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  1. FTSE falls from last week's record high
  2. Shares in British Airways owner fall 3%
  3. Pound rises as euro loses ground
  4. Ryanair boosts annual profits; cuts fares
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Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Good night

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Thank you for joining Business Live on Tuesday.

We will be back at the crack of dawn - that's 6.00am for the early risers - tomorrow with all the breaking business news and analysis throughout the day.

Will economics hamper the superbug battle?

Dow Jones closes lower

Meanwhile the Dow Jones was 50 points or 0.24% down at 21,029.47.

And the S&P 500 closed 0.12% lower at 2,412.

US stock market close

US stock market trader
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Today was the day that Amazon's shares broke the $1,000 dollar mark.

But they dropped back by the close to $996.7.

And the Nasdaq, which Amazon is a member of, closed down 0.11% at 6,203..

Vivendi wins Italian deal approval with conditions

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French media giant Vivendi has moved closer to gaining control of Telecom Italia after promising to sell its majority stake in Italian broadcasting services group Persidera.

Vivendi gained anti-trust approval for the deal which first raised concerns with the European Commission that the French group might charge TV channels more for wholesale access to digital terrestrial television networks.

As well as its holding in Persidera, Vivendi also has a 29% stake in Italian broadcaster Mediaset, controlled by the family of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

'Russian Google' raided by Ukraine over data claims

Oil trims losses

Oil rig
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Oil prices have gained back a little ground but are still trading lower.

Brent is now off 0.8% at $51.85 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate is down 0.7% at $49.64.

Malware infects Android phones

US markets 'troubled' over political battles

Donald Trump (L) Michael Flynn (C) James Comey (R)
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Donald Trump (L) Michael Flynn (C) James Comey (R)

Rick Meckler, president of hedge fund LibertyView Capital Management, reckon the unsettled political situation in America is contributing to stock market jitters.

He says: "The uneasiness created by the political situation just continues to leave the market troubled over where this is all headed,"

While low interest rates and decent company results are positive, investors are yet to see any tangible changes from the new administration such as tax and healthcare.

"They do seem just really bogged down in political battles," Mr Meckler told Reuters.

Read here how the Trump-Russia scandal has unraveled.

US stock markets trade lower

US stock market trader
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The Dow Jones Industrial Average has sunk even lower since opening.

The index is now down 41.92 points at 21,038.36.

The S&P 500 is 2.15 points lower at 2,413.67.

The Nasdaq is off 6.89 points at 6,203.30.

Soft inflation may stymie US rate rise

Lael Brainard
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More on a possible US interest rate rise in June.

Federal Reserve governor Lael Brainard signaled that another increase would probably happen soon though there could be a delay if inflation remains below the central bank 2% target.

Ms Brainard said: "It would be reasonable to conclude that further removal of accommodation will likely be appropriate soon."

But she said "if the tension between the progress on employment and the lack of progress on inflation persists, it may lead me to reassess" that prediction.

Finding friends further afield

Narendra Modi and Angela Merkel
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It was no doubt planned many months ago, but the timing of Narendra Modi's short tête-à-tête with Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday will be interpreted as deeply symbolic in Germany and beyond.

Could there be something of a pivot to Asia going on in Europe's economic powerhouse?

The BBC's Joe Miller investigates.

No laptop ban on US flights

Air passengers using laptops
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The US Department of Homeland Security is not planning to expand a ban on in-flight laptops to all international flights to and from America, according to a spokesman.

He said that Secretary John Kelly had spoken to European officials on Tuesday.

Mr Kelly had said at the weekend that he "might" ban laptops from airplane cabins on allinternational flights both into and out of the US.

Men behaving sourly

Wall Street statues

On the eve of International Women's Day, Wall Street's iconic Charging Bull statue was joined by a defiant little girl.

She faces down the much larger bull, hands on hips, and was commissioned to highlight gender inequality.

But now a New York artist has taken a stand against the new arrival by adding a third statue - a urinating pug.

Read the whole sorry tale here.

Germany and France seek common corporation tax

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble
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Germany and France are hoping to agree proposals for a common corporation tax system, according to German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.

He told a tax conference in Berlin on Tuesday: "We're having another go at agreeing not just common principles on corporate taxation, but a common system."

Mr Schaeuble hopes to have proposals would be in place before France votes for a new parliament in early June.

This is also the period when Brexit negotiations are due to start between the EU and the UK.

Mr Schaeuble said that while Germany's corporation tax was currently quite competitive, "much is happening" elsewhere that could change this.

Survival instinct will propel US tax reforms

Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media, explains why it is essential for the US Republican Party to push through President Donald Trump's tax plans.

View more on twitter

Spending growth supports US rate rise

US shoppers
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While US consumer confidence has edged lower for the second consecutive month, spending is buoyant.

The US Commerce Department said that consumer spending rose by 0.4% in April following an upwardly revised 0.3% increase in March.

Will this cement a widely-expected rise in interest rates next month by the US Federal Reserve?

Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG Union Bank, says: "Fed officials can continue with their gradual pace of rate hikes in June as the economy remains on course for stronger growth this quarter and throughout the rest of the year."

VW football team may face cuts

Vfl Wolfsburg
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The ripples from the Volkswagen emissions scandal continue to be felt far and wide.

This time they may have reached Vfl Wolfsburg, the football team that is owned by the German car maker.

The team has retained its place in the country's Bundesliga football league but Reuters reports that its benefactor may not be able to fully subsidise the club from now on. Volkswagen supports Vfl Wolfsburg with around 90m euros (£78.1m) a season.

VW executive board member Francisco Javier Garcia Sanz told Reuters: "Management and the supervisory board's executive committee will sit down and further analyse the season.

"Then we will jointly take the decisions."

Want to join the audience for an election debate?

Paul Nuttall (left) and Jonathan Bartley (right)
Paul Nuttall (left) and Jonathan Bartley (right) will answer your questions on 4th June

On Sunday 4th June the leader of UKIP - Paul Nuttall - and leader of the Green party - Jonathan Bartley - will be taking part in a BBC One debate in Bristol.

Each leader will have half an hour of questions from a studio audience.

Would you like to be part of that audience?

If so please contact:, or call 01299 829299.

Amazon shares touch $1,000

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Shares in online retail giant Amazon have risen above the $1,000 mark for the first time.

The shares touched $1,001.20 at one point in early trade before slipping back to $998. It originally listed its shares in May 1997 for just $18 each.

Amazon now has a market capitalisation of about $478bn, which is more than twice that of Wal-Mart.

Read the full story here.

London stocks close lower

The FTSE 100 has ended Tuesday 24.64 points lower at 7,522.99.

Shares in BA-owner International Airlines Group finished 1.3% lower at 605.50p each. Ryanair closed up 2.3% at €18.44 and easyJet's shares rose 1% to £14.00.

The FTSE 250 fell 33.07 points to 19,991.85.

Bridging the divide

UK Prime Minister Theresa May (L), Donald Trump and Angela Merkel
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UK Prime Minister Theresa May (L), Donald Trump and Angela Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel rattled a few cages at the weekend when she declared that Europe could no longer completely depend on the US and the UK following Donald Trump's election as president and Brexit.

How did the UK and the US respond?

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said: "As we begin the negotiations about leaving the EU, we will be able to reassure Germany and other European countries that we are going to be a strong partner to them in defence and security, and, we hope, in trade."

Then on Tuesday, President Trump said this:

View more on twitter

London stock markets fall

The FTSE 100 has closed and we're now waiting for final trades to settle.

In the meantime, a quick read at 4.30 shows that the blue chip index finished around 24.64 points down at 7,522.99.

The FTSE 250 is off 29.63 points at 19,995.29.

Beko safety notice

Kevin Peachey

Personal finance reporter

One of the affected models led to a mother's death last year, but the alert relates to a separate issue.

Read more

Oil prices slide

Oil prices continue to look lacklustre following an agreement between Opec and non-Opec nations to extend output cuts.

The price of Brent crude is down 1.6% at $51.45 a barrel.

West Texas Intermediate is back below $50 a barrel, down 1.5% at $49.27 a barrel.

Washington wobbles knock confidence

Donald Trump
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American consumers are confident but just not as confident as expected.

That's the finding from a survey that measures how optimistic our Transatlantic cousins are feeling. The Consumer Confidence index fell back to a reading of 117.9 in May, down on April and below expectations of 119.8.

It is the second month in a row that the index has fallen.

But Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial, says: "We are expecting confidence to slip as the political turmoil in Washington weighs. Nonetheless, the confidence index is expected to stay within its upper range."

Small business calls for stricter bankruptcy laws

'Toughen the laws on bankruptcy'

We asked business leaders what they want from the next government. Leicester garage owner Julie Jordan-Spence says the UK should toughen up on bankruptcy.

G4S set to rejoin FTSE 100

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The FTSE indexes are coming up for their quarterly review when companies will either move up into the 100 or face demotion to the 250.

Based on the markets' close on 26 May, it is looking like security specialist G4S could rejoin the FTSE 100. It was ejected in 2015 after first making it into the blue chip index in 2007.

Industrial and commercial property developer Segro may also be elevated into the FTSE 100.

Those facing relegation include Hikma Pharmaceuticals and shopping centre group Intu Properties.

The final decisions will be announced on 31 May.

Airline's shares arrest steep decline

British Airways plane
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Quick update on the UK stock markets.

The FTSE 100 is down 19.16 points at 7,528.47.

Shares in British Airways-owner International Airlines Group are no longer in a nosedive - or in the top five fallers - and are now off 1.7% at 603.50p.

The FTSE 250 is down 42.93 points at 19,981.99.

Reluctant sellers send US house prices up

US house for sale
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US house prices rose at the fastest rate since July 2014 according to new data.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index showed that the average house prices rose by 5.8% but it said that the number of homes up for sale remain "unusually low".

David Blitzer, managing director and chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices told CNBC: "People are staying in their homes longer rather than selling and trading up.

"If mortgage rates, currently near 4%, rise further, this could deter more people from selling and keep pressure on inventories and prices."

German inflation sags

German shoppers
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Inflation in Germany, Europe's largest economy, fell in May.

The German consumer price index rose by 1.5% in May compared to last year, slower than the 2% recorded in April, according to official statistics out today.

Analysts had forecast an inflation rate of 1.6% for May.

The figure is substantially below the European Central Bank's target of 2%, prompting ING economist Carsten Brzeski to comment:

"If even an economy which has just entered its ninth year of economic expansion and which has record high employment does not show any inflationary pressures, how could the eurozone as a whole do so any time soon?"

Eurozone inflation figures out tomorrow could come in at 1.5%, down from 1.9% in April.

US stock markets open lower

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has opened 37.06 points lower at 21,043.22.

The S&P 500 is down 5.04 points at 2,410.78.

The Nasdaq is trading 7.61 points off at 6,202.59.

Sir Stelios signs up to give

Sir Stelios haji-ioannou
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It seems like a hot minute since easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou has been in the news.

But he has just popped up as one of 14 new signatories to the Giving Pledge where philanthropists agree to give away the majority of their wealth to good causes.

Forbes magazine estimates that Sir Stelios has a fortune of $1.3bn (£1bn).

See all of the Giving Pledge signatories here.

Witness for the prosecution

Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco
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It is turning out to be quite the day for Tesco.

First the CMA will examine whether the supermarket's £3.7bn takeover of Booker would restrict competition.

And now The Guardian's Sarah Butler reports that Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis will appear as one of 10 witnesses for the prosecution in a fraud case against three former directors of the company.

The case is related to an accounting scandal when Tesco discovered a £263m hole in its accounts. The company later warned the figure could be as high as £326m.

Government must help the self-employed

We asked business leaders what they want from the next government.

Simon Belsham of online marketplace Notonthehighstreet wants incentives to boost self-employment in the UK.

Not so friendly advice?

Liverpool One shopping Centre screen
The Ant Nest

A large digital billboard outside a Liverpool shopping centre was apparently defaced by hackers on 29 May.

"We suggest you improve your security. Sincerely, your friendly neighbourhood hackers," a message on the screen read.

It was posted on a large outdoor display at the Liverpool One shopping centre in the city.

Liverpool One said that it closed down the screen as soon as it was notified about the incident.

The message was tagged "#JFT96" - an apparent abbreviation of "Justice for the 96", which is a reference to the 96 football fans who died in the 1989 Hillsborough disaster. Read more here

Chinese lesbian dating app shuts down

Holding hands
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A Chinese dating app for lesbians that has more than five million users has been shut down.

The app, Rela, is no longer available in the Android or Apple app stores, and its website and Sina Weibo account have been deleted.

Users began to notice that the app was not accessible last week. It is unclear why it has been shut down.

Rela told its users on WeChat that the service had been suspended for an "important adjustment in service". Read more here

May: BA should 'sort their IT out'

Theresa May
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Theresa May has called on British Airways to compensate passengers who were left stranded over the weekend by an IT failure

"It's important that of course British Airways has a compensation scheme... for people who were travelling," May said.

"It is up to them to sort their IT out and to ensure that they're able to provide the services that people expect them to provide as British Airways."

Tight turnaround?

Tesco trolley handles

As we reported earlier, the CMA has announced the first phase of its investigation into the proposed takeover of Booker by Tesco (See post at 12:13pm).

The probe is due to run until 25 July and the CMA has asked for interested parties to submit their views by 13 June - giving them little more than a fortnight.

After this first phase, the CMA will either clear the takeover or submit it for a more in-depth investigation, unless Tesco and Booker take steps to counter any competition issues identified.

Following the announcement Tesco shares fell by nearly 1% at 184.9p, and have fallen 10% this year.

Huge South African maize crop brings relief

Maize field

South Africa is expecting to harvest its biggest maize crop in four decades, a year after drought devastated output of the country's staple food.

Farmers are set to produce over 15 million tonnes which means the country will have a 50% surplus for the year, according to government figures.

The bumper harvest is a result of good rains in January and February.

The extra produce is expected to help to push food prices down, according to agricultural economists. Read more here