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Summary

  1. Miners and supermarkets drag down FTSE 100
  2. Construction PMI grows at slowest rate for almost three years
  3. Sainsbury's reports slide in annual profits
  4. Next warns on profits following poor sales
  5. Shell first quarter profits down 83% to $814m

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    That's all from Business Live for today - thanks for reading. We're back tomorrow at 06:00 so do join us then. 

  2. Fitbit sales soar on new launches

    Fitbit

    Fitbit revenues rose 50% to $336.8m  for the three months to 2 April following strong demand for its Blaze smartwatch and Alta wrist band. 

    However, profit fell $4.6m to $11m due to higher sales and marketing costs for the two launches.

  3. Tesla losses widen

    Tesla

    Tesla Motors said it was on track to deliver 80,000 to 90,000 electric cars this year and that it would produce 500,000 vehicles in 2018 - two years sooner than expected. 

    Net losses widened to $282.3m for the quarter to 31 March from $154.2m a year earlier. Revenue rose to $1.15bn from $939.9m.

  4. Fox profits fall

    Twenty-First Century Fox, owner of cable channels including Fox News as well as the Twentieth Century Fox movie studio, reported a 5.7% rise in quarterly revenue as advertising sales and affiliate fees rose. 

    Revenue, excluding the sale of Fox's direct broadcast satellite TV businesses, rose to $7.23bn in the three months to 31 March.

    However, net profit fell from $975m to $841m (£580m) for the same period last year.  

  5. Wall Street ends lower

    US stocks declined for a second day on Wednesday, weighed down by tepid data on private sector employment and a retreat in biotechnology shares. 

    The Dow Jones industrial average fell 0.56% to 17,651 points, the S&P 500 lost 0.6% to 2,051 points and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.8% to 4,725 points. 

  6. Playtime

    Excellent use of the word "whimsical" by the Wall Street Journal here, I am sure you will agree. And what a snip at $95,000 too! By the way, 1,200 sq ft is about twice as big as many flats in London.

    View more on twitter
  7. Sun sets for the New Day

    New Day

    Trinity Mirror is expected to announce the closure of the New Day, the print title it set up in February, on Thursday ahead of the company's annual meeting. The Spectator reports that the small number of staff on the paper have been told.

    The 25p title has struggled to sell anywhere near the number of copies that chief executive Simon Fox had hoped and a plan to increase the cover price to 50p was never put in place.

  8. Poacher turns gamekeeper...

    Uber station

    Uber has signed up a number of top advisers including Neelie Kroes, the former European competition commissioner, for its new public policy advisory board, the Financial Times reports.

    The move by the taxi-booking service is an attempt to help it negotiate regulatory and political opposition around the world. Ms Kroes was a vocal advocate of Uber when she was in office. 

    “Uber needs to communicate in a very different way," she tells the FT. "They have to take into account that there are still differences in culture. Don't think that everybody is attacking you.”  

  9. Tesla shares fall on departures

    Tesla

    Shares in Tesla have fallen more than 4% after Bloomberg reported that two top manufacturing executives are leaving the electric car maker. 

    Greg Reichow, Tesla's vice-president of production, and Josh Ensign, vice-president of manufacturing, will leave.

    Tesla will report quarterly results after the market closes in less than 90 minutes.

  10. US economy 'to grow 1.7%'

    The US economy is on track to grow by a 1.7% annualised rate in the second quarter, down a touch from its estimate of 1.8% on Monday, Atlanta Federal Reserve's GDPNow forecast model showed on Wednesday. The drag from a decline in non-residential equipment investment grew to minus 1.4% from an earlier minus 0.6%, while the change in private inventory investment fell in the wake of Wednesday's report on factory orders in March, the Atlanta Fed said.   

  11. McDonald's shares sizzle

    McDonald's

    Top riser on the Dow today is McDonald's, whose shares have jumped by more than a third in the past 12 months. The fast food chain has been doing rather well of late on the back of initiatives such as all-day breakfast.

    The stock earlier touched a record high of just over $130 a share.

    McDonald's now has a market cap of $114bn (£78bn). That's a lot of burgers.

  12. New York markets fall

    Wall Street is lower as poor corporate results and disappointing jobs figures added to concerns about the health of the global economy. The ADP private sector employment report showed hiring in April fell to its lowest levels in three years.

    The Dow Jones industrial average was down 0.6% at 17,646 points, the S&P 500 shed 0.6% to 2,049 points, while the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.7% at 4,723 points.

  13. BreakingUS confirms wider Takata recall

    Takata

    US regulators have ordered Japan's Takata to recall between 35 million and 40 million airbag inflators installed in American cars. 

    The decision comes after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration concluded that the inflators were prone to ruptures that have been tied to 11 deaths worldwide, and adds to nearly 29 million Takata airbags already recalled. 

  14. Cameron steel warning

    David Cameron

    The UK's steel industry would face severe challenges if Britain was not a member of the European Union, David Cameron has told MPs. "I don't think it would be a good future for steel," the prime minister said. 

    Much UK-made steel was sold within the EU's single market, and could be subject to tariffs if the country was outside that market, Mr Cameron said. 

  15. €500 note to end in late 2018

    More from the ECB's statement on the €500 note:

    "It has decided to permanently stop producing the €500 banknote and to exclude it from the Europa series, taking into account concerns that this banknote could facilitate illicit activities. The issuance of the €500 will be stopped around the end of 2018, when the €100 and €200 banknotes of the Europa series are planned to be introduced. The other denominations – from €5 to €200 – will remain in place."

    The €500 note will also continue to be legal tender.

  16. BreakingECB axes €500 note

    500 euro note

    The European Central Bank said it will stop producing and issuing the €500 euro note. The move follows claims that the note has been used by criminals to launder large amounts of money.

  17. Why banks need bonuses...

    Standard Chartered

    Standard Chartered chairman John Peace said the bank would risk a staff exodus if it cut bonuses. 

    A shareholder asked him at the bank's annual meeting why its bonus pool had only been trimmed by 20% for 2015, while dividend payouts fell 83%. Mr Peace responded: "All I can say is if we were not to pay a bonus pool to junior staff and to managers who are highly marketable, we would not have a company." 

    But what if all banks took similar action simultaneously - would that be called collusion? Answers on a postcard please. 

  18. FTSE sinks again

    Another bad day for the FTSE 100, with Randgold Resources crashing 11.7% and Sainsbury's closing down almost 6.3%. The blue-chip index fell 1.2% to 6,112 points, with Next the biggest riser, up 5.3%. 

  19. Bye bye multibuys?

    BBC Radio 5 Live

    Colletta Smith

    5 Live business presenter Colletta Smith has been in Sale talking to shoppers about supermarkets reducing the number of special offers in favour of lower prices to compete more effectively with discount stores. 

    Figures from Nielsen today show that 29% of money spent in supermarkets last month was on promotions - its lowest level since 2009. Sainsbury's has also announced today it will phase out most of its multi-buy deals by August. 

    Dr Amna Khan, specialist in retail & customer behaviour at Manchester Metropolitan University, says: "They're changing their behaviour because they find that the discount retailers have a simpler offer. Retailers have offered the multi-buys traditionally, which are quite complex for the consumers to understand and they don't always offer the best value for money."