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Live Reporting

Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's it for Tuesday's Business Live.

    Thank you for staying with us.

    We'll be back tomorrow morning from 6am - do join us for all the latest news, reaction and and analysis from the world of business.

  2. Wall Street falls for second day running

    Wall Street sign with US flag  behind

    The three key US stock indexes fell for a second consecutive day on Tuesday.

    Healthcare-related companies, in particular, lost ground after Amazon, JP Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway announced they were joining forces to create a healthcare firm aimed at cutting costs for their US employees.

    US government bond yields also rose, putting downward pressure on share prices.

    The 1.4% fall in the Dow Jones was the biggest since May 2017, and saw it end the day at 26,077.58.

    The S & P 500 was down by 1.1% at 2,822.42 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq lost 0.9% to 7,402.48.

  3. Saudi anti-corruption drive nets $106bn

    Ritz Carlton hotel

    A sweeping anti-corruption drive in Saudi Arabia has generated an estimated $106.7bn (£75.6bn) in settlements, the kingdom's attorney general has said.

    Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said 56 of the 381 people called in for questioning since 4 November remained in custody.

    The others had been cleared or admitted guilt and handed over properties, cash, securities and other assets, he added.

    Sheikh Mojeb did not name any of those involved, but they reportedly include princes, ministers and businessmen.

    In recent days, the billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Alwalid al-Ibrahim, owner of the Arab satellite television network MBC, were released from detention at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh's diplomatic quarter.

    The high-profile figures rounded up by the Saudi authorities were detained in the plush Ritz-Carlton hotel, in Riyadh (above).

  4. Venezuela presses ahead with Petro

    Daniel Gallas

    BBC South America business correspondent

    Nicolas Maduro

    Venezuela is to start selling its cryptocurrency “Petro” next month.

    In a meeting with cabinet ministers, President Nicolas Maduro (above) said it will launch the currency on 20 February.

    Venezuela’s main currency, the bolivar, has suffered massive devaluation in the past years as the country is battling hyperinflation and a severe economic crisis.

    Earlier this month, a US Treasury spokesperson warned investors that getting involved with Venezuela’s cryptocurrency would expose individuals to legal risks in the US.

    The US government is imposing sanctions against Venezuela, banning debt trading of bonds issued by the government and its state-owned oil company.

  5. Quicksilver surf wear boss missing, French authorities say

    Boardriders shop

    The French coastguard has launched a search for the head of surf wear company Boardriders, whose brands include Quicksilver and Roxy.

    Pierre Agnes' boat was found washed up on a beach on France's Atlantic coast.

    According to reports, the 54-year-old businessman sent a message to port authorities on Tuesday saying he was sailing in thick fog.

    Boardriders, 85%-owned by US private equity firm Oaktree Capital, announced on 5 January that it was buying Australia's Billabong International.

    "An air and sea search operation is underway," coastguard authorities said in a statement, adding that two helicopters and two boats were involved in the rescue operation.

  6. Oil slips

    It's not just share prices that are falling. Oil prices are down for a second day running, driven by ongoing evidence of rising US crude output.

    Brent crude futures were down 65 cents, or 0.9%, at $68.81 a barrel after touching a session low of $68.4.

    US West Texas Intermediate futures were trading down $1.21, or 1.8% at $64.35 a barrel.

  7. Facebook takes action over 'coin offerings'

    Computer servers

    Facebook says it will prohibit advertising which promotes “initial coin offerings” and other cryptocurrency-related products.

    Rob Leathern, Facebook's Product Management Director, said: “We want people to continue to discover and learn about new products and services through Facebook ads without fear of scams or deception.

    "That said, there are many companies who are advertising binary options, ICOs and cryptocurrencies that are not currently operating in good faith.”

    There is concern among the financial and criminal authorities that many of the new cryptocurrencies coming onto the market are scams.

    You can read more in the company's blog post here.

  8. Is Apple being investigated by US authorities?


    Apple is being put under the spotlight by both the US Department of Justice and the country's financial regulator, the SEC, according to Bloomberg.

    It's over disclosure that the tech giant issued a software update that slowed older iPhone models.

    The news agency says that the bodies have requested information from Apple.

    None of the parties is prepared to comment, Bloomberg says.

    Outraged iPhone users were suspicious that the software was designed to encourage people to trade to new phones. But the company says it was to help get better performance from the older models.

  9. A football first

    A Turkish amateur side claim they are the first football club to have paid for a player with cryptocurrency.

    Omer Faruk Kıroglu was rewarded 0.0524 in Bitcoin (£384.12 at 18:00 GMT) and 2,500 Turkish lira (£467.30) to join Harunustaspor, who compete in the Sakarya First Division Group B.

    "We did it to make a name for ourselves in the country and the world," club chairman Haldum Sehit told CNN Turk.

    "As my chairman said, we are doing something new," added the player.

    Cryptocurrency is growing in popularity within sport.

    Arsenal recently signed a sponsorship deal with a cryptocurrency company CashBet, while Barcelona forward Lionel Messi and boxer Floyd Mayweather have promoted the financial technology.

  10. Wall Street update - clouds gathering

    Rising bond yields and a sell-off in healthcare shares sent the US stock market sliding in afternoon trading, with the Dow Jones down almost 400 points at one stage - its steepest fall in eight months.

    Shares of healthcare-related companies sank after, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan said they plan to form a venture aimed at lowering healthcare costs for their US employees.

    The S&P health sector tumbled 1.8%, the most among the 11 major sectors on the index.

    Health insurer UnitedHealth's 3.2% drop was the most on the Dow, while Express Scripts' 6.2% decline weighed the most on the Nasdaq and S&P.

  11. Putin dismisses new US sanctions move

    Putin election poster in Moscow

    President Vladimir Putin has laughed off a US list of Russians named for possible sanctions, joking that he was offended his name was not on it. Even so, he branded it an "unfriendly act".

    "I am offended, you know," Putin told his supporters with a smile, citing a famous line from a popular Soviet-era movie.

    According to Reuters, the president said he had not seen the list so far and quoted the old Oriental proverb "the dogs bark but the caravan goes on" in an effort to play down the significance of Washington's report.

    The US Treasury on Monday released the long-awaited list of Russian officials - led by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev - and business people singled out for sanctions under a law designed to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the election that brought Donald Trump to power.

    The report, which features 96 people considered "oligarchs" close to Putin and worth at least $1bn each, does not trigger sanctions right away but may cut businesses off from world finance.

  12. Crypto-currency: the good and the bad

    Broken bitcoin

    No quizzing of a bank official is complete these days without a question about crypto-currency.

    So, at the end of his session before the Lord's economic affairs committee, Bank of England Governor Mr Carney was asked about the virtual currency.

    The G20 group of nations need to get on top of the explosion in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, he said, not least because of its use in illicit activities.

    He said decisions need to be made about whether "crypto-currencies in general be incorporated into the general financial system".

    It was important that people dealing in these currencies should not be able to do so anonymously.

    But he said that the technology behind crypto-currency could be extremely useful in improving the global financial system, especially the payment processes.

  13. DIY chain sheds jobs

    B&Q outlet

    B&Q is to swing the axe on 200 head office jobs as part of a cost-cutting drive at the DIY retailer.

    The company said on Tuesday that the cull, at its Southampton HQ, will "improve efficiency and simplify ways of working".

    Helena Feltham, the group's HR director, said: "The new structure will improve efficiency, simplify ways of working, and reflect recent changes in the market and the number of B&Q stores."

    She added that B&Q has begun consulting with affected employees and their representative body, the National People's Forum.

    The news comes at a bruising time for high street retailers, which are struggling with Brexit-fuelled inflation that has sent the cost of goods rocket and consumer confidence plummeting.

  14. Watchdog moves closer to publishing RBS report in full

    RBS logo

    Britain's financial watchdog says it will publish in full a report it commissioned on how Royal Bank of Scotland treated small businesses.

    The Financial Conduct Authority has come under pressure to publish the report, having only released a summary to date.

    Earlier on Tuesday, RBS said it would not object to the publication.

    However, permission must also be sought from some individuals mentioned in the document.

    "The FCA welcomes the statement by Royal Bank of Scotland, given at today's Treasury Committee hearing, that they will not object to the FCA publishing the S166 report into the treatment of small and medium-sized enterprise customers transferred to its Global Restructuring Group," the watchdog said in a statement.

    "On this basis, we are content to publish the s166 report. To do so will also require the consent of those who provided the information in the report and any individuals who are identified."

  15. Wages: expect a pick-up this year

    Mark Carney

    More from Mark Carney's appearance before the Lords' economic affairs committee.

    The Bank of England governor says the strengthening labour market will be good news for wages this year.

    He says: "The labour market has continued to tighten... We see it in a gradual firming of wages. The firming of the labour market and the pick-up in wages over the course of the next few years appears to be on track, so there is a prospect of a return of real income growth later this year."

  16. FTSE falls

    FTSE 100 graph

    The FTSE 100 closed more than 1% down as investors took profits on miners and banks, amid worries that stock markets are due a correction.

    Barclays and RBS banks fell 2.8% and 2.6% respectively. Housebuilder Barratt closed 2.5% lower.

    More defensive stocks were the biggest risers, with consumer goods group Reckitt Benckiser up 1.5% as a weaker pound helped big, international stocks gain ground.

  17. Debt concerns consumer credit rises 9.5%

    Credit cards and coins

    The Bank of England's latest monthly Money and Credit report reveals there was a 9.5% rise in consumer credit last year.

    Outstanding balances for consumer credit now stand at more than £207.1bn.

    Joanna Elson, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, said it is clear many households are continuing to rely on borrowing to manage their finances.

    She warned: "There could be challenging times ahead for many households already struggling with rising living costs and wage growth that is unable to keep up."

  18. Disorderly EU exit less likely

    Bank of England governor gives evidence to Lords' economics committee

    The committee continues to probe Mark Carney for his thoughts on Brexit. Will Britain crash out of the EU? "A disorderly Brexit - not a likely scenario at all, less likely than at the time we did the assessment in the fall," the governor says.