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Live Reporting

Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    That's it for another week of Business Live. We'll be back on Tuesday from 6am. Enjoy the long weekend! 

  2. US stocks close lower

    US traders

    Wall Street shares closed lower on Friday after data showing the US economy grew at its weakest pace in three years left investors feeling nervous. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.19% to 20,940.51 while the S&P 500 also dropped 0.19% to 2,384.20.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.02% to 6,047.61.

  3. Apple urges changes to California self-driving policies

    A driverless car

    Apple has publicly asked the state of California to make changes to its proposed self-driving car policies, in the latest sign the firm is pursuing driverless car technology. 

    In an open letter, it called on the state to revise how companies report self-driving system "disengagements".

    It also suggested changes to a proposal "that may restrict both the design and equipment that can be used in test vehicles to further develop autonomous technologies".

    Others to suggest changes included Tesla - which warned against limits on the size of test vehicles - and Uber, which said California should allow paying members of the public to ride in autonomous vehicles with drivers. 

  4. Tech Tent - Fake news and flying cars

    BBC Technology

    Video content

    This content is currently not available

    On Tech Tent this week, we seek answers to two questions obsessing the technology world: can we stem the tide of fake news, and perhaps less seriously, how soon can I go to work in a flying car?  

  5. Shares in Carvana bomb in market debut

    Carvana vending machine tower

    Shares in US firm Carvana - which uses vending machine-like towers to sell used cars - dived in their market debut on Friday. 

    Shares were priced at $15, but opened at $13.50 before slumping to $12.50. 

    The firm sells cars through its website and allows customers to pick them up from automated "vending machine" towers located in US cities such as Austin and Dallas.

    Commenting on the float, Carvana boss Ernie Garcia said: "We're going to stay focused on what we can control, which is our business and the huge opportunity ahead."

  6. US stocks edge lower

    US trader

    Wall Street stocks are in negative territory after official data showed the US economy expanded at 0.7% in the first quarter - its slowest rate in three years. 

    The Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes are both down 0.21%, while the tech focused Nasdaq is 0.08% lower.

  7. Shareholders protest against Bayer bid for Monsanto

    World Business Report

    Video content

    Video caption: Shareholders and green campaigners voice opposition to the $66bn deal at Bayer's AGM.

    When Bayer announced it was bidding to buy Monsanto, the American agricultural corporation, last year it surprised many shareholders and prompted protests by environmental campaigners. 

    Bayer's Annual General Meeting took place in Bonn on Friday - and shareholders and green campaigners voiced their opposition to the $66bn deal. World Business Report takes a closer look. 

  8. Shares in Google parent hit all time high

    Google logo

    Shares in Google parent Alphabet have hit an all-time high after a strong earnings report on Thursday. 

    The firm's shares are currently up 3.81% at $907.5 having jumped during overnight trading. Earlier they touched $916.76.

    First quarter profits at the firm increased 28% year-on-year to $5.4bn (£4.2bn), boosted by advertising on mobile phones and the popular YouTube video service.

  9. Royal Caribbean shares cruise higher

    US Royal Caribbean Cruise line ship Azamara Quest enters the port of Havana

    With an 8% surge, shares in Royal Caribbean are the biggest winners on the S&P 500.

    It follows the publication of the company's first quarter results, which were better than expected.

    Royal Caribbean reported a $217m net income for the quarter.

    It also raised its profit forecast for the whole of the financial year.

  10. Legless North sea oil platform

    Shell Brent Delta platform

    The first major decommissioning project in the North Sea has been completed with the removal of the Brent Delta platform from its legs.

    It has been lifted on to a huge purpose-built ship which will transport it to the north east of England to be scrapped. The legs will stay in place.

    The 24,000 tonne Brent Delta platform topsides sat on a three-legged gravity-based structure in 140 metres of water.

    The Shell platform lies 115 miles north east of Shetland.

    More here from BBC Scotland.

  11. Future of driving electric, says VW boss

    Matthias Müller , VW CEO

    VW's chief executive has said the world’s biggest car maker will triple its budget for electric vehicles over the next five years.

    Speaking at the Vienna Auto Show, Matthias Müller said most VW cars would still be run by diesel or petrol engines by 2025, but that “the future of driving is electric”.

    As such, the VW Group will spend €20bn by 2022 on cleaner engines, while also spending €9bn on electric vehicles - up from €3bn 2012-2017.

  12. Royal Mail faces union backlash over pensions

    Royal Mail vans

    Royal Mail is mulling ways to replace the final salary pension scheme it plans to scrap next year following a backlash from unions.

    The postal service said it was one of only a few major companies to still have staff in a defined benefit scheme.

    But the Communications Workers Union said closure of the plan would result in employees losing up to a third of their future pensions. Around 90,000 Royal Mail workers are in the scheme, which stopped taking on new members in 2008.

    The company is continuing to hold talks with the CWU as well as unions Unite/CMA.

    Unite said: "If we don't achieve a satisfactory outcome, we can't rule out an industrial action ballot."

  13. FTSE 100 closes lower as pound climbs

    London Stock Exchange

    The FTSE 100 has closed 0.46% lower at 7,203.94 as the pound continued to rise against the dollar. 

    Among the worst performers was Barclays - down 5.22% due to concerns raised in an otherwise strong earnings report. 

    Royal Mail fell 3.92% after the postal group released an update on the future of its pension plan, prompting strike threats from one union. 

    The pound climbed 0.25% against the dollar to $1.29370, around its highest level for seven months. 

    This has put pressure on big firms which lose money when their global profits are converted back to into sterling. 

  14. Oil firm profits jump on price rebound

    Oil refining equipment

    Major energy firms have reported their highest profits in a year thanks to a rebound in oil prices. 

    Exxon Mobil made $4bn profit in the first quarter - more than double what it posted a year ago - while Chevron made $2.7bn versus a loss last year. 

    It came a day after French producer Total SA reported a 77% rise in profit.

    Peers BP and Royal Dutch Shell are set to report quarterly results next week. 

  15. Trump seeks to expand offshore oil drilling

    Oil rig

    US President Donald Trump has signed an executive designed to expand drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans.

    Mr Trump ordered his interior secretary to review Obama-era rules that restrict where oil firms can drill - the aim being to boost US energy reserves and reduce reliance on foreign oil.

    Environmental activists have criticised the move, with Greenpeace saying it would lock the US "into decades of harmful pollution" and devastating spills like the Deepwater Horizon tragedy.

    US Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke  said it woudl foster energy security "without removing any of the stringent environmental safeguards that are currently in place".

  16. 'Empty streets in Sao Paulo'

    Daniel Gallas

    BBC South America business correspondent

    Empty street, Sao Paolo

    Polls suggest Brazilian President Michel Temer is very unpopular but up until today he had not yet faced a mass demonstration like Friday's general strike.

    Many private and public schools are closed across the country. In Sao Paulo - the country's biggest city - most bus, metro and train services are not operating. There are few people on the streets here and it feels like a holiday.

    The government says the current pension system is unsustainable and is dragging down the economy. Unions say the president wants Brazil's poor and unassisted to pay the price for the country's economic woes.

    Whatever the turnout is for the protest, Mr Temer still looks fairly strong in Congress. Earlier this week he won a vote for his labour reforms with a wider margin than needed.

    This has been the hallmark of his administration: a president who is very unpopular in the streets, but is able to get things done in Congress.

  17. Brazil hit by first general strike in two decades

    Protester, Brazil

    Brazilian cities went into partial shutdown on Friday as the country observed its first general strike in more than two decades.

    Millions of workers, including public transport staff, bankers and teachers, have been urged to take part by trade unions and social groups.

    Protesters are taking a stand against the president's proposed pension reforms.

    President Michel Temer says the changes are needed to overcome a recession.

    Read more.

  18. RBS 'sorry' for app issues

    TBS logo

    Earlier we reported that the RBS/ NatWest app failed for nearly an hour this morning, sparking complaints from customers.

    RBS - which owns NatWest - now says it has fixed the issue and has apologised. 

    “Our mobile apps and online banking are now running as normal and delayed payments are starting to credit customer accounts. We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

    It also clarified that the issue with payments only affected NatWest, not RBS or Ulster Bank.

    And it said the payments issue only affected some payments made from NatWest accounts - people’s incoming salary payments were unaffected.

  19. FTSE 100's disappointing month

    FTSE 100 ticker board

    Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, says the FTSE 100 has not only had a disappointing week, it’s also had a disappointing month.

    "It has given up all of its March gains in the process, as a rebound in the pound, weak basic resources, and some weakness in the banks weigh on the index," he says.

    However, he notes that FTSE 250 is set to close higher for the fifth month in succession, despite an over 5% rise in the value of the pound from its March lows.

    "It suggests the sterling effect is a little overstated. Let’s not forget the pound is only 7% away from 30 year lows against the US dollar, not exactly a big amount."