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Summary

  1. RBS reports £446m loss on legal and restructuring costs
  2. Nokia shares tumble 10% after disappointing results
  3. Elon Musk expected to announce home battery system
  4. BA owner IAG has seen a first quarter profit for the first time
  5. Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell boosted by refinery business

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Ben Morris

Business Reporter

That's it from the Business live page on Thursday. Friday brings results from Lloyds Banking Group, we'll also have analysis on the expected battery announcement from Elon Musk. Join us from 06:00.

Wall Street close

Late in the day selling drove US indexes to sharp losses on Thursday. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1% lower at 17,840. A 2.7% decline for shares in
Apple weighed on the index. The broader
S&P 500 also fell 1% and the
Nasdaq recorded a sharper fall, down 1.6%.

LinkedIn disappoints

LinkedIn website
LinkedIn

LinkedIn shares have fallen heavily in after hours trading. Analysts say there is disappointment over its forecast for sales in the second quarter. The social network for professionals

expects revenue of between $670 and $675m. For the first quarter it reported a net loss of $43m, an increase on the loss of $13m it reported in the first quarter of 2014.

Hungary probes Uber

Uber app
Reuters

Uber is facing another battle, this time in Hungary. The economy ministry has ordered a tax audit of the ride sharing company. "Uber is operating in Hungary without paying any substantive taxes and often failing to comply with rules governing the taxi profession," it said. On Wednesday a court ordered Uber to suspend operations in Brazil.

General Motors job cuts

GM logo
Getty Images

GM is ending the production of the Chevrolet Camaro at its Oshawa plant in Ontario, Canada. The move will result in 1,000 job losses.

Earlier GM said it planned to invest $5.4bn to improve US factories over the next three years.

Iron ore crunch

Train operated by Vale
Getty Images

The slump in iron ore prices is forcing miners to rethink their production targets. Brazil's Vale said it could reduce its forecast for iron ore output by 30 million tonnes over the next two years. Up until now the big producers have maintained output, despite

a 47% slump in prices over the last 12 months. At the moment Vale is forecasting production of 340 million tonnes this year and 376 million tonnes in 2016.

Talks over Greece resume

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis
Getty Images

Talks between Greece and its international creditors have resumed, with AFP reporting that they will run "non-stop" until Sunday. Greece is struggling to pay salaries and pensions and needs a deal to secure 7.2bn euros from its bailout package. Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis (pictured) has been sidelined from the talks, as he appears to have upset Greece's creditors.

BHP's Caribbean excursion

Sunset from Bridgetown
Getty Images

BHP Billiton is going to search for oil in waters 25 miles southeast of Barbados.

The mining company has signed a deal with the government to to explore an area of 1,930 square miles, where the water can be up to 2,000 metres deep.

Bank bonuses

Commerzbank offices
Getty Images

A plan by Germany's Commerzbank to increase bonuses for some of its staff has been blocked by the government. It was put to a vote at the company's annual meeting today. It needed 75% in favour but only received 64.7% backing, with the government using its 17% stake to vote against the plan.

Google use in UK exams

World Service

students in an examination hall
PA

UK students should be allowed to use Google in exams, Mark Dawe, head of OCR - one of the country's largest exam boards - tells

World Business Report. "Students will be expected to use Google as part of their higher education and employment, so it seems sensible that within the exams, Google is available as well."

Remittances vital in Nepal recovery

World Service

A ruined house after the Nepal earthquake
Reuters

Money sent back from the two million Nepalese migrants working abroad is vital to aid the country in the aftermath of the earthquake. Dilip Rathna, economist at Lead Migration tells

World Business Report: "They are like an insurance - they go away to a place where there is prosperity and jobs, and now we are in need, remittances are the first form of aid to rush in, to help the economy and reconstruction."

Dollar hits Colgate

A stronger dollar has hit profit at Colgate-Palmolive. The company has cut its earnings forecast for the full year again.

Shares are down more than 2%.

Airbus 'to sue over spying'

Airbus plane
Getty Images

Aviation giant Airbus is to file a criminal complaint over alleged US industrial espionage, AFP news agency says. In a translated statement the company said it was "alarmed because there is concrete suspicion of industrial espionage." It follows reports in the German media suggesting German intelligence helped to collect data on European firms at the behest of the US National Security Agency.

Carcraft to close

"Poor market reputation, lack of investment, a high cost base, expensive loan note financing and an insolvent balance sheet". The reasons given by the administrators for second-hand car company Carcraft closing - with the loss of 500 jobs. Read the full story

here.

Via Twitter

@MarketWatch

tweets: Warren Buffett likes to sing & play the ukulele, including this ode to Coke's 100th birthday.
http://on.mktw.net/1AlNeM4

Battery powered homes?

BBC World News

Elon Musk chief executive of Tesla Motors
Reuters

Elon Musk (pictured) is expected to announce a battery system for the home later. Why would you need one? Well it would "smooth out" a household's need for electricity says Colin Brown, from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. That means you could take advantage of cheaper off-peak power. It hasn't happened so far because batteries have been too expensive Mr Brown tells World Business Report.

Pemex woes

Mexico's state energy firm Pemex continues to run-up losses. In the first quarter it reported a loss of $6.5bn, due mainly to falling crude oil prices. In response the company is cutting jobs, suspending projects and cutting its budget by 11.5%. Last year the firm lost $17.7bn.

Worries over Nokia

Nokia image
Reuters

Shares in Nokia tumbled 10% after

it reported a 61% fall in operating profit. Nokia blamed the fall on weaker software sales and higher costs. Nokia's falling share price could jeopardise
its plan to buy Alcatel-Lucent as it made an all-share offer.
Alcatel-Lucent shares slumped almost 10% in Paris.

London market close

Royal Mail was the leading share on the
FTSE 100, rising 5% after Dutch firm PostNL abandoned expansion plans in the UK.
RBS fell 3.1%
after posting a first quarter loss of £446m. The FTSE 100 shuttled in and out of positive territory, but closed 0.2% higher at 6,960.

Viacom disappoints

Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator in Terminator Genisys
PARAMOUNT

Viacom shares are down 0.5%. The owner of Paramount Pictures, MTV and Comedy Central
reported a 3% fall in quarterly revenue to $3.1bn. Its movie business reported a 21% fall in sales as income from licensing to TV networks fell. The company said it is looking forward to the releases of Terminator Genisys and the latest Mission Impossible movie this summer.

Glu's big deal

Glu mobile website
Glu Mobile

Shares in mobile game maker

Glu Mobile have soared 21%. That's after Chinese social media and entertainment giant Tencent bought a 14.6% stake in Glu for $126m. Glu's games include Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Deer Hunter.

Tesla's power trip

Tesla showroom Shanghai
Getty Images

There has been a lot of speculation ahead of an announcement from Elon Musk, the founder of electric car maker Tesla at 20:00 Pacific Time, that's 04:00 on Friday morning in London. He's expected to reveal a residential battery system, that will act as a storage for solar power and as a back-up in case of a power cut. If successful, it would boost

Tesla's planned $5bn battery plant.
Tesla shares are down 2%.

TSB boss on bonuses

Radio 5 live

TSB logo
BBC

TSB chief executive Paul Pester says in 2011, when the bank was being designed, customers said they wanted banks to change the way banks paid bonuses. "We unashamedly looked across the UK, looked across Europe - who seems to have a good way of paying themselves? - John Lewis stood out as a great example. We've unashamedly copied the John Lewis approach - so I get a flat 10% bonus like everyone else does in the bank."

Wall Street update

There were losses in early trading for the major indexes on Wall Street. The

Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 0.3%. The broader
S&P 500 was down 0.2%. The
Nasdaq was trading 0.5% lower. Shares in the cloud software firm,
Salesforce.com are up 6% after Bloomberg reported that it had received a takeover approach.
Harman International, which makes car stereos, fell 12% after cutting its profit forecast for 2015.

European unemployment

A kiosk owner stands behind towels depicting Euro banknotes hanged at his kiosk in Athens on March 22, 2015
AFP

The highest unemployment rate was seen in Greece, at 25.7% (for Greece the latest figures are for January), and the lowest was Germany, which was 4.7% in March. "Compared with a year ago, the unemployment rate in March 2015 fell in twenty-two member states, increased in five, and remained stable in Austria,"

said Eurostat.

US consumer spending rises

Shopper New York
Getty Images

US consumer spending rose by 0.4% in March according to the Commerce Department. That's the strongest gain since November of last year. Consumer spending accounts for 70% of US economic activity.

US wage growth accelerates

Capital Economics describes this morning's data from the US as B-list. However there's some useful indicators in there. "There are now clear signs of an acceleration in wage growth," says Paul Ashworth, chief US economist. He's referring to the

employment cost index which rose by 0.7% in the first quarter, taking annual growth in pay to 2.6%.

ExxonMobil profits fall

Mobil petrol station
AP

US oil giant ExxonMobil's profits fell sharply in the first quarter as the big drop in oil prices held back the exploration and production division. Group earnings fell 46% to $4.9bn (£3.1bn). Revenue dropped 36% to $67.6bn. Profits at Exxon's upstream division, which drills and produces oil and gas, slumped 63.3% to $2.9bn. However, profits at the refining arm more than doubled to $1.7bn,

the company said.

Shell's Arctic plans

Arctic ocean
BBC

Royal Dutch Shell is pushing ahead with controversial plans to explore for oil in the Arctic near Alaska this summer despite opposition from environmental groups. The Anglo-Dutch oil major,

which reported profit earlier today, is preparing vessels to begin a two-year programme to explore two to three wells in the Chukchi Sea, chief financial officer Simon Henry says.

Via Blog

Oil industry

Linda Yueh

Chief business correspondent

There are some signs of stabilising oil prices. But, I should stress, there are more signs of volatility than stability and here's why."

Read Linda's blog on what the future holds for the oil majors.

FTSE 100 update

FTSE 100 graph
BBC

The

FTSE 100 is almost back to where it started, down just 1.45 points at 6,944.8. But that masks some big movers so far today.
Royal Mail is up 5.49% on news that a rival service may have scaled down expansion plans.
Royal Bank of Scotland is down 3.92%
after reporting a £446m first-quarter loss. And airline group
IAG, despite posting a quarterly profit, is 2.59% lower.
ITV, down 4.55%, is the biggest faller, after going ex-dividend. Outside the top flight, property website
Zoopla jumped more than 14% after
announcing a takeover of the company behind uSwitch.

Energy firm margins

Gas ring
BBC

The pre-tax margin that a typical large energy supplier will make on a dual fuel customer over the coming year has risen to £120 - or 9% of the average bill - according to

the latest monthly estimate published by the energy regulator Ofgem. That's up from £118 last month.

Golden ticket

We mentioned earlier the fascinating tale of Max-Herve George, a 26-year-old Frenchman who has an Aviva life policy that lets him bet on upward market movements for a full week after they have happened. He's been trying to get the insurer to honour the policy for years. Aviva has now put out a statement. "Aviva France has been managing this issue for over a decade. It's not new. Aviva France remains appropriately provisioned and its reserves are reviewed annually with the French regulator."

Russia rate cut

Russia's central has

cut its key interest rate by 1.5% to 12.5%, citing declining inflation risks and a rebound in the rouble.

Eurozone inflation

With eurozone inflation expected to be flat in April - i.e. average prices should be the same as they were last year - falling energy prices are expected to provide the main downward pressure on inflation by dropping 5.8%. On the other hand, services, and food, alcohol and tobacco are expected to have the highest annual rates in April.

Via Twitter

European unemployment

Douglas Fraser

Business and economy editor, Scotland

Unemployment rates
Eurostat

tweets: UK had 2nd lowest EU unemployment rate in latest data (though quality of jobs also an election issue).

Workers lose court fight

Barbara Wilson
BBC

Woolworths claimant Barbara Wilson had worked for the firm for nearly 23 years, but because she worked in a store with 19 employees, rather than 20, she wasn't entitled to compensation, unlike other Woolworths workers. "It just seems bizarre that when we came to losing our jobs, we were treated totally differently to other employees," she says. "It's just the principle, and the travesty, and the unfairness of it."

"We were like a little family there. A lot of us had worked there for many years. It was what we did every day. You got up, you went to that particular store, and I remember when it was closing - it was like seeing your home dismantled," she adds.

Workers lose court fight

The European Court of Justice's rejection of a compensation claim for thousands of former Woolworths and Ethel Austin staff is a "victory for common sense," says Katja Hall, the CBI's deputy director general. "The case has dragged on for nearly two years and the uncertainty caused has created additional and costly burdens for British businesses. This decision has given certainty to the law and restored consultation to genuine cases of collective redundancy."

Airbus earnings

Airbus A380
BBC

Airbus has seen profits rise in the first quarter thanks to the sale of a stake in rival Dassault Aviation, though its plane orders and deliveries fell slightly. Airbus reported a profit of €795m (£576m), compared with €436m a year earlier.

Germany unemployment

The German unemployment rate remained at 4.7% in March,

the Federal Statistical Office has said. Roughly 42.5 million people who were resident in Germany were in employment in March.