    Janet Yellen is upbeat. 

    She says: "On the whole, the prospects for further moderate economic growth look encouraging, particularly as risks emanating from abroad appear to have receded somewhat.

    "The [Federal Open Market] Committee currently assesses that the risks to the outlook are roughly balanced."

  15. Cake is baked and ready to eat

    Janet Yellen

    Brian Jacobsen, chief portfolio strategist at Wells Fargo Funds Management, says: "Chair Yellen will endorse a rate hike in March unless next week's employment situation report is just miserable. Because a terrible payrolls report is highly unlikely, a rate hike isn't just baked into the cake, the cake is practically decorated and ready to have the candles lit.

    "The only danger is that the Fed signals a faster pace of hikes than three for 2017. While it's most likely that we'll see a hike in March, September, and December, don't discount the possibility that we could see a hike in March, June, and September with the December meeting being the one where the FOMC announces it will taper its reinvestment program.

    He adds: "If we see some fiscal stimulus in the form of tax cuts, then the pace of hikes can quicken from three per year to four with a more rapid normalization of the size of the Fed's balance sheet. Equities can handle hikes when it's in the face of stronger growth. It's the investment grade corporate market and Treasury market that will have to reckon with hikes more than equities will."

  16. Three times a charm?

    There has been widespread speculation that the US Fed will lift interest rates three times this year. It last increased the rate in December 2016 and a year before that, in December 2015.

  17. US rate rises will be 'gradual'

    Janet Yellen

    In her speech , US Fed chair Janet Yellen reiterates her point that rate rises will be "gradual", however, she appeared to indicate the central bank may move a little quicker than in previous years.

    Ms Yellen said: "Looking ahead, we continue to expect the evolution of the economy to warrant further gradual increases in the target range for the federal funds rate.

    "However, given how close we are to meeting our statutory goals, and in the absence of new developments that might materially worsen the economic outlook, the process of scaling back accommodation likely will not be as slow as it was in 2015 and 2016."

  18. US stocks subdued

    The Dow Jones industrial average edged up just 4.95 points at 21,007.92 after the US Federal Reserve released a copy of Janet Yellen's speech.

  19. BreakingMarch rate rise may be 'appropriate'

    Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve, said on Friday that another interest rate could be "appropriate" later this month if US employment and inflation remain in line with expectations.

    In a pre-released copy of her speech , Ms Yellen also defended the Fed's performance, stating that the US central bank had not been too slow to raise rates because of a tepid recovery and sluggish inflation. 

  20. Countdown to Yellen

    Janet Yellen

    Investors, economists and market traders will all be on high alert as Janet Yellen, chair of the US Federal Reserve prepares to address The Executives' Club of Chicago in 10 minutes.

    There is a growing expectation that the Fed will raise US interest rates this month so observers will be picking over Ms Yellen's words for clues.

    Stayed with Business Live for regular updates.