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Live Reporting

Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC Testcard

    That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Friday.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis from the business world.

  2. After hours trading sends Amazon stock higher


    Shares in Amazon look set to pop on the stock market on Friday if after hours trading is anything to go by.

    The online retailer's share price is up 6.5% to $16.16.

    The rise is fuelled by better-than-expected first quarter results when sales rose by 43% to $51bn and profits rose to $1.6bn from $724m.

  3. BreakingAmazon sales soar past forecasts

    Amazon reported $51bn in sales for the first quarter of the year, ahead of expectations of $49.78bn.

  4. US stock markets close higher

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1% or 240.68 points at 24,324.51 thanks to upbeat earnings from US companies.

    The S&P 500 also finished up 1%, or 28.73 points, at 2,668.13.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq ended up 1.64% or 114.94 points at 7,118.68.

  5. Fiat-Chrysler reduces debt

    Front of a Jeep

    Operating profit is up 5% at Italian-American car maker, Fiat Chrysler, to 1.6bn euros.

    That was slightly below expectations for the owner of the Jeep, Alfa Romeo and Dodge as well as Fiat and Chrysler brands.

    But net debt fell to €1.3bn at the end of March, better than analysts' forecasts.

  6. Google supports Clean Power plan

    Power plant emissions

    Google has added its voice to other tech giants in support the Clean Power Plan - legislation that sought to curb power plant emissions by 30% by 2030.

    The policy was introduced during the Obama administration and is expected to be repealed by Trump, but Silicon Valley is becoming increasingly vocal in challenging this.

    According to TechCrunch, Google has warned that repealing the policy will be detrimental to both the economy and the environment.

    “Wind and solar deployment—as well as the associated supply chains—have been among the fastest-growing sectors of the US economy in recent years,” Google said in a statement to the Environmental Protection Agency.

    “With job growth rates significantly exceeding the growth rate of the overall labour force.”

  7. Japanese firm launches a robot that can transform into a real car

    "J-deite RIDE" robot

    Transformers fans ahoy - Japanese firm Brave Robotics has made your dreams come true by developing a robot that can actually transform into a car.

    The "J-deite RIDE" robot can transform into a two-seater sports car in 60 seconds.

    “I grew up believing that robots had to be capable of such things, which became my motivation to develop this robot,” Brave Robotics' chief executive Kenji Ishida said.

    "J-deite RIDE" robot
  8. Former HSBC executive jailed for two years

    HSBC bank logo

    Former HSBC executive Mark Johnson, 52, has been sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of defrauding Cairn Energy in a $3.5bn currency trade in 2011.

    Johnson, who was formerly the head of HSBC's global foreign exchange cash trading desk, will also need to pay a $300,000 fine.

  9. Ford to cut down on cars and ramp up commercial vehicles

    A Ford pick-up truck

    Ford has announced that it will be cutting down on the numbers of sedans and sports cars it makes for its North American market, and instead turning its focus to SUVs and pickup trucks, according to Bloomberg.

    Ford's chief executive Jim Hackett told investors on Thursday that the new plan will help Ford save $25.5bn in costs by 2022.

    The automobile manufacturer will continue to make the Mustang, as well as spending $11bn to bring out 40 electrified vehicles by 2022.

  10. GoPro chief executive's salary slashed to $1

    GoPro's Nick Woodman

    The founder and chief executive of troubled action camera firm GoPro Nick Woodman has had his bonuses stripped and his salary slashed to just $1 by the company's board, its annual report has revealed.

    In 2014, he was the highest paid chief executive in the US

    2017 was a really bad year for GoPro, which decided to stop making camera drones and cut up to 300 jobs after revenues fell.

    In February, GoPro reported that sales during the Christmas period fell by 38%, while net losses jumped 56% to $182.9m.

    Go Pro's problems go back several years. It has suffered several quarters of poor earnings, production delays on one device and product recalls on another, plus it did not update its flagship product for almost three years.

    Although the firm remains the leading product in the action camera category, overall analysts say that consumer interest has declined for action cameras in general.

  11. Computing pioneer Rick Dickinson dies

    Rick Dickinson

    Rick Dickinson, the designer of the Sinclair computers, has died in the US while receiving treatment for cancer.

    Mr Dickinson was the in-house designer for Sinclair Research and oversaw the creation of its home computers.

    He was responsible for the boxy look of the ZX80 and ZX81 and the Bauhaus-inspired design of the Spectrum.

    He also helped to develop the technologies for their touch-sensitive and rubber keyboards.

  12. China's airlines are doing better than those belonging to the US

    According to Savio D'Souza, director at Brand Finance, China's airlines now have a better brand value than US airlines...

    View more on twitter
  13. Facebook's Zuckerberg faces formal summons from MPs

    Facebook CTO Mike Schroepfer

    MPs have urged Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to speak to them after evidence given by his chief technology officer was deemed unsatisfactory.

    A parliamentary committee said Mr Schroepfer had failed to fully answer 40 points put to him as part of an inquiry into fake news.

    The Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee's chairman said a formal summons to Mr Zuckerberg could follow.

    Mr Schroepfer has promised to address the MPs' unresolved queries.

  14. Fenwick 'reorganisation' leads to job loss fears

    A Fenwick store in Newcastle

    The department store chain Fenwick is consulting with staff about proposed structural changes, leading to fears jobs could be at risk.

    The company wants to "modernise and reorganise the business" and centralise operations - currently each store runs autonomously.

    It will also launch a website enabling online shopping for the first time.

    No decision on redundancies will be announced until the consultation process has ended.

  15. Post-Brexit plans for asset managers slammed by FCA

    Financial Conduct Authority

    The Financial Conduct Authority has slammed plans by European regulators to change the rules for asset managers after Brexit.

    “The truth is that delegation is a well-established global norm, underpinned by strong standards and regulatory co-operation. It is not dependent on EU membership. There is no reason to disrupt a system that clearly works effectively,” FCA's chief executive Andrew Bailey told a conference in London today, according to the FT.

    “I do take a strong position that Brexit does not need to be an excuse to restrict trade in financial services, and that to do so would be a mistake for all sides.”

  16. I was a teenage 'money mule'

    A hand holding lots of £20 notes

    "Have you ever held £2,000 at once in your hand?" that was the line used to tempt Holly into becoming a money mule.

    At the age of 17 and still at school, Holly (not her real name) was approached on Instagram, then Snapchat, by a person who promised to pay her a decent sum, if she let him use her bank account to move money.

    Even though she knew this was suspicious, Holly eventually handed over her bank card to a young man who was essentially a stranger.

    The deal was apparently simple. Holly would receive money into her bank account and then transfer it to another account or take it out in cash and give it to someone. In exchange she would get a cut of the money.

  17. Carpetright wins approval from creditors


    This afternoon creditors voted whether to accept troubled floorings retailer Carpetright's restructuring plan.

    Carpetright has earmarked 81 stores for closure under its CVA, which allow the firm to shut loss-making outlets and secure rent reductions.

    At the meeting, Carpetright won the backing of more than 75% of creditors to push ahead with the plan, which puts about 300 jobs at risk.

    "Addressing our legacy property issues to reduce our fixed costs to sustainable levels is critical to securing Carpetright's recovery," said Carpetright's chief executive Wilf Walsh.

    "Receipt of creditor approval for the CVA proposal will enable us to take tough but necessary action to establish a right-sized estate of stores on economic rents, which is essential to restoring our profitability.

    "Our focus now shifts to the forthcoming shareholder vote and to our preparations for the proposed equity financing which will recapitalise the business and enable Carpetright to address the competitive threat from a position of strength."

  18. London closes ahead

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have closed ahead, despite the fact that UK retailers saw sales growth fall below expectations in April.

    The FTSE 100 ended 42 points or 0.6% higher at 7,421.43, led by Russian mining firm Evraz, which rose 0.3% to 449.4p despite falling output due to bad weather.

    The FTSE 250 rose 119 points or 0.6% on closing as well to 20,137.62. Top of the winners was 3i Infrastructure, rising 0.02% to £219.30.

  19. 'The margins for failure are small'


    EG Property Magazine has used data from the Radius Data Exchange to work out that the closures of 100 Poundworld stores across the country could lead to approximately 700,000 sq ft of prime retail space becoming vacant.

    "This adds to continued dearth of retail space being relinquished by retailers who have fallen into administration or accommodated for downsizing or right-sizing in 2018," James Child, Retail Analyst, EG Property Magazine told the BBC.

    "With the competition amongst the value retail sector high, the margins for failure are small.

    "Years of intense physical portfolio expansion as well as increased competition from other retailers have seen the sector begin to slow, after years of taking advantage of the stark economic conditions of the early 2010s.”