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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Vodafone in talks with Liberty Global about European assets
  3. Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies tumble
  4. UK construction sector slows down in January
  5. BT sales down 3%
  6. Sony boss to step down
  7. Sluggish start for FTSE 100
  8. Losses bigger than expected at Deutsche Bank

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

  1. Have a good weekend

    Pembroke clock tower

    It's 21:30, and as usual time for the livepage to say goodnight. Thanks for staying with us during the week. We'll be back on Monday at the regular time of 06:00.

  2. A good news Bitcoin story

    Bitcoin tokens

    An anonymous benefactor has donated $5m in Bitcoin to the California-based Open Medicine Foundation, the non-profit research organisation said on Friday.

    The OMF said it had received $4m on Friday, having received $1m from the same donor last month, via the account that it holds with BitPay, a Bitcoin payments firm that converted the donation into US dollars.

    According to Reuters, the money came from an anonymous donor calling themselves "Pine" from the Pineapple Fund, whose website says that it has already donated around $37m anonymously to various charities and projects.

    The fund intends to donate $86m in total, according to the website. "Donating $86m of Bitcoins to charity because once you have enough money, money doesn't matter," the website states.

    It also says the fund holds one of the top-250 richest Bitcoin wallets in the world, with "Pine" having got into the market early.

  3. Wall Street extends losses

    A round of weak earnings and robust jobs data that sent bond yields higher, troubled all three major US stock indexes at the close.

    "It's all about the bond market, the bond market is calling the tune for stocks and has been all week. We've seen a very large back-up in yields and that's giving investors reasons to sell equities," said Paul Nolte, portfolio manager at Amundi Pioneer Asset Management in Boston.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 665.75 points, or 2.54%, to 25,520.96, the S&P 500 lost 59.92 points, or 2.11%, to 2,762.47 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 144.92 points, or 1.96%, to 7,240.95.

  4. Boeing and Embraer consider new structure

    Embraer hangar

    Boeing has sought the Brazilian government's approval for a partnership with planemaker Embraer that would create a new company focused on commercial aviation, according to Reuters.

    The news agency cites unnamed insiders as saying that a new company would include Embraer's defence division.

    Government sources told Reuters it was too early to say if the latest proposal would meet the approval of ministries concerned and, importantly, with the military.

    The two aircraft makers have been discussing a tie-up for weeks, but Brazil's defence ministry is thought to be concerned about the idea.

  5. Apple regains top spot

    iphone

    Apple overtook Samsung in the fourth quarter as the largest smartphone producer in a declining global market for handsets, research firm IDC says.

    IDC's latest data showed Apple sold 77.3 million iPhones, giving it a 19.2% market share.

    Samsung sold 74.1 million devices, giving it a market share of 18.4%, IDC said.

    Huawei held the number three position with a 10.2% market share, followed by fellow Chinese makers Xiaomi and Oppo, with 7% and 6.8% respectively.

    Overall smartphone sales were down 6.3% with 403.5 million handsets shipped, according to the reort.

    IDC said the data showed consumers appeared in no rush to upgrade to the most expensive flagship smartphones from Apple and Samsung.

    "The latest flock of posh flagships may have had consumers hitting the pause button in the holiday quarter," said Anthony Scarsella, an IDC research manager.

  6. YouTubers could face action

    Logan Paul

    YouTube says it is developing new policies to deal with video-makers who damage the reputation of the website.

    Chief executive Susan Wojcicki says "egregious" behaviour by video bloggers caused "significant harm" to the entire community of video-makers.

    The site has been under closer scrutiny after video blogger Logan Paul (above) made a video which showed a dead body in a "suicide forest".

    Many video-makers have been frustrated with YouTube's policies.

    In a bid to stop advertisements appearing next to controversial content, YouTube has been using algorithms to identify content that it judges not to be "advertiser-friendly".

    However, many of the platform's biggest stars have complained that their videos have been incorrectly marked as unsuitable for advertising.

  7. Taking the challenge to Silicon Valley

    Mecedes three-pointed star logo

    Daimler has unveiled a Mercedes car that includes its own machine-learning and voice recognition technology.

    The system, seen as a challenge to the likes of Apple's Siri or Amazon's Alexa, uses artificial intelligence to make sense of commands and - more importantly - anticipate them.

    With Silicon Valley's giants moving into autonomous transport, traditional carmakers are fighting back with their own tech.

    Daimler says its system will be rolled out across its line-up.

  8. Wall Street sinks further

    Not a great end to the week for Wall Street.

    Share markets are extending their losses. The Dow Jones is about 500 points down, or 1.9%, with not a single stock in the 30-strong index in positive territory.

    The S&P 500 is 47.4 points down, or 1.68%, and the Nasdaq has lost 98 points, or 1.33%.

  9. Wall Street woes

    The S&P and the Dow were headed for their worst week in two years on Friday, as robust US jobs data pushed up bond yields further and boosted the chances of more interest rate hikes this year.

    The Dow Jones is down about 400 points, while 10 of the 11 major S&P sectors are in the red, led by the energy index's 3.49% fall.

    The Labor Department said that job creation rose by 200,000 in January, beating forecasts of 180,000. Average hourly earnings rose and boosted the year-on-year increase to 2.9%, the largest rise since June 2009.

    That may be good news, but it fuelled concerns that the pace of interest rate rises may speed up.

    Adding to negative sentiment were disappointing earnings reports from major companies. Shares of oil majors Exxon and Chevron were down 5.6% and 3.4%, respectively, after reporting lower-than-expected quarterly profits.

    Google-parent Alphabet fell 5.3% after its profits also missed analysts' estimates. Apple fell 2.9% as investors focused on the company's muted forecast after the closing bell on Thursday.

  10. Banks must warn customers of overdraft risk from today

    Lloyds Bank sign

    Banks are now required to warn people before they slip into overdraft as a result of new rules that came into force today.

    In a rule change required by the Competition and Markets Authority as part of its Retail Banking Investigation, banks must now set up an alert system which will help their customers avoid unnecessary charges.

    During its investigation, the CMA found that banks receive around £1.2bn a year from unarranged overdraft charges.

  11. FTSE 100 close

    Vodafone shares jumped in late trading as speculation swept the market that it was in merger talks with Liberty Global.

    Confirmation that the talks were about a big European asset deal - not a full merger - saw the shares fall back, but they still finished 2.4% ahead.

    AstraZeneca was the FTSE 100's biggest riser, up 3% after the drug makers said it was confident about revenue growth.

    Glencore fell 4.2%, the FTSE's biggest loser as investors reacted to the mining giant's latest production report.

    The FTSE 100 closed down 0.6% at 7,443.4 points, while the FTSE 250 closed 1.1% lower at 19,962.4.

  12. Telecoms talks

    Virgin Media sign

    Vodafone's statement follows speculation earlier in the day that the UK company and John Malone's Liberty Global were considering a full-blown merger.

    But any deal involving just their European assets could mark a huge shake-up of the sector.

    Vodafone owns wireless networks across Europe, including Italy, Germany and the UK, where it is the second-largest provider.

    Liberty owns the Virgin Media group in the UK and UPC, a pan-European cable network which particularly big in Germany.

    The two companies held talks in 2015 about a big asset swap, but that failed.

  13. Vodafone in Liberty talks

    Vodafone sign

    Vodafone has confirmed that it is in "early stage discussions" over a potential takeover of some of Liberty Global's continental European assets.

    Vodafone said in a statement that the talks were about "the potential acquisition of certain overlapping continental European assets owned by Liberty Global.”

    It added: “There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms, timing or form of any transaction.”

    Vodafone also said that the talks were not "regarding a combination of both companies".

  14. Is Dell heading back to the stock market?

    Michael Dell

    Computer maker Dell has confirmed that it is considering listing on the stock market, either as a straight flotation or a merger with publicly-listed software provider VMare. Dell is already majority owner of VMare.

    The confirmation follows reports last month that Dell, one of the world's largest IT companies, was considering its strategic options.

    Dell's filing to US regulators on Friday said it was not considering a sale of the business to a third party.

    The company was taken off the stock market about four years when founder Michael Dell (above) lead a $25bn private buy-out.

  15. Yellen reserves job at Brookings

    Janet Yellen

    Janet Yellen, who's just stepped down from heading the US Federal Reserve, is following in the footsteps of her predecessor, Ben Bernanke, and joining the Brookings Institution.

    She joins the century-old US think tank on 5 February as Distinguished Fellow in Residence in the Econmic Studies division.

    Here's Brookings' announcement.

  16. 200,000 jobs added in US

    US sports stadium

    The American economy added 200,000 jobs in January, the US Labor Department has revealed.

    That's 40,000 more than December's revised increase of 160,000..

    The unemployment rate stayed at 4.1%, the lowest in 17 years.

    Wages rose 2.9% compared with a year earlier.

  17. Chevron hit by refining weakness

    We reported earlier that quarterly profits at oil giant Exxon had disappointed investors, prompting a share price fall (the price is now down 5.3%).

    Another sector heavyweight, Chevron, has also posted lower-than-expected profits, which were $3.1bn for the fourth quarter.

    Although, like Exxon, Chevron's production was up, its refining operations were, like Exxon, hit.

    Chevron shares were down 3.6%.