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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Oil prices slump after report says US wants higher output
  3. Pound rises half a cent on strong services data
  4. EU port chiefs give evidence to Treasury Committee
  5. Petrol prices in record monthly rise
  6. UK Services PMI rose to 54 in May
  7. Retail sales rose at fastest pace in four years
  8. UK govt loses £2.1bn on RBS stake sale
  9. Fox cleared to bid for Sky

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

  1. Would you like Salad Cream with that?

    And finally tonight, we suspect these are pictures Graham Norton and Denise Van Outen may wish did not still exist. This is why Twitter was invented we say!

    That's all from Business Live today - we're back as usual from 6am tomorrow so do tune in then...

    View more on twitter
  2. Another Nasdaq record

    NYSE

    The Nasdaq closed at a record high for the second consecutive day, 0.4% higher at 7,637.8 points, with Apple 0.8% higher - valuing the iPhone maker at $950bn.

    The S&P 500 edged a fraction higher as investors were encouraged by US economic data, up almost 2 points to 2,748.8, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 13.7 points to 24,799.9 points.

  3. Lifeline for ZTE?

    ZTE

    Reuters reports that ZTE has signed an agreement in principle that would lift a US Commerce Department ban on buying from US suppliers, allowing the Chinese telecommunications equipment maker to get back into business, according to its sources.

    ZTE has been on life support since a seven-year ban was imposed by American authorities in April, after it broke a 2017 agreement by illegally shipping goods to Iran and North Korea.

    Commerce Department spokesman James Rockas said "no definitive agreement has been signed by both parties".

    More detail when we get it.

  4. New Wall Street Journal editor

    Rupert Murdoch has decided that it's time for Brit Gerry Baker to move sideways in favour of new blood at the top of the Wall Street Journal in the form of Matt Murray, who had been executive editor of the paper.

    The Journal's technology columnist Christopher Mims tweets:

    View more on twitter
  5. Lib Dems take aim at Corbyn

    The Liberal Democrats have accused Labour of "peddling snake oil" with their amendments to the EU Withdrawal Bill.

    Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael says: "Corbyn and May seem to be involved in some bizarre contest as to which of them can be the most misleading to the British public about the consequences of Brexit.

    "The amendments tabled by the Labour Party are proof - if proof is needed - that Jeremy Corbyn is far from being the brave defender of the pro-EU cause that he would have us believe. He is peddling snake oil in a bottle wrapped with the EU flag.

    "The only way to have access to the single market is by being part of the European Economic Area. That is what Liberal Democrats will be voting for."

  6. US stocks tread water

    It's a mixed picture for US stocks this afternoon in New York.

    Declines in financial and healthcare stocks are weighing on the S&P 500 and Dow Jones, which are both broadly flat.

    However, strong gains in tech heavyweights helped the Nasdaq hit a record intra-day high - although it is currently just 0.4% higher.

  7. Scottish government urged to back workplace parking tax

    Cars parked on the pavement
    Image caption: The report also recommends a ban on pavement parking, something previously endorsed by MSPs

    Scottish ministers have been urged to introduce parking levies on firms in a bid to cut congestion and air pollution in cities north of the border.

    The government is due to set out its Transport Bill in the coming weeks.

    Campaign group Transform Scotland published a paper of suggestions including non-residential parking levies and a ban on pavement parking.

    Transport Scotland said the report was "useful", adding that there had been "substantial" consultation on the bill.

    However, the Scottish Retail Consortium said it was "sceptical" about parking levies, saying they would be "yet another tax on firms which they can ill afford".

  8. Mexico imposes its own tariffs

    US apples

    Mexico will impose tariffs of 25% on US steel products and on some agricultural goods, the Mexican economy ministry said, after pledging to retaliate against President Trump's steel and aluminium tariffs.

    Its economy ministry published a list of new tariffs, including a 20% charge on US pork imports, apples and potatoes and 20 to 25% rates on some cheeses and bourbon.

    It will also bring in a 350,000 tonne tariff-free quota for imports of pork legs and shoulders from other countries.

  9. Get ready for a bidding war

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Disney logo

    We are likely to see a bidding war this summer as Disney (by way of 21st Century Fox, which it intends to buy) and Comcast vie for Sky, says Bloomberg's Paul Sweeney.

    "Disney and Comcast are both huge companies, they can afford to pay a big price, and they are both led by CEOs that really view Sky and 21st Century Fox in general as keys to their future.

    "[Through this sort of deal they hope to be able] to compete, not just against other media companies, but big technology companies like Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. That's where the competition is really going to be in the next five years."

  10. Why Spade mattered

    You may have seen the story about the apparent suicide of designer Kate Spade.

    In case you aren't too familiar with her legacy, writer Guy Lodge tweets:

    View more on twitter
  11. Fashion designer Kate Spade found dead

    Kate Spade

    Fashion designer Kate Spade has been found dead in her New York apartment.

    Police are investigating her death as an apparent suicide.

    The 55-year-old was well-known as a designer of clothes, shoes, and jewellery, but was best known for her accessory line.

    She co-founded Kate Spade Handbags in 1993 with husband Andy Spade. The company opened its first store in New York in 1996 and now has more than 300 branches worldwide.

    It is recognisable for its distinctive logo which features the spades playing card symbol, in reference to the designer's surname.

  12. Labour push for EU access

    BBC Politics

    Flags

    Labour will table an amendment to Brexit legislation calling on the government to ensure the UK has full access to the EU's internal market.

    The move is seen as a further move by the party leadership towards a soft Brexit.

    However, Labour has said it will abstain on a Lords amendment to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill - due to be considered when the bill returns to the Commons next week - that would require UK membership of the European Economic Area.

    Labour says its proposal, alongside "a new comprehensive customs union", would "avoid disruption to the UK's trading relationship with the EU, protect jobs, rights and the economy and ensure no hard border" between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

  13. Heathrow boss expects legal challenges

    Heathrow's chief executive has told BBC transport correspondent Victoria Fritz that he believes there will be legal challenges if plans for a new runway at the airport are voted through.

    However, he added the plans would not lead to extra cars on local roads.

    View more on twitter
  14. Why do Disney and Comcast want Sky?

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Sky logo

    Earlier the culture secretary cleared the way for 21st Century Fox (which is set to be bought by Disney) and Comcast to bid for Sky. But why do these firms want the British broadcaster?

    Paul Sweeney, US director of research and senior media analyst at Bloomberg, told Radio 5 Live: "Disney and Comcast are both looking for the same thing: content, and Sky certainly has that, and they are also looking for international exposure.

    "Disney and Comcast are primarily in the US market, which from a media perspective is very competitive and it is also not growing any more," he says.

    The reason? More and more people are dumping their cable TV subscriptions and moving to streaming services such as Netflix.

  15. Reach for the Sky?

    Are you confused about the machinations behind the Fox/Sky and Comcast/ Sky bids? Guardian media editor Jim Waterston breaks it down ...

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