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Live Reporting

Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Thanks for tuning into Business Live. We'll be back at 6am sharp, hope to see you then.

  2. Music shops will survive, says Fender boss

    Guitar player

    Fans of the high street have been given a boost this morning by the boss of guitar brand Fender.

    Andy Mooney, chief executive of the American firm which made guitars used by rock greats from Jimi Hendrix to Pink Floyd's David Gilmour, said musical instrument shops will survive because customers need to interact with the product.

    "For a guitar, a lot of consumers will not commit to buying unless they physically pick it up," he said. "Because how it fits in your hand, how it sounds through the amplifier of your choice, is really important."

  3. 'Almost half of female economists' have faced harassment

    Almost half of female economists have experienced gender discrimination, Bloomberg reports, quoting a survey from the American Economic Association.

    According to the research, which polled 9,000 AEA members, 48% of women reported unfair discrimination based on sex and 22% experienced bias for their marital status or care-giving responsibilities.

    Assaults by other economists or students were also reported by 85 members while 179 said they experienced attempted assaults and 405 encountered unwanted attention from peers.

    “Many members of the profession have suffered harassment and discrimination during their careers, including both overt acts of abuse and more subtle forms of marginalisation. This is unacceptable,” wrote AEA president Ben Bernanke, president-elect Janet Yellen and past president Olivier Blanchard in a letter to members.

  4. Wall St finishes higher

    Wall Street has closed higher thanks to strong gains from petroleum companies and banks which helped to offset another drop in Boeing shares.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3% to close the session at 25,914.10. The S&P 500 added 0.4% to end at 2,832.94, while the Nasdaq rose 0.3% to 7,714.48.

  5. Revellers blowing more than ever on a night out

    Revellers

    How much do you spend on a night out?

    The average amount revellers splash out is rising, according to a report which monitors changes in the evening and late night business sector.

    Spending in January to March was £69 a night, up 15.5% on the £59.49 total a year ago.

    The quarterly index is published by Deltic, which owns 53 clubs and bars.

    Deltic boss Peter Marks said given the pressures on UK retailing it was "fantastic, and perhaps surprising, to see so many Britons feel positively about... local leisure offerings".

    Spending on food was up 11.7% at £16.20, spending on drinks in venues up 10.3% at £19.25, and spending on transport up 32.1% at £12.02.

  6. Latest trade agreement a 'milestone', says Fox

    British businesses will be able to trade freely with Iceland and Norway if the UK leaves the European Union without a deal under a new agreement announced by Liam Fox.

    The International Trade Secretary said the agreement, which is subject to final checks before it is expected to be signed next week, was a "major milestone" in the Brexit preparations.

    It will replicate the existing European Economic Area agreement (EEA) as far as possible, the Department for International Trade said.

    Dr Fox said: "Combined with the agreement we have already signed with Liechtenstein and Switzerland, it accounts for close to half of the trade we're seeking continuity for.

    "This is good news for British businesses and a major milestone in getting the UK ready for Brexit, no matter the terms of our withdrawal. I expect to formally sign this agreement shortly and others to follow soon after."

  7. Goldman Sachs unveils plan to boost female hires

    Goldman Sachs logo

    Goldman Sachs has released a raft of new policies aimed at boosting the number of women working for the company.

    Primarily, the investment bank said it would extend its goal of 50/50 recruitment to cover analysts and entry-level associates. Previously it had only committed to ensuring 50% of all of its college recruits were female.

    In a memo to staff on Monday, Goldman boss David Solomon added: “Experienced lateral hiring has been an important part of the firm’s growth. However, it has also been a significant contributor to the dilution of our diversity at more senior levels and we need to address this,” he added.

    "We will hold business unit heads accountable for working to ensure an inclusive environment and to progress the goals that we have described."

    In 2017, figures from Goldman showed that while almost 38% of its US workforce were women, that ratio fell to 21.6% in the most senior category of employees, and to 28.8% in the second most senior layer.

  8. Warner Bros chairman steps down following report

    Kevin Tsujihara

    Warner Bros chairman and chief executive Kevin Tsujihara has resigned from one of Hollywood's most powerful studios following a report that he improperly helped an actress obtain roles at the studio.

    "It is in the best interest of WarnerMedia, Warner Bros, our employees and our partners for Kevin to step down as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros," WarnerMedia boss John Stankey said in a statement.

    Mr Tsujihara's departure the studio, which is owned by AT&T, follows a 6 March report in the Hollywood Reporter that an actress had sought his help in landing roles after they had sex.

    The report included text messages between Mr Tsujihara and the actress. Mr Tsujihara's attorney said at the time that the executive did not have a direct role in the hiring of the actress in any movie.

  9. US stocks in the green

    Wall Street is in positive territory, but only just.

    The Dow Jones share index has gained 0.1% to 25868.55 points, while the S&P 500 is up 0.2% at 2829.12 points.

    The tech heavy Nasdaq is also up 0.2% at 7702.51 points.

  10. Brazil’s stock market hits record high

    Daniel Gallas

    BBC South America business correspondent

    Brazilian stock exchange

    Brazil’s benchmark iBovespa index hit 100,000 points this afternoon, a record high.

    So far iBovespa – which reflects Brazil’s 65 most traded stocks – is up 13% this year. But when adjusted for inflation, the stock market performance is still below the 2008 peak.

    After two years of severe recession followed by two years of sluggish growth, many analysts have suggested Brazil could be one of the fastest growing emerging markets this year.

    However, there are questions hanging over its economic recovery. It is unclear whether the new untested government will be able to approve economic reforms, and whether the proposed changes will be enough to kick-start growth in the economy.

  11. Norwegian Air chairman to step down

    Norwegian Air plane

    The chairman of ailing low-cost carrier Norwegian Air has said he will step down in May.

    Bjorn Kise, 69, who will resign after the company’s annual general meeting, said: “It hasn't been an easy decision, but after 25 years on the board, many of which as chairman, I am confident that this is the right decision.

    "I have now reached an age where it is time to make room for new forces.”

    Norwegian has been hit by a series of challenges over the past year, including sustaining heavy financial losses and most recently seeing its fleet of Boeing 737 Max 8s grounded after the Ethiopian Airlines crash.

  12. What happens next in Boeing investigation?

    Theo Leggett

    BBC Business News Reporter

    Crash investigators

    French and Ethiopian regulators have found “clear similarities” between the loss of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 and the Lion Air crash in which 189 people were killed last year.

    The next step will be to carry out a proper analysis of the contents of both flight recorders. It is impossible to say how long that will take, as every investigation is different.

    Nor is it clear who will carry out the analysis. Ethiopia could ask the BEA to do it, could use its own experts, or request help from another agency altogether. However, the authorities there have promised a preliminary report within 30 days.

    That could well give a reasonable indication of what happened to ET302. It may help to show whether the aircraft was brought down by technical failures, design flaws, pilot error or a combination of all three.

    But the question of why it happened and who was ultimately at fault may take much longer to answer. The full investigation could take years.

  13. Boeing: French investigators find crash 'similarities'

    Crash scene

    Investigators examining black box recordings from the doomed Ethiopian Airlines flight have found "clear similarities" with a previous crash.

    Last week's crash of a Boeing 737 Max was the second disaster involving the aircraft type in five months.

    The French BEA accident authority did not detail the similarities, but media reports suggested they found similar flight angles before the crashes.

    It comes amid continuing questions over 737 Max's design and vetting to fly.

    Read more

  14. FTSE 100 closes up

    The London market has closed higher, aided by sterling’s slide and a jump in mining stocks.

    The UK index rose 70.91 points to 7,299.19 points, marking a 1% rise for the day. That took the index to its highest closing level in five months.

  15. Are things looking up for Interserve?

    Oil worker

    Outsourcing firm Interserve, which was rescued from administration by its lenders over the weekend, says it has secured £76m in new business with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

    It will work on a range of offshore and gas processing projects for ADNOC, which holds the seventh-largest proven reserves of oil in the world.

    Control of Interserve, which has 68,000 staff globally, was moved to a new company after shareholders rejected a rescue plan for the business.

    The lenders who are now in control include banks RBS and HSBC, and investors Emerald Asset Management and Davidson Kempner Capital.

    Managing director Andrew Beaney said the Abu Dhabi contract wins would "contribute to Interserve’s continued growth and success within the oil and gas industry".

  16. What does Bercow decision mean for Brexit?

    Connor Campbell of Spreadex says: "Given that the Prime Minister is going to have a time of trying to get a vote past Bercow, the pound appears to be reacting poorly to the removal of one of the more favourable Brexit options, i.e. the successful passing of May’s deal.

    "It now seems that the government will have to ask the EU for a significant extension, with the bloc reportedly set to offer a nine-month delay; that the extension wouldn’t be even longer is perhaps another source of anxiety for the pound."

  17. Iconic Brazilian football stadium back in public hands

    Daniel Gallas

    BBC South America business correspondent

    Maracana stadium

    Brazil’s iconic Maracana stadium - which hosted the 1950 and 2014 World Cup finals - will be again run by the government of Rio de Janeiro, it was announced on Monday.

    Rio de Janeiro’s governor Wilson Witzel cancelled the contract with Consorcio Maracana - a group of Brazilian private companies which included Odebrecht, a conglomerate involved in numerous corruption scandals in Brazil.

    Earlier this month Rio de Janeiro’s state assembly announced its intention to investigate the contract saying there were signs of mismanagement and corruption.

    The management of Maracana stadium went into private hands in 2013 after a long and expensive refurbishment ahead of the 2014 Fifa World Cup. Last year the former governor of Rio de Janeiro Sergio Cabral was sentenced to 12 years in prison, accused of manipulating bids and over inflating contracts for the stadium.

    The private group that manages Maracana said in a statement that it was “surprised” by the governor’s decision. The decision will come into effect from 17 April.