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Summary

  1. Tesco reveals return to sales growth
  2. Premier Foods shares crash as McCormick walks away
  3. US coal giant Peabody files for bankruptcy protection
  4. JPMorgan profits hit by bad loans to shale oil firms

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    The livepage has to finish earlier than usual, but we'll be back from 6am tomorrow. Please join us then.

  2. FTSE 100 finishes 1.9% up

    FTSE 100 graph

    The FTSE 100 closed 1.9% higher at 6,362.99 points, led by mining and banking shares, as strong Chinese export data helped to subdue concern over growth in the world's second-largest economy. Oil and gas shares also rallied, as Brent crude remained over $44 a barrel. 

    Anglo American was the FTSE 100's biggest riser, up 11%. Tesco closed 7.79% down after disappointment over its latest profits figures.

  3. Grand Theft Auto developer sues Rockstar

    Grand Theft Auto picture

    One of the driving forces behind video game series Grand Theft Auto is suing its developers for $150m (£105.62m). Leslie Benzies, a former president of Edinburgh-based game developers Rockstar North, is claiming unpaid royalties in a US court.

    Mr Benzies, 45, claims he was effectively forced out of the company last year. Rockstar, which is controlled by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc, said his claims were "entirely without merit". Read more here.

  4. Steel demand 'unlikely to recover before next year'

    A recovery in steel demand is unlikely before next year, an industry group says, owing to a slowdown in the Chinese economy and weakness in manufacturing. The forecast comes as the industry is hit by a collapse in prices, the fear of cheap Chinese steel flooding markets, and the social impact of cutbacks to production. "The economic environment facing the steel industry continues to be challenging with China's slowdown impacting globally," says TV Narendran, who heads the economics committee of the World Steel Association.

  5. It's all up (mostly)

    BBC personal finance correspondent tweets:

  6. Illegal gold mining a 'grave and mounting concern'

    Africa's biggest gold producer AngloGold Ashanti says it has "grave and mounting concerns" about illegal mining at its Obuasi mine in Ghana, which has been idle since 2014 when the company laid off thousands of workers. 

    Reuters quotes Eric Asubonteng, general manager of AngloGold Ghana, as telling a news conference on Wednesday that "Illegal miners have been looting large quantities of high-grade gold bearing material for more than two months. In the process they are causing significant damage to critical infrastructure".

  7. FTSE 100 market update

    The trading day just gets worse for Tesco. Shares in the supermarket extended falls and are down 7.34%. Mining stocks are doing well, though, on the back of positive economic news from China. Anglo American continues its recent recovery, and the shares are up another 8.38%.

    With just over 30 minutes to go before the close, the FTSE 100 is 1.56% ahead.

  8. Tesco needs to get shoppers spending more in-store

    Shopper outside Tesco store
    Quote Message: It's great that profits are up but they're only making 0.3p for every pound being spent at its tills in Tescos. Previously that could have been as high as 8p in every pound, so it's a fraction of what they made previously. They've really got to drive more people into their stores, get them to spend more when they're in the stores and get them to buy more when in store to really increase volume and transaction numbers. That's the only way they're going to get back to something approaching their (heyday) figures. from Paul Thomas Senior consultant, Retail Remedy
    Paul ThomasSenior consultant, Retail Remedy
  9. Institute of Directors 'concerned' about BP pay

    Bob Dudley

    Business lobby group the Institute of Directors has voiced concern about the pay package for BP chief executive Bob Dudley (above). Several investors and advisory groups have recommended a vote against the oil giant's remuneration report at BP's annual meeting tomorrow.

    IoD director-general Simon Walker says: “It is rare that the IoD intervenes on the subject of an individual chief executive’s pay. We are concerned, however, that Mr Dudley’s £14m pay package will seem unjustified to many shareholders, considering the performance of the company over the last 12 months.

    "BP is not a badly run company, and its current woes are common to other firms in the sector. Nevertheless, the UK Corporate Governance Code is clear that pay should be tightly linked to performance and that targets should be stretching and rigorously applied. Should the pay package be approved, it could send the wrong message to investors and other boards. We therefore urge all shareholders to scrutinise the pay deal of Mr Dudley very closely.

    “If his pay deal is approved, but with a significant minority voting against, the BP board must explain how it will engage with this group of shareholders – they cannot and should not be ignored.”

  10. Wall Street heading higher in early trading

    US stocks are rising in early trading, led by gains in banks after JPMorgan Chase posted results that weren't as bad as analysts' anticipated. 

    JPMorgan shares were up 3.4% in the first few minutes of trading. Bank of America rose 3% and Wells Fargo climbed 2%.

    The Dow Jones index was up 135 points, or 0.8%, to 17,856. The S&P 500 added 12 points, or 0.6%, to 2,074, and the Nasdaq rose 38 points, or 0.8%, to 4,910.

  11. US retail sales and producer prices fall

    Ford cars

    US retail sales fell in March as households cut back on purchases of cars and spending in restaurants, the Commerce Department says. Sales fell by 0.3% in March, following a flat reading in February. In a separate report, the Labor Department said its producer price index slipped 0.1% last month after dropping 0.2% in February. 

    The two reports are further evidence that the US economy has stumbled in the first quarter, and will fuel the debate over the timing of any Federal Reserve interest rate rise.

  12. IMF financial stability report

    Here's a link to the IMF's Global Financial Stability Report. And if you're quick, you can also watch the live press conference here as well.

  13. IMF: 'Fragile confidence, weaker growth'

    More from the just-released IMF report on global financial stability. The organisation is particularly worried about potential rising borrowing costs for indebted countries seen as at risk of default.

    "If the growth and inflation outlooks degrade further, the risk of a loss of confidence would rise. In such circumstances, recurrent bouts of financial volatility could interact with balance sheet vulnerabilities.

    "In such circumstances, rising risk premiums may tighten financial conditions further, creating a pernicious feedback loop of fragile confidence, weaker growth, lower inflation, and rising debt burdens," the IMF says.

  14. IMF: risks to global financial stability rise

    IMF HQ in Washington DC

    The International Monetary Fund has warned the risks to global financial stability have increased. 

    The IMF says in a report just published that the increased risk in developed countries reflects setbacks to economic growth. 

    In emerging economies, declines in commodity prices have affected financial stability. Uncertainty about China's economic performance is also a factor. 

    The report follows a wider warning on Tuesday from the IMF about the general global economic outlook.

  15. VW drives down bonuses

    VW badge on car

    Bonuses for top managers at Volkswagen will be cut "significantly" as the German car maker said it needed to send a signal on executive pay following the emissions scandal. 

    The cut would apply to its management board, a group of executives that helps the chief executive run the company. 

    However, the supervisory board -  the German equivalent of a board of directors - would not be affected, except for chairman Hans Dieter Poetsch who has asked for a cut.

    The company didn't give any figures and said that details will be released in its annual report to be published on 28 April.    

  16. Steel demand slows

    Steel

    Global steel demand will fall again this year as China's economy continues to slow, before stabilising in 2017, the World Steel Association said today. 

    "Apparent steel use" (catchy phrase that) is expected to fall 0.8% in 2016 to 1.488 billion tonnes after a 3% fall last year, according to Worldsteel. 

    Its director-general, Edwin Basson, said: "While we are forecasting another year of contraction in steel demand in China, slow but steady growth in other regions including NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement countries) and EU is expected." 

  17. LA LA land...

    Think London property prices are out of control? Take a look at this 10 bedroom monster in California... 

    The 38,000 sq ft property has a wine room, not one but two infinity pools and the plot of land was once owned by Barbra Streisand. Her old house was knocked down about 2000. 

    View more on twitter
  18. Coal giant Peabody files for bankruptcy

    BBC World Service

    Peabody sign on St Louis HQ

    The world's largest privately owned coal producer, Peabody Energy, has filed for bankruptcy protection in the US.  

    The move follows a sharp fall in coal prices due in part to falling demand in China and other emerging markets. 

    Peabody chief executive Glenn Kellow said filing for protection would allow the company to reduce its debt and strengthen liquidity. 

    Analysts say Peabody failed to anticipate the boom in shale gas and underestimated concern about climate change and pollution.  

  19. Shale loans hit JPMorgan profits

    JPMorgan

    JPMorgan Chase, the biggest US bank by assets, reported a 6.7% fall in quarterly profit as costs to cover possible bad loans to troubled shale oil companies rose and revenue from trading and investment banking declined. 

    Net income fell to $5.52bn in the three months to 31 March, down from $5.91bn in the same period last year. Total revenue fell 3% to $24bn - slightly better than expected, while revenue from fixed-income trading - often JPMorgan's most volatile business - fell 13.4% to $3.6bn.