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Live Reporting

Simon Read

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    The test card

    That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. I'll be back at 06:00 tomorrow with the latest, breaking news.

    Do join us then for all the stories and analysis from the business world.

  2. US stocks close lower

    US stock markets ended lower as investors dumped technology shares amid fears about regulation of social media companies and autonomous vehicles.

    The Dow Jones slipped 1.4% to 23,857.71 points, while the S&P 500 lost 1.7% to 2,612.62.

    The tech-rich Nasdaq lost almost 3% to 7,008.81.

    Among the biggest tech fallers was electric car firm Tesla, down 8% after regulators opened an investigation into a crash involving one of its vehicles.

    Facebook dived nearly 5% as its data privacy scandal widened. At a DCMS Committee hearing, Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie claimed that leaked Facebook data had been indirectly used to sway the 2016 US election and the Brexit vote.

  3. Slovakia suspends Uber services

    Uber app

    Ride hailing taxi firm Uber has been ordered to suspend all operations in Slovakia.

    The decision was made due to a lawsuit filed in January by certified taxi drivers in the country, who claim that Uber presents unfair competition in their industry.

    Although the court ordered Uber to halt its services on 6 March, the decision was only announced today, and Uber is still running in Slovakia's capital city Bratislava.

    The European Court of Justice ruled in December that Uber needs to be regulated just like other taxi operators and classed as a transport provider.

  4. 'Because you can't watch everything...'

    Might sound a bit counter-intuitive, but the publishers of the film magazine Empire are spreading their wings to the small screen with a new title called Pilot TV.

    It's described as "your glossy guide to the best of the box (because, well, in the age of streaming and box-sets it’s impossible to watch everything)", with exclusives and expert insight.

    Pilot goes on sale on 5 April and features writing by Boyd Hilton of Heat magazine, Guardian columnist Julia Raeside, Michael Hogan and more.

    View more on twitter
  5. Ryanair cabin crew strike to hit Portugal

    Ryanair plane

    Some Ryanair cabin crew in Portugal will go ahead with one-day strikes during the Easter holidays after the budget airline failed to meet demands on working conditions.

    The strikes by unionised cabin crew are set for 29 March, 1 April 1 and 4 April 4.

    The SNPVAC union said it was still in Ryanair's hands to avoid the walkout.

    The airline said it did not expect a lot of crew to join the walkout but disruptions were possible.

  6. May says NHS is crucial to her

    NHS demonstration

    Theresa May has revealed she has a personal stake in keeping the NHS healthy.

    "I rely on the NHS every day as a diabetic," she told the Commons Liaison Committee earlier. "I'm eternally grateful to the NHS."

    She told MPs there there are "serious cost and demand pressures" on the health service but promised a long-term funding plan to help the NHS cope with extra demands.

  7. US shares dip downwards

    Wall Street

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average has reversed early gains and is now showing a 0.29% decline on the day to 7107.19.

    The S&P 500 has dropped even further, falling 0.65% to 2641.18.

    But the tech-heavy Nasdaq has taken the biggest hit, slumping 1.57% to 7107.19.

  8. Facebook shares slump further

    Facebook share graph

    Facebook shares have slumped a further 3.5% today to 154.5, continuing a recent trend, after its boss faced a clamour of calls to appear before lawmakers.

    Mark Zuckerberg turned down British MPs' invitations to explain to a British parliamentary committee what went wrong.

    The head of the committee Damian Collins called Zuckerberg's decision "astonishing" and urged him to think again.

    But it looks likely he will face the music in the US.

    Facebook said the company had received invitations to testify before Congress and that they were talking to legislators.

    House Energy and Commerce Committee spokeswoman Elena Hernandez said "The committee is continuing to work with Facebook to determine a day and time for Mr. Zuckerberg to testify".

  9. VW compensation case continues tomorrow

    VW cars

    A case involving thousands of disgruntled motorists is gearing up at the High Court.

    Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Skoda owners want compensation from Volkswagen in what could be the largest consumer action in UK legal history.

    More than 60,000 individuals are already represented by various law firms out of a total of 1.2 million potential claimants.

    At a preliminary hearing in London today, Senior Master Fontaine was due to hear an application for a group litigation order to set a deadline for the claims and to appoint lead solicitors.

    After a day of out-of-court discussions, Oliver Campbell QC for the claimants represented by Slater and Gordon told the judge that a proposed order would be prepared for when the hearing resumes on Wednesday.

  10. May ditches Blackberry in favour of new-fangled iPhone

    Theresa May

    Talking of Apple products, Theresa May has finally replaced her Blackberry mobile device with an iPhone.

    The prime minister had been the "last member of the No 10 team" still using a Blackberry handset, news site Politico reported.

    The Canadian company behind Blackberry stopped making smartphones itself in 2016, following a steep decline in sales, and licensed other companies to make devices in its name.

  11. Apple announces cheaper iPad aimed at students

    Apple chief with new iPad
    Image caption: Apple CEO Tim Cook with the new iPad

    Apple has unveiled a new version of its 9.7-inch iPad at a new lower price that is compatible with the Apple Pencil for the first time.

    Until now, only the top-end iPad Pro supported Apple's digital stylus. The new device will start at $319 in the US, with the Apple Pencil available for an additional $89.

    The technology giant also confirmed the new iPad would be available at a discounted price for schools, although no UK prices have been announced yet.

  12. Number of home movers halves in a decade

    People moving home

    Homeowners are moving half as often as they did before the credit crunch, figures produced for the BBC suggest.

    Reasons include high house prices, stricter rules on getting mortgages and older people staying on in large properties.

    People used to move house roughly four times after their first purchase. Now it is more like twice.

    Read more...

  13. BreakingGreat Ormond Street votes to keep cash from Presidents Club

    Great Ormond Street Hopsital

    The Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital has voted to keep £530,000 donated by the scandal-hit Presidents Club, according to a Sky News report.

    It says the fundraising arm of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) agreed at a board meeting today to overturn its original decision to return £530,000 donated by the Presidents Club Charitable Trust.

    GOSH's charity trustees initially said they would return money raised at Presidents Club events between 2009 and 2016, although the hospital had not been a beneficiary of this year's dinner.

  14. Consumer experts blast Iresa

    Consumer groups have been weighing in with views about the ban on new customers for energy firm Iresa.

    MoneySavingExpert's Martin Lewis said:

    Quote Message: This is a very important step by Ofgem. For many of its customers Iresa has not come close to living up to even minimum standards. I hear often of customers locked into its plans, with no way to move and no way to contact it. The big question here is should the firm be allowed a licence at all?

    Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said:

    Quote Message: Iresa has form for appalling customer service, this is the second time in a year the regulator has stopped them from gaining new customers and ordered improvements. The company now must ensure it changes for the long term otherwise the regulator will need to go further to protect consumers.
  15. Markets climb across Europe

    Frankfurt

    It wasn't just the FTSE 100 that climbed today, European markets were also on the up.

    Germany's Dax surged 1.6% while the Cac 40 in France pushed 1% higher.

    However the pound dropped back 0.5% against the dollar as cooling tensions between America and China caused the US dollar to strengthen.

    The price of oil remained in positive territory, lifting 0.2% to 70.14 a barrel, on the prospect of Opec production cuts being extended to 2019.

  16. Jaguar self-drive car revealed

    Jaguar i-Pace

    The first self-styled "premium" autonomous car has been unveiled in New York - and it's a Jaguar.

    The Jaguar I-Pace, made in conjunction with Google's self-driving unit Waymo, will be tested on public roads this year.

    By 2020, the firms say 20,000 self-driving Jaguar sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will be part of Waymo's public fleet.

    Read more...

  17. Stock market turmoil hits US consumer confidence

    US shopping street

    US consumer confidence fell from more than a 17-year high in March on the back of stock market volatility.

    But households remained upbeat about labor market conditions, which could help to support consumer spending, according to the US Conference Board.

    Its consumer confidence index dropped 2.3 points to a reading of 127.7 this month from a slightly downwardly revised 130 in February, which was the highest level since November 2000.

    "The stock market has been volatile and consumers don't like market volatility," said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York. "Still, we wonder if the decline in confidence means that the economy may have seen its best days already for this cycle."

  18. Viewers drop for ITV's Cheltenham Festival coverage

    Cheltenham Gold Cup

    ITV Racing’s second year of covering from the Cheltenham Festival saw a 4% drop in viewing figures overall and a 14% drop in the peak audience for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

    Figures released by the broadcaster today show the total audience across the four afternoons of this year’s Festival was 3.423m.

    However, ITV’s total audience was more than a quarter higher than that attracted by the final year of Channel 4’s coverage in 2016.

    ITV's shares were one of the few FTSE 100 losers today, falling 0.10% to 145.1p.