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  1. US stock markets open lower
  2. Inflation stays at 3%
  3. Sterling rises, FTSE 100 struggles
  4. Thomas Cook resumes Tunisia flights
  5. Call for energy bill price cap

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

Tim Cook is 'not a fan' of special dividends

Apple chief executive Tim Cook
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Anyone hoping for a nice big windfall if Apple decides to repatriate some of its $285bn overseas cash pile might be disappointed.

There has been much speculation that Apple could bring some of that money back to the US following the country's recent tax changes.

However, at Apple's annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday, Mr Cook said: "Special dividends, I'm not really a fan of.

"But in terms of annual increases in the dividend, it is something that this board and management are committed to doing."

US markets close up

US stock market traders
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The US markets ended Tuesday in positive territory after trading began in the red.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.16% at 24,640 points.

The S&P 500 was up 0.26% at 2,663 points, and the Nasdaq was up 0.45% at 7014 points.

That Marmite question...

Virgin Atlantic in Palestinian couscous row

Virgin Atlantic
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Virgin Atlantic has found itself at the centre of a social media row after removing the word Palestinian from an in-flight meal following complaints.

A couscous-style salad had been described on a menu as "inspired by the flavours of Palestine".

Pro-Israel social media users called for a boycott of the airline, saying it pandered to Palestinian supporters.

However, the airline's decision to remove the terms sparked a fresh backlash from Palestinian sympathisers.

Read more here.

Macron full of praise for ECB president

Mario Draghi
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Emmanuel Macron doesn't care what nationality the next president of the European Central Bank is - as long as they are as competent as the current chief Mario Draghi (pictured).

Mr Draghi, an Italian, isn't going anywhere just yet - his term runs until October 2019.

But it's nice to know he has the confidence of the French president.

Love in the digital age

BT Sport to pay more per match

Premier League Football
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BT Sport is paying £9.2m per football game under its new broadcasting deal with the Premier League.

This compares to £7.6m per match in its existing agreement.

The company said: "BT has remained financially disciplined during this process and remains in a strong position to make a return on this investment through subscription, wholesale, commercial and advertising revenues, especially following the acquisition of EE, which more than doubled BT's customer base."

Wall Street reverses earlier falls

Wall Street
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US stock markets have reversed earlier falls and are now trading ahead.

Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 81.70 points at 24,682.97.

The S&P 500 is up 9.07 points at 2,665.07 while the Nasdaq is 32.91 points ahead at 7,014.87.

How the Premier League deal breaks down

More on the Premier League auction.

BT Sport will pay a total £885m to broadcast 32 football matches per season on Saturday with kick-off at 12.30pm between 2019/20 and 2021/22.

Under its previous agreement with the Premier League, BT paid a total £960m over three years to show 42 games per season.

Sky Sports is paying a total £3.5bn to screen 128 matches per season under its new deal.

Its rights include 32 games on Saturday beginning at 5.30pm.

Last time, Sky paid a total £4.1bn to show 126 matches per season.

'Status quo' reaches ceiling in games auction

Chelsea v West Bromwich Albion
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Chelsea's N'Golo Kante and Matt Phillips of West Bromwich Albion battle it out at Stamford Bridge

Paolo Pescatore, vice president in multiplay and media at CCS Insight, says: "As we predicted, there was only one likely scenario, the status quo."

BT and Sky have agreed to pay £4.4bn to screen 160 Premier League games per season over three seasons.

There are a total 200 matches for broadcast with two packages of 20 games each still being bid on.

In the last auction, BT and Sky paid £5.1bn to show 168 games.

Mr Pescatore says: "Despite more games being available, the Premier League has failed to maximise its prized asset. This suggests that there is clearly a ceiling that consumers are willing to pay for watching Premier League games and subsequently what providers’ are willing to bid for.”

Premier League raises £4.4bn from broadcasting rights

BT Sports
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The Premier League says it has so far raised £4.4bn from auctioning off five of the seven broadcasting rights packages to BT Sports and Sky Sport.

It says that there are two live packages still to be sold "with interest from multiple bidders".

Premier League executive chairman Richard Scudamore, says: "To have achieved this investment with two packages of live rights remaining to sell is an outcome that is testament to the excellent football competition delivered by the clubs."

BreakingBT and Sky win Premier League UK live broadcasting rights

The Premier League has announced that BT and Sky have won five of the seven live broadcasting rights packages up for auction for seasons 2019/20 – 2021/22.

More details to follow....

US weighs up tariffs on imports

Donald Trump says he is considering a range of options to address steel and aluminum imports that he said are hurting US producers.

The US President said: "What we're talking about it tariffs and/or quotas.

"Part of the options would be tariffs coming in. As they dump steel, they pay tariffs, substantial tariffs, which means the United States would actually make a lot of money."

All about inflation

'Dollar Signs' 1980- 1982 by Andy Warhol,
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Economists are expecting US inflation to show a rise of 0.3% in January when new data is announced on Wednesday.

In December, the rise was a modest 0.1% and for the 12 months it reached at 2.1%.

Mike Terwilliger, portfolio manager at the Resource Credit Income Fund, says: "After years of pronouncing inflation 'dead,' the market is now suddenly focused on and dreading inflation, which of course was at the cornerstone of this most recent period of market volatility."

Watch: The robot that can open doors

Is this a delightful toy?

Or a terrifying glimpse into a bleak future where robots dominate mankind?

You decide.

Boston Dynamics' latest SpotMini robot opens doors
A lorry crosses the Irish border

John Campbell

BBC News NI Economics & Business Editor

A study produced for the Irish government suggests the country's economy would take a 7% hit.

Read more

The problem with confidentiality agreements

Financial Times journalist Madison Marriage details her experience at the Presidents Club dinner

More news on the Presidents Club scandal.

The Financial Times, which broke the story in January, reports that the agency which originally hired women to work at the charity dinner in London has told them they can disregard a confidentiality agreement they signed if they want to report criminal behaviour to the police.

It is a distinct change of tack from the message these women were given before the event at the Dorchester Hotel.

Oil falls on supply/demand imbalance

US oil industry
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Oil prices fell after the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA) said that supply could outstrip demand in 2018.

Brent crude is down 0.5% at $62.30 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate is off 0.9% at $58.77.

The IEA lifted its forecast for oil demand growth to 1.4 million barrels per day from previous expectations of 1.3 million.

However, it said that growing output, particularly in the US, could outweigh demand.

It said: "Today, having cut costs dramatically, US producers are enjoying a second wave of growth so extraordinary that in 2018 their increase in liquids production could equal global demand growth."

London markets close lower

The FTSE 100 has ended Tuesday down 9.05 points at 7,168.01.

The FTSE 250 is also lower at close, off 59.25 points at 19,320.08.

Ten gigabit home broadband tested in UK

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Broadband speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) have been tested in a home in the former Olympic village in east London.

Broadband operator Hyperoptic conducted the test, claiming it is the first time such speeds have been brought to a UK home using an existing ISP network rather than a dedicated line.

Firms are now looking to roll out full-fibre technology in the UK.

Ofcom boss Sharon White said higher speeds were becoming more necessary.

Read more here.

US reciprocal tax risks a 'dangerous spiral'

Donald Trump
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The Federation of German Industries has warned that the US risks causing a "dangerous spiral" if it goes ahead with Donald Trump's plan to implement a "reciprocal tax" on imports from countries that levy tariffs on US products.

Its president Dieter Kempf told Reuters: "If the USA raises customs barriers, it could lead to a dangerous spiral. Instead of thinking about penalties and new trade barriers, we should further extend transatlantic trade and investment relations."

US markets trim falls

Wall Street
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average has trimmed its early trading fall but it remains in negative territory, down 76.74 points at 24,524.53.

The Nasdaq is now down just 4.35 points at 6,977.61 while the S&P 500 is off 6.04 points at 2,649.96.

Xerox-Fujifilm deal row escalates

Xerox's share price has taken a knock as the row over a decision to merge with Japan's Fujifilm heated up.

Darwin Deason, a major shareholder in Xerox is suing the print technology group to stop the complex merger with Fujifilm.

Meanwhile, Xerox has hit back at an open letter from Mr Deason and activist investor Carl Icahn - also a shareholder in the company - saying that the deal with Fujifilm is the best path for the business after it examined other alternatives.

Xerox is down 1.7% at $29.44.

Watch: 'All talk' from Trump on trade

Aaron Klein, policy director of the Centre on Regulation and Markets at the Brookings Institution has some advice for US President Donald Trump...

View more on twitter

Pound up on dollar and euro

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The pound is holding up against the dollar on Tuesday afternoon.

Sterling is now up 0.4% on the greenback at $1.38930 and is also 0.4% ahead on the euro at €1.12410.

US Fed 'gradually normalising rates'

More from Jerome Powell who is taking part in a ceremonial swearing-in as the chairman of the Federal Reserve.

He graciously thanks his predecessors Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke, adding: "While the challenges we face are always evolving, the Fed's approach will remain the same.

"Today, the global economy is recovering strongly for the first time in a decade. We are in the process of gradually normalising both interest rate policy and our balance sheet with a view to extending the recovery and sustaining the pursuit of our objectives."

View more on twitter

Fed will keep 'essential' financial regulation gains

Jerome Powell
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The new chairman of the Federal Reserve says that he will preserve "essential" improvements in regulation put in place since the financial crisis.

Jerome Powell said the central bank would "preserve the essential gains in financial regulation while seeking to ensure that our policies are as efficient as possible. We will remain alert to any developing risks to financial stability".

Not in the clear yet

That didn't last long.

After a brief period of stock market gains, the Dow Jones, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq are all trading lower on Tuesday.

"We saw an impressive rebound yesterday, but by no means are we in the clear," says Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital.

The next couple of days will be key for the markets, particularly on Wednesday when new inflation figures will be released.

If inflation is stronger than expected, it could mean a faster rise in interest rates.

Mr Bakhos adds: "I expect a continued stream of volatility, driven by uncertainty among investors with fears of accelerating rates. I don't think that's going away any time soon."

Shares jump for revitalised Under Armour

Under Armour cleets
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2017 was a bit of an annus horribilis for US sportswear maker Under Armour - its share price plunged after it was forced to cut its annual outlook more than once in an increasingly competitive market.

This year, however, is much more positive. Sales for the fourth quarter and the full-year have stabilised, sending its share price up 17.99% on Tuesday.

Under Armour chairman and chief executive Kevin Plank said: "After years of rapid growth and building a globally recognised brand, the dynamic landscape of 2017 was a catalyst for us to begin strategically transforming Under Armour into an operationally excellent company.

"A year into this journey, our fourth quarter and full year results demonstrate that the tough decisions we're making are generating the stability necessary to create a more consistent and predictable path to deliver long-term value to our shareholders."

BreakingUS markets open lower

Stock market traders
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average has fallen 145.45 points to 24,455.82 within seconds of opening trade on Tuesday.

The S&P 500 is also down, off 10.97 points at 2,645.03 and the Nasdaq is down 27.35 points at 6,955.35.

Thomson Reuters boss hospitalised

Jim Smith, the boss of Thomson Reuters, the news and data giant, has been hospitalised and chief financial officer Stephane Bello will take charge in his absence.

Thomson Reuters said Mr Smith was taken to a Toronto hospital on Monday "after feeling unwell" and remains under observation at the hospital.

Mr Smith recently agreed to sell a majority stake in Thomson Reuters's financial and risk business to private equity firm Blackstone Group, valuing the unit at $20bn.

Born to be patient?

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Bikers aren't exactly getting their motors running at the moment - which is why the boss of Harley-Davidson is asking its shareholders for some patience.

They'll need it.

In its most recent results, Harley-Davidson's fourth quarter sales were marginally ahead but full year revenue was down. The largest drop, however, was in net income while worldwide sales of bikes fell 6.7% in 2017 compared to the previous 12 months, with the biggest fall in the US.

Harley Davidson chief executive Matt Levatich tells Reuters that he wants the motorcycle-maker to be a "customer-creator" by growing areas such as its learn-to-ride academies at showroom.

"Mindset shifts are not something that happen overnight," he says: "But that's very much core to the 10-year strategy for the company."

Watchdog 'must learn lessons from tragic GRG saga'

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The Federation of Small Businesses says that the Financial Conduct Authority must "learn lessons from the tragic GRG saga".

The Treasury Select Committee has ordered the regulator to publish its report into RBS's Global Restructuring Group (GRG) and its treatment of small businesses.

The Federation of Small Businesses says: “Victims have been left waiting far too long to see its findings. Hundreds of small business owners who had their lives destroyed by GRG are still waiting on compensation. This report could help secure the redress they’re due. In any case, the truth is the very least they deserve.

“The FCA should learn lessons from this tragic saga. The Treasury Committee is right to say it “lost control” of this investigation."

Welsh fishing fleet demands Brexit help

Fishermen in Wales fear losing their businesses unless they get help with Brexit.

The Welsh Fishermen's Association told BBC Wales that ministers needed to be planning a potential system of subsidies if fish exports were hit by tariffs and delays after Brexit.

It claimed fishing businesses would "go to the wall" otherwise, with big implications for Welsh coastal communities.

Read the full article

Fishing boat on Llŷn peninsular

Shell fishing fleet wants Brexit help

Fishermen in Wales fear "going to the wall" unless they get help with Brexit.

Read more

A million companies start workplace pensions

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More than a million employers have now enrolled their staff into a workplace pension, The Pensions Regulator has reported. It said the scheme has led to around 9.3 million people so far saving into a pension.

Former Pensions Minister Steve Webb, now director of policy at insurer Royal London, said it was "a huge milestone" but that the government needs to "get savings levels up to more realistic levels as quickly as possible."

Contribution levels to auto-enrolled company pensions start increasing in April and Mr Webb warned: "We urgently need a plan to get people beyond the 8% minimum contribution planned under existing legislation."

China's HNA sells off $2bn of land

HNA logo
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China's cash-strapped HNA has agreed to sell off two land parcels in Hong Kong worth 15.96bn Hong Kong dollars ($2.04bn; £1.47bn) to developer Henderson Land.

The airline-to-finance behemoth has been looking to sell off assets, or raise financing against them, in an attempt to replenish its coffers.

Last week, the conglomerate cut its stake in Deutsche Bank, and in January it sold off an Australian office block to the US Blackstone group for $166m.

The sale of the two land parcels, located at Hong Kong's former Kai Tak airport site, is expected to go through on 14 February.

HNA bought the land in 2016.

Pepsico loses fizz

Pepsi model
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Higher sakes in PepsiCo's snacks business made up for the fizz going out of soft drink sales in the last three months of 2017.

The Gatorade, Tropicana juices and Mountain Dew maker said sales at its Frito-Lay division rose 5%, but the North American beverages business fell 3% as consumers continue to shun sugary drinks.

Revenue rose slightly to a better than expected $19.5bn, but the company posted a net loss of $710m following a $2.5bn one-off tax charge.

Pepsico posted a $1.4bn profit for the same quarter in 2016.

Billionaire bets

BBC business editor Simon Jack tweets about Ray Dalio's hedge fund:

View more on twitter

Market update

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Sterling is just above $1.39, up about 0.5% today, after the inflation figures earlier stoked expectations of an interest rate rise as soon as May.

The FTSE 100, meanwhile, is still in positive territory, but only just - up less than 10 points at 7,186.

Severn Trent is the biggest faller on the FTSE 100, down 2.7%, while WPP is the biggest riser, up 2.8%.