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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Oil soars almost 2% on Saudi drone attack
  3. Virgin Mobile down for thousands of customers
  4. Disney to take control of Hulu
  5. Government prepares for British Steel collapse
  6. UK average weekly earnings rose by 3.3%
  7. The UK's unemployment rate fell to 3.8%
  8. WhatsApp hit by hackers

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

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

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

  2. Ryanair boss to scale back on horse racing

    Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary

    Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary has announced that he intends to phase out his horse racing team.

    According to the Irish Independent, Mr O'Leary is currently one of the most successful owners in Irish racing, and his announcement has come as a shock to many in the industry.

    Mr O'Leary said he will not be purchasing any more young horses, and aims to gradually phase out the Gigginstown House Stud operation over the next four or five years.

    In January, Ryanair cut its profit forecast blaming lower-than-expected air fares, and in February, Ryanair reported a third quarter loss of €19.6m (£17.2m).

  3. Bitcoin price surges over $8,000

    Bitcoin

    In case you missed it - today the crypto-currency Bitcoin saw its value surge to over $8,000.

    On top of that, the digital currency has seen its value jump by over 60.8% in the last month.

    The price of Bitcoin reached its peak in November 2017, when it hit $19,000, after which it began to fall steadily.

    In December it fell to below $5,000 for the first time since its peak.

    No one knows exactly why the virtual currency has seen its value suddenly surge, but Tech Crunch has some theories, if you're interested.

  4. Wall Street ends higher

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares have ended higher, as investors regained optimism after President Trump made reassuring comments that talks between the US and China over trade were still on-going, and there had been merely "a little squabble".

    At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was at 25,532.05, a rise of 207 points or 0.82%.

    The S&P 500 was at2,837.85, that's 26 points or 0.92% higher.

    And the Nasdaq Composite finished at 7,734.49, up 87 points or 1.14%.

  5. Northern Ireland technology firms attract Scottish investment

    A man holding a pen

    A Scottish venture capital firm has invested in two Northern Ireland technology companies.

    Par Equity has taken a £2m stake in Plotbox in partnership with Ironbridge Capital.

    Plotbox, based in Ballymena, County Antrim, makes cemetery management software.

    Meanwhile Par Equity has co-invested with Kernel Capital to take a £1.2m stake in Belfast-based data analytics firm Datactics.

    Read more here

  6. Sleepwalking mum 'overdosed and spent £3,000' while asleep

    Video content

    Video caption: Sleepwalking Basildon mum overdosed and spent £3,000 while asleep

    A mother-of-three said she overdosed on medication while pregnant and spent £3,000 on internet shopping, all during her sleep.

    Doctors discovered Kelly Knipes, from Basildon in Essex, would repeatedly stop breathing through the night, forcing her brain to partially wake and cause her to sleepwalk.

  7. Why the WhatsApp spies may have eyes on Iran

    people holding up phones

    Time to join some dots.

    The WhatsApp hack, "sabotaged" oil tankers, the push in the US to proscribe the Muslim Brotherhood and "plans" to deploy American troops to the Gulf are all strands of the same story. At its heart is the struggle between Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    The Israeli army is unique in that it forms the backbone of many industrial enterprises in Israel.

    That's because the bonds formed during national service last a lifetime there.

    It is the singular most important time in a young person's life - way more formative than the university years.

  8. Oil prices jump on drone attack

    Saudi Aramco

    Oil prices rose by almost 2% on Tuesday, after Saudi Arabia said explosive-laden drones had attacked facilities belonging to the country's state oil firm Aramco.

    The drones were sent out by a Yemeni-armed movement aligned to Iran, the Saudi Arabian government said.

    The terrorist attack saw drones strike two oil pumping stations in the country.

    Brent Crude oil futures are now up 1.8% at $71.52 a barrel, while the West Texas Intermediate is now up 1.4% at $61.91 a barrel.

  9. Wall Street soars

    New York Stock Exchange

    Wall Street shares have soared, after US President Donald Trump said that talks with China had not collapsed, and the US-China trade war was merely "a little squabble".

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now up 325.5 points or 1.3% to 25,650.50, led by Visa, which has climbed 2.5% to $161.29.

    The S&P 500 is 39 points or 1.4% higher to 2,850.53. Top of the winners is video game company Electronic Arts, which has jumped 5.5% to $95.37.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 115.2 points or 1.5% ahead to 7,762.30, led by Electronic Arts, followed by Rockstar Games owner Take Two, which has soared 5.5% to $95.43.

  10. Metro Bank hopes to unveil fresh funding

    Simon Jack

    BBC Business Editor

    Metro Bank

    Metro Bank is hoping to announce it has secured hundreds of millions of pounds in additional investment after close of business on Wednesday.

    The BBC understands a combination of existing and new investors have agreed to back the troubled bank.

    However, it is not clear at what price the new shares will be sold and how much of the bank the new investors will own.

    The value of the existing shares has plummeted 80% over the last year.

    They fell by more than 40% in just one day in February when the bank announced it would need to bolster its finances after miscalculating the size of its cushion against losses.

  11. Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary site purchased

    Seals

    The site of a former visitor attraction in Oban has been bought by a company that manufactures marine and aquaculture equipment.

    The Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary was shut down in October, almost 40 years after it first opened.

    The operator blamed a decline in visitor numbers at the attraction for the move.

    Gael Force Fusion, part of Inverness-based Gael Force Group, plans to make fish farm equipment at the site.

  12. Work under way on new mustard factory

    Jar and tin of Colman's Mustard

    Work has begun on building a processing plant to keep part of Colman's Mustard production in Norfolk.

    The factory will help produce mustard for Colman's parent company Unilever, which is due to close its Carrow Works site in Norwich after 160 years.

    The new plant at Honingham, near Norwich, means local farmers will retain their links with the firm.

    Mustard grower Michael Sly said the decision to build a Norfolk factory had been "very important" for them.

  13. Jobs lost as Scottish IT firm collapses

    Hutchinson Networks website

    A Scottish IT firm has collapsed with the loss of nearly 100 jobs.

    Administrators were called in to Dalkeith-based Hutchinson Networks Ltd on Monday after it got into financial difficulties.

    A total of 94 of the company's 109 employees were made redundant with immediate effect.

    The remaining staff have been retained to run services for customers while administrators explore a sale of the business and assets.

  14. Cow & Gate in baby food recall

    Cow & Gate Cheesy Broccoli Bake baby food

    Cow & Gate is urgently recalling a batch of baby food sold in major supermarkets as it may contain fragments of rubber.

    The company said small pieces of a thin blue rubber glove had been found in some jars of its Cheesy Broccoli Bake.

    A recall notice was issued by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) which said the product may be "unsafe to eat".

    Cow & Gate said the product "does not pose a health risk", but "does not meet our usual high quality standards".

  15. London ends higher

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended higher, due to enthusiam for mining stocks combined with positive UK jobs and earnings figures.

    The FTSE 100 closed 78 points or 1% ahead to 7,241.60, led by Spirax-Sarco Engineering, which climbed 4.4% to £84.15. The steam management systems manufacturer announced the completion of its acqusition of French rival Thermocoax on Monday.

    The FTSE 250 ended 240.5 points or 1.3% up to 19,367.42. Top of the winners was Greggs, which soared 15% to £20.60 after reporting its fourth rise in profits in five months and upgrading its full-year expectations.

  16. Bring your own lunchbox to work

    A shop employee hands out a sandwich

    You might only be grabbing a sandwich, crisps and maybe a cake and coffee, but that unremarkable weekday lunch can produce four or more items of waste.

    That adds up: the UK's lunch-on-the-go habit is creating nearly 11 billion pieces of packaging every year, says environmental campaign group Hubbub.

    Their solution? More packed lunches.

    But if you do buy lunch, take your own container to the shop and ask them to fill it, the charity suggests.

  17. British Steel seeks loan for 'Brexit issues'

    British Steel's Scunthorpe plant

    British Steel has said it is seeking further financial support from the government to help it address "Brexit-related issues".

    It follows reports the company needs a loan of up to £75m to keep trading in the coming months.

    The UK's second largest steel firm employs 4,500 people, and about 20,000‎ indirectly via its supply chain.

    The company said "uncertainties around Brexit are posing challenges for all businesses including British Steel".

  18. Windfall for Richer Sounds staff

    people outside a store

    More than 500 staff at Richer Sounds are in line for a £3.5m windfall after the retail chain's boss handed them a 60% stake in the business.

    Julian Richer, who founded the business in 1978 when he was 19, said the "time was right" to give employees the stake as he had turned 60.

    The shares will be placed in an Employee Ownership Trust.

    Each of the 522 employees will pick up £1,000 for every year at the firm, giving an average payout of £8,000.

  19. Start-up helps the unbanked shop online

    Woman shopping online

    British start-up PiP iT has linked with the Post Office to give 1.6 million unbanked UK access to online shopping for the first time.

    The Sheffield firm has built an online payment platform which helps customers spend cash digitally.

    Shoppers receive a code from online stores and can then pop into one of the UK’s 11,500 Post Offices with the cash to complete their order.

    PiP iT’s co-founder Ollie Walsh, said: “We’re targeting those people who have been denied the benefits of the online revolution."