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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 lower

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares have ended lower, as investors continued to worry about the effects a prolonged US-China trade war would have on global economic growth.

    At the closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dipped 221.36 points, or 0.87%, to 25,126.41, the S&P 500 declined 19.37 points, or 0.69%, to 2,783.02 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 60.04 points, or 0.79%, to 7,547.31.

  3. 'Demo' found on Google Maps in Africa

    The word "Demo" appears in territory in the south-east of South Sudan on Google Maps

    The word "demo" has been spotted lurking in the terrain of South Sudan in Google Maps.

    Cyber-security researcher Tim Hopper noticed the apparent glitch after researching the location of a refugee camp in the country.

    The word appears just once, in a remote south-east corner of the central African nation and close to the border with Uganda.

    A spokeswoman for Google said the issue had now been fixed.

  4. The preachers getting rich from poor Americans

    Larry and Darcy Fardette donated to many televangelists
    Image caption: Larry and Darcy Fardette donated to many televangelists

    Televangelist Todd Coontz has a well-worn routine: he dresses in a suit, pulls out a Bible and urges viewers to pledge a very specific amount of money. "Don't delay, don't delay," he urges, calmly but emphatically.

    It sounds simple, absurdly so, but Coontz knows his audience extremely well. He broadcasts on Christian cable channels, often late into the night, drawing in viewers who lack financial literacy and are desperate for change.

    "I understand the laws that govern insurance, stocks and bonds and all that is involved with Wall Street," he once said, looking directly into the camera. "God has called me… as a financial deliverer."

    Crucially, he always refers to the money as a "seed" - a $273 seed, a $333 seed, a "turnaround" seed, depending on the broadcast. If viewers "plant" one, the amount will come back to them, multiplied, he says. It is an investment in their faith and their future. Read more here.

  5. Foreign workers in Scotland fall by 21,000

    Receptionists at a hotel

    The number of foreign workers in Scotland dropped by more than 10% last year, according to new statistics.

    There were 198,000 non-UK nationals in employment in 2018 - 21,000 fewer than in the previous year.

    Scottish government research found that about 12,000 of those who left the Scottish labour market were EU nationals.

    It is the first year since 2007 that the number of EU nationals in employment has fallen.

  6. Oil firm fined over seabed chemical release

    Dana Petroleum is involved in exploration in the North Sea

    An oil company has been fined after more than 80 tonnes of chemicals were released onto the seabed off Shetland.

    Dana Petroleum admitted breaching chemicals and pollution regulations after the incident in July 2016 at its Western Isles development.

    Aberdeen Sheriff Court heard the "foreseeable release" could have been prevented if procedures had been followed by the company.

    Dana Petroleum was fined £6,000 for the breach.

  7. Moby cancels UK book tour

    Natalie Portman and Moby

    Moby has cancelled a string of appearances after he was criticised for claims he made about actress Natalie Portman in his latest book.

    The US musician had been due to visit the UK in June to speak at various events to promote his second autobiography Then It Fell Apart.

    But they have now been pulled, and Moby has told fans on Instagram he's "going to go away for a while".

    It comes after Portman disputed his claims that they used to date.

  8. 'Dare to dream', says cosmetics boss Falguni Nayar

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Dare to dream', says cosmetics boss Falguni Nayar

    Building a new company is risky business. And in India, it’s a profession dominated by men - less than 14% of enterprises are run by women entrepreneurs.

    One of them is a former banker, Falguni Nayar, who quit her job to follow her dream and create the online beauty firm Nykaa that now rivals companies like Sephora and Amazon in India. Investors say it’s almost worth $1bn.

  9. Pay cut to avert revolt at GVC

    Ladbrokes

    Earlier this month, Ladbrokes-owner GVC revealed its chief executive Kenny Alexander received £19.1m last year - some £16.4m of which was from in "legacy awards", linked to the firm's acquisition of bwin.party in 2016.

    That legacy award paid out £8.1m to chairman Lee Feldman, to add to his £350,000 salary, taking his total to £8.5m.

    Now Sky News is reporting that Mr Alexander will forego the bulk of a recent increase in his basic salary from £750,000 to £950,000 in an effort to avert a revolt from shareholders at next week's annual general meeting.

  10. Carbon credit fraud trial collapses

    Andrew Ager

    The discrediting of an unqualified "expert" - found to have cut-and-pasted the same evidence for several different cases - has led to the collapse of a multi-million pound fraud trial.

    Andrew Ager had been hired by the prosecution team in a trial of eight men accused of a £7m carbon credit fraud at Southwark Crown Court.

    But Judge Nicholas Loraine-Smith was alerted to the fact that Mr Ager did not have any relevant qualifications.

    He ruled the men should be cleared.

  11. Boeing 737 Max could be grounded for months

    Boeing's Dennis Muilenburg

    Boeing's 737 Max aircraft is unlikely to re-enter service before August, according to the head of the airline industry's trade body, IATA.

    Director General Alexandre de Juniac said "we do not expect something before 10 or 12 weeks", although he added a final decision was up to regulators.

    The aircraft was grounded globally in March after two crashes within months.

    Boeing boss Dennis Muilenburg said on Wednesday, "we're making steady progress" on a return to service.

  12. Mueller on Trump Russia inquiry in full

    Video content

    Video caption: Trump Russia investigation: Robert Mueller's first public statement in full

    This is the Special Counsel's first public statement on his investigation into the presidential campaign.

  13. London closes much lower

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended much lower, as fears over an extended US-China trade war continued to weigh on European markets.

    The FTSE 100 closed 83.7 points or 1.2% down to 7,185.30. Top of the losers is Marks and Spencer, which dropped 7.4% to 232p as investors cashed in on a discounted offer on buying new shares to fund the department store chain's joint venture with online supermarket Ocado.

    The FTSE 250 ended 258.8 points or 1.4% lower to 18,946.11. Retirement financial services group Just Group heads the losers, dropping 8.2% to 54p.

  14. Channel Islands 'among biggest tax havens'

    Jersey currency

    A new list of corporate tax havens has named Jersey as the seventh biggest in the world.

    The Tax Justice Network created the ranking by assigning a "haven score" based on 20 different criteria.

    Both Jersey and Guernsey scored 98 out of a possible 100.

    The top three are the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands, with Guernsey in 15th place and the Isle of Man in 17th.

  15. Which A&F stores are closing?

    Five Abercrombie & Fitch stores have closed or will be e closing:

    • Pedder Street, Hong Kong flagship store closure completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2017.
    • Copenhagen, Denmark A&F flagship store closure completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2019.
    • SoHo Hollister flagship store inNew York City is expected to close in the second quarter of fiscal 2019.
    • Milan, Italy A&F flagship store is expected to close by the end of fiscal 2019.
    • Fukuoka, Japan A&F flagship store is expected to close in the back half of fiscal 2020.
  16. Rare earth threat sell-off effect won't last

    Rare earth

    According to Yogi Dewan, chief executive and founder or Hassium Asset Management, the sell-off of stocks on the back of China's new threat to use rare earth as a bargaining chip in the US China trade dispute is likely to be short-lived.

    "We see this as short term and unlikely to have a meaningful impact on sentiment or financial markets," he said.

    "This could be viewed as a retaliation for the Huawei blacklist. We see this news as ongoing noise around the US China trade disputes. Rare earths really are not that rare, but rather just current deposits being mined which happen to be in China.

    "Should the trade war persist it is highly likely that these materials could be sourced elsewhere."

  17. Elton falls short of Freddie at box office

    Taron Egerton in Rocketman (left) and Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody

    The Sir Elton John biopic Rocketman made £5.4m in its first five days at the UK box office - but fell short of the Queen film Bohemian Rhapsody.

    Rocketman, starring Taron Egerton as Sir Elton, opened on Wednesday.

    Despite its strong figures, it is second in the weekly box office chart behind Aladdin, which took £7.1m.

    Bohemian Rhapsody - to which Rocketman has been compared - was a big hit, taking £9.5m in its first five days of release last October.

  18. FTSE futures

    M&S shopfront
    Image caption: M&S - teetering on the edge of the FTSE100

    The next reshuffle in the FTSE 100 is expected on 5 June and speculation is growing about who will be in and who will be out. The most poignant exodus may be Marks & Spencer, an original member of the index (created in 1984). It reported a 10% decline in full-year profits last week and the shares are down 19% this year.

    Or maybe not. It has also launched a £600m rights issue to fund its joint venture with Ocado. The new capital won't actually be in the company's bank account until after the reshuffle but it's thought the idea that "the cheque is in the post" may be enough to satisfy the London Stock Exchange that it is still worthy of a place in the FTSE 100.

    Instead there is speculation we may see easyJet bowing out. It's been a FTSE 100 member for eight years but the shares are down 47% over the last year because of lower margins and Brexit fears.

    Who might be the new members? Richard Hunter, Head of Markets at Interactive Investor is tipping software and engineering firm AVEVA ("a company on a roll") and JD Sports (shares up 63% in the last year).