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  1. RMT in new UK rail strike threat
  2. UK first quarter economic growth unrevised at 0.3%

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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That's all we have time for on Business Live today - thanks for reading. We're back at 0600 with all of Friday's business news. Do join us then.

Wall Street closes lower

US stock markets fell on Thursday following a sell-off in Shanghai and concerns about Greece's debt repayments. The Dow Jones fell 36 points, or 0.2%, to close at 18,126, while the S&P 500 shed 2 points to 2,120. The Nasdaq slipped 8 points, or 0.2%, to 5,097. Although the Shanghai Composite dropped more than 6% the index is still more than double what it was a year ago.

More paternity leave in Sweden

Swedish fathers
Getty Images

More evidence that Sweden is the promised land: its government plans to introduce a third month of paid parental leave for fathers next year. Sweden offers 16 months parental leave that can be taken by either mothers or fathers, with two months of that set aside for dads. Social security minister Annika Strandhall said a third month of leave "is a key issue towards attaining greater [gender] equality".

Android M revealed

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Google has revealed some of the functions of Android M, the next version of its mobile operating system, at the I/O conference in San Francisco today. Read more


Google and GoPro

 Ben Wood, mobile/wireless industry analyst for CCS Insight, on the Google/GoPro announcement.   

GoPro / Google partnership on 360 degree filming great news for the VR content chain. An important development.
GoPro / Google partnership on 360 degree filming great news for the VR content chain. An important development.

GoPro / Google partnership on 360 degree filming great news for the VR content chain. An important development.

IAG welcomes MPs' vote

Aer Lingus
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IAG has - unsurprisingly -

welcomed the decision by Irish MPs to approve the sale of the Irish Government's stake in Aer Lingus to the company. The Irish government agreed on Tuesday to
sell its 25% share after receiving promises over jobs and key traffic routes. "The approval was a condition of the offer," IAG said.

Google launches Photos service

Google Photos
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Google is parking another tank on the lawns of both Apple and Facebook - among others. It announced a free online photo service that will offer unlimited storage of images of up to 16 megapixels and high-definition video up to 1080p. Google Photos will be available as an app on both Android and Apple devices, and on a website. It's a variation of the photo management tool on Google Plus, a social network-style service that has struggled to compete against Facebook since its 2011 launch. Apple has a photo service that offers up to five gigabytes of free storage, while Yahoo's Flickr offers one terabyte of free storage.

'Assembly problems' to blame for A400M crash

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Airbus has suggested that an "assembly quality problem" was to blame for the crash of the A400M in Spain on 9 May. Marwan Lahoud, chief of strategy, told the German daily Handelsblatt: "The black boxes confirm it. There was no structural fault, but we have a serious final assembly quality problem." It seems that the units that control the engines of the turboprop aircraft were poorly installed during final assembly, which could have led to the engines malfunctioning.

A spaceship - or a gadget?

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones on Google's virtual reality headset.

I've worn a lot of gadgets but I can't see myself putting this on my head #Google #gopro #VR

I've worn a lot of gadgets but I can't see myself putting this on my head #Google #gopro #VR

JP Morgan to sack 5,000 staff

JP Morgan
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JP Morgan Chase has started laying off staff and will sack more than 5,000 by next year, the

Wall Street Journal reports. However, that is only 2% of the US bank's workforce. It will use more technology to reduce the number of tellers in its 5,570 branches, though most will lose only one staff member.

Non-dom facts

Most non-domiciled tax payers have been born abroad. But how many were actually born in the UK, inheriting this privileged tax status? There were 800 of them in the 2012-13 tax year, according to HMRC after a Freedom of Information request from Reuters. What is the point? Typically non-doms don't have to pay UK tax on income and assets held abroad, so long as the money is not brought into the UK. So how many non-doms opt for that arrangement in total, regardless of their nationality? 48,300 apparently, the vast majority coming from abroad.

Next interest rate rise

Bank of England

They don't give up, do they, those City economists? Despite getting it hopelessly wrong for the past six years or so, they are still busily forecasting the next rise in UK interest rates. A Reuters poll of 57 economists finds that most think the next rise (the first since they fell to 0.5% in March 2009) will come in the first three months of next year. We shall see.


A high-profile City fund manager has been explaining to his clients how he managed to lose lots of their money in April. The Odey European Fund, run by Crispin Odey, lost a whopping 19% of its value last month. The explanation? It seems he lost money betting on foreign exchange movements, and via bets on oil, and also shares in so-called emerging markets. "Nobody likes being wrong. Nobody likes looking foolish. Nobody likes losing money," Odey said in a letter to clients.

Google I/O conference

IDC research director Francisco Jeronimo tweets: 

Fast charging is the best way to solve the battery life problem #io15

Fast charging is the best way to solve the battery life problem #io15

Google conference

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones is watching senior vice-president of products Sundar Pichai deliver the keynote address at Google's big Android conference

Google I/O keynote starts -Sundar Pichai says they now have more than 1bn users in five separate products

Lagarde: Grexit is a 'possibility'

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Interesting comments from Christine Lagarde. The IMF boss has told Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that "a Greek exit is a possibility". While that would "not be a walk in the park", a Grexit would "probably not" mean the end of the euro. We can only wonder why she has chosen to make such a statement at this point in time.

The man with 20 US #1 hits

Taylor Swift

I will venture a guess that most Business Live readers have not heard of Max Martin - but chances are you will know more than a few of his compositions. The Swedish songwriter and producer (born Martin Sandberg) has just notched up his 20th US number one with Taylor Swift's

Bad Blood (pictured). Only two other songwriters have had more US number ones: Paul McCartney (32) and John Lennon (26). I'd put money on Martin overtaking Macca's total sooner or later. His first #1? Britney Spears' Baby One More Time in 1999 - and he has been a writer on no less than eight number one hits for Katy Perry - starting with I Kissed A Girl in 2008.

Via Twitter

Irish MPs back Aer Lingus bid

RTE News tweets: The Dáil has voted in favour of the proposal to approve IAG's bid to buy Aer Lingus by 74 votes to 51

Deutsche Bank workers

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The workers are revolting - at Deutsche Bank at least. The works council that represents some 2,500 staff at the bank's Frankfurt headquarters have called on co-chief executive Anshu Jain to quit ahead of planned job cuts and cost cuts worth €4.7bn (£3.3bn, $5.1bn). He was given responsibility for reforms and cost cuts in a boardroom shakeup last week. "A radical new start would restore our credibility and could produce a real boost to morale," the HQ works council said.

London market ends higher

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FTSE 100 reversed earlier losses to end the day up 7.59 points at 7,040.92.
Sports Direct was the biggest riser, up 4.2% to 686p after raising its outlook. The biggest faller of the day was
Ashtead, which shed 4.6% to £11.61. Some investors said UK equities were looking more attractive after suffering from uncertainty from the general election. Alan Mudie, head of investment strategy at Societe Generale Private Banking, said: "We continue to see value in the UK, which underperformed other European markets in the run-up to the election."

Via Blog

Robert Peston

Economics editor

Why aren't sponsors tougher on Fifa? Find out


Google 'buy button' plan

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Google plans to introduce a "

buy button" to its search results to give Google search users the option to purchase without needing to visit a separate website. Google's chief business officer, Omid Kordestani, said he wanted to reduce "friction" for users to encourage them to buy more online. However, Amazon has a considerable head start in the online shopping market.

Network Rail: strike call 'unacceptable'

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Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne said: "It is clearly unacceptable for the RMT to massively disrupt the travelling public with strike action when we are ready to continue talks." Network Rail said it will now restart its contingency planning with the train operators, but warned that if the strike goes ahead, rail services will be "severely affected".

IMF: no Greek delay request

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Greece has not asked to shift its debt repayments to the International Monetary Fund to the end of June, a spokesman said, adding that talks continue on the next review of Greece's bailout. According to IMF rules, any country that has several debt repayments in one month can choose to lump them together and pay all of them at the end of the month. Athens has some €1.6bn due to the Fund next month. Greek officials have said they may not be able to make upcoming payments to the IMF and the European Central Bank without a cash-for-reforms deal with its international lenders.

Shazam offers image recognition


Music discovery app Shazam is introducing an

image recognition feature for smartphones,
reports the Financial Times' Murad Ahmed. Users can scan an image with the Shazam logo or QR code with their device's camera and then see content such a movie trailer or an online store where they can buy the goods being advertised. The move puts Shazam in competition with companies such as Blippar and Powa Technologies that are also developing "augmented reality" apps.

US markets fall

Wall Street has opened lower on Thursday, a day after the Nasdaq composite closed at a record high. The

Dow Jones is down 69 points, or 0.4%, at 18,093, the
S&P 500 lost 7.5 points, or 0.3%, to 2,115, while the
Nasdaq shed 25 points, or 0.5%, to 5,081.

BreakingBreaking News

New rail strike

RMT members at Network Rail will walk out for 24 hours from 5pm on 4 June and for 48 hours from the same time on 9 June.

Greece 'not paying for pills'

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It appears that Greece has already defaulted on some of its foreign debt. The country owes drug makers more than €1.1bn (£780m, $1.2bn), said Richard Bergstrom, director-general of the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. Its members had not been paid by Greece since December 2014 and were owed money by both hospitals and state-run health insurer EOPYY. "We have started a conversation in Brussels with the European Commission," Mr Bergstrom said. "We want the Commission to know that our companies are in this for the long run and are committed to Greece."

More Apple car hints

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A top Apple executive has given the strongest hint yet that the tech giant wants to move into the automotive market. Jeff Williams, senior vice-president of operations, said at a conference in San Francisco after being asked what Apple would do with its $100bn cash mountain: "The car is the ultimate mobile device, isn't it? We explore all kinds of categories. We'll certainly continue to look at those, and evaluate where we can make a huge difference." He added that Car Play, Apple's car-connected app, was the extent of its automotive efforts thus far.

Avago buys Broadcom for $37bn


As Business Live reported on Wednesday, Avago Technologies has confirmed a deal to buy rival chipmaker Broadcom for $37bn (£24.2bn). Avago, which makes chips for the wireless and industrial markets, is offering Broadcom shareholders $17bn in cash and Avago shares worth $20bn in one of the semiconductor sector's biggest deals. It represents a premium of about 28% based on Broadcom's market value of $28.8bn on Tuesday before news of the talks emerged.

Macquarie mulls Moto sale


Moto, Britain's largest motorway services company, could be changing hands. Reuters reports that its owner, Australian infrastructure investor Macquarie, has asked investment bank Citi to work on a potential sale. Moto had profits before interest and other costs of about £91m last year. Its competitor, Roadchef, was sold for £153m last year in a deal that valued the business at about 12.5 times its profits - which gives Moto a valuation of about £1.1bn. Citi and Macquarie declined to comment.

Good afternoon

Thanks to Matthew and Rebecca for this morning's coverage. Chris Johnston here with you until 2130 with the rest of the day's business news and views.

Weekly US jobs figures

It's a Thursday so we have these. US weekly applications for unemployment benefits rose by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000, according to official figures. The average had fallen to a 15-year low two weeks ago. The numbers suggest the US jobs market is in good shape.

Mortgages approvals see pre-election surge

property in Brighton

There was a "significant pre-election jump" in the number of mortgage applications being approved, according to the High Street banks. The number of approvals rose 7% in April from March to 42,116, said the British Bankers' Association (BBA). That is the fastest rise since September 2013, and the highest number for 10 months, the BBA said.

Tesco shareholders to sue

Shopping trolleys are pictured outside a Tesco supermarket
AFP/Getty Images

Tesco shareholders are gearing up for a battle with the supermarket giant over its £263m accounting scandal. Furious investors have called in the high-flying QC who crossed swords with F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone and the billionaire Barclay brothers to take up the cause. A formal claim is expected to be filed later this year. Shareholders in Britain and in the US claim the scandal wiped between 50p and 70p permanently from the value of the shares, meaning the total bill could be as high as £1.9bn.

Abercrombie & Fitch

Abercrombie and Fitch models
Abercrombie and Fitch

Youngsters clothing chain

Abercrombie & Fitch reports a 14% drop in quarterly sales, thanks to weak demand, a strong dollar, and higher discounts. Its net loss was $63.2m, from last year's $23.7m.

Signet Jewellers results

H Smauel store
H Samuel

Signet Jewellers - owners of H Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK -

announces a strong first quarter. It's sales were between 2-3%, it states.

Market update


FTSE 100 has turned vaguely positive - up 0.21% at 7048.38.
Kingfisher shares remain up 3% after its trading update at 378.30p. Meanwhile,
Sports Direct shares are up 4% too after its profit upgrade.
The pound is down a bit after an update on GDP figures proved disappointing. It's down about half a cent against the euro and the dollar.