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Summary

  1. Volkswagen more than doubles provisions for emissions scandal to €16.2bn
  2. UK chain store BHS denies speculation it is facing administration
  3. HSBC to change executive pay policy
  4. Data points to slowing eurozone recovery

Live Reporting

By Bill Wilson

All times stated are UK

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Good night

That's all from the Business Live page for today and indeed for this week.

We're back again at 06:00 on Monday - do join us then. 

Nasdaq sinks

The Nasdaq tumbled following disappointing results from Google owner Alphabet and from Microsoft, but higher oil prices helped lift the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It ended about 22 points higher at 18,004, while the S&P 500 was almost flat at 2,091.7 points.  

The tech-rich Nasdaq Composite fell 0.8% to 4,906 points as Alphabet fell 5.3% and Microsoft tumbled 7.1% after reporting a 25% fall in quarterly profits to $3.8bn.

Another Hinkley Point delay

Industry correspondent John Moylan tweets:

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BAE workers' vow over jobs

BAE artist impression of a future Royal Navy frigate
BAE

Workers at BAE Systems' shipyards on the River Clyde in Glasgow have vowed to do whatever it takes to avoid further job cuts, after learning of delays to contracts for the next generation of Royal Navy frigates.

The warning came after shop stewards met to discuss briefings by the firm. They are informing workers of their determination to fight any compulsory job losses.

The delays are due to the  slower release of Ministry of Defence funding for Type 26 warships. That means work on them will start later than planned, and will be carried out more slowly, probably requiring fewer workers.

Hundreds of jobs have been lost on the Clyde in the past 18 months as BAE reduced shipbuilding capacity.

Obama: Brexit would leave UK at 'back of trade queue'

US President Barack Obama
AP

US President Barack Obama has said Britain would go to the "back of the queue" for trade deals with the US if it votes to leave the European Union.

He said Britain was at its best when "helping to lead" a strong EU and membership made it a "bigger player" on the world stage.

He was speaking at the start of a three day visit to the UK.

EU exit campaigners reacted angrily to his words, with Tory MP Dominic Raab dubbing him a "lame duck" president.

Fiat Chrysler to recall 1.1m vehicles

On a day of gloomy news for European carmakers, Fiat Chrysler has come out with an announcement of its own.

The firm is to recall 1.1m SUVs and cars worldwide because the vehicles may roll away when drivers get out.

The recall covers the 2012-2014 Dodge Charger and Chrysler 300 sedans and the 2014-2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV. The firm is recalling 811,586 vehicles in the US and 317,616 elsewhere. 

More job losses in Brazil

Two people in a bus shelter in Brazil
AFP

The troubled Brazilian economy lost 118,776 jobs in March, worse than analysts had predicted.

The recession took its toll of jobs in manufacturing, farms and services.

It was the twelfth straight month of job losses in Brazil, according to the Labor Ministry's report.   

EU tax havens move

Cayman Islands
Getty Images

European Union nations want a strict common blacklist of non-cooperative tax jurisdictions that have been at the heart of the recent offshore accounts scandal in an effort to close loopholes and crack down on the use of tax havens. 

The European Commission proposed setting up such a list earlier this month and the 28 EU finance ministers backed the move at a meeting on Friday. Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis said: "We can get this listing system up and running very soon." 

The EU and some member nations have had several different tax haven lists, which have mostly been ineffective.   

Oil prices rally

Oil pump
Getty Images

Oil prices rose on Friday amid signs that a global glut may be easing. 

Brent crude rose 1.1% to $45.02 a barrel, while US oil was also up 1.1% at $43.66.

"The current rally is driven by a market sentiment that is becoming more and more convinced that the worst is over and the global oil market rebalancing process is already in play," said Dominick Chirichella of the Energy Management Institute in New York. 

Signs of hope over Greece

In other car news.... GM's boss sees her salary accelerate

'New delay' to EDF decision

EDF logo
Getty Images

EDF has delayed the final investment decision on its project to build two nuclear plants in the UK until after its 12 May shareholders' meeting so it can consult its works council about the plan, French newspaper Les Echos reports.

French economy minister Emmanuel Macron told parliament last month that a final investment decision on the £18bn UK project would be taken by early May.

The paper said EDF chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy told a board meeting on Friday afternoon that he had decided to consult the French state-controlled utilitys works council at its request on the project. That move will delay the investment decision by several weeks.

Villa owner shoulders relegation blame

Aston Villa players
Getty Images

Owner Randy Lerner says Aston Villa's relegation from the Premier League "lies at my feet and no-one else's".

The American said the club's "desperate existence is totally unacceptable, unbearable and totally incompatible with Villa's glorious past".

Villa, who are without a manager, have won only three league games, while two directors quit this week after falling out with the billionaire owner.

Read more here

McDonald's profits jump

BHS's battles

BHS store
PA

Despite last month winning the support of landlords to reduce rents at some stores, BHS warned that it needed extra funding to continue trading. It had been due to announce a new £60m loan this week, but failed to do so, according to one report. 

BHS was bought by billionaire Sir Philip Green for £200m in 2000, but he sold it last year for just £1 to Retail Acquisitions - a consortium of financiers, lawyers and accountants with no retail experience. 

The retailer has debts of more than £1.3bn, including a pension fund deficit of £571m.

Apple store in Beijing

China has shut down Apple's online book and movie services as it imposes strict rules governing what can be published on the net.

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BHS denies Retail Week story

BHS store
BHS

BHS chief executive Darren Topp says: "No administrators have been appointed. BHS is not going into administration. It is business as usual."

And he says he is "bemused" by the speculation.

Retail Week softens stance on BHS story...

Retail Week tweets

FTSE closes lower

FTSE chart
BBC

The FTSE 100 has closed lower, ending the day behind by 71 points, or 1.11%, at 6310.44.

Winners included Sainsbury and Tesco, while newly merged gambling firm Paddy Power Betfair was the biggest loser, falling by 3.9%. 

Google and Microsoft drag on US markets

Wall Street markets were behind in early trading on Friday, as disappointing earnings from Google's parent, Alphabet, and Microsoft weighed on the tech sector.

In late morning trading the Dow Jones was down by 39 points to 17942.62.

The S&P 500 slipped 8.85 points to 2082.63, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq index fell 65.06 to 4880.83.

Alphabet shares were down 6% after the internet giant reported earnings on Thursday that missed expectations.

Microsoft's shares also declined, falling 6.8% after the company reported a 25% drop in quarterly profit to $3.8bn.

BreakingBHS on the brink?

Retail Week news editor James Wilmore tweets:

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VW axes bonuses

Business correspondent Joe Lynam tweets:

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'Wild maverick' JMW Turner to appear on £20 notes

New £20 note
Bank of England

After the first public nomination process for a Bank of England banknote character, English Romanticist landscape painter JMW Turner will appear on its next £20 note.

The banknote will enter circulation in 2020, when Jane Austen will be the only woman on a Bank of England note. She will feature on the £10 note to be issued from next year.

The design on the reverse of the note will include his self-portrait, detail from his  painting The Fighting Temeraire, his quote "Light is therefore colour", and the signature from his will.

As with the next £5 and £10 notes, it will be printed on polymer, so it will survive a spin in the washing machine. Scotland already has some plastic banknotes.

Artist Tracey Emin said: “It’s so amazing that an artist has been chosen for the £20 note and an artist who was a wild maverick."

North Sea tax receipts slump to £35m

Oil worker
Shell

Tax receipts from offshore oil and gas slumped to just £35m in the last financial year, according to figures from HM Revenue and Customs.

The figure is the lowest recorded since the early days of North Sea production.

Corporation tax from offshore drilling raised £538m but that was offset by rebates on Petroleum Revenue Tax, totalling £503m.

The latest figure compares with £2bn of tax revenue in the 2014-15 financial year.

Four years ago, the Treasury raised £11bn from the two sources of tax on offshore production profits.

Tax haven tentacles stretch into Africa

BBC World Service Business tweets:

App helps expectant mums in Cameroon

German carmakers 'planning huge recall'

Several German carmakers plan to recall more than 600,000 cars as part of the widening investigations into emissions, according to reports in Germany.

Government sources have said that Mercedes, Opel and Porsche as well as Volkswagen and Audi would recall some diesel vehicles.

The move comes after the revelation in the US last year that VW had falsified diesel emissions tests.

Anyone for tennis?

Serena Williams
Getty Images

Tennis fans with deep pockets are being offered the chance to try and secure guaranteed tickets at Wimbledon's Number One court for five years.

The All England Lawn Tennis Club has just announced the price of its debenture packages at the court from 2017 to 2021 inclusive.

For £31,000 holders are guaranteed two tickets for nine days of play, plus other perks such as access to top end restaurants and bars. However, the AELTC warn that applying will not necessarily results in securing a debenture as demand may outstrip availability.

Read more here.

Nonagenarians who still enjoy going to work...

World Business Report tweets

Daimler begins emissions testing probe

Daimler CEO
Getty Images

Daimler shares are down almost 7% after the carmaker said it had begun an internal investigation into its diesel emissions testing.

The owner of the Mercedes-Benz brand said it was conducting the probe at the request of the US Justice Department.

"Daimler is co-operating fully with the authorities," the German company said.

Separately, on Friday, Daimler posted a 31% fall in first-quarter profits as costs of new car launches weighed on the bottom line.

HSBC sign

HSBC asks shareholders to approve a new pay policy for its executive directors in a move that will cut the maximum amount they can earn by 7%.

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HSBC shareholders back pay package for Gulliver and Flint

HSBC shareholders have overwhelmingly backed a pay package of £7.3m for chief executive Stuart Gulliver at the bank's annual general meeting (AGM). The banking giant saw 90.49% voting in favour of the firm's remuneration report, which also included a pay deal for chairman Douglas Flint worth £2.49m for 2015.  

Caterpillar profits crumble

Caterpillar trucks
Getty Images

Caterpillar has reported lowerquarterly net profit as slowing activity in global mining and construction hurt sales of machinery. 

The world's biggest maker of heavy machinery reported a net income of $494m in the first quarter, down from a revised $1.7bn a year earlier. Revenue slumped to $9.46bn  from $12.7bn in the same quarter last year.

FTSE heading lower

ftse 100
BBC

The FTSE 100 has been heading lower, a short while ago it was down more than 1%.

Miners are dragging the index down - Anglo American, Rio Tinto, Glencore and Antofagasta are down more than 3%.

Energy firms are also heading lower - BP and Shell are down 2%.

That's despite slightly strong oil prices this morning. North Sea Brent crude is up 11 cents at $44.64.

Kenya's affordable solar power projects

General Electric reports a loss

General Electric
Reuters

General Electric has reported a loss of $98m in the first quarter.

A big drop in profits at its oil and gas unit hit overall profit at its industrial business.

In the same period last year it recorded a whopping $13.6bn loss due to charges related to deals over GE Capital.

HSBC revamps pay for executives

HSBC sign
Reuters

HSBC is planning to reorganise its pay policy for executive directors. 

Pension contributions will be reduced from 50% to 30% of their base salary.

Executives will have to wait three years before receiving bonuses.

The announcement came at the company's AGM. You can find the statement here. The details on pay are on page 16.

Powa failure

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan Jones tweets:

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Check your condiments

Investors shop for supermarkets

Sainsbury's shares
BBC

Shares in Sainsbury's are up 1.6%, making them one of the biggest winners among FTSE 100 shares. 

Analysts at Deutsche Bank raised their rating on Sainsbury's shares to buy from hold. 

Deutsche has crunched the numbers and decided that Sainsbury's could benefit more than expected from its purchase of Argos.

Other supermarkets are making gains this morning.

Tesco is up 1.6% and Morrison Supermarkets is up 0.2%.