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Summary

  1. All the latest reactions to sale of Tata's Port Talbot plant
  2. Mr Kipling owner Premier Foods rejects third offer
  3. Aldi recalls 'contaminated' snacks

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

That's it for another day on the Business Live page - a day dominated by the news about Tata's proposed sale of its Port Talbot plant.

Join us again from 6am tomorrow for all the latest on that and the rest of the business stories. 

60 years of steel

The town of Port Talbot has for more than 60 years been synonymous with steel. 

In its heyday in the 1960s, nearly 20,000 people worked there and the town grew up around it. 

Numbers may have dwindled, but it still has an imposing presence in the Welsh economy.

Port Talbot steelworks in mid 1960s
M McKeown/Express/Getty
Workers leaving the shift at the newly-formed Steel Company of Wales in Port Talbot in 1949
Topical Press Agency
A worker in 1961 measures a roll of steel
Bernard/Fox/Getty
Port Talbot in 1961
Bernard/Fox/Getty

Wall Street up for a second day after Yellen comments

Shares on Wall Street have closed higher, helped for a second day by comments from Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen that eased anxiety about potential interest rate hikes.

The Dow Jones industrial average rose 0.48% to 17,717.01 points, and the S&P 500 gained 0.44% to 2,063.96 points.  

The Nasdaq Composite added 0.47% to 4,869.29.

Javid: UK steel industry needs long-term solution

Business Secretary Sajid Javid says UK steel industry is "absolutely vital" for UK
The UK steel industry is "absolutely vital" for the country and the government is committed to finding a long-term solution to keep it afloat, Business Secretary Sajid Javid has said.

Mr Javid - who is cutting short his Australia trip to return to the UK - said the government was looking at "all viable options" to keep steelmaking continuing in Port Talbot.

But he played down the prospect of nationalising British steel, saying: "I don't think it's going to be the solution because everyone would want a long-term, viable solution."

He insisted "there are buyers out there" and said the government was "more than ready" to provide commercial support to really secure Port Talbot's "long-term future".
Roger Pinney reports on the many chapters of the steel industry in Wales.
Roger Pinney reports on the many chapters of the steel industry in Wales.

Blackrock 'plans job cuts'

Bloomberg tweets

Lessons for the future

BBC World Service tweets

The first minister said Wales' steel plants can make money again
There are people who may be able to provide a future for the Welsh steel industry, the first minister says.

Nike inspired motivational speech

As far as motivational speeches go this is pretty hardcore.

It'll also wake you up if you start to flag round about this time of the evening. We'll say nothing about the fact that the speaker is Shia LaBeouf but we hear he's available for team building weekends.

View more on youtube
Simon Jack reports from Port Talbot where hundreds of jobs are at risk
Tata Steel is planning to sell its UK business, putting the jobs of thousands of workers at risk.

Baketime apologises over snacks recall 'inconvenience'

The company which manufacturers the biscuits and snacks taken off the shelves by Aldi and others has confirmed it saw "evidence of pest activity" in January and again in March.

Baketime - based in Middlesborough - says the production area was subsequently "declared clear of pest activity."  

However, it says it's continuing to work closely with its local environmental health officer and pest control contractor to "ensure that the issue has been properly eradicated and hygienic standards on site are upheld".

There has been no evidence of any contamination to any of our products produced, however in the interest of health and safety and on a purely precautionary basis a recall was announced on certain batch codes. The company apologises for any inconvenience this has caused."

Baketime
Sian Lloyd visited Port Talbot to speak to some of those who could be affected by the future of the steelworks
How the future of Port Talbot steel plant could affect the futures of those who depend on it.
Trostre

Tata Steel has five sites in Wales, employing about 7,000 workers. This is what they do.

Read more

Could Brexit be negotiated in two years?

By Ross Hawkins

Reality Check

Lord O'Donnell saying: I'm in the camp that doesn't think we can do it in two years"
BBC

The claim: Former cabinet secretary Lord O'Donnell fears that negotiating the UK's exit from the European Union would take longer than the two years permitted, which could leave the UK facing higher tariffs.

Reality Check verdict: There are strong views on both sides, but without a crystal ball, neither side can be certain their hopes, fears or forecasts will turn out to be true.

Read the full Reality Check here.

How does the National Living Wage work?

BBC News tweets

The Tata Steel processing plant at Scunthorpe

Tim Bowler

Business reporter, BBC News

The BBC's Tim Bowler looks at why Britain's steel industry is in such trouble with so many jobs being lost - and asks is it really all the fault of the Chinese?

Read more
Jeremy Corbyn visited Port Talbot on Wednesday
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledges support for "immediate government intervention" to protect the steel industry during a visit to Port Talbot.

Record amount of fake food seized

BBC World Service

BBC World Service reports that police forces around the world seized a record 10.000 tonnes of fake or toxic food over the past year.

Among the finds reported by Interpol were Sudanese sugar tainted with fertiliser, and Indonesian chicken intestines preserved with formaldehyde. 

Italian officers discovered olives painted with copper sulphate to improve their colour. 

The authorities in Hungary, Lithuania and Romania, seized counterfeit chocolates aimed at children and destined for export to West Africa. 

Business Secretary Sajid Javid says UK steel industry is "absolutely vital" for UK
The UK steel industry is "absolutely vital" for the country and the government is committed to finding a long-term solution to keep it afloat, Business Secretary Sajid Javid says.

FTSE closes at 2016 high

The FTSE 100 index ended the trading day 1.6% higher at 6,203.17 points, its highest closing so far this year. 

Following Tuesday's falls in mining stocks, on Wednesday  they bounced back to end the day among the biggest gainers - with Anglo American up 11.8%, Rio Tinto up 5.9%,, BHP Billiton up 5.8% and Glencore up 5.4%.

The mining companies benefited from Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen's comments yesterday that the US central bank should proceed 'cautiously' as it looks to raise interest rates. 

Earlier Wall Street opened higher buoyed by Ms Yelland's speech. 

TUC calls for 'direct intervention' on UK steel

Frances O'Grady
Getty Images

This is yet more deeply troubling news for British steelworkers. While plant closures have been averted, the proposed sale of Tata Steel spells uncertainty for entire communities. We need action to secure a future for British steel. The government should directly intervene to save the UK steel industry, and Parliament should be recalled in order to debate how best to secure the future of this vital industry. Now, more than ever, the government needs to engage and listen to the steel unions. Other EU countries have shown that governments can act to support the steel industry, but this requires real political will. British steelworkers are world class. It’s time for the government to stand up for them.

Frances O'GradyTUC general secretary

Network Rail backs British steel

British steel is absolutely central to our Railway Upgrade Plan – we buy more than 140,000 tonnes of rail each year and 98% of that is made in Britain. Tata Steel is one of the most important links in our supply chain, providing the majority of our steel rail from its subsidiary, Longs Steel UK Ltd, in Scunthorpe. We’re certain that both Longs Steel and its current prospective buyer remain absolutely committed to helping us build a bigger, better railway for Britain.

Network RailSpokesperson

PM to chair meeting on Port Talbot sale plans

David Cameron
BBC

The Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a meeting of "key ministers" in Downing Street tomorrow morning to discuss Tata's proposed sale of the Port Talbot plant. 

In a statement the government said: "Following the news from Tata Steel, the government is completely focused on working with the company, trade unions and other interested parties to ensure a sustainable future for the plant at Port Talbot, and British steel making more widely."

Mr Cameron is also to speak by phone to Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones later this afternoon.

Business Secretary calls for action on cheap Chinese steel

BBC 5Live business presenter tweets

First Minister Carwyn Jones says he would work with the UK Government
First Minister Carwyn Jones says the Welsh Government will support "any viable option" to secure the future of steel working in Wales.

'It'll be hell to find work'

Ex-Port Talbot worker on the impact of a possible site sale

Nationalisation 'not a long-term solution' for Tata's Port Talbot

Business Secretary to return early from Australia

Sajid Javid
BBC

Business Secretary Sajid Javid is returning early from what was planned to be a three-day visit to Australia to lead the government's response.

He said the UK steel industry was vital to the country, but added that he did not think that nationalisation was the answer.

But he repeated that the government was determined to try to keep Port Talbot in business: "There are buyers out there. It might require some sort of government support and we are ready to look at all options," he said.

Pressed as to what there could be by way of government support, Mr Javid said it was "too early to tell what options exactly are on the table, we need to speak to potential buyers".

Clear case for government support for UK steel

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has added its voice in support of a rescue plan for the UK steel industry. Dr Adam Marshall, BCC acting director-general, said:

Assuring domestic production of steel is hugely important to the UK’s future growth prospects, and to our aspirations for the manufacturing and construction sectors, which are having a hard enough time in an uncertain global market as it is. The price the UK pays for dependence on overseas suppliers is often high, particularly in manufacturing and energy. There’s nothing wrong with being part of global supply chains, but there is something very wrong with losing domestic production and skills in a strategically-important industry. The loss of steelmaking would leave the UK vulnerable to global shocks, with dangerous consequences across the economy. The mistakes made in the nuclear industry decades ago must not be repeated in the steel industry today. There is a clear case for further government action to protect British steelmaking capacity, as it underpins so much of British manufacturing and construction. Our global competitors would not hesitate on an issue like this.

Dr Adam Marshall, BCC acting director-general.
Prof Jonathan Deacon of the University of South Wales said Port Talbot's sister plant Llanwern is still important to the Newport economy
Prof Jonathan Deacon of the University of South Wales says steel and Port Talbot's sister plant Llanwern is still important to Newport's economy.

Food watchdog says recalled snacks 'may have been subject to pest contamination'

Baketime Ltd is recalling various branded biscuit, snack and confectionery products on a precautionary basis as they have been manufactured in unhygienic conditions, says the Food Standards Agency (FSA). 

The products are stocked by Aldi, Asvina, Booker and LBV. 

The FSA says the products "are being recalled as they may have been subject to pest contamination".

"If you have bought any of the above product(s), do not eat it.  Instead, return it to the store from where you bought it for a full refund," it adds. 

Engineering body calls for help for steel industry

This is potentially a massive blow for the UK steel industry, wider manufacturing and for the local community. It is now essential that ongoing support is provided by the company to continue operation of the plant which will provide time to find a suitable buyer. In tandem with this, the UK and Welsh Governments must match words with action and take all necessary steps to ensure there is a future for the steel industry in the UK by any means possible. As well as short term emergency measures, in the longer term we need to see all major procurement projects, from HS2 to Hinckley Point, all using British Steel. Ministers can also do more by reforming business rates to exclude some of the penalties steel companies and others face if they invest in plant and machinery. Alongside this, the UK has one of the highest electricity costs for the energy intensive industries in Europe because of hindering domestic policy. We need to see a level playing field with our European competitors to ensure a positive future for the steel sector. Finally and, perhaps most importantly, it is vital the UK Government supports aggressive measures at EU level to prevent Chinese dumping.

Terry ScuolerChief Executive of EEF (Engineering Employers' Federation)

Pele sues Samsung

Pele
Getty Images

Brazilian soccer legend Pele is suing Samsung Electronics for about $30m, alleging the South Korean company improperly used a lookalike in an advertisement that ran in the New York Times.

He is claiming damages after Samsung advertised high definition TVs using the image of someone who looks like him.

It's alleged that Samsung ran the advertisement after breaking off negotiations in 2013 to use Pele's image to promote its goods.  

Unions 'not going silently into the night'

BBC Business tweets

'At least we have still got the business open'

Alan Davies, Community Union

Shares in New York head upwards

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

On Wall Street the Dow Jones is up 132 points at 17,765.22.

The Nasdaq has gained 41 points to hit 4,887.49 and the S&P 500 has put on up 13 points at 2,068.38.  

The gains follow Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen's speech on Tuesday in which she said the central bank needed to proceed "cautiously" with rate rises.

View of the Port Talbot steel works

The government says it has no plans to recall Parliament to discuss the crisis facing the UK steel industry as Labour accuses ministers of being "in disarray".

Read more

Assembly recall at 13.30 BST on Monday 4 April

BBC reporter David Deans tweets

Jeremy Corbyn to visit Port Talbot

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn will visit Port Talbot this afternoon, union representatives say.

Jeremy Corbyn
PA