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Live Reporting

By Eleanor Lawrie and Simon Read

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Test Card

    That's it from Business Live for today.

    But we'll be back bright and early from 06:00 tomorrow morning.

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

  2. Driftwood angel sculpture to raise money for RNLI

    The statue will be placed on Exmouth beach  on 29 February to raise money for the RNLI
    Image caption: The statue will be placed on Exmouth beach on 29 February to raise money for the RNLI

    Finally, a sculptor has created a pleasing 6ft-tall statue of an angel made entirely from driftwood.

    Exeter-based artist Brendan Rawlings created the piece to help fundraise for the RNLI charity.

    The sculpture, hewed mostly from an old railway sleeper, weighs nearly 13 stone (80kg) and took a week to make.

    Mr Rawlings plans to tour the angel around beaches in Devon and Cornwall, where he collects the wood, starting in Exmouth on 29 February.

    He said he was inspired to create the sculpture after recalling a painting of an angel he had forgotten about for nearly a decade.

    "I was just lying in bed one night and it popped into my head... I thought that would look amazing in driftwood."

  3. WhatsApp claims two billion users

    People holding phones showing WhatsApp logo

    WhatsApp says it is now used by more than two billion people worldwide, marking a new milestone for the Facebook-owned messaging app.

    It is estimated that there are more than 7.5 billion people on the planet, which means WhatsApp is now used by more than a quarter of all people on Earth.

    In a blog post announcing the milestone, WhatsApp said strong encryption was a "necessity" in modern life.

    Some critics, such as children's charity NSPCC, say messaging encryption makes it harder for police to track down criminals sharing illegal images.

    The UK government outlined some of its plans to regulate tech giants on Wednesday.

  4. FTSE movers

    Troubled medical company NMC Health again led the FTSE 100 risers today, climbing 10.05% to 856.40.

    There were many gainers on the blue-chip index with Anglo American rising 4.73%, Antofagasta +3.86%, and Barratt Developments +3.48%.

    Tui lost the most ground, falling 4.77% to 921.60.

    Other losers included Ocado (-3.47%) and Imperial Brands (-1.76%).

  5. Deputy Governor warns over City Brexit deal

    City of London

    Britain is right to push for a permanent access deal for the City in Brexit talks, Sam Woods, deputy governor of the Bank of England and chief executive of the Prudential Regulation Authority, told a House of Lords committee today.

    He said the UK "should be concerned" about Europe's power to scrap so-called equivalence status.

    It comes after Chancellor Sajid Javid revealed plans earlier this week to demand a "permanent equivalence" in EU negotiations, calling for a long-lasting agreement on market access to financial firms from non-EU member states.

    However, the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has already poured cold water on UK aims for a long-lasting equivalence deal, telling MEPs in Strasbourg on Tuesday that Britons should "not kid themselves".

  6. BreakingLondon markets close

    Trader

    The FTSE 100 closed at 7,534.37 after climbing 34.93 points or 0.47%.

    Meanwhile the mid-cap FTSE 250 closed at 21,793.48, up 147.46 points or 0.68%.

  7. BA's Newquay flights more expensive than flying to Hong Kong

    Travel journalist Simon Calder got a shock when he tried to book BA's new flights to Newquay...

    View more on twitter
  8. Global stocks remain positive

    Euro markets figures

    Ahead of London markets closing in a few minutes it's worth looking at how Euro stocks have performed today.

    As the picture above shows, it's been positive across the board, with the main FTSE indices looking set to close with similar gains.

    Wall Street is remaining positive too with the Dow Jones currently up 0.64% on the day as traders bank on positive news about the coronavirus.

  9. Watch: EU ready for 'all different trade models' with UK

    Video content

    Video caption: EU ready for 'all different trading models' with UK

    In case you missed it, here's European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says whatever trade model the UK chooses has obligations as well as rights.

    She told the European Parliament that the EU was offering a unique trade deal but it would require a level playing field.

  10. Shoe firm run by generations of twins turns 100

    shoes
    Image caption: Northamptonshire cricketers Jack and Bill Denton founded DB Shoes in February 1920

    A shoe firm started 100 years ago by identical twin brothers is still going strong - under the helm of identical twin grandsons.

    DB Shoes, in Rushden, Northamptonshire, was founded by Jack Denton and Bill Denton on 11 February 1920.

    The company is now run by Jack's grandsons, David and Charles Denton, who helped rescue it in the 1990s.

    Charles Denton said: "It's in our blood. Shoes are part of our history. I'm extremely proud of that."

    Read more

    Jack's grandsons, David and Charles Denton, now run the firm in Rushden
    Image caption: Jack's grandsons, David and Charles Denton, now run the firm in Rushden
  11. Oxfam slams BP's 'shiny promises'

    Oxfam sign

    Back to BP and Oxfam's climate policy advisor Kiri Hanks is not at all convinced by new boss Bernard Looney's "transition to net zero".

    "BP appears to be using shiny net zero promises as a cover to continue extracting oil and gas," she warned, adding:

    Quote Message: If we are to prevent a climate catastrophe, companies like BP must commit to keeping fossil fuels in the ground and invest meaningfully in low-carbon technologies. BP is vague on the details of its plan, but it should not rely on using carbon offsetting schemes as a licence to continue polluting. Poorer countries should not be bribed to grow forests instead of food to enable business as usual in rich nations.
  12. BA plugs flight gap abandoned by Flybe

    British Airways tailfins

    British Airways has announced plans for direct flights from Newquay to Heathrow this summer, after troubled airline Flybe pulled out of the route.

    BA will operate five return flights a week from 2 July to 7 September.

    Flybe, saved from collapse by government help, is switching Newquay flights from Heathrow to Gatwick.

    BA said its service will not get a government subsidy, unlike Flybe's. However, Flybe said the services were not comparable.

  13. BP boss: 'This isn't going to be easy'

    BP refinery

    Back to BP where boss Bernard Looney has been speaking at the launch of his company's 'new purpose'.

    He outlined his plans, saying: "Providing the world with clean, reliable affordable energy will require nothing less than reimagining energy, and today that becomes BP's new purpose," he said. "Reimagining energy for people and our planet."

    "I recognise we are taking a lot on," he admitted. "This isn’t going to be easy but nothing worthwhile ever is."

    View more on twitter
  14. Coronavirus: Singapore bank evacuated after worker falls ill

    Cleaners
    Image caption: The common areas of the building such as lifts and toilets are being deep cleaned

    In other news, around 300 employees have been evacuated from Singapore's biggest bank, DBS, after one person fell ill with the new coronavirus.

    All 300 had been working on the same floor, the 43rd, and were sent home on Wednesday.

    Singapore had previously reported 47 cases of the new virus, one of the highest tallies outside China.

  15. BreakingWall Street hits fresh record highs

    Wall Street

    The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrials hit record highs minutes after the open on Wednesday on signs that the coronavirus outbreak is slowing in China.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 130.41 points, or 0.45%, at the open to 29,406.75.

    The S&P 500 opened higher by 12.75 points, or 0.38%, at 3,370.50.

    The Nasdaq Composite gained 49.66 points, or 0.52%, to 9,688.60 at the opening bell.