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Summary

  1. Sainsbury's quarterly sales rise
  2. Eurostar profits hit by Paris terror attacks
  3. Nightclub entry and CD-Roms removed from inflation basket
  4. Call to kick-start HS3 rail link
  5. Oil prices slide as Iran rejects cap deal

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    That's all from us on the Live Page for another day. Join us from 6am tomorrow, when we might have one or two things to say about something called the Budget.

    Goodnight.

  2. Driverless tech 'far from ready' says robotics expert

    model of autonomus car

    A US robotics expert has warned against a rush towards widespread deployment of self-driving cars, saying they are "absolutely not" ready. The director of Duke University's robotics program, Missy Cummings, told the Senate's commerce committee the cars aren't yet able to handle driving in bad weather, including standing water, drizzling rain, sudden downpours and snow. 

    General Motors and Google officials say they're concerned that a patchwork of state and local laws regarding self-driving cars will hinder deployment. They want federal regulators to speed up rules to help get the vehicles on the road.   

    But Ms Cummings says driverless cars aren't equipped to follow a policeman's directions. She also says it's relatively easy for hackers to take control of the GPS navigation systems of self-driving cars. Privacy of personal data is another concern, she says.

  3. Wall Street closes flat

    Wall Street was broadly flat in a second straight day of quiet trading as investors cautiously awaited news from the US Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting. 

    The Dow Jones ended up 22.4 points, or 0.13%, at 17,251.53, the S&P 500 lost 3.71 points, or 0.18%, to 2,015.93, and the Nasdaq dropped 21.61 points, or 0.45%, to 4,728.67.

    Healthcare was the worst-performing sector, dropping 1.6%. Valeant Pharmaceuticals  plunged 51.5% after the drugmaker cut its 2016 revenue forecast and flagged the risk of defaulting on its debt.

    Apple shares climbed 2% after Morgan Stanley said March iPhone demand was tracking ahead of expectations. Apple was the biggest riser on the S&P 500.

  4. Oracle revenues fall

    Oracle posted a 3.4% fall in quarterly revenues, hurt by a stronger dollar and weak sales of its traditional database software products. Net income fell to $2.14bn in the third quarter ending 29 February, from $2.50bn.

  5. Asia leads global office rental rates league

    Six of the ten most expensive cities for office rentals are in Asia, and Hong Kong sits at the top. The list was compiled by Jones Lang Lasalle's Premium Office Tracker. JLL's Neil Prime tells Fergus Nicoll where else comes out on top, and why.

    Video content

    Video caption: Six of the ten priciest cities for office rentals are in Asia, with Hong Kong on top.
  6. Wall Street largely unchanged

    US stocks are largely unchanged in late afternoon trading, with traders saying that investors are staying on the sidelines until the Fed's Open Markets Committee finishes its latest two-day meeting.

    The Dow Jones was flat at 17,229 points, while the broader Standard & Poor's 500 index lost six points, or 0.3%, to 2,013. The Nasdaq index fell 19 points, or 0.4%, to 4,731. 

  7. US easing of Cuba rules could be a big hit

    The US has further eased trade and travel sanctions against Cuba days ahead of Barack Obama's historic visit to the nation.   It will now be easier for Americans to travel to Cuba by themselves - as opposed to having to visit in a group tour - for educational and business reasons.

    The new measures also expand the Caribbean country's access to US financial institutions and the US dollar, and widens the ability of Cubans living in the US to earn a salary.

    The latter might allow top Cuban baseball players to now earn a living in the US's Major League Baseball without having to defect to do so. 

  8. Walt Disney plans new Indiana Jones film

    Scene from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

    Walt Disney says that director Steven Spielberg and actor Harrison Ford will return for a fifth installment of "Indiana Jones," due for release in theaters in July 2019. The new untitled film will come 11 years after the last installment, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."  

  9. Forex probe: 'a few relieved traders'

    After the SFO ended its investigation into the forex market, Prof Mark Taylor says: 

    Quote Message: "I’m not really that surprised. They needed cast iron evidence of collusion. Obviously it’s not strong enough to test in court. I don’t blame the SFO if they didn’t have the evidence. I’m sure there are a few relieved traders out there, to be honest. People might say there is an issue in that people got away with it, but they are innocent until proven guilty. It’s time to move on. It would tarnish the reputation of the City more to have this dragged out over the next year or so." from Mark Taylor Dean and Professor of Finance at Warwick Business School, former adviser to the Bank of England’s Fair and Effective Markets Review, and ex-forex trader.
    Mark TaylorDean and Professor of Finance at Warwick Business School, former adviser to the Bank of England’s Fair and Effective Markets Review, and ex-forex trader.
  10. Toy collection fetches £46,000

    Flash Gordon toy made in 1939

    A collection of almost 1,000 tinplate and plastic robots, flying saucers and rockets has fetched £46,000 in one of the biggest auctions of its kind. Toy specialist auctioneers Vectis sold the collection built up over 40 years by a couple from the North East. 

    Top item was a rare six-inch 1939 Japanese Lilliput Robot which sold for £2,280 despite not having its original hands. 

    A Vectis spokeswoman said: "Interest in the collection was evident right from the start with many buyers turning up in the auction room, or booking telephone bids, but it was the internet that saw the most action.

    "Bids were coming thick and fast from across Europe and the USA, with many bids coming from right here in the UK."

  11. FTSE 100 closes down

    The FTSE 100 closed 0.6% down at 6,139.97 points, pulled lower by a fall in mining stocks and a gloomy economic outlook from the Bank of Japan. Miners Anglo American and BHP Billiton were among the big fallers as copper prices weakened, while shares in Antofagasta fell 4.5% after the company cancelled its final dividend. Royal Bank of Scotland managed to outperform, however, advancing 1.5% after Goldman Sachs upgraded RBS to "buy" from "neutral".  

  12. Sports Direct 'plans response' to summons from MPs

    Mike Ashley

    Sports Direct says it will respond "in due course" to a summons from MPs that founder Mike Ashley appear before the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee.

    Earlier today, the committee formally requested that Mr Ashley appear to answer questions about treatment of staff at the UK's biggest sportswear retailer.

    The committee said it "reserves the right to take the matter further" if Mr Ashley does not agree to attend the 7 June hearing.

  13. Drilling reversal 'could become a US election issue'

    More on the Obama administration's reversal of a proposal to allow oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean off the cost of Virginia, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. 

    The National Ocean Industries Association has warned that the decision could become an election issue.

    "If the Atlantic is taken out, that means there's less of an opportunity to invest in the US, and those dollars will flow overseas, and we'll hear more and more of that in the presidential election,'' said NOIA president Randall Luthi.

    The US Interior Department estimates there are 3.3 billion barrels of recoverable oil on the Atlantic's outer continental shelf and 31.3 trillion cubic feet (almost 1 trillion cubic meters) of natural gas. But energy industry experts say the reserves may be far greater.   

  14. FTSE 100 heading for loss

    The FTSE 100 looks like heading for a trading loss today. With less than 30 minutes to go, the index is still down about 0.5%, with miners the big fallers. Anglo American is 10.8% lower. 

  15. Apple to file fresh defence in US iPhone row

    Ted Boutrous

    Apple plans to file a fresh response today to the US government's demand that it unblocks an iPhone used by one of the San Bernadino killers. 

    Ted Boutrous, Apple counsel, told Bloomberg TV that the filing would focus on "history and law" to show that the demand was unwarranted.

    He said claims last week by the Department of Justice that Apple had helped China breach iPhone security were "wrong and misleading". He added: "They don't seem to understand the technology they are asking Apple to degrade."

  16. Alibaba to train 'a million teenagers in rural China'

    Alibaba sign

    E-commerce giant Alibaba plans to train a million teenagers in rural China to help start their own online businesses, according to the official Xinhua news agency. The report said Alibaba has reached an agreement with the China Communist Youth League to support the youngsters through funding, training and partnership.

    Xinhua said Alibaba's internet finance arm Ant Financial will invest 1bn yuan ($154m) to support college graduates who want to return to their home towns to start businesses.

  17. US reverses Atlantic oil plan

    In a policy reversal, the Obama administration says it will not allow oil drilling in the Atlantic Ocean. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the administration's next five-year offshore drilling plan "protects the Atlantic for future generations".

    The announcement reverses a proposal made last year in which the administration floated a plan that would have opened up a broad swath of the Atlantic Coast to drilling.

    The Interior Department said the latest decision responds to strong local opposition.

  18. Fraud office closes probe into forex market

    UK fraud investigators have closed their investigation into possible fraud in the foreign exchange market, saying they have insufficient evidence to prosecute. The Serious Fraud Office began investigating in July 2014 after material was passed to it by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    "This decision follows a thorough and independent investigation lasting over one and a half years and involving in excess of half a million documents," the SFO said in a statement.

    "The SFO has concluded, based on the information and material we have obtained, that there is insufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction," the SFO said.