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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Trump says losses were for tax purposes
  3. KPMG fined £5m over Co-op Bank audit
  4. UK has first coal-free power week
  5. ITV sees 6% fall in ad revenue in first half
  6. Commerzbank reports 54% fall in Q1 net profit
  7. Vodafone Australia merger with TPG blocked

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

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

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

  2. Wall Street ends flat

    New York Stock Exchange

    Wall Street shares have ended flat, amid continued US-China trade tensions.

    At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.0086% at 25,967.33, while the S&P 500 fell 0.024% to 2,883.35.

    The Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.26% to 7,943.32.

  3. A robot that can copy your handwriting

    Video content

    Video caption: A robot that can copy your handwriting

    A machine which can mimic an individual’s writing style has been developed.

    The device requires a sample text written by the person and then uses a machine learning algorithm to copy the writer’s style.

    The company behind the device uses it to produce "handwritten" letters for companies, political parties and even wedding invites.

    But is it good enough to fool an expert?

  4. 'This will help so many allergy sufferers'

    Video content

    Video caption: 'This will help so many allergy sufferers'

    Food outlets should list all ingredients in order to protect customers with allergies, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has proposed. It follows the death in 2016 of Natasha Ednan-Laperouse, who had eaten a sandwich from Pret a Manger.

    Her parents, Nadim and Tanya Ednan-Laperouse, told the BBC the proposals could help to prevent similar tragedies.

  5. Uber drivers strike over pay and conditions

    Union organiser Lydia Hughes joined Uber drivers in their strike

    Hundreds of Uber drivers in London, Birmingham, Nottingham and Glasgow have staged a protest against the firm.

    They will be joined by drivers in the US cities of New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Diego, Philadelphia and Washington DC in striking over pay and work conditions.

    The protests come days before the company lists its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

    Uber said drivers were "at the heart of our service".

  6. Disney shares up 1.5%

    Disney logo

    Disney's shares are currently up 1.5% to $135.40.

    The entertainment giant is set to release its latest earnings results after the bell on Wednesday.

    Wall Street has recovered slightly following comments made by US President Trump that the US and China are close to reaching a deal, only to see gains tempered by comments from Beijing that it intends to take "countermeasures" if the US raises duties on Chinese goods on Friday.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now 0.4% higher to 26,071.47, the S&P 500 is 0.3% ahead to 2,891.78, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq has gained 0.2% to 7,978.34.

  7. Pompeo warning over Huawei 'security risks'

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo getting out of a car

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has urged the UK to prioritise its security interests and those of its allies when dealing with Chinese firm Huawei.

    Speaking in London, he said the US had "made its views well known" on Huawei's potential role in the UK's 5G network.

    He said the US must protect its UK operations from "security risks" and ensure data partners were "trusted".

    Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said the UK would never "compromise" its ability to share intelligence with the US.

  8. Entrepreneur denied visa for calling the UK 'stable'

    Jamie Robertson

    Business reporter

    UK visa application centre in Hong Kong

    The tangled world of Brexit has ensnared an unsuspecting victim in the form of an entrepreneur who blithely applied for a visa in the belief that the UK was a stable place to do business.

    The Home Office turned him down on the grounds that he'd got it wrong - Brexit Britain, it said was certainly not stable.

    A Home Office response to the application read: "You have repeatedly stated that the UK is a very stable country with very little risk of fluctuation in business markets.

    "Whilst it is accepted that the UK is a very stable country politically speaking, the UK is currently in the process of leaving the European Union via the process now known as Brexit."

    The case came to light on the talk station LBC, when Catherine Taroni, a barrister at Richmond Chambers, gave presenter James O'Brien the details.

    Ms Taroni said: "The tweet was part of a refusal decision. It was an administrative review stage, entrepreneurs don't get the right of appeal any more.

    "This applicant had been awarded all points for entry clearance as an entrepreneur, in that the Home Office had assessed his funds - he had £200,000 available and transferable to the UK - and he met all other requirements.

    "The Genuineness assessment, which pervades all elements of an entrepreneur assessment, was where he became unstuck.

    "There are four paragraphs in this refusal letter with the reasons the Home Office refused. But one of those was simply Brexit - the entrepreneur hadn't thought that Brexit made the UK unstable.

    "That was a reason for refusal in the Home Office view."

  9. China vows 'necessary countermeasures' on Trump tariffs

    Vice Premier Liu He (right) with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this month
    Image caption: Vice Premier Liu He (right) with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer earlier this month

    Beijing has said it will respond in kind if President Trump imposes higher tariffs on Chinese goods on Friday.

    The Chinese Commerce Ministry said that if the US tariff measures are implemented, it would take "necessary countermeasures".

    The warning comes as US and Chinese officials prepare to meet over the next two days.

    On Wednesday President Trump tweeted that Vice Premier Liu He "is now coming to the US to make a deal. We'll see."

  10. Scotland sets bottle return deposit at 20p

    Glass and plastic bottles

    The Scottish government has outlined its plans for a deposit return scheme for some plastic drinking containers, cans and glass.

    Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham told MSPs at Holyrood that a "return to retail" model would be adopted.

    She added that following an extensive consultation the deposit would be set at 20p.

    The move is part of the government's climate action plan.

    The minister said all retail outlets, regardless of size, would need to comply with the scheme.

  11. Pret A Manger responds to FSA ruling

    chicken and avocado sandwiches

    Pret A Manger has sent the BBC a response to the Food Standards Agency (FSA)'s proposal that food outlets in the UK should list all ingredients in order to protect customers with allergies.

    “We support the FSA’s recommendation for full ingredient labelling. After careful piloting, we have begun our nationwide roll-out of full ingredient labels on all our freshly made products, which will be complete this summer," said a pokesperson for Pret A Manger.

    "It hasn’t been an easy transition for our business so we remain committed to sharing what we have learnt so far with government, regulators and industry.

    "Last week, we also published the Pret Allergy Plan to address issues beyond labelling, such as training and food safety reporting, which we believe are also critical to help customers with allergies.”

  12. London ends slightly higher

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended slightly ahead, as some investors welcomed indications from the White House that the US could be closer to reaching at trade deal with China, while others remained wary.

    The FTSE 100 closed 10.5 points or 0.2% higher to 7,271.00, led by Micro Focus International, which rose 3.9% to £18.12.

    The FTSE 250 closed 66.2 points or 0.3% up to 19,531.91. Top of the winners is Sirius Minerals, which jumped 6% to 16p after Norway's sovereign wealth fund bought a 3.5% stake in the firm.

  13. Walmart raises minimum age for buying tobacco

    Walmart supermarket

    Walmart has written a letter to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stating that it is raising the minimum age for purchasing tobacco products to 21.

    Additionally, Walmart is also going stop selling fruit and dessert-flavoured e-cigarettes, after the FDA threatened to fine several supermarket and convenience store chains across the US for illegally selling tobacco products to minors.

    At the time, FDA said that Walmart violated inspections for illegally selling tobacco products to minors by a rate of 17%.

    Walmart said it would take steps to prevent minors from buying tobacco products, including improving its age verification training for staff by using virtual reality software.

  14. Wendy's boosted by premium burgers

    Wendy's bacon and avocado burger

    Fast food chain Wendy's has reported better-than-expected revenue and profit for the first quarter of 2019, boosted by sales of its new premium burger line featuring avocado and bacon, as well as higher royalty fees from franchisees.

    Wendy's saw total revenues rise 7.4% to $408.6m for the three months ending 31 March, while profit margins at restaurants operated by the firm climbed 15%, compared to 13.9% in the same period in the previous year.

    Revenue from franchisees rose 4% in royalty fees and 17% in rent for the restaurant spaces.

  15. Whisky tourist site gets the green light

    Artist's impression of the planned Johnnie Walker "immersive visitor experience"

    Plans to open a "world-class" whisky tourist destination in one of Edinburgh's most prominent empty buildings have been approved by councillors.

    Drinks giant Diageo's will transform the former House of Fraser building at the west end of Princes Street into the Johnnie Walker whisky experience.

    Its part of Diageo's £150m investment in the Johnnie Walker brand.

    The council's development management sub-committee approved the plans.

  16. Amazon accused of failing pregnant workers

    Amazon warehouse

    A woman is suing Amazon, alleging that she was sacked because she was pregnant, raising more questions about working conditions in its warehouses.

    According to tech news site CNET, the online retailer has been involved in seven similar legal cases brought by pregnant warehouse workers in the past eight years.

    And all of these women allege Amazon failed to accommodate their needs.

    In response, Amazon said it had never sacked anyone for being pregnant.

  17. More on house prices

    houses

    Here's the view of Howard Archer, chief economic adviser to the EY Item Club of forecasters, on the Halifax house price index showing stronger growth than others.

    "The recent sharp monthly movements in the Halifax measure – and the contrast between the Halifax and Nationwide data - highlights the fact that house price measures can be volatile and differ from month to month between reporting agencies. It is therefore best not to attach too much importance to one particular survey but to try and take an overview," he said.

    “Significantly though, the majority of the current evidence across surveys points overwhelmingly to weak house prices – although some have come off their recent lows," he added.

  18. Wall Street opens flat

    New York Stock Exchange

    Wall Street shares have opened flat, as investors continued to worry about the outcome of the continued US-China trade talks.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is 25.4 points or 0.1% lower to 25,939.70. Top of the losers is Walmart, which fell 1.1% to $100.16 after releasing its first environmental, social and governance report on Wednesday.

    The S&P 500 is 10 points or 0.4% down to 2,874.74. TripAdvisor heads the losers, dropping 10.2% to $49.36 after reporting lower-than-expected hotel and restaurant revenues in the first quarter of 2019.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is just 5.4 points lower or 0.07% to 7,958.31. The losers are led by Microchip Technology, which slipped 2.2%to $92.07 after forecasting profit below analysts' expectations.

  19. Companies House reform 'timely'

    suitcase stuffed with cash

    The Treasury Committee has published the government's response to its report in March on economic crime in which it called for new powers for Companies House and extra scrutiny of estate agents.

    Nicky Morgan, the MP who chairs the Treasury Committee, said she was disappointed the government had not backed ideas to create a register of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs).

    But, she said: "The recent announcement of a consultation into the reform of Companies House is timely, and the government should be ambitious in the new powers and resources that it proposes to provide to this vital component of the UK’s defence against economic crime.

    “The government is currently assessing whether the power to block a stock market listing on national security grounds is necessary. The committee will follow the government’s conclusions on this closely".