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Live Reporting

Mary-Ann Russon and Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night!

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

    As always we're back bright and early tomorrow at 06:00 so do join us then.

  2. Sacked cyclist sues

    Juli Briskman makes a hand gesture at Trump's motorcade

    A US cyclist who was sacked over a viral photo of her making an obscene gesture to President Donald Trump's motorcade is suing her former employer.

    Juli Briskman was fired by government contractor Akima LLC in November 2017 after a press photographer travelling with the president captured the image.

    "Americans should not be forced to choose between their principles and their paychecks," her lawsuit states.

    Her lawyers argue her right to free speech was violated by the firing.

  3. Three in a row...

    The Dow and S&P 500 ended higher for the third consecutive day - the longest winning streak for about a month - as fears of a trade war between the US and China abated and attention turned to the upcoming results season.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1% to 24,505 points; the S&P 500 gained 0.7% to 2,662.8 points and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.5% to 7,076 points.

  4. Apple Music hits the top 40 (million)

    Steven Huon tweet

    Industry website Music Business Worldwide points out that Apple Music now has 40 million subscribers - 4 million more than when the iPhone maker last gave an update on its music service in February.

    The figure comes courtesy of a tweet from Steven Huon, Apple Music's content director in France.

    Streaming market leader Spotify, in contrast, had 71 million paying subscribers as at 31 December - and 157 million active users in total.

  5. Wall Street still higher

    US flag

    Wall Street has held on to its gains with about 45 mins left in the trading day.

    The Dow Jones is 1.3% higher, the S&P 500 is up 1%, while the Nasdaq has added 0.8%.

    Peter Tuz of Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia says: "We're going into earnings season with a fair amount of optimism, largely driven by the new, lower tax rates and also driven by other bits of evidence the economy is doing very well."

  6. de Havilland 'dismayed'

    Olivia de Havilland
    Image caption: Olivia de Havilland, pictured in 2011, was played by Catherine Zeta Jones in Feud

    Dame Olivia de Havilland says she is "dismayed" by a court's decision to dismiss her lawsuit over her portrayal in Feud: Bette And Joan and has vowed to continue fighting.

    The 101-year-old double Oscar-winner sued FX Network over the docudrama, alleging it defamed her by falsely showing her as a hypocrite and a gossip.

    But appeal court judges in California threw out her case, saying stars cannot "dictate" how their legacy is portrayed.

    Dame Olivia said on Thursday she is "deeply disappointed, perplexed and dismayed" by the ruling. "I feel very strongly that I must appeal to the supreme court for my sake and for the sake of many others in the future," the Gone With The Wind actress added.

  7. No guns for BlackRock

    Guns at Walmart

    BlackRock plans to offer investment funds that exclude retailers which sell guns - as well as gun makers - following through on plans it outlined last month in the wake of the high school shooting in Florida.

    The world's largest asset manager will offer a new line of firearm-free products to big institutional investors and pension funds that track indexes such as the S&P 500.

    The world's largest asset manager also said two new exchange-traded funds would exclude gun makers and retailers, and add similar screens to existing stock and bond ETFs that already screen stocks for social, environmental and governance factors.

    Strong investor interest in the products in theory could weaken demand for shares of gun makers such as American Outdoor Brands Corp and Sturm Ruger, where BlackRock funds have large stakes, although it could take some time for clients to move enough money to make an impact.

    BlackRock has about $6 trillion under management.

  8. Switching off

    Chiltern Railways train passes Wembley Stadium

    In a bid to get passengers off their smartphones (and fancying a bit of free publicity no doubt), Chiltern Railways has held a yoga class on a train.

    Passengers were invited to join in with the yoga class and take part in other mindfulness activities such as adult colouring.

    Chiltern Railway's commercial director, Eleni Jordan, says taking time to switch off is a great benefit: "We wanted to create a space to promote mindfulness - where our passengers can sit back, reflect and re-energise."

    The class was held in collaboration with mental health charity Mind and Oxford University's mindfulness centre.

  9. Qatar Airways to fly to Wales

    Qatar Airways

    Qatar Airways is launching a new route flying direct from Cardiff to Doha from 1 May.

    The journeys will be flown using the Airbus A350-900 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

    Qatar Airways currently serves London Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham, and Edinburgh, with a new service to London Gatwick commencing on 22 May 2018.

  10. China complains to WTO about US trade tariffs

    US and Chinese flags

    China has filed an official complaint with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) over US President Trump's $50bn trade tariffs on Chinese imports of various goods, including machinery and electronics.

    China and the US now have 60 days to resolve their complaint, or they face litigation at the WTO from a neutral panel of arbitrators.

    In response to the US tariffs, on Tuesday China imposed $3bn in retaliatory tariffs on US exports, but it also warned that it would take other measures against the US.

    China's complaint claims that the US is violating provisions of existing WTO agreements that date back as far as 1948.

    The WTO was formerly known as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, and China was one of the original 23 countries that signed the agreement 70 years ago.

  11. It's us or no one, say Dolce & Gabbana

    Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana

    Italian fashion icons Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana want their fashion label to be shut down when they die, rather than being taken other by new designers.

    "Once we're dead, we're dead. I don't want a Japanese designer to start designing Dolce & Gabbana," Mr Gabbana, 55, tells Corriere della Sera.

    The two designers launched Dolce & Gabbana in 1985 and were a couple for 19 years, but have continued to work together after their break-up.

    Mr Dolce, 59, said that they had refused "every offer to buy the brand".

    "You can have all the money in the world, but if you are not free, what do you do? You don't go to the grave with a coffin stuffed with money," he said, admitting that he is so busy working that he "doesn't have time" to spend their fortune.

  12. 'A negotiation'

    Larry Kudlow

    The sharp rebound on Wall Street last night - which has continued into today - was apparently sparked by comments from President Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who said the administration is involved in a "negotiation" with China - but not a trade war.

    "The bounce on Wednesday was really quite impressive, especially as there was not much of a catalyst for the turnaround given that neither the US or China is backing down on tariffs and negotiations were always going to take place in the background," says Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at Oanda.

    As well as Boeing recovering some ground, shares in Caterpillar also rose more than 1% today.

  13. China 'unlikely to change'

    BBC World

    Claire Reade, the former assistant US trade representative for China Affairs, tells Talking Business that China is unlikely to change its trade practices - and the US government needs to consider solutions other than trade tariffs.

    View more on twitter
  14. Social media under investigation

    Facebook logo

    More on that investigation by the Information Commissioner's Office.

    Information commissioner Elizabeth Denham says it is looking at how "data was collected from a third party app on Facebook and shared with Cambridge Analytica. We are also conducting a broader investigation into how social media platforms were used in political campaigning."

    She adds: "Facebook has been co-operating with us and, while I am pleased with the changes they are making, it is too early to say whether they are sufficient under the law."

    A total of 30 organisations including Facebook are being investigated for their use of personal data.

  15. Micro Focus wins

    Micro Focus was the big winner on the FTSE 100 today, rising just over 8%, with Evraz and easyJet also among the top risers.

    The favourable sentiment extended to the mid-cap FTSE 250 as well, which rose 1.6%.

    The biggest gained was cyber security firm Sophos, up 15.5% after raising its forecasts.

    However it was not such a lucky day for Rank Group, which fell 15.7% after the bingo and casino operator warned on profits.

  16. Facebook probed

    Thirty organisations, including Facebook, are being investigated by the Information Commissioner's Office as part of its probe into the use of personal data and analytics for political purposes, the body has said.

  17. BreakingFTSE soars

    The FTSE 100 has jumped 2.3%, or 165 points, to 7,199 points as global markets bounce higher after fears of a US/China trade war recede.

    Frankfurt soared 3% and Paris added 2.6%.

  18. Going round in circles...

    baggage carousel

    Fancy buying a baggage carousel or an escalator? How about one of 2,000 security cameras - or maybe some 1950s artwork?

    All these things and more could be yours when the contents of Heathrow's Terminal 1 are auctioned off on 21 April.

    Daniel Gray, from auctioneers CA Global Partners, says "a sale comprising the entire contents and infrastructure of an entire major airport terminal is unprecedented".

    More here.