Opening Bell: Ryanair growth takes off, Snapchat's billions, Scotland's new Brexit warning

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Snapchat's IPO has been a big hit on Wall St - its shares opened selling for $24 after being initially priced at $17.

The company raised some €3.2bn selling 200 million shares.

This will be one of 2017’s most closely-watched IPOs - the floatation is the most successful tech offering since Facebook’s in 2012.

It struck a hit with young users with its disappearing messaging function and has grown to become a social network and platform for publishers.

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Theresa May will use a visit to Scotland to tell Nicola Sturgeon to stop playing politics with Brexit and also condemn the Scottish National Party's record in government on education.

In a speech at the Scottish Tory conference in Glasgow, the Prime Minister will say "politics is not a game" and accuse the SNP of neglecting schools because of its obsession with independence.

But the First Minister has already hit back, claiming her attempts to reach a Brexit compromise have been met by a "brick wall of Tory intransigence."

There is growing speculation that a second Scotish independence referendum will be announced after Ms May triggers Article 50.

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Ryanair had a load factor of 95% last month - meaning that for every 100 available seats 95 were sold.

8.2 million people flew with the Irish airline in Feburary - that's 800,000 more than 2016.

Total traffic during January and February was 14% higher than last year - 119.1 million people have already flown with the company.

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A new Investec Services PMI shows that business activity continued to increase at a fast rate last month.

The headline index hit 60.6 - slightly below the 61.0 registered last month, but well above the 50 growth threshold.

The New Business and New Export indexes registered strong growth, firms have also continued to take on new staff.

 

Additional reporting IRN