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Summary

  1. BP shareholders reject chief executive's pay package
  2. FTSE 100 down 16 points in afternoon trading
  3. Burberry shares sink 6% on gloomy sales outlook
  4. Bank of England holds rates at 0.5%

Live Reporting

By Ben Morris

All times stated are UK

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Goodbye

That's it for us today. Join us again tomorrow where we'll be back from 6am. 

FTSE 100 closes flat

The FTSE 100 has closed more or less flat, just 0.01%, or 72 points, higher at 6,363.61.

Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell says Friday's trading could see more exciting. 

"Not because of anything from the UK (the index finding it almost impossible at the moment to generate some home grown momentum); 

"No, Friday morning sees the Chinese Q1 GDP, industrial production and fixed asset investment figures, and if Wednesday’s exports-inspired growth is anything to go by there is the potential for a pretty big reaction from the markets," he says. 

Seagate leads Nasdaq index lower

Nasdaq composite
BBC

The technology-rich Nasdaq Composite is pretty flat (see above), but shares in Seagate Technology are the biggest losers with an 18% plunge.

On Wednesday the provider of data storage warned that third-quarter sales and profit margins would be below its previous forecast. That's prompted six brokerages to cut their price targets for the shares.

The Dow Industrials have been bouncing around break-even so far. JP Morgan Chase is the biggest winner, up 1%. 

Dudley's pay sends 'wrong message'

The pay package awarded to BP chief executive Bob Dudley sends "entirely the wrong message" says Ian Greenwood, vice chair of the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum.  

You can hear more below.

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BP: Dudley's pay sends 'entirely the wrong message'

British boards 'in last chance saloon'

Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said:

How the board of BP reacts to this rebellion will determine the future of corporate governance in the UK. The shareholders have spoken, and BP cannot shrug of this significant expression of disapproval with the CEO’s pay package. British boards are now in the last chance saloon, if the will of shareholders in cases like this is ignored, it will only be a matter of time before the Government introduces tougher regulations on executive pay

Lagarde on EU referendum

The IMF recently warned that a UK exit from the European Union could cause "severe regional and global damage".

IMF chief Christine Lagarde has made some personal comments today:

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Lloyds on referendum

And here's the statement from Lloyds Banking Group on the referendum over UK membership of the European Union. It's not that strong:

The referendum and a vote to leave the EU are likely to cause economic uncertainty and potential volatility in the short term. With no certainty over how the UK’s position outside the EU would evolve, the longer term economic impact is unclear.

Why does Dudley need £14m?

Satirical quiz show Have I Got News For You tweets:

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Lloyds warning over Brexit

BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg tweets:

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US shares edge lower

The Dow Industrials has started with modest losses. 

Shares in asset manager Blackrock were down 1% after reporting profits and sales that were below analysts' estimates.

Drone racing: Sport of the future?

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tweets:

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Russia looks for Rosneft investor

Rosneft refinery
Reuters

Russian president Vladimir Putin says the government is looking for a strategic investor to take a 19% stake in Rosneft.

The president was speaking at his annual televised phone-in.

You might remember that BP holds a 19% in the Russian energy firm after selling its stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft.

World Bank poverty warning

BBC business reporter in New York, Michelle Fleury tweets:

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Pay vote makes no difference

BBC business correspondent tweets

Massive vote against BP pay at AGM

BBC business correspondent tweets

BP to review pay policy

BBC Business ediitor tweets

Switching 99p stores to Poundland causing 'disruption'

Exterior of Poundland store
Getty im

Poundland has reported a 4.9% fall in like-for-like sales in the second half of its financial year to 27 March.

The company blamed "difficult" market conditions over the last few months and the disruption caused by last year's takeover of 99p Stores. 

Duygu Hardman, analyst at Verdict Retail says: "With 331 gross store additions in the UK and Ireland, representing an increase of 56% over last year, Poundland now needs to focus on extracting value from its enlarged store portfolio.

"Aligning ranges under one brand while improving availability of products across the business and avoiding store cannibalisations will be key to its future success.  

"While Poundland warns that the first half of the 2016/17 financial year is likely to be affected by the continuing challenge of transitioning estates, the second half with softer comparatives will definitely test the management of the group and prove the benefits of the joint estates."

Big investor abstains from BP pay vote

BBC business editor tweets from BP AGM

Bank of America hit by slowdown fears

Man at Bank of America ATM
Getty Images

Bank of America - the second biggest US bank by asset value - has reported net income down 13% to $2.7bn for the first three months of the year. 

Reuters reports, the bank was hit by concern about a global economic slowdown and uncertainty about the pace of US interest rate increases which dampened bond and stock trading.

The profit was in line with low expectations after what has been described as the worst quarter for the banking industry since the 2007-08 financial crisis. 

Volatile markets as a result of falling commodity and oil prices, together with worries about China's economy and uncertainty about US interest rates all dented trading activity globally - particularly in the first two months of 2016.

Oil ticks up

Oil pump
Getty Images

Oil is trading at about $44 per barrel after the International Energy Agency trimmed its forecast for demand growth, but said a fall in US oil output was speeding up. 

Brent crude is up 12 cents at $44.30 a barrel, while US crude is 4 cents higher at $41.80 a barrel. 

The market is choppy ahead of a producers' meeting on Sunday in Doha of the world's biggest oil exporters, including Saudi Arabia and Russia. 

BP pay vote

Business editor Simon Jack tweets:

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BNP Paribas plans job cuts

BNP Paribas
Getty Images

We're beginning to wonder if banks are the canary in the coal mine given the job cuts being announced in the past few days. 

Now we learn that BNP Paribas has outlined a voluntary redundancy plan to unions on Thursday that calls for 675 job cuts at its corporate and institutional bank in France, an insider says. The division has more than 30,000 employees. 

BNP said in February it planned to save more than €1bn by 2019 to offset the effect of rising regulatory and compliance costs. 

Management was to meet with union representatives on Thursday about the plan.

Walk this way...

Business editor Simon Jack tweets:

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Burberry's China woes

Pedestrian walks past Burberry store in Beijing
Getty Images

Shares in Burberry are still the biggest faller on the FTSE 100 today following its warning that annual profits will be at the "bottom range" of expectations.

Burberry’s long term performance has been excellent, but the current slowdown in Chinese demand has caused weakness in the share price. We like Burberry for its robust balance sheet and its successful evolution from British manufacturer of iconic trench coats to a global luxury brand, but clearly trading conditions are tough. The picture would look very different if the Chinese luxury customer showed any signs of recovery, especially in Hong Kong and Macau. But for now, downgrades are the order of the day."

Steve ClaytonHead of equity research, Hargreaves Lansdown

Sterling bounces higher

Sterling has jumped after the Bank of England voted 9-0 to keep interest rates at a record low of 0.5 percent. The bank did point to the risks to the economy from a referendum on a EU membership in June, but it also hinted that sterling might be expected to recover if the UK votes to stay in the union. 

It bounced back to $1.4161 in the minutes after the decision was published, still down a third of a percent on the day but well above early morning lows. Against the euro the pound traded just 0.25% lower at 79.59 pence. 

BP pay vote

Bank warning on EU referendum

Financial Times reporter Emily Cadman tweets:

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Gardening leave

Nick Macpherspon
BBC

Speaking of things financial, Sir Nick Macpherson, the outgoing chief mandarin at the Treasury, has given an interview to George Parker at the Financial Times

The 56-year-old plans to strike a new balance between “some interesting renumerated work with perhaps a bit of academia”.

Sir Nick is using his enforced three months of gardening leave to develop a green thumb - “planting grass in what is an excuse for a lawn in my back garden” - as well as fixing a leaky toilet cistern. High-powered stuff indeed.

"One gets the impression that even dealing with a banking crisis might give him more pleasure," Parker quips.

Most shareholders 'on board' over pay

BBC business correspondent tweets from BP AGM

BreakingBP chairman reacts

BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has spoken at the company's annual meeting at the Excel centre in east London day and concedes that shareholders’ reactions on remuneration are "very strong". 

"They are seeking change in the way we should approach this in the future... But let me be clear. We hear you. We will sit down with our largest shareholders to make sure we understand their concerns and return to seek your support for a renewed policy," he says.

'We hear you' BP tells shareholders worried about pay

BP 'well prepared' for slump in oil price

BBC business correspondent tweets from BP AGM

BP 'performed exceptionally well'

BBC business correspondent tweets

Nothing to see here ...

BBC personal finance correspondent tweets

We did claim that 'athleisure' was Business Live's favourite word of the day - but we're pretty fickle and so now we've got another one. 

The challenge is to work it into a conversation ... 

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