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Summary

  1. Oil price flirts with $50 a barrel
  2. Sterling recovers...for now
  3. Barclays wins approval for Africa sale
  4. UK shoppers plump for discounters
  5. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

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    Thank you for following Business Live.

    We're back tomorrow morning at 6.00am. Please join us for all the breaking business news and analysis.

  2. Kenya opens first railway for a century

    BBC World Service

    Nairobi-Mombasa Madaraka Express railway

    The Kenyan president has opened a new multi-billion-dollar railway line linking the port city of Mombasa to the capital Nairobi, reports BBC World Service.

    The Chinese funded line is Kenya's biggest infrastructure project since it gained independence more than 50 years ago.

    An express passenger train will now take about four and a half hours to travel between the two cities, cutting the previous train journey time by half.

    The project has been criticised by some as too expensive and there have also been accusations about corruption. It will eventually connect Kenya to neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.

  3. US and oil close

    US stock market trader

    A lower oil price on Wednesday - down $1.43 on the day at $48.23 for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate - took its toll on energy companies.

    By the close the Dow Jones was 21 points lower, a fall of 0.1%, at 21,008.

    The S&P 500 was down just 1 point or 0.05% at 2,411.

    And the Nasdaq was 4 points or 0.08% down at 6,198.

  4. No cash for hacking, say critics

    Hackers

    Security researchers are considering buying undetected software security vulnerabilities from a notorious group of hackers.

    The Shadow Brokers group has previously leaked exploits allegedly stolen from the US National Security Agency (NSA), and is offering more for sale.

    But critics argue that the Shadow Brokers should not be funded.

    Read the full story here.

  5. BA's board wants answers

    Board members may call for an independent inquiry

    Simon Jack

    BBC Business Editor

    Passengers at Heathrow following BA disruption
    Image caption: Passengers aren't the only ones who have questions for BA managerment

    The inquisition has begun.

    What happened, why, and who was to blame for a catastrophic failure, that caused misery for tens of thousands of passengers, may cost British Airways over a hundred million pounds and tarnished the image of Britain's aviation flag carrier?

    There are LOTS of questions to answer.

    Company sources tell me the first question is: whose responsibility was the integrity of mission-critical IT systems?

    That sounds like a no brainer - it's BA right? Not necessarily.

    Read more

  6. US growing at modest to moderate rate

    US job advert

    The US Federal Reserve says that most regions continue to see modest to moderate growth, but optimism about the economic outlook has waned, partly due to concerns over government policies.

    In its "beige book" which is prepared ahead of the 14-15 monetary policy meeting, the Fed says that labor shortages, especially for skilled workers, are forcing companies to offer more generous and flexible conditions but so far that has not translated into wage pressures.

  7. China and EU 'to unite on Paris accord'

    Chinese and EU flags

    Reuters reports that the European Union and China will stand together on Friday to show strong support for the Paris climate accord and announce plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    Reuters says it has seen a document which says: "The EU and China consider climate action and the clean energy transition an imperative more important than ever."

    The statement also says "The EU and China consider the Paris Agreement as an historic achievement further accelerating the irreversible global low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development."

    There is speculation that US President Donald Trump will pull America out of supporting the accord.

  8. US market confidence wanes

    Stock market trader

    The US financial sector was one of the big winners following Donald Trump's ascension to the presidency.

    However, it is trading 0.8% lower on the year.

    Lindsey Bell, investment strategist at CFRA Research, says: "It is just investors' confidence in the Trump policies is waning, it continues to wane."

  9. Why do we vote on a Thursday?

    Video content

    Video caption: Every general election since 1931 has been on a Thursday.

    Every general election since 1931 has been on a Thursday.

  10. Market euphoria fades

    Goldman Sachs New York headquarters

    There is no let up for US stock markets.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 41.01 points at 20,988.46 with investment banks Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan leading the fallers.

    The S&P 500 is off 5.25 points at 2,407.66 with Michael Kors the day's worst performer so far, down 9.6% at $32.78.

    The Nasdaq is now 19.32 points lower at 6,183.87, down from its earlier, momentary high of 6,217.34.

    Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital, says: "With oil also down, the thoughts of an economic slowdown start to come up in people's minds and has created a pause in the market euphoria."

  11. BA blames "uncontrolled return of power"

    passengers at Heathrow

    British Airways has issued a bit more information about the IT catastrophe that caused so much chaos over the weekend.

    This is what the statement says:

    "There was a loss of power to the UK data centre which was compounded by the uncontrolled return of power which caused a power surge taking out our IT systems. So we know what happened we just need to find out why.

    "It was not an IT failure and had nothing to do with outsourcing of IT, it was an electrical power supply which was interrupted.

    "We are undertaking an exhaustive investigation to find out the exact circumstances and most importantly ensure that this can never happen again."

  12. Oil prices oscillate

    Oil in Libya

    The price of Brent crude has come back a bit but is still too close to $50 a barrel for comfort.

    It is currently trading down 2.6% at $50.87 while West Texas Intermediate is also 2.6% lower at $48.35 a barrel.

    Opec and non-Opec nations last week agreed to extend cuts to daily oil production by 1.8m barrels.

    However, some Opec countries including Libya are exempt from the cuts and its output has climbed to 827,000 barrels per day, above a three-year peak of 800,000 bpd reached earlier this month, according to the the National Oil Corporation.

  13. ExxonMobil investors approve climate report

    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
    Image caption: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson back in his ExxonMobil days

    On a day when speculation suggests that the US President is poised to quit the Paris climate accord, ExxonMobil is facing pressure to disclose what impact its compliance with global climate change guidelines would have on the company.

    Shareholders in ExxonMobil, which until January was led by Donald Trump's Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are backing a proposal for it to stress test its assets annually for climate change risks.

    Some 62.3% of votes cast are backing the proposal, up from last year's 38%.

    It calls on ExxonMobil to "assess the resilience" of its reserves and resources through to 2040, including the impact on demand caused new technology and the Paris climate accord.

  14. Merkel warns on complexity of Brexit

    Angela Merkel

    The European Banking Authority (EBA) belongs in Frankfurt, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

    The EBA is currently based in London. However, Mrs Merkel says it belongs in Germany after the UK leaves the European Union "because with Frankfurt, we already have a proper centre".

    She also spoke about the difficulty of unraveling the UK from the EU.

    "Britain is a partner, Britain is a friend," she said, "but (It is) the endless complex web of a finely intermeshed market."

  15. Debenhams to fall out of FTSE 250

    Debenhams

    The results of the quarterly re-shuffle on the FTSE 100 and 250 indexes are in and it is not good news for Debenhams.

    The department store group is heading for the small cap index along with AO World, the white goods retailer which floated just three years ago.

    On the upside, the security group G4S is rejoining the FTSE 100 after being relegated in 2015. It first joined the blue chip index in 2007. It is joined by industrial and commercial property developer Segro.

    As expected Hikma Pharmaceuticals and Intu Properties have been relegated to the FTSE 250. The changes will take effect on 19 June.

  16. Listen: Alas Jack and Ahmed

    Let the BBC's business editor Simon Jack and economics editor Kamal Ahmed guide you through what impact the general election will have on the UK's trade relationship with the EU.

    View more on twitter