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Summary

  1. Twitter reduces sales forecast for 2015
  2. Apple shares fall after quarterly earnings
  3. UK economic growth slows to 0.3%
  4. Greek PM sees EU deal by next week

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Ben Morris

Business Reporter

That's it from the Business live page today. We're back tomorrow from 06:00, with a busy schedule which includes US growth figures, preliminary results from Argos owner, Home Retail Group, and a trading update from Next.

Kraft results

US food group Kraft,

which recently agreed to be bought by Heinz, has released
first quarter results. First quarter sales were down 0.2% compared to the same quarter last year, which it partly blamed on the stronger dollar. Net earnings fell 16% to $429m.

Wall Street close

Dow Industrials
BBC

US shares were mixed - the

Dow Industrials closed 0.4% higher at 18,110.
The S&P 500 added 0.3% to 2,114 but the Nasdaq fell 0.1%.
Apple shares weighed on the Nasdaq, closing 1.6% lower following results released late on Monday.

Twitter shares slump

Investors reacted badly to Twitter's results - its shares are down more than 19%. The social media company continues to attract customers - the average number of monthly users was 302 million for the quarter, up 18% year-on-year. But

Twitter's net loss widened to $162.4m in the first quarter, up from a $132.4m loss in the same period last year.

Twitter results

twitter logo
Reuters

Twitter has now released its results for the quarter ending 31 March and those leaked results were correct. Revenue was less than expected at $436m - Twitter blamed lower-than-expected sales from new products. The company has also reduced its forecast for sales in 2015 and announced the purchase of TellApart.

Twitter's result leaked?

twitter shares
BBC

A financial firm called

Selerity is tweeting Twitter's results, an hour before they are due to be released. We can't confirm the accuracy but the tweets say that first quarter revenue was $436m, which was less than expected. Nothing official from Twitter so far. Twitter shares fell sharply before trading was halted.

Roubini: 'Glut of capacity'

Nouriel Roubini
Getty Images

The global economy is suffering a "glut of capacity" and a "lack of demand" says

respected economist Nouriel Roubini on Bloomberg TV. Oil and other commodities are in plentiful supply, as is labour and manufacturing capacity he says. Mr Roubini thinks that with interest rates so low it would make sense for countries to borrow and invest in infrastructure which he says "would be highly productive". He thinks US interest rates might start to rise in September.

Oil prices

North Sea Brent Crude
BBC

Oil prices spiked upwards late in London's trading session after reports said that a US ship had been seized by Iran. But

the situation turned out to be less inflammatory than initially feared and the price of
North Sea Brent crude eased to end up pretty much where it started, at $64.79 a barrel.

NFL to pay tax

NFL football team"s voluntary veterans minicamp
AP

The National Football League, better known as the NFL, is giving up its tax-exempt status. The NFL has been tax-exempt since 1942, but from 2015 it will file returns as a taxable entity. The NFL generates billions of dollars of revenue and has been criticised for not paying tax on that income. However, the teams themselves already pay tax on their income.

Retirement retreats

A survey in the US has found that only a quarter of the workforce plans to give up work completely when reaching the pensionable age. More than half of those surveyed said they intend to keep on earning - and that's mainly because they have to. Matt Wells has been finding out why the retirement dream seems to be dying for the World Service's

World Business Report.

Weidmann slams Greece

Greek funnel
Getty Images

Jens Weidmann, the head of Germany's Bundesbank, has had a pop at the Greek government for failing to implement reforms. "It is decisive that a functioning administration is established in Greece to move the economy and the state's finances onto a sustainable course and, most importantly, that trust is built in a reliable course of reform," he says. However, the government of Alexis Tsipras "has again thwarted early hopes that this will happen", Weidmann adds.

Obama on AIIB

Obama and Abe
Getty Images

President Obama said claims that the US was opposed to the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) were not true, but that it required transparency and good governance. "It could be a positive thing, but if it's not run well it could be a negative thing," the US President told a news conference with Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe in Washington.

'Flash crash' trader hearing

Flash crash trader house
Getty Images

Navinder Singh Sarao, the British financial trader accused of helping trigger a multibillion-dollar US stock market crash, is expected to appear in court on Wednesday after failing to raise bail. The 36-year-old is fighting plans to extradite him to America to face trial and was granted bail at Westminster magistrates' court in London last week. A court official said Mr Sarao had failed to raise the security of £5m and he will appear at a custody hearing at the same court on Wednesday.

European stock markets wobble

Euro coins
Reuters

Stock markets in France and Germany had a wobble today.

Frankfurt's Dax fell 1.9% and the
Cac-40 fell 1.8%. Traders said there was some caution while a two-day policy meeting is held at the US Federal Reserve. In Frankfurt
Commerzbank slumped 5.7% after it announced a plan to sell shares worth 1.4bn euros. In Paris
Orange fell 4.7%, following a dip in profits and sales in the first quarter.

Striped house battle

South End, Kensington
PA

A new episode in the drama over Kensington's striped house.

The local council has ordered the owner of the London house to remove the red and white stripes. The new paint job appeared suddenly earlier this month and follows the rejection of the owner's plan to undertake a major renovation to the house - including a two-storey basement. The owner can appeal against the order.

Via Twitter

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

Note to PRs - press release boasting of your client's expansion into "new verticals" may not really work

'Undervalued' Apple

Carl Icahn
Getty Images

Apple is still "undervalued" and "misunderstood" says billionaire investor

Carl Icahn in a tweet. He is a major shareholder in the company and would obviously appreciate a rising share price. Mr Icahn is promising an in-depth report into the company within two weeks.

Market update

FTSE 100
BBC

After closing at a record on Monday, the

FTSE 100 finished with a fairly sharp loss - down 1.27%. Standard Chartered led the index lower, falling 3.45% after weak first quarter results. Miners were the winners, with
Fresnillo up 2.4% and
Anglo American 2.3% higher. There were even bigger falls on the continent, where the
Cac-40 in Paris and
Dax in Frankfurt both fell almost 2%.

Call for 'urgent' review of Nigerian oil firm

oil pipeline
AP

Nigeria's state-owned oil company needs to be "urgently reviewed and restructured" according to an audit commissioned by the government.
The PwC report found that in 2012 and 2013 the Nigeria National Petroleum Company spent 46% of the proceeds of its revenue from oil sales on operations and subsidies. It says that is unsustainable.

Pfizer results

Pfizer
BBC

Pfizer has cut its sales and profit forecast for the year blaming the strong US dollar. Around 60% of the company's sales are outside the US and the strong dollar reduces the value of profits on those sales. However Pfizer's first quarter results were better than expected.
Shares are down 0.38%.

Via Twitter

Robert Peston

Economics editor

@JunckerEU tells BBC could be minor EU treaty changes to accommodate @David_Cameron but nothing big like restrictions on emigration

SNP on GDP

John Swinney
PA

The Scottish National Party has said today's UK GDP figures demonstrate the need for an end to austerity. Scottish Finance Minister John Swinney said: "The lesson I take from that is that we have a chance in the election next Thursday to start to invest again in our economy by ending the austerity and spending cuts of the UK government."

US consumer confidence falls

Shoppers Macy's
AP

US consumer confidence fell to the lowest level in four months,

according to figures from The Conference Board. Its index fell back to 95.2 in April from 101.4 in March. Its figures are based on around 3,000 respondents to a monthly survey. "This month's retreat was prompted by a softening in current conditions, likely sparked by the recent lacklustre performance of the labour market," said Lynn Franco, from The Conference Board.

Wall Street update

Dow Jones
BBC

The

Dow Jones Industrial Average has been bouncing around so far. It started higher, reversed direction and then bounced back up. Merck is the biggest winner so far with a 5% gain. Investors clearly liked
the firm's first quarter results. The
S&P 500 and the
Nasdaq are slightly lower.

Apple shares

Apple shares
YAHOO

Apple shares surged to a record and then fell back following

the firm's strong quarterly results, released after the close of trading on Monday. Apple sold 61.1 million iPhones in the first three months of 2015, driving profit up 33% from a year earlier. Sales in greater China leapt 71% to $16.8bn, outpacing sales in the US for the first time.

US house price gains

San Francisco
AP

Denver and San Francisco are the hottest property markets in the US according to the latest

S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. The data for February showed that prices increased by 10% and 9.8%, respectively, over the past 12 months. The 10-city composite index gained 4.8% year-over-year, up from 4.3% in January.

Solid profits from UPS

UPS van
BBC

UPS reported an 11% increase in profits on operations to $1.7bn in the first quarter compared with the previous year. It shipped 1.1 billion packages during the quarter. That's up 2.8%. Growth in European export shipments jumped 9.4%. The company said its earnings forecast for the year remains unchanged.

UK GDP

There is "a glaring disparity between the GDP data and other evidence on the state of the economy," according to EY Item Club senior economic advisor Martin Beck. Data on business activity suggests manufacturing and services growth, while ONS numbers showed retail sales growing by 1% on the quarter.

Ford profits

Ford logo
Reuters

Ford made a pre-tax profit of $1.4bn (£915m) for the first three months of 2015. Although that was a rise of $24m on the same quarter last year, the numbers still fell short of some Wall Street forecasts. The second-largest car maker in the US sold fewer vehicles in North America and the Middle East, but saw improvement in Europe and Asia. Global sales fell 1% to 1.6 million units.

UK GDP

Patrick O'Flynn
BBC

UKIP's spokesman on economic affairs, Patrick O'Flynn, urges caution over today's data on slowing UK growth. "The Tories and Labour are over-blowing a single set of figures," especially as official data is frequently revised, he tells the BBC. Nevertheless, the news is "disappointing" and "makes the case for tax cuts and putting money back into people's pockets," he adds.

Greece debt talks

Alexis Tsipras
BBC

Naturally, there's been a lot of focus on the UK economy today, but elsewhere the Greek economic drama continues. After re-shuffling his negotiating team Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras remains optimistic that the country can reach an outline bailout deal with the EU and IMF. "Despite the difficulties, the possibilities to win in the negotiations are large. Whoever gets scared in this game loses," he says.

UK GDP

Bobby McFerrin
Getty Images

If you're wondering why we've illustrated a post on UK GDP with a picture of jazz vocalist Bobby McFerrin, it's because UBS summed up its take on today's growth slowdown as "Don't worry, be happy". The bank says that "despite the disappointment in the headline growth number, we would not be particularly pessimistic. Some of the drags in Q1 [the first quarter], especially construction and industrial production, look likely to reverse in future quarters." The surprise slowdown in the services sector mostly relates to banking, which had a slow start to the year, UBS says.

UK GDP

Accountancy firm PwC says the slowdown in GDP growth is likely to be "a wobble", and possibly not much more. "We need to bear in mind these are only preliminary estimates that may well be revised later," says John Hawksworth, PwC's chief economist. "It would... be premature to conclude that the UK economic recovery is stalling when other fundamentals such as rising employment and low inflation are boosting consumer spending power."

UK GDP

Conservative plans for after the general election "risk completely killing off this faltering recovery and plunging the economy back into even deeper trouble", TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady says. "The slowest recovery in modern history just slowed down again."

UK GDP

UK construction is "at a crossroads" says Michael Conroy Harris of law firm Eversheds. "While the headline figure will be analysed for its impact on the general election, the underlying figure for UK construction is yet another worrying sign that the industry is at a crossroads. On the back of other reports that we don't have enough bricks, let alone bricklayers, it's hard to see how supply has any chance of keeping up with demand in housebuilding."

Via Blog

UK GDP

Robert Peston

Economics editor

If we weren't a nation of shoppers and restaurant eaters, there would be very little growth at all. The output of distribution, hotels and restaurants increased by 1.2% in the quarter - only slightly slower than at the end of last year."

Read

Robert's full blog post.

BP shares

BP shares
BBC

BP shares have gained about 1.82% in value after the oil giant posted results that exceeded analyst expectations.

Luxury cars boost Daimler profit

Mercedes car
Getty Images

Daimler has reported first quarter net profits of $2.2bn (£1.4bn), nearly double the amount it made during the same period last year. The demand for Mercedes-Benz across its major markets in China and the US also helped the German automaker reach record first quarter sales, which grew by 18% to over 459,000 vehicles.

Total profits down

Total"s oil refinery at La Mede near Marseille
Rex Features

French oil giant Total has reported a 20% drop in first-quarter net profit, down to $2.7bn (£1.75bn) from $3.3bn a year earlier. The drop was smaller than analysts had expected.