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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Sainsbury's shares slide as deal with Asda in trouble
  3. Lloyds announces share buy-back
  4. US wants China to avoid currency devaluation
  5. Laura Ashley warns on profits

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

    That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Thursday.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis.

  2. Wall Street ends slightly higher

    New York Stock Exchange

    Wall Street stocks edged higher on Wednesday after Federal Reserve minutes further signaled the US central bank's dovish posture on monetary policy.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 0.2% higher at 25,954.44 points, while the S&P 500 also gained 0.2% to 2,784.70.

    The Nasdaq edged up less than 0.1% to 7,489.07.

  3. Just Eat deal?

    just eat driver

    Cat Rock is keeping up its pressure on food delivery company Just Eat, after saying on 11 February it wanted the company to seek a merger with a rival.

    The fund manager says it is "encouraged" to hear that other investors had also urged the board to consider a deal.

    "Since we sent our open letter on 11 February, we have spoken with many Just Eat shareholders and have been pleased to see strong support for our proposals," said Alex Captain, founder of Cat Rock.

  4. Rights groups call for Japan justice reform after Ghosn

    carlos ghosn

    Human rights groups are calling on Japan to reform its justice system, as the detention of ex-Nissan boss Carlos Ghosn stretches into its fourth month.

    The International Federation for Human Rights and Japan's Center for Prisoners' Rights (CPR) criticised the country's lengthy pre-trial detention of suspects.

    Mr Ghosn was arrested on 19 November and faces three charges of financial misconduct.

    Center for Prisoners’ Rights Maiko Tagusari said the denial of Mr Ghosn's right to a lawyer during interrogation and his prison conditions "expose some of the serious failings that have characterised Japan's criminal justice system for too long."

    Read more on Japan's 'hostage justice' system

  5. Disney, Nestle pull ads from YouTube, say reports

    Google bought YouTube for $1.65bn (£1.28bn) in 2006

    Disney, Nestle, Dr. Oetker and several other brands have pulled their ads from YouTube, after it was revealed that comments on the video-sharing website are being used to facilitate a pedophilia ring, Bloomberg is reporting.

    Nestle, Dr. Oetker and Epic Games confirmed that they had postponed their ad spend on YouTube after their ads were chosen to play before certain videos of young girls engaged in activities that could be construed as sexually suggestive, such as doing gymnastics or posing in front of a mirror.

    Sources who did not wish to be named told Bloomberg that Disney too had decided to withhold its ad spend.

    Video blogger Matt Watson posted a clip on 17 February showing that comments were being used to identify these videos, and once you clicked on one video, YouTube's algorithms were likely to recommend you several more videos.

    His video has been viewed over 1.7 million times in the last four days.

    YouTube said it took "immediate" action to disable the comments, accounts and channels, and to report illegal activity to the authorities, after being made aware of the problem.

  6. Salmon farms raided as part of EU competition probe

    A salmon fishing farm

    Raids have been carried out at several salmon farming sites in Scotland in connection with an EU-wide probe into alleged illegal cartels.

    Officials visited offices in Shetland, Stirling and Fife amid concerns they may have violated anti-trust rules.

    The European Commission (EC) has said the investigation is at a preliminary stage.

    One of the companies raided, Grieg Seafood, denied wrongdoing and said it would co-operate with the inquiry.

  7. Trump threatens to slap tariffs on EU

    US President Donald Trump

    US President Donald Trump has just held a press conference at the White House where he answered questions on a number of political topics.

    Among other things, he said he would be looking to impose tariffs on automobiles imported from the European Union, if the bloc would not agree to a new trade deal.

    “If we don’t make the deal we’ll do the tariffs,” Mr Trump told reporters.

    “We’re trying to make a deal. They’re very tough to make a deal with, the EU.”

  8. Tesla customers complain about deposit refunds

    Tesla Model 3

    Tesla customers have told Bloomberg that they are struggling to get refunds on deposits paid for the Model 3 automobiles they pre-ordered.

    Disgruntled customers say Tesla's customer service leaves much to be desired, and many still have not got their deposits back.

    Others say it can take up to a year to get a refund, which arrives by cheque, which some US banks are not willing to accept without charging an additional transaction fee to process.

  9. Fed minutes: Little risk from halting rate rises

    US Federal Reserve

    Minutes from the latest US Federal Reserve policy meeting show that policymakers felt there was very little risk to halting interest rate rises.

    Instead, the Fed felt this would give it time to assess the effects of a global slowdown and how rate rises so far have effected the US economy.

    "Many participants suggested that it was not yet clear what adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate may be appropriate later this year," the minutes said.

    "Several of these participants argued that rate increases might prove necessary only if inflation outcomes were higher than in their baseline outlook."

    Policymakers also felt that it would be good to stop reducing the bonds on its balance sheet before the end of 2019.

  10. BreakingSamsung launches foldable Galaxy smartphone

    The Samsung fold offers 3 app multitasking
    Image caption: The Samsung fold offers 3 app multitasking

    South Korean smartphone maker Samsung has launched a foldable Galaxy smartphone - the Galaxy Fold - and its first 5G handset.

    The Galaxy Fold opens up to create a 7.3in (18.5cm) tablet-like display and is able to run up to three apps at once.

    The handset is set to launch on April 26 and will start at $1,980 (£1,515). Samsung described it as being a "luxury" item.

    And the Galaxy S10 5G device is a 5G-enabled smartphone that also has the firm's biggest-ever non-folding phone display.

    Samsung also launched two other smartphones - the Galaxy S10 and the Galaxy S10e, which is a lower-cost model that comes with lower specifications.

  11. French appeals process could take years, says UBS

    UBS logo

    The chief executive of UBS has told staff in a memo that it could take years before the appeal process of the French court verdict ordering UBS to pay $5bn for aiding tax evasion is complete.

    "The case will now be transferred to the Court of Appeals which will hear the trial again in full. This process is expected to take several years," he said in the memo seen by Reuters and confirmed by a bank spokeswoman.

    "The superficial nature of the verdict is astounding and does not even pretend to address the arguments we presented during the five weeks of the trial. This will need to be covered by the appeals court."

  12. Hard border warning over no-deal Brexit

    Border between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

    The UK's former ambassador to the EU has warned there will be a hard border in Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

    Sir Ivan Rogers was giving evidence to the Lords EU Committee.

    He said that if a hard Irish border was to be avoided in a no-deal scenario, there would instead have to be a border in the Irish Sea.

    Another possibility could be a border between Ireland and the other countries of the EU, he said.

  13. Facebook introduces location data block

    Background location settings on Facebook

    Facebook has introduced a new feature to its Android mobile app that enables users to choose whether they want data on their locations to be collected when they are not using the app.

    In the past, people who chose to use the feature Nearby Friends had also automatically enabled Location History, but now you have the choice to turn it off, and Facebook is asking Android users to check their app settings to see if they had done so in the past.

    For iOS users, nothing is changing for now, but Facebook says it intends to send out a similar alert to all users who have turned on Location History in the past to take another look at their settings.

  14. Could Huawei threaten the Five Eyes alliance?

    5G Huawei logo

    In the shiny, optimistic vision of the future we will all be living in "smart cities" in which self-driving cars will check the best routes after being charged up on intelligent, connected power grids.

    Public services and safety will be carefully managed though data, while devices in our homes will talk to each other and the wider world as part of the "internet-of-things".

    Many of these services will be delivered over what is called 5G. It will be much more than just faster data on our phones, but potentially transformational for our lives - if you believe the hype.

    But there is a darker fear as well. What if it is also transformational for our security if we end up reliant on a Chinese company to deliver this future?

  15. The most innovative company in the world

    Who’s the world’s most innovative company?

    BBC News interviews Fast Company magazine about the list they published on Wednesday.

    View more on twitter
  16. Glencore woes abound in trading update

    Glencore sign

    In case you missed it, the latest earnings results for Swiss commodity trading and mining firm Glencore reveal that the company is facing several obstacles right now.

    For one, the miner has been pressured into cutting the amount of coal it produces, due to environmental concerns from the shareholders, including the Church of England, which owns a stake worth just under £10m in the company.

    HM Revenue and Customs has also been on the prowl - Glencore admitted that it owes $680m in diverted profits and permanent establishment taxes for the period from 2008 to 2017, and that it had not provisioned for the amount.

    As explained by the FT, HM Revenue and Customs uses the diverted profits tax to detect and prevent profit shifting by large corporations, while permanent establishment tax determines whether a company's UK offices are liable to be taxed.

  17. Trump tells California to return rail funds

    Trump gestures after speaking on border security at the Rose Garden
    Image caption: Mr Trump has frequently been at-odds with the more liberal state

    President Donald Trump has continued to escalate tensions with California by calling on the state to return billions in federal funds for a high-speed rail.

    His administration plans on cancelling $929m (£711m) in grants for what Mr Trump has called a "failed" project.

    These federal funds account for a quarter of the California rail project.

    Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom called it "political retribution" for the California-led lawsuit against Mr Trump's national emergency declaration.

  18. London closes ahead

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended slightly higher, as stocks rallied after mid-day, lifted by positive mining and Lloyds Bank earnings results.

    The FTSE 100 closed 49.5 points or 0.7% higher to 7,228.62, led by Scottish energy services firm John Wood Group, which rose 5.8% to 542.8p after Bank of America analysts gave its stock a "buy" rating.

    The FTSE 250 ended 133.1 points or 0.7% ahead to 19,202.03. Top of the winners was Tanzanian gold mining company Acacia Mining, which jumped 12.8% to 253.8p following reports the firm has settled its tax dispute with the Tanzanian government.

  19. Want to buy a paper mill?

    Stoneywood paper mill

    Administrators trying to find a buyer for an Aberdeen paper mill which employs hundreds of people say there have been a number of inquiries.

    The future for nearly 500 workers at the Arjowiggins Stoneywood plant was plunged into doubt last month ago after its parent company failed to sell it.

    FRP Advisory said there had been several inquiries for the Creative Papers division of Arjowiggins Group.

    This includes the Stoneywood paper mill.

    A spokesman said efforts were continuing to market the business for sale, and to ensure the business was trading as efficiently as possible.