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Live Reporting

By Dan Ascher

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's it for another day on the Business Live page.

    Thank you for staying with us.

    We'll be back from 06:00 on Thursday - do join us then for all the latest business news, views and analysis.

  2. Brexit: UK firms 'not even close to ready' for no deal


    Lorry at border

    Many UK businesses "are not even close to being ready for a no-deal" Brexit, figures seen by Newsnight suggest.

    In February, HMRC launched the Transitional Simplified Procedures scheme, aimed at easing imports in the event of the UK leaving the customs union and single market abruptly.

    Less than 10% of the firms estimated to require the status had applied for it as of 26 May, Newsnight has found.

    Read more here.

  3. US stocks down at close


    US shares fell slightly today following muted inflation data that pointed to possible interest rate cuts. Investors were also concerned by the ongoing trade war with China.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 44 points or 0.17% to finish the day at 26,004.83.

    The the S&P ended the day at 2,879.13, a fall of 6 points or 0.23%.

    And the the tech-heavy Nasdaq closed at 7,792.72, down 30 points or 0.38%.

  4. Trump says no deadline for a China deal

    President Trump and Polish President Andrzej Duda

    President Trump has said there is no specific deadline to get a trade deal agreed with China to avoid a new 25% tariff being imposed on $300bn worth of goods from the country.

    "I have no deadline. My deadline is what's up here," Mr Trump told reporters as he pointed at his head during a White House press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda.

    "We'll figure out the deadline," he said.

  5. Oil prices continue to slip

    Oil pumps

    An unexpected increase in US oil reserves and a dim outlook for global demand took its toll on the oil price, which slipped 4% to its lowest level in almost five months.

    Brent crude futures were down $2.32 to settle at $59.97 a barrel, the lowest level since January.

    "Its definitely a market that is still in some disbelief of these inventory builds, and they're not going to be able to look beyond it," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

  6. Arcadia cash injection may not be enough

    Sir Philip Green and wife Tina

    Kate Heseltine, a director at Edison Investment Research, says Lady Green's commitment to inject £50m of equity into Arcadia - in addition to another £50m paid in March - may not be enough to save the entire group.

    "Sir Philip Green has avoided another potential humiliation following the collapse and subsequent winding up of BHS in June 2016," she said.

    "However, given the current challenges facing the sector, this additional cash injection may prove insufficient to turnaround the fortunes of some of the Group's weaker high-street brands over the medium-term."

  7. US budget deficit widens in May

    The White House

    The US government's spending deficit broke records today as as the Trump administration posted a $208bn shortfall, the highest ever for the month of May.

    A modest increase in revenues failed to offset an increase in spending on military and social welfare programs like Medicare, according to data from the Treasury Department.

    At $440bn, spending was 21% higher than May last year, while receipts were up 7% at $232bn.

    Treasury officials told Reuters that the deficit was impacted by the timing of some payments.

  8. Ford's 1.2 million car recall

    Three Ford SUVs

    More on the Ford recall reported earlier:

    Ford said vehicles that were exposed to "frequent full rear suspension articulation" might "experience a fractured rear suspension toe link".

    "A fracture of a rear toe link significantly diminishes steering control, increasing the risk of a crash," it added and when one customer's toe link broke they reported hitting the kerb.

    In addition to the 1.2 million vehicles in the US, about 28,000 vehicles in Canada were affected and one in Mexico.

    Read more here.

  9. 'Ball in Italy's court' says Moscovici

    italian flag

    Italy could face disciplinary action over its failure to respect European Union spending rules.

    The European Commission found that Italy's public debt stood at more than 130% of GDP in 2018 - far above the 60% limit which EU rules requires.

    The disciplinary procedure could ultimately result in an unprecedented fine of more than €3bn (£2.6bn).

    European Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici has been speaking about this subject today.

    He said: "No one should be in doubt that we will apply those rules if the criteria are not fulfilled".

    "So now clearly the ball is in Italy's court. We need to see a credible path for 2019 as well as 2020. We stand ready to take into account any new elements that Italy may put forward, but let's not waste time".

  10. MP asks Green for pension promise

    Philip Green

    Frank Field MP, who is Chair of the Work and Pensions Committee, has asked Sir Philip Green for a binding promise that Arcadia pensioners will get their full pension pot.

    Mr Field said: “Now that, thankfully, Arcadia’s life has been extended, the committee will try to ensure that the pensions regulator gets an effective programme in place to ensure that Arcadia staff receive in full the pensions that Sir Philip and Lady Green have promised them.”

  11. Intu resisted deal to salvage Arcadia

    Topshop store

    Arcadia's biggest landlord, Intu, has revealed that it voted against a deal to save the Topshop empire.

    The firm - which owns Lakeside shopping centre, the Trafford Centre and Manchester Arndale - said: Our rationale for this vote is clear."

    "We firmly believe that the terms of the Arcadia CVA are unfair to our full rent paying tenants and not in the interests of any of our other stakeholders, including Intu shareholders and the 130,000 people whose jobs rely on the success of our prime shopping centres.

    "While we are disappointed with the outcome of today’s vote, we will work constructively with Arcadia to achieve the best outcome for both sides."

  12. 'Huge battle ahead' for Arcadia

    Topshop bag

    Richard Lim, who runs Retail Economics, said: “Arcadia’s CVA is a positive move for now, but this in no way ensures a successful turn-around of the business. There’s still a huge battle ahead.

    "It’s not just fewer stores that are needed to ensure Arcadia’s long-term survival. It ultimately needs a leaner business model, including less staff and fewer brands, as well as investment into its identity and customer experience to fend off online and value retailers.

    "The negotiations appeared one of the most tightly contested as landlords showed their teeth, with owners - such as Intu - signalling that they will not simply lie down and accept retailers' demands unchallenged.

    "But the shift online, fiercer competition and heightened customer expectations have forced Arcadia and other retailers to take drastic action to survive. These changes are happening at an unprecedented pace and proving too fast for many retailers to cope."

  13. Green secures rescue deal for Topshop empire

    Sir Philip Green

    Sir Philip Green's Arcadia retail empire has been saved by a rescue deal that will trigger the closure of 48 stores and a thousand jobs.

    The plan, a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), was approved by Arcadia's creditors.

    After a week's delay and five hours of discussion Arcadia'a landlords finally agreed to rent cuts, 23 store closures and 520 job losses.

    Following the CVA, another 25 stores and another 500 jobs will be axed.

    Read more here.

  14. BreakingCreditors approve Arcadia survival deal

    Top shop store

    Arcadia Group has avoided administration after the firm's creditors approved all seven of the company voluntary arrangements they were asked to vote on in a crunch ballot today.

    In a statement, Arcadia chief executive, Ian Grabiner, said: "After many months of engaging with all our key stakeholders, taking on board their feedback, and sharing our turnaround plans, the future of Arcadia, our thousands of colleagues, and our extensive supplier base is now on a much firmer footing."

    “I am confident about the future of Arcadia and our ability to provide our customers with the very best multi-channel experience, deliver the fashion trends that they demand, and ultimately inspire a renewed loyalty to our brands that will support the long-term growth of our business."

  15. New joiners for Sir Martin's firm

    martin sorrell

    A year ago, Sir Martin Sorrell stepped down from WPP - the world's largest advertising agency, which he had run for 33 years - after an internal investigation into claims of personal misconduct, which he denied.

    WPP held its annual general meeting today - where Sir Martin's successor, Mark Read, told investors that the financial guidance for the group was unchanged.

    Sir Martin, meanwhile, is announcing new appointments to the S4 Capital business he set up after his departure. Scott Spirit is joining as chief growth officer and Elizabeth Buchanan is joining as a non-executive director.

    Mr Spirit joins from an artificial intelligence company, and had previously worked at WPP, while Ms Buchanan comes via her full-service digital ad agency, The White Agency, and roles at WPP, OMD Worldwide and most recently Rokt.

  16. Changes at Direct Line

    share price

    Mike Holliday-Williams, managing director of personal lines at Direct Line (DLG), is leaving the insurer after five years.

    Mike Biggs, chairman of the insurer said: 'Mike has made an outstanding contribution to DLG over the last five years. He embodies DLG's values, always prioritising the interests of customers. On behalf of the DLG board, I would like to thank him for everything that he has achieved over that time and particularly for his exemplary conduct during and after the process to select a new chief executive".

    Penny James was named chief executive in February from the role of finance director, after joining from Prudential in 2017.

    The shares have slipped 0.5% to 323.50, as shown above.

  17. Ford recalls 1.2 million US cars

    Ford SUV

    Ford is recalling 1.2 million sport utility vehicles in the US over suspension issues that the car manufacturer says could affect steering.

    The recall, which is expected to cost $180m, affects Ford Explorers made in the US car giant's Chicago plant between 2010 and 2017.

    Ford said one customer reported hitting a kerb when the rear suspension fractured but it is not aware of any injuries.