... * FTSE 100 drops 1.7 percent. * Posts largest quarterly gain since fourth quarter 2013. * Imperial, BAT down on U.S. merger concern.
The economy grew at its fastest pace since 2006 last year according to revised official figures that showed growing exports helped boost performance in the final quarter.
Royal Dutch Shell has received the go-ahead from the US government to restart a controversial oil exploration campaign in the Alaskan Arctic despite fears over the risk to the environment.
The billionaire investor, Warren Buffett, has said he would not raise interest rates if he was in charge of the US Federal Reserve.
Another one bites the dust. Earlier this week the Royal Bank of Scotland announced that Rory Cullinan, the head of the UK lender's investment banking arm, was stepping down.