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Summary

  1. Consumer body Which? has demanded action over "confusing and misleading" supermarket pricing
  2. Greece has ordered its public sector bodies to hand over any reserve cash to help it meet an IMF payment
  3. Primark-owner Associated British Foods has seen pre-tax profits more than halve

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

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Well, that's about all we have time for today. Payday lender

Wonga fell into the red, and
Sky shares soared. And the
Russian economy shrank 2%, which Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said was due to the pressure of sanctions and the weak oil price. Join us tomorrow for more Business Live news.

Senators on Comcast and Time Warner

Time Warner Cable
Reuters

Six US senators have asked the Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department to reject a $45bn merger of the country's largest cable firms, Comcast and Time Warner Cable. The call comes ahead of a meeting between Comcast and the Justice Department scheduled for tomorrow.

Kentucky bourbon theft

Bourbon bottles
AP

Two US distilleries - Buffalo Trace and Wild Turkey - were allegedly targeted in a massive theft led by rogue employees. Prosecutors say the criminal syndicate operated from 2008 or 2009, and that the recovered whiskey alone is worth at least $100,000 (£66,000).

Kentucky bourbon theft

Kentucky bourbon
AP

Nine people have been indicted on charges of stealing what Kentucky authorities say was more bourbon whiskey than one person could drink in a lifetime. Prosecutors say the scheme, which was led by "rogue" distillery workers, lasted for years, and the haul was worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Greece Gazprom agreement 'soon'

Alexis Tsipras and Alexei Miller
Getty Images

Greece's energy minister Panagiotis Lafazanis says Athens has held "constructive" talks with Alexei Miller, the head of Russian gas giant Gazprom (pictured right). Mr Lafazanis said he hoped the two sides would soon reach a deal on a pipeline that will bring Russian gas to Europe via Greece's territory. An advance payment is on the table. "The pipeline is of big interest to our country and is among our priorities... We are continuing talks with the Russian side and we hope to reach an agreement very soon," Mr Lafazanis said.

Market update

FTSE index
BBC

The

FTSE 100 has closed up 15.23 points at 7067.36, a 0.22% rise. Broadcaster
Sky saw the biggest rise - more than 5% - after reporting a 20% rise in operating profit.
Arm Holdings saw the second biggest rise on the market, up more than 4%, after reporting first quarter pretax profits up 24%.
Associated British Foods saw the biggest fall, a drop of more than 4%, after it lowered its full-year earnings guidance.

IMF and Spain warning

San Sebastian market
BBC

The IMF has made a prediction that Spain's GDP will not return to pre-crisis levels until 2017, sending a message to the socialist government there. Last year, the Spanish economy grew 1.4%, and this year the IMF is forecasting 2.5% growth, while the Bank of Spain is talking about 2.8%. But the IMF thinks the current growth formula is not enough. Economy minister Luis de Guindos, on the other hand, thinks "Spain is now a role model."

Gazprom and Greece

Alexis Tsipras and Alexei Miller
Getty Images

Alexei Miller (pictured right), the head of Russian energy giant Gazprom, is in Athens for talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Greece is interested in the "Turkish Stream" pipeline that would carry Russian gas to Europe via its territory - with advance funds on the table for the cash-strapped country. Greece has said a deal would provide it with "a significant fiscal breath".

Remote air traffic control

Remote control air traffic
LVF

Sweden has claimed a world first after a plane was guided into land at Ornskoldsvik airport using a remote air traffic control tower. The plane flew from the town of Sundsvall to Ornskoldsvik, around 150 kilometres (95 miles) to the north. Both the take-off and landing were guided by the air traffic control tower in Sundsvall. Cameras and sensors collected real-time information at Ornskoldvik airport's remote tower, which was relayed to air traffic controllers in Sundsvall.

Brakes on Harley Davidson shares

Harley Davidson bike
AP

Harley Davidson shares have come screeching down almost 10%. It reported a 5% loss of US market share in the first quarter, which the firm blamed aggressive competitor discounting. It also lowered a 2015 shipment forecast.

US state unemployment

Texas oil well
PA

US monthly state labour stats are out. Overall, unemployment rates fell in 23 US states last month and rose in 12. States with large oil and gas drilling saw the biggest job cuts. Texas lost 25,400 jobs and Oklahoma cut 12,900. Pennsylvania lost 12,700, the third largest loss. A sharp fall in oil prices since last June has caused oil and gas companies to cut back on drilling.

White House advisor on Grexit

Jason Furman
Getty Images

A Greek exit from the eurozone would be risky for the global economy, and financial markets have not fully priced in such an event, according to Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. "A Greek exit would not just be bad for the Greek economy, it would be taking a very large and unnecessary risk with the global economy just when a lot of things are starting to go right," he said in an interview.

Via Twitter

Robert Peston

Economics editor

tweets: IFS defends assertion full tax/spend autonomy would leave Scotland with £7.6bn budget hole, & warns could enlarge

Eurotunnel power issue

Eurostar train
Reuters

Eurotunnel has fixed an earlier power supply issue, and all tunnels are now open, according to BBC transport producer Jonathan Sumberg. Service should be back to normal in around 90 minutes, he adds.

Grexit 'not an option'

Jeroen Dijsselbloem
AP

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem has said it is imperative to reach a deal with Greece within the coming weeks. Greece's money is running out, and a Greek exit of the eurozone would lead to dangerous instability for Greece and Europe, he said. A Greek exit of the eurozone is "not an option," he added.

Juncker's Greek push

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker (26 Nov)
Reuters

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has urged Greece to step up efforts to strike a deal with its EU and IMF creditors. "We are absolutely not satisfied with the course of talks so far. There is urgent need for greater efforts on the Greek side to be able to conclude this matter in our mutual interests," he told reporters.

Drug deal merry-go-round

Pills
Thinkstock

Israel's Teva Pharmaceutical has made an unsolicited bid to buy generic drug company Mylan for $31bn in a transaction that would create a giant generic drugs firm. Teva's cash-and-stock bid would quash an unsolicited bid by Mylan earlier this month to acquire Perrigo for $28.9bn. Teva said its bid would give superior value for Mylan shareholders compared with Mylan's approach to Perrigo.

Via Twitter

Dominic Laurie

World Service Business presenter

tweets: The air is so bad in this Asian city, it shaves 3 years off your life. Can you guess where?

Gannett results

Gannett, publisher of USA Today, reported a 5% rise in quarterly sales, helped by increased broadcasting revenue. Net profit rose to $112.9m (£75.8m) from $59.2m a year earlier.

Swedish inflation

Ohlsson
Riksbank

Rate cuts by Sweden's central bank are having an effect and consumer prices are slowly increasing, Riksbank deputy governor Henry Ohlsson said. "Riksbank policy has had an effect and there are signs that inflation has bottomed out and is on its way up," he said. The central bank has cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of -0.25 percent to cut the risk of deflation after two years of flat or falling prices.

Lockheed Martin sees profit fall

The Pentagon's weapon supplier

Lockheed Martin has reported a drop in both sales and profits for the first quarter as the US cuts back on defence spending. The firm says sales fell to $10.1bn from $10.7bn a year ago, while net income was $878m, down from $933m. Despite the drop, the firm has edged up its earnings per share forecast for the year to between $10.85 and $11.15, up from an initial forecast of $10.80 to $11.10.

Via Twitter

Eurotunnel

tweets: Due to a power supply problem in the Tunnel which is being resolved, there is a 2 hour delay to our Passenger service in both directions

Harley Davidson

Harley Davidson motorbike
Getty Images

Harley Davidson admits it faced "its share of headwinds" in the first quarter. The

US motorcycle maker has trimmed its forecast for the year, saying it now expects motorcycle shipments to grow 2-4% this year, down from its earlier forecast of 4-6%. In the first three months of the year, revenues fell to $1.67bn from $1.73bn a year ago, but profit rose slightly to $269.9m from $265.9m.

Via Twitter

John Moylan

Industry correspondent, BBC News

Goldman Sachs sex discrimination case settled. "The parties have resolved the issues between them".

Via Email

Goldman Sachs sex discrimination case

John Moylan

Industry correspondent, BBC News

The parties in a sex discrimination case involving the investment bank Goldman Sachs could be edging towards a deal. Evidence was due to be heard this morning at the Central London Employment Tribunal. But there's been a series of delays to proceedings. Sonia Pereiro-Mendez, an executive director at the firm, claims she lost out on pay, bonuses and promotion after she told her bosses she was pregnant. She is suing Goldman Sachs and three senior bosses at the bank. All deny the claims. A short time ago the firm told the judge that "the parties are in the process of resolving the issue"

Via Twitter

John Moylan

Industry correspondent, BBC News

#Goldman Sachs sex discrimination employment tribunal delayed. Firm tells judge "the parties are in the process of resolving the issue"..

Tech to the rescue

baby
Thinkstock

The baby market is a lucrative one for tech firms. Bluetooth dummies with hidden thermometers and an app that decodes why a baby is crying are the latest items to hit the baby market. "One day your grandchildren will be incredulous you survived the cradle without masses of technology", says Padraig Belton,

whose feature takes an in-depth look at the latest baby must-haves.

Strong dollar hits DuPont

The strong US dollar has hit chemical conglomerate DuPont. The US firm

has reported a 28% drop in first quarter profit, and says it expects the strong dollar to cost it 80 cents per share this year, up from the 60 cents a share it originally forecast. Sales also fell, dropping 9% to $9.17bn.

Fancy a free coffee?

Pret coffee cup
Getty Images

Fancy a free coffee? Well if you're extra friendly when you put in your order at

Pret then you might be in with a chance. The sandwich chain's boss Clive Schlee says staff give away a certain number of hot drinks each week. "They will decide 'I like the person on the bicycle' or 'I like the guy in that tie' or 'I fancy that girl or that boy'. It means 28 per cent of people have had something free. It's a nice, different way of doing it," he told
the Evening Standard.

No respite on oil price

The pressures keeping the

oil price low aren't likely to disappear anytime soon, if BP is to be believed. The oil giant has warned that while it expects supply and demand to balance out by the end of this year, large stocks of oil will continue to weigh on prices. "It could take as long again for that stock to come down," BP's chief economist Spencer Dale told the FT Commodities Global Summit.

Russian economy

Russian PM
Reuters

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the country's economy shrank by 2% in the first three months of the year following lower oil prices and sanctions on the country. "Negative trends continue this year," he told parliament.

German investor confidence

Investor sentiment in Germany fell for the first time in six months, according to an index calculated by the ZEW economic institute. The index slipped by 1.5 points to 53.3 points in April, disappointing analysts' expectations for a further increase this month, ZEW said.

Pret sales

Having kitchens in their shops is a key selling point for Pret a Manger, says chief executive Clive Schlee. And 35% of people who join Pret get a promotion at some stage, which helps keep staff motivated and cheerful, he says. Pret has opened in Shanghai, which is "very different" to the UK market, he told Today earlier, not least because Chinese diners prefer hot food, sharing it and dining in.

Greek fears mount

Acropolis hill in Athens
Getty Images

Greek banking stocks have fallen again today. They have now halved over the past six weeks with investors afraid the country could eventually be forced to exit the single currency. An index of Greek bank shares fell 5.5%, pulling down Athens's main stock index.

Via Email

Sky results

Joshua Raymond

chief market strategist at www.cityindex.co.uk

The jump in profits was towards the top end of market consensus and so this will re-affirm confidence amongst investors, particularly after the hefty sums paid by the broadcaster for rights to screen Premier League matches, which I estimate it overpaid for by around £1bn... Outside of the UK, Germany and Austria also saws solid growth rates which is encouraging... One concern I continue to have is on Sky's rising cost base and this remains an area the firm must keep a firm grip on.

Sky shares soar to 14-year high

Sky shares
BBC

Sky's strong third quarter - which saw its highest number customer growth in 11 years - has propelled its shares to a 14-year high. The pay-TV broadcaster's shares are up 4.9% to 1,103p. The broadcaster, which merged with Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia last year, now has 20.8 million customers across Europe.

Newspaper review

The Financial Times

reports that the EU competition regulator will take Russia's Gazprom to task over its dominant position in the natural gas market. It's a bit of a gamble since the company likes to cut off gas in winter, says the paper. The Wall St Journal also carries the story.
It further reports that Japan and the US are close to signing a free trade deal.

Newspaper review

newspaper
BBC

The Times's business section leads with the plight of Greek lenders after the

French central bank warned the banking sector in Athens was close to collapse. Meanwhile, The Daily Telegraph
reports on a survey that suggests most City workers would vote to stay in the EU in a referendum.

Via Twitter

Adam Parsons

Business Correspondent

Wonga Exec Chair Andy Haste: "We know it will take time for us to repair our reputation and gain an accepted place in financial services"

Market update

Markets in both the UK and Europe have shrugged off fears over Greece with strong rises in early trading.

The FTSE 100 is 0.6% higher at 7,097.61 boosted by satellite broadcaster
Sky whose shares have risen 4.5% following its strong third quarter results. In Germany, the
Dax is up 1.3% at 12050.59, while France's
CAC-40 has jumped 1% to 5239.29.