Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. UK trade deficit biggest since 2008
  2. Aramco see increase in global oil demand
  3. Facebook strikes back in bias row
  4. Credit Suisse loss: 'Most difficult markets on record'
  5. Shanghai's market rallies after sharp losses
  6. Easyjet reports £24m half-year loss

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

Get involved


That's it for us tonight. Join us again from 6am when we'll have the latest from EDF Energy's AGM and Toyota's full year results. 

S&P has best day for two months

Wall Street has closed up, with a rally in Amazon's shares helping drive the S&P 500 to its biggest one-day gain for two months. 

The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 222.16 points, or 1.25%, to 17,928.07, the S&P 500 gained 25.68 points, or 1.25%, to 2,084.37 and the Nasdaq Composite added 59.67 points, or 1.26%, to 4,809.88. 

Ireland residents in protest over sale to Goldman Sachs fund

Diarmaid Fleming reports on the impact of foreign money in Ireland's property sector.

Residents of an apartment block in Dublin have been protesting outside the Irish parliament today after being told they've to leave their rented homes following the sale of their block to an investment fund owned by Goldman Sachs. The protest comes the same day as a survey shows that rents in Dublin have reached record levels, reflecting an acute housing shortage, with the same survey showing the lowest ever number of properties available for rent in the city. Since Ireland's property and banking crash eight years ago, foreign investment funds have become significant players in Ireland's property market. While the government and state agencies have been keen to woo them, not everyone is happy. Click on Diarmaid Fleming's report for more details.

Could there be a white knight for BHS?

BHS store
Getty Images

According to BBC business correspondent Emma Simpson the answer is yes. 

"It's understood that there have been multiple firm offers for some or potentially all of the business," said BBC business correspondent Emma Simpson.

The offers will now be put to secured creditors for consideration, but the level of interest will raise hopes that some of the 164 shops and almost 11,000 jobs currently at risk can be saved.

Read more here

Wall St on the up again

Wall Street is continuing its upward trajectory, with the S&P heading towards its best one day increase in a month. 

The Dow Jones is currently up 1.1% at 17, 905.99, the S&P 500 is up 1.2% and the Nasdaq is 1.1% higher.

Read our latest market report here.

Panama leak: Confess now, says Norway

Panama in the Caribbean

Norway's white-collar crimes police unit on Tuesday set up a telephone hotline for people seeking to confess to tax evasion linked to the Panama Papers documents leak. The police said those who come forward could expect more lenient treatment.

The initiative was announced one day after the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists released a huge cache of searchable documents online that were leaked from Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. 

Despite the release of the documents, millions more remain in the ICIJ's hand, although these too may become publicly available.

Budweiser: Call it 'Bahamas' not 'America'

Bud beer cans

Commentators on the Breakingviews desk at Reuters having been scratching their heads at Budweiser's "surprise" decision to rename its beer "America" until after the US elections. The beer company's marketing spiel says it wants to celebrate everything that's great about the US, bringing two iconic brands - America and Budweiser - together. The labels will include phrases from the Pledge of Allegiance and lyrics from The Star Spangled Banner.  

It's just a shame that Budweiser is owned by a Brazilian-run, Belgium-based conglomerate, Anheuser-Busch InBev. What's more, Breakingviews points out, Budweiser takes its name from a far nicer (I think) lager that has been brewed in the Czech Republic for centuries.

And if that's not enough. A quick look through Anheuser's ownership structure takes you through the Bahamas, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. As commentator Kevin Allison writes: "So much for Budweiser's American exceptionalism."

Wall Street set for best day in a month

US stock markets are having a good day. The three major indexes are up 1%, putting them on track for their biggest one-day gain in about a month.

There's been a rally in financial shares, and a rise in commodity prices has boosted energy-related stocks. Amazon jumped 3.2% to a record of $701.40, providing the biggest boost on the S&P and the Nasdaq.

Analysts at Bernstein raised Amazon's price target to $1,000, the highest on Wall Street, saying it expects the online giant's margins to expand much faster than currently expected.

The Dow Jones was up 194.02 points, or 1.1%, at 17,899.93 points, the S&P 500 was up 20.71 points, or 1.01%, at 2,079.4. The Nasdaq rose 48.72 points, or 1.03%, to 4,798.93.

All 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 1.535 rise in the industrials index. Oil was up about 4% as supply disruptions in Canada and elsewhere overshadowed fears of oversupply. 

EDF reports sales fall

Hinkley Point
Getty Images

French energy giant EDF says sales fell 7% in the first three months of the year in the face of stiff competition, a mild winter and lower energy prices.

The figures come ahead of Wednesday's AGM where investors will quiz management over their plans for the Hinkley Point nuclear plant in the UK.

EDF, 85% controlled by the French state, has struggled to find the cash for its 66.5% stake in the project.

In April it pushed a final decision on the £18bn plant back to September.

Amazon squares up to Google

Amazon has launched an online video service to rival Google's YouTube. Amazon Video Direct will allow users to post videos and earn royalties.

Viewers can rent and buy content or watch it for free with adverts. An ad-free version is offered to Amazon Prime members - a subscription service with other benefits.

Initially, videos will be viewable in the US, Germany, Austria, Japan and the UK. Amazon already offers access to professional TV shows and films via Prime Video, a rival to Netflix.

BHS: five front-runners to buy business

BBC business presenter tweets:

BHS: Staff should stay 'optimistic' and hope for the best

BBC Radio 5 Live

Colletta Smith and Blacks' Malcom Winn

With storm clouds hanging over BHS, radio 5live's Colletta Smith has been out on the high street today talking to retail survivors. 

Even though things might look grim, many troubled retailers survive to fight another day, says Malcolm Winn, store manager at the Shrewsbury branch of Blacks, which was bought out of administration by JD Sports.

"It was very tough not knowing whether you've got a job in a week or a month's time. But thankfully for us someone did come along and purchase the company," he says.

And, with administrators at BHS sifting through potential bids, Mr Winn has a message for staff: "Be optimistic, and hope it's good news."

AC Milan sale talks enter new phase

AC Milan player

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi opened exclusive talks on Tuesday with a group of Chinese investors about selling a majority stake in football club AC Milan, one of the media mogul's most cherished assets. 

Mr Berlusconi's family holding company Fininvest said it signed a memorandum with the Chinese consortium at a board meeting on Tuesday to "kick off in-depth negotiations". 

Fininvest gave no deadline but a source told the Reuters news agency that  the talks would last one month and were non-binding. "The Chinese are valuing the club at up to €750m, including debt," the source said. 

FTSE 100 finishes higher

The FTSE 100 finished 0.68% higher at 6,156.6 points, lifted by a 5.2% rise in Capita shares and a 4.7% increase for Anglo American. Taylor Wimpey was the main faller, down 2%.

The FTSE 100 has lost 1.4% this year and is 13.6% below a record high reached in April 2015, with concerns about a China-led global economic slowdown having hit world stock markets.

FTSE 100 risers/faller

Enough to turn you to drink

Beer cans

Forgive us for fueling Budweiser's latest marketing campaign, but we thought you'd like to know.

The US drinks company is going for what it calls "patriotic packaging" this summer. The brand name on most cans and bottles will read "America", and will include phrases from the Pledge of Allegiance and lyrics from The Star Spangled Banner and America the Beautiful.  

The creative director at Budweiser's branding firm, JKR, is Tosh Hall. "We thought nothing was more iconic than Budweiser and nothing was more iconic than America,” says Tosh.

Budweiser, by the way, is owned by a Belgian-Brazilian giant, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Wall Street stock markets move higher

Wall Street opened higher, tracking global equities, as investors' appetite for risk increased and as oil prices rose. Oil was up about 1.5%, driven by supply disruptions in Canada and elsewhere that have knocked out 2.5 million barrels of daily production. 

The Dow Jones was up 117.04 points, or 0.66%, at 17,822.95 points, while the S&P 500 was up 10.77 points, or 0.52%, at 2,069.46. The Nasdaq rose 15.73 points, or 0.33%, to 4,765.94. 

All 10 major S&P sectors were higher, led by a 0.75% rise in the energy index.

New pension website 'a welcome development'

The Department for Work and Pensions' new tracing service to help people more easily and quickly locate their lost pension savings has been welcomed by some experts.

Sterling notes and coins

This is a welcome development. The Pension Tracing service will help people track down lost pension pots and can dovetail with the forthcoming development of the expanding Pension Wise service. The simplest and most effective way to avoid losing track of old pensions is to consolidate them as far as possible into one arrangement; this can be done by selecting one pension you prefer to work with and transferring old pensions into it.

The government and pensions industry is also working on the Pension Dashboard, which will help investors view all their pension pots in one place. We would like to see the government go further and to modify the terms of auto-enrolment to allow employees to select the pension into which their employer pays their pension contributions. This would help to put the individual at the heart of the pension system.”

Tom McPhailHead of retirement policy, Hargreaves Lansdown

US to 'discuss Iran ban with European banks'

Iran skyline at night

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet representatives of European banks in London on Thursday to discuss doing business in Iran, Reuters reports, citing unnamed sources. 

The US and Europe lifted sanctions in January under a deal with Iran to limit its nuclear programme, but a ban remained on dollar transactions being processed through the US financial system.

Banks, and Tehran, have expressed frustration at their inability to deepen financial ties.

Trade figures: Small business reaction

We have not seen a quarterly trade deficit of this size since the early days of the financial crisis. The government has a real challenge ahead if it hopes to meet its target to increase the value of exports to £1 trillion and support 100,000 new exporters by 2020... As the new Minister Lord Price takes over the export brief within Government, we will be urgently discussing with him how to make funding and support more effective for small firms looking to export.”

Mike CherryNational Chairman, Federation of Small Business

Eurotrash referendum special

Antoine de Caunes
Getty Images

If you were a fan of the cult Channel 4 show Eurotrash, then you are in for a treat.

The Guardian reports that the show is making a one-off special appearance on the eve of the EU referendum.

Hosted by Antoine de Caunes (pictured) and French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, Eurotrash ran from 1993 to 2007.

Their mission on 22 June is to remind their “straight-laced British chums” of the “many, varied and occasionally alarming cultural delights enjoyed by our European cousins”, reports the Guardian.

Opec unity extinct

Opec is effectively extinct as a united organisation and the time when it could determine global oil market conditions should be forgotten, Igor Sechin, head of Russia's biggest oil firm Rosneft, has told Reuters. 

His comments come after crude producers failed to agree to freeze output to support prices at a meeting in Qatar last month. 

"The 1970s, when a series of the largest Middle East producers could determine global oil market conditions by creating cartel structures such as Opec, should be forgotten," Mr Sechin said.

"At the moment a number of objective factors exclude the possibility for any cartels to dictate their will to the market. ... As for OPEC, it has practically stopped existing as a united organisation." 

Revaluation delay 'made BHS miss out on £15m saving'

BHS store
Getty Images

BHS could have saved more than £15m last year if there had not been a delay in the revaluation of business rates, according to new research.

It says business rates at 90% of BHS stores would have been cut, had the last revaluation gone ahead as planned.

Business rates are a tax based on property values, usually reviewed every five years.

Rates were revalued in England and Wales in 2010, but the government postponed the next review until 2017.

Brexit would be 'significant shock' to UK economy


The National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has released a report on the impact of the UK leaving the European Union.

It expects the UK economy to grow by 2% this year, so long as Britain remains a member of the EU.

If Britain votes to leave the EU, economic growth would slow to 1.9% in 2017, it estimated.

NIESR'S report suggested that by 2030 the economy would be between 1.5% and 7.8% smaller outside the EU, compared with the remain scenario.

The amount of damage depends on the kind of trade deals Britain can reach outside of the European Union, NIESR said.

"A decision to leave the EU would represent a significant shock to the UK economy," it said in its report.

Emirates profits jump 56%

Emirates plane

Emirates Airlines reported a profit of 7.125bn emirati dirham ($1.9bn; £1.3bn) for the year to 31 March 2016. That's up 56% on the previous year.

But sales fell 4% to to 83.5bn dirham.

Lower oil prices have helped airlines by reducing their fuel bill and in the case of Emirates, that saved $5.4bn over the last year, or 26% of the company's operating costs.

Bike lights used as weapon in the war on potholes

BBC World Service

Nigerian banks under investigation

The central bank of Nigeria (CBN), along with law enforcement officials, has opened an investigation into several of the country's banks.

The central bank did not give much in the way of details.

"The CBN is also carrying out its own special examinations and investigations to ascertain the veracity of some allegations, as well as the extent and persons that may be involved in such activities," it said in statement.

An investigation is currently looking at deals done in the run-up to the election in April 2015, it's not clear with the CBN's probe is related to that.

Penny sells for £72,000

Personal finance reporter, Brian Milligan tweets:

View more on twitter

Audio: 'They are selling garbage'

BBC 5 live went to Greenhalgh's bakery in Bolton to find out if bread is really toast.

Managing director Dave Smart explained to 5 live's Rob Young that major retailers are selling "garbage" and that "artisan is coming back".

Dave the baker clears a few things up about the bread market.

Capita leads the FTSE 100 higher

The FTSE 100 is up 0.8% at 6,163.

Capita is leading the index higher with a 5.7% jump.

Earlier the outsourcing firm said that it had made a "solid" start to 2016 and expected sales growth of at least 4% this year.

Reports: India's JSW Steel in bid for Tata UK

Tata Steel, Port Talbot
Getty Images

India's JSW Steel has bid for Tata Steel's UK operations two sources close to the situation have told Reuters. That's caused its shares to fall on concerns about JSW's high debt levels.

JSW Steel, controlled by billionaire Sajjan Jindal, wants to become the world's third-largest steel company and the bid for the Tata assets is in-line with that goal, a source close to the company told Reuters.

Two bidders are known to have approached Tata's owners already: Excalibur, comprising former senior managers at Tata Steel, and Liberty House headed by industrialist Sanjeev Gupta.

Aramco says no discussions with Exxon and BP

BBC business editor tweets

Hydrogen's explosive potential

BBC World Service

The roadblocks that still stand in the way of the dream of a green hydrogen-fuelled economy - Prof Andrea Sella of University College London speaks to the BBC's Justin Rowlatt.

The roadblocks that still stand in the way of a green hydrogen-fuelled economy.

UK trade gap with Europe widest on record

This probably won't help settle the EU referendum debate but for what it's worth the ONS also says the UK’s trade in goods deficit with the EU widened by £0.7bn to £23.9bn in the first quarter  – the widest on record - reflecting a 1.6% increase in exports and a 2.3% increase in imports.

'Horrible' first quarter UK trade performance

At £13.3bn, the trade gap in the first three months of 2016 was the biggest quarterly trade deficit since the first three months of 2008, the Office for National Statistics said.  

The gap in traded goods stood at £34.7bn - that's the highest level since comparable records began in 1998.

This is what Howard Archer from IHS Economics had to say:

A truly horrible first quarter trade performance that clearly weighed down on GDP growth.

Howard ArcherChief european and UK economist, IHS Economics

UK trade gap narrows

The UK's trade gap with the rest of the world narrowed by £0.5bn in March, official figures show, helped by £0.4bn increase in goods exported in the month.

The total trade deficit in March stood at £3.8bn.

The trade in goods deficit narrowed to £11.2bn in March from £11.4bn a month earlier, while the UK's surplus in services exports widened to £7.4bn from £7.1bn a month earlier.

For the first quarter as a whole the total trade gap widened by £1.1bn to £13.3bn.

Healthy first quarter for Germany

German industrial production fell 1.3% in March. But Jennifer McKeown at Capital Economics says the weakness was probably due to the timing of the Easter holidays, which may have depressed production.

For the first quarter industrial production was up 1.8% and, as industry makes up 30% of the German economy, that could boost quarterly GDP growth by 0.6 of a percentage point, she says.

Today’s data clearly support the message from the previously published Q1 eurozone GDP estimate that growth gained pace. Indeed, German GDP growth (to be released this Friday) could even have outpaced the 0.6% average for the [eurozone] region as a whole.

Jennifer McKeownSenior European Economist, Capital Economics

Could Italian growth be accelerating?

AVIO plant where a part of Europeaen ESA Vega spacecraft is assembled
Getty Images

Italian industrial production was unchanged in March from the month earlier, but output over the whole of the first quarter still posted a firm gain, data showed on Tuesday.

The figures suggest that economic expansion in the eurozone's third-largest economy may have accelerated in the first quarter following the weak growth seen in the second half of last year.

HMV has 'successfully reinvented itself'

Jonathan De Mello is from retail consultancy, Haper Dennis Hobbs. He tweets:

View more on twitter

Thyssenkrupp cuts full year profit forecast

Thyssenkrupp steelworks
Getty Images

Germany's Thyssenkrupp has said it still sees consolidation of the European steel industry as necessary given low prices but is not involved in any concrete merger talks.

Its finance chief, Guido Kerkhoff says:. "I can only repeat: Everyone is talking to everyone. If we had something more concrete to report we would do so." 

Thyssenkrupp has been forced to cut its full-year guidance but Mr Kerkhoff said it was doing everything to be able to participate in any consolidation from a position of strength, and saw its European steel business in relatively good shape in terms of profitability, compared with rivals.  

Chinese shares edge higher

Chinese shares eked out a gain, the Shanghai Composite added just a fraction of a point to close at 2,832.

Investors are cautious and are trying to assess government policy.

A report on Monday in the People's Daily, said the country might suffer a financial crisis and economic recession, if the government keeps using debt to boost the economy.

The People's Daily is considered to have close links to the Communist Party.

"The market's mood is not so great right now," said Zhang Qi, analyst at Haitong Securities.

 "Analysts are still trying to interpret the recent commentary."