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Live Reporting

Bill Wilson

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    That is all from the Business Live page for tonight. 

    See you all bright and early tomorrow from 6am.

  2. Wall Street closes largely unchanged

    US shares were largely unchanged at close on Tuesday,  ahead of first-quarter earnings season.

    The benchmark Dow Jones rose 39.03 points, or 0.19%, to 20,689.24, the wider S&P 500 gained 1.32 points, or 0.06% to 2,360.16 and the teach-based Nasdaq added 3.93 points, or 0.07%, to 5,898.61

  3. UN agency laments US funding cuts

          A mother nurses her newborn at the maternity ward of the Kailahun Government hospital on April 26, 2016, eastern Sierra Leone

    United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned a US decision to withdraw all funding to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) could have "devastating effects" on vulnerable women and girls around the world,

    UNFPA is an agency that promotes family planning in more than 150 countries.

    In total $32.5m (£26m) in funds is being withdrawn for the 2017 financial year.  

    The state department said the UNFPA "supports or participates in the management of a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilisation". It specifically mentioned China.

    The Trump administration is looking to cut the US financial contributions to the UN and this is the first agency to be affected.

  4. Overwatch 'cheat-maker' told to pay $8.6m to Blizzard

    Blizzard game

    The developer of the hit video games World of Warcraft and Overwatch has successfully sued a company that sold "cheat" tools for its titles.

    California court ordered  German firm Bossland to pay $8.6m (£6.8m) to Blizzard for 42,818 counts of copyright infringement.

    Blizzard had argued that Bossland had reverse-engineered and otherwise altered its games without permission.

    It follows related court rulings in the UK and Germany.

    Bossland had attempted to have the US case dismissed, but did not defend itself in court,  according to the news site Torrentfreak .

  5. Dimon on US banks

    Jamie Dimon

    Perhaps not coincidentally, Jamie Dimon, the boss of the big US bank JP Morgan has backed up President Trump's call for US banking regulations to be cut back.

    In a 17,349-word letter to his shareholders, Dimon says regulations on bank reserves and mortgage lending have left banks with "too much capital" which could more usefully be lent to borrowers.

    He says that banks are no longer "too-big-to-fail" and that "taxpayers will not pay if a bank fails".

  6. Light, cameras, action... new Scottish film studio

    Pentland Studios

    Scotland's first purpose-built film and TV studio is to be created outside Edinburgh after the Scottish government approved the plans in principle.

    It is hoped the vast Pentland Studios development will help attract more feature films and high-end TV productions to the country.

    The privately-funded project had been mired in a planning wrangle for the past two years.

    Its backers now believe the studio can be operational by the end of next year.

    The studio, which will feature six huge sound stages, will be built on about 100 acres of greenbelt land at Old Pentland Farm in the Straiton area.

    The decision to approve the plan in principle overturns a  previous recommendation by a Scottish government reporter , who said permission should be refused.

  7. President Trump on the banks

    President Trump

    President Trump has said he is working on sweeping reforms to the banking regulations introduced in the United States following the financial crisis in 2007 and 2008.

    The president said he was going to give the Dodds-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act a very major haircut. 

    Speaking at a White House conference with business leaders, Mr Trump said the aim of de-regulation was to help the banking industry.

    "We are absolutely destroying these horrible regulations that have been placed on your heads over, not eight years, over the last 20 and 25 years," he said. 

    "You have regulations that are horrendous. Dodd-Frank is an example of what we're working on and we're working on it right now. 

    "We're going to be coming out with some very strong... recommendations. 

    "We're going to be doing things that are going to be very good for the banking industry so that the banks can loan money to people that need it," he added.

  8. Southern rail dispute

    Southern Rail guard

    The RMT trade union has been having more talks about its long-standing dispute with Southern Rain over the role of conductors on some of its trains.

    What has happened?

    Reuters reports that: "Talks between the RMT and Southern Railway have concluded and both sides will now "consider their positions", said the union."

  9. US market update

    Graph of Dow Jones average

    It's just past 13:00 in New York and the Dow Jones average has gone down, then up, then down again since the start of US share trading. The result? The Dow Jones Average is up just three points at 20,653.

  10. Fashion for gluten- and dairy-free continues to grow

    Gluten-free products

    More than half of us bought a "free from" product during the last three months, according to Kantar Worldpanel.

    Younger people are leading a trend towards buying products without dairy and gluten in particular.

    UK supermarkets are increasingly stocking aisles with wide ranges of the products, from biscuits to bolognaise.

    "Consumers are associating 'free from' with a natural form of health in general," said Fraser McKevitt of the consumer research firm.

    Read more here .

  11. RBS plan faces European Commission investigation

    Douglas Fraser

    Scotland business & economy editor

    RBS bank

    Plans for the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are to be scrutinised in an "in-depth investigation" by the European Commission.

    The bank has set out plans to abandon the requirement placed on it by the Commission in 2009 that it should sell a large portion of its business.

    This is to enable competition to be improved.

    RBS carved out the division now known as Williams and Glyn, with assets of £20bn.

    But it has failed either to find a trade buyer for the division, or to float it on the stock exchange, at least by the deadline of next December.

  12. Theresa May criticises Cadbury over Easter egg hunt

    Video content

    Video caption: PM: National Trust 'ridiculous' to drop Easter reference

    Theresa May has described the decision to drop the word Easter from the name of Cadbury and National Trust egg hunts as "absolutely ridiculous".

    Her comments come after the Archbishop of York said calling the event the Cadbury Egg Hunt was like "spitting on the grave" of the firm's Christian founder, John Cadbury.

    But Cadbury said Easter was referred to on much of its packaging and marketing.

  13. FTSE closes higher

    Mining stocks led a rise for the FTSE 100, with Fresnillo, Anglo American and Rio Tinto among the four main risers.

    The miners closed between 2.4% and 2.9% up, helping the FTSE finish 0.48% higher at 7,317.9 points.

    Morrison and Sainsbury fell 2.8% and 2.4% respectively after research from Kantar suggested more pricing pressures facing supermarkets.

    The pound was down 0.37% against the dollar at $1.2440, and fell 0.29% against the euro at 1.1663 euros.

  14. Tesla charges on....

    Dave Lee

    North America technology reporter

    Tesla's market cap ($52.7bn) has now surpassed that of General Motors ($49.7bn), making it the most valuable car maker in the US.

    Tesla shipped just over 25,000 cars in the last quarter - GM sold 550,000 in the same period.

  15. Toshiba forced to buy 40% of UK's NuGen

    Nugen plant

    Toshiba has been forced to buy the 40% of the UK nuclear energy company NuGen that it does not already own.

    NuGen has the contract to build a new nuclear power plant in Cumbria.

    The French utility company  Engie said  it was exercising its "contractual rights" to sell its shares because NuGen was "facing some significant challenges".

    Last week, Toshiba's Westinghouse in the US, which was to build the plant's reactors, sought bankruptcy protection.

    The troubled Japanese giant said that  only Westinghouse's US operations  would be affected by the bankruptcy.

  16. Amazon enters office supplies market

    Amazon worker

    Amazon is targeting businesses with a new service selling office supplies, such as laptops, power tools and cleaning products.

    Called Amazon Business, the online marketplace offers firms VAT-free pricing, VAT invoices, and software to track and limit spending.

    The new venture adds to Amazon's huge range of businesses from online video, to groceries to cloud computing.

    Amazon has had success with a similar service launched in the US in 2015.

    In its first year of operation in the US, the business supply service generated more than $1bn (£800m) in sales. It launched a similar service in Germany last year.