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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. BP shares jump on Exxon Mobil bid rumours
  3. Both oil firms declined to comment
  4. VW pleads guilty in US to three charges linked to emissions scandal
  5. US economy generates 235,000 jobs in February
  6. BT to legally separate Openreach

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Over and out

That's all we have time for tonight on Business Live - thanks for reading us this week. 

We are back bright and early on Monday from 06:00 - do join us then.

Wall Street boosted by US jobs growth

Wall Street traders
AP

US stock markets have finished higher after strong jobs growth lifted stocks across the board on Wall Street.

The jobs data - which showed US employers added 235,000 jobs last month - raised the odds of an interest rate rise next week even higher and buoyed stock markets. 

The Dow Jones rose 0.2% to 20,902.98 points.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3% to 2,372.60 points.

And the tech-heavy Nasdaq was up 0.4% to finish the week at 5,861.72.

IranAir gets new Western jet

IranAir and Airbus tail fins
Reuters

IranAir has taken delivery of its second Western jet following the country's nuclear sanctions deal.

The plane - an Airbus A330 long-haul aircraft - was handed over in Toulouse, France on Friday. Initially, the plane is expected to be used on European routes and on flights to Beijing and Kuala Lumpur. 

It joins a smaller A321 delivered to Iran earlier this year, the European planemaker said.   

Google car firm files Uber injunction

BBC tech reporter Dave Lee tweets...

Africa gets its own web address

People using laptops
AFP

Africa now has the unique web address .africa, equivalent to the more familiar .com, following its official launch by the African Union.

AU commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma hailed its creation as the moment when Africa "got [its] own digital identity".

The AU says the .africa domain name will "bring the continent together as an internet community".

Addresses can now reflect a company's interest in the whole of Africa. Read more here

'Mini' B&Q launches launches

Retail journalist tweets ...

Pipeline protesters take to streets in DC

BBC World Service

Dakota Access Pipeline protesters in Washington
Getty Images

Many hundreds of people, members of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and their supporters, have marched through the streets of Washington to protest against the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline 

Banging drums and chanting, they held a rally in Lafayette Square near the White House, demanding respect for the rights of indigenous people. Native American tribes say leaks from the oil pipeline will pollute water supplies and endanger sites they consider sacred. 

Last month, President Trump signed an executive order authorising the $3.8bn (£3.1bn) project to proceed, reversing a decision to halt construction taken at the end of the Obama administration.

China property firm hit by currency restrictions

BBC World Service

One of China's biggest property development firms has closed some of its mainland China sales offices which were promoting its $40bn flagship project in Malaysia, reports BBC World Service. 

Country Garden Holdings said it needed to better fit with China's current foreign exchange policies and regulations.

In January, the Chinese government banned its citizens from converting Chinese money into foreign currencies in order to buy property overseas. 

The Chinese authorities are trying to strengthen the fragile banking system by making it more difficult for citizens to shift money out of the country.

Country Garden Holdings is to open showrooms in other markets, including the Middle East and India, to promote the Forest City Development. 

Oil prices continue to fall

Nodding donkeys with sun behind
Thinkstock

Let 's get an update on the oil price now, and it's continued to fall on Friday.

Brent crude is down by 1.4% at $51.44 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate is down by 1.5% at $48:53 a barrel.

Prices began falling earlier this week following news that US crude oil inventories had hit record highs, stoking fears that OPEC production cuts won't reduce global oversupply.  

"We have not seen production cuts undertaken by the world's producers really alleviate the overhang in inventories," said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut. 

Juncker hopes UK will rejoin EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has said he hopes "the day will come when the British re-enter the boat" - rejoining the EU at some point in the future, after Brexit.

Speaking in Brussels Mr Juncker added: "Brexit is not the end of the European Union, nor the end of all our developments, nor the end of our continental ambitions."

'British will re-enter the boat, I hope' - Jean-Claude Juncker

Pound down amid fears of slowdown

Pound, euro and dollar notes
Getty Images

A quick check on the currency markets now and the pound is down against both the euro and the dollar.  

It's fallen by 0.90% to 1.1399 euros and it's down by by a tiny 0.01% against the dollar at $1.2163. 

As the euro has risen, amid talk of a eurozone interest rate rise, the pound has been damaged by fears that the UK economy is heading for a slowdown. 

"We're now seeing the consequences of the Brexit vote feeding through into the economy, whereas immediately after the vote the data was surprisingly strong," said Alex Edwards, head of dealing at money transfer company OFX in London.

"But I think a lot of the negatives around Brexit are quite heavily priced in already, and ... sterling is going to be supported around $1.20 - I can't see it falling much below that," he added.  

Nothing new in Exxon's 'interest' in BP?

It seems it's not the first time Exxon Mobile has been rumoured to be interested in bidding for BP. 

Back in 2013 The Guardian reported on "vague talk" that the company was keen, though then, like now, the speculation was treated with a pinch of salt"

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

US jobs back from the brink?

More on those strong jobs figures out of the US ...

As we posted earlier, US businesses added 235,000 jobs in February and the  Bureau of Labor Statistics  said the unemployment rate had also edged lower to 4.7%.

The figures suggest that the robust US jobs market maintained its strong growth in the first full month under President Trump.

So how did his predecessors do?

This graphic makes interesting reading ...

Graphic of jobs lost or created under Bush, Obama and Trump
BBC

VW: Who knew what, when?

BBC business correspondent analyses VW's US guilty pleas

Theo Leggett

BBC Business News Reporter

It comes as no surprise that VW pleaded guilty to criminal charges - it agreed to do so as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice agreed in January.

But the humiliation of the company continues. Its lawyer said VW was pleading guilty because it was guilty - such breastbeating making it clear that this was not simply a convenient way to appease the US authorities. 

One prosecutor told the court the systematic distortion of emissions tests was a "well thought out, planned offensive that went to the top of the organisation". That's a significant statement. 

It is still not entirely clear who in VW's more senior ranks knew what was going on in the US. 

But given that the American authorities have already charged seven current and former executives with crimes relating to the scandal, others may now be sleeping rather uneasily at night.

VW shares rise following US guilty pleas

VW badge
Getty Images

Following the news that VW had formally pleaded guilty in the US  to three charges in connection with diesel emissions scandal, shares in the car giant edged up slightly in Frankfurt. 

But the boss of Brand Finance doesn't think that is very surprising. 

The impact of the emission scandal had a devastating initial impact on the Volkswagen’s brand, with the company losing over half of its value in the days following the scandal, and the continued publicity of its ongoing court cases is certainly not helping. The company is, however, a good example of how a strong brand can help weather a crisis. Over the past year, Volkswagen’s brand value has bounced by 32% as the company took steps to earn back the trust of its customers. Whilst the ongoing nature of this scandal does present a number of risks, as each stage of the court cases remind the public of what could well be one of the biggest corporate scandals in recent memory, the market seems to have priced in the plea and the share price appears to have upward momentum.

David Haigh Chief executive officer, Brand Finance

Growing attachment

Unbelievably it's, 25 years since the invention of Mime, or Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions - the system that made it possible to send attachments.

Since 1992, people have gone on to send rather a lot of them, as the BBC's technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, explains.

25 years since first email attachment

How to speak with authority

BT and BP lead FTSE 100 higher

London Stock Exchange sign
Getty Images

The  FTSE 100  closed at 7,343.08, a rise of 28 points or 0.38%. 

The biggest gain was seen by BT which was up by 3.71% after that announcement that it is to legally separates its Opereach network division.

Oil giant BP, was the second biggest climber, up by 3.68%, following speculation that Exxon Mobil was considering making a takeover approach for the company. 

Chocolate price hike if Brexit deal fails

Mars and Snickers bars
Getty Images

Chocolate prices could rise if the UK does not secure a trade deal post-Brexit, according to Mars' top boss.

Fiona Dawson, global president for Mars, said the absence of a deal with EU member states would see tariffs of up to 30% for the industry.

Speaking at the American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, she warned this would "threaten [the] supply chain and the jobs that come with it."

Theresa May has promised to push for the "freest possible trade". Read more here