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Summary

  1. Volkswagen shares slide after results
  2. 1,000 jobs to go as 120 Austin Reed stores closed
  3. Indian economy accelerates with 7.9% growth in Q1
  4. Germany unemployment falls to 6.1% in May
  5. Suzuki apologises for mistakes in fuel efficiency tests

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

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Good Night

That's it for another day on the Business Live page.

Many thanks for sticking with us. 

Join us again bright and early tomorrow - we'll be back from 6am to bring you all the latest from the world of money. 

Police don't need warrant to find out location of mobile phones

Reuters tweets

Wall Street fails to hold onto gains

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

Wall Street failed to hold on to its gains of earlier in the day.

The Dow Jones and the S&P 500 - which initially edged up on strong consumer spending figures - fell back, though the Nasdaq managed top hold onto a small increase.  

The drop on Wall Street saw investors turning to the safe-havens of gold and less risky US and German government debt. 

Oil futures were down having risen earlier because of expected high demand for petrol in the summer driving season. 

At the close the Dow Jones was at 17,786.86 - a fall of 0.48%.

The S&P 500 stood at 2,096.94 - down by 0.10%.  

While the Nasdaq edged up 0.29% to 4,948.06.

"Equities will be in sideways trading going into the middle of the year with a possible rate hike and the vote in the UK," said Bill Northey, chief investment officer for US Bank's private client group in Helena, Montana. 

Suits out of fashion

Austin Reed shop front with 50% off sign
Getty Images

More on the news we reported earlier that Austin Reed is to close all of its 120 stores after administrators failed to find a buyer. 

About one thousand jobs are likely to be lost following the collapse of the 116 year old clothing retailer.

I think it was definitely perceived as having an older look than some of the others on the High Street. There's just been a lot more competition in that area, and then again the formal menswear market has been hit by the fact that people aren't wearing suits in the same way that they used to.

Tara HounsleaDrapers magazine

Other airlines 'watching' Easyjet's tough new late arrivals policy

Easyjet plane tail
Getty Images

Easyjet is clamping down on late arrivals at Gatwick airport.

From tomorrow anyone getting there less than 30 minutes before their flight takes off will be automatically stopped from going through airport security. 

This change is on the back of deteriorating punctuality for Easyjet at Gatwick, so airlines will be watching it and I would imagine this will be a good thing for punctuality. The planes will go on time because people will get to the gate, and others will follow. A punctual airport is a good airport. Airlines have to pay a lot of money for delayed flights and ultimately we pay for that through higher ticket prices so this is a good thing.

Andrew SheltonCheapflights.co.uk, travel comparison site

Clamp down on fast food ads?

What's behind strike action in Belgium?

BBC World Service

More on today's strikes in Belgium where trains, mail services and prisons are among the services which have ground to a halt. 

Public sector unions have organised a strike in protest at labour market reforms which they say are affecting public services. 

The government wants to see budget cuts, changes to working hours and a rise in the retirement age. 

Chris Reniers is the leader of Belgium's General Federation of Public Services Union. 

Alex Ritson of World Business Report on BBC World Service asked what she believes the government had done to prompt this strike action.

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Chris Reniers of the General Federation of Public Services Union explains the action.

Goldman Sachs defends doing less business

Goldman Sachs Group president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn has defended the bank's trading business, saying investors should focus on the unit's profitability and not just revenue. 

"While we could increase our market-making revenue, it may not translate into better returns," Cohn said at an investor conference organised by Deutsche Bank in New York on Tuesday. 

"Instead, we are focused on maximising our returns." 

New regulations introduced since the financial crisis have cut the amount of business these types of banks conduct.

Alliance Trust shares rise on merger talks

Shares in Alliance Trust rose on Tuesday after a rival with links to the Rothschild banking dynasty confirmed it was in talks to potentially take over the Scottish investment firm.

RIT Capital Partners said discussions over a merger were at a "preliminary stage".

RIT, which is chaired by financier Jacob Rothschild, has expressed interest in combining both funds.

A merger would take their managed assets to more than £5bn.

By the end of trading on Tuesday, Alliance shares were up by nearly 2.5%, at 521p. RIT's share price was down by 2.41%. 

Pele sells off life in Beautiful Game

Legendary footballer Pele - 75-year-old Fifa Player of the Century is auctioning off all of the sporting and cultural memorabilia he has accumulated in a lifetime in football - including his passport.

The sale will take place over three days in London in June, and covers the six decades from Pele's signing for Santos as a 15-year-old in 1956.

Our football finance expert Bill Wilson has been taking a look.

Sterling falls on poll results

BBC business editor tweets

US warns Euro 2016 could be terrorist target

BBC World Service

The US has warned Americans of the risk of potential terrorist attacks throughout Europe during next month's football championship in France.

According to the US State Department, potential targets include tourist sites, restaurants, commercial centres and transport. 

Stadiums, fan zones and venues broadcasting the tournament throughout Europe were all at risk. 

The warning also mentions the Tour de France cycle race in July, followed by the Catholic World Youth Day in Poland.

Holy post

BBC World Service

Priest on banks of River Ganges
Getty Images

The Indian government says it's preparing to launch services to distribute holy water and food by post, according to BBC World Service. 

The minister in charge of the national postal service, Ravi Shankar Prasad, said water from some of the most sacred sites on the River Ganges would be available through the postal department and other websites. 

The Ganges is revered by Hindus who form India's majority and its water is used in religious ceremonies.

He also announced a trial scheme to offer blessed food - known as prasad - from some of the country's holiest Hindu temples.

Jobs to go as Muller closes two Scottish dairies

BBC Scotland business editor tweets

Social network IDs up for sale

Page on Tumblr website
Tumblr

Hundreds of millions of hacked account details from social networks MySpace and Tumblr have been advertised for sale online, the BBC's technology desk editor, Leo Kelion,  writes.

In both cases, the logins appear to have been stolen several years ago but only recently came to light.

The incident comes in the same month it emerged that a four-year-old database containing more than 167 million LinkedIn IDs had been traded online.

One expert said it was "intriguing" all had emerged in such a short period.

Security researcher Troy Hunt also said millions of IDs from adult dating site Fling - which had been breached in 2011 - had been offered on a hacking forum at the start of the month.

Belgian public sector workers strike over cuts

BBC World Service

Protesters in Brussels hold a sign in French reading "Stop our sacrifices for your benefits"
Getty Images

A large public sector strike is causing widespread disruption in Belgium, reports BBC World Service.

Teachers, civil servants, police officers and transport workers are taking industrial action in protest at the centre-right government's austerity measures, including a rise in the retirement age. 

Thousands of trade union members took part in peaceful protests in Brussels and other cities. 

FTSE closes down

London Stock Exchange sign
Getty Images

The FTSE 100 closed down on Tuesday despite Chinese stock markets posting their biggest daily gain for three months.

At the close the index stood at 6,230.79 - that's a fall of 0.64%.

In Frankfurt the Dax was also down 0.7%, while France's CAC 40 slipped 0.5%.

Scam emails harder to spot?

BBC personal finance reporter tweets

EU pays out $1bn to fraudulent claimants

BBC World Service

Umbrella with EU flag on it
Getty Images

Investigators say nearly $1bn (£687m) of European Union funds were given out to fraudulent claimants last year, mostly concentrated in Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary. 

In its annual report, the European Anti-Fraud Office says fraud in the EU stayed at almost the same level as in the previous two years - which saw a 100% jump from 2013. 

Among the nearly 1,400 allegations was a $1.5m payment to modernise a vegetable chilling plant in Bulgaria. 

But the equipment supplier and the factory owner turned out to be the same person, who'd inflated the price.  

Former Barclays' director arrested on inside information charges

A former director of Barclays Plc was arrested on Tuesday on US charges that he provided inside information about impending mergers that he learned about at the bank to a plumber, who use the tips to illegally make $76,000, reports Reuters.

Steven McClatchey, 58, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court with conspiracy, wire fraud and securities fraud after the unnamed plumber secretly pleaded guilty last week and agreed to cooperate with authorities. 

While Barclays was not identified by name in court papers, a bank spokeswoman confirmed it was the British investment bank that had employed Mr McClatchey. 

VW fixes just 50,000 cars in Europe

VW car
Getty Images

Volkswagen dealers have fixed no more than 50,000 diesel cars across Europe since the start of the year, the car maker's sales chief said.

That's just a fraction of the 8.5 million vehicles equipped with illicit emissions-control software, Fred Kappler told analysts. 

Nevertheless, VW still expects most of the 8.5 million vehicles to be fixed by the end of the year, he added. 

The German transportation regulator has approved fixes for the Golf, Audi A4 and A5 models and is expected to approve a fix for the Passat in the coming weeks.    

Turning Japanese?

BBC technology correspondent tweets

Icahn snaps up shares in Botox-maker Allergan

Close up of Botox needle
Getty Images

Billionaire investor Carl Icahn said on Tuesday he had acquired a "large position" in Botox-maker Allergan Plc and that he was "very supportive" of CEO Brent Saunders. 

Shares of Allergan rose 2.6 percent to $242 in early trading. 

The statement said Mr Icahn was confident in Mr Saunders' ability to enhance value for all Allergan shareholders.  

Shares in Allergan - which is based in Ireland - have fallen by nearly 25% this year amid a failed merger agreement with rival Pfizer.

US shares edge up on strong consumer spending

Wall Street sign with Stars and Stripes behind
Getty Images

Shares on Wall Street have edged up slightly after the long holiday weekend.

Strong consumer spending figures gave the latest sign of improvement in economic growth and supported the Federal Reserve's stance to increase interest rates in the coming months. Consumer spending was up by 1% in April - the biggest jump in more than six years. 

Hopes of a rate hike boosted financial companies, while a rise in oil prices pushed energy stocks higher. 

A short while ago the Dow Jones was at 17,874.14 - that's up 0.01%.

The Nasdaq was at 4,950.10 - an increase of 0.34%.

And the S&P 500 stood at 2,103.02 - a rise of 0.19%.

Plain packaging 'kills glamour' of smoking

Close up of loose cigarettes
Getty Images

Plain packaging for tobacco products "can save lives", according to the World Health Organisation.

The WHO has put out a statement to coincide with "World No Tobacco Day" in which is says standardised packs can reduce demand for cigarettes and other tobacco.

Plain packaging restricts or prohibits the use of logos, colours, brand images and promotional information other than brand and product names displayed in a standard colour and font.

On 20 May the UK began to introduce plain packaging for tobacco. 

“Plain packaging reduces the attractiveness of tobacco products. It kills the glamour, which is appropriate for a product that kills people,” said WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “It restricts tobacco advertising and promotion. It limits misleading packaging and labelling. And it increases the effectiveness of health warnings.”

Wetherspoons 'issues Brexit beermats'

Pub chain JD Wetherspoon has printed up 200,000 beermats calling for the UK to leave the EU, the Guardian reports.

The message on the beermats "draws attention to governance issues with senior staff at the IMF" the Guardian says.

How happy chatbots could become our new best friends

BBC business of technology editor writes...

Robot and human
Thinkstock

How do we stop intelligent machines from taking over the world and enslaving us all?

Give them emotions.

That's the radical suggestion of Patrick Levy Rosenthal, founder and chief executive of Emoshape, a tech firm that has developed a computer chip that can synthesise 12 human emotions.

Read more here.

Italy's unemployment rate rises in April

In contrast to job opportunities in Germany (see earlier post), in Italy the labour market is still weak.

The unemployment rate rose in April to 11.7%. The jobless rate among 15 to 24 year-olds rose to 36.9%.

However around 51,000 jobs were created, the national statistics bureau Istat reported.

BreakingAustin Reed to be closed

Austin Reed store
EPA

Austin Reed stores will be closed after the company's administrators failed to find a buyer.

All 120 stores will be closed by the end of June, afffecting 1,000 staff.

Despite a significant number of interested parties coming forward during this period it became clear as the process progressed that a viable solution which kept the business whole was not forthcoming. As a result we have made the difficult decision to cease trading the business and commence a wind-down of the estate. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all employees for their support and efforts during this unsettling period and wish them well for the future.”

Peter Saville, Joint Administrator

Volkswagen considers big battery investment

There have been reports that Volkswagen is planning to invest €10bn in a battery factory to help boost its position in the electric car market.

VW's executives are asked whether that plan might go ahead, given the expense of the emissions cheating scandal.

On the company's conference call board member Frank Witter says the company is considering something like that, but no decisions have been taken.

India retains growth title

BBC Mumbai reporter, Sameer Hashmi tweets:

View more on twitter

Indian economy accelerates

Market in Kolkota, India
Reuters

The Indian economy grew at an annual rate of 7.9% in the three months to the end of March. That's up from 7.2% in the previous quarter.

Record quarter for Audi

Audi Q7
Audi

The Volkswagen conference call for analysts is underway. Here's one nugget of information: Audi had its best ever first quarter with sales of 460,000 cars. That was down to strong sales of the Q7 (pictured) and A4 cars.

Can US tech firms crack nuclear fusion?

Start-ups on the US Pacific coast hope to solve the world's energy needs, using nuclear fusion. The BBC's David Willis went to investigate.  

This content only works in the UK.

A plethora of start-ups on the Pacific Coast hope to solve the world's energy needs.

Jimmy Choo 'could fall out of FTSE 250'

Jimmy Choo shoes
Getty Images

Designer shoe brand Jimmy Choo faces relegation from the FTSE 250 stock index while high street lenders Metro Bank and Clydesdale Bank could be promoted after a quarterly stock market reshuffle on Wednesday.

Despite robust results, Jimmy Choo shares have suffered from the general malaise in the luxury goods business caused by a fall off in demand from China.

Deutsche Bank targeted in US debt probe

Deutsche Bank logo
Reuters

The New York Post reports that Deutsche Bank is "a focus" of an investigation by the US Justice Department into whether big banks conspired to rig the market for government debt.

No banks have been accused of wrongdoing so far.

Deutsche Bank says it is co-operating with the investigation, but has no reason to believe that it is the focal point of the probe, the New York Post reported.

Suzuki blames lack of resources for using wrong mileage tests

Suzuki logo
Getty Images

Suzuki blamed a lack of resources for failing to use correct tests in Japan to calculate vehicle mileage, and reiterated its employees did not intend to manipulate fuel economy data for better readings.

The company also said its domestic minivehicle sales fell 18% in May from the previous year.

The testing issue affected 2.14 million vehicles, slightly more than the previously stated 2.10 million.

Co-op to sell crematoria for £43m

Co-op Funeralcare will sell its five crematoria to Dignity for £43m, the Co-operative Group has announced.

"This agreement is key in allowing us to further invest in providing essential funeral services to our members and customers in communities across the UK as we have done for over 100 years," said Richard Lancaster, managing director of Co-op Funeralcare.

Vote Leave energy bill claims are 'fantasy economics' says Rudd

Amber Rudd
Getty Images

Energy Secretary Amber Rudd says it is "fantasy economics" for Vote Leave to claim energy bills will fall if the UK leaves the EU.

Ms Rudd, who is campaigning to stay in the EU, said:

"I can unequivocally say to them that this is not true, this is fantasy economics, because if we leave the EU economists tell us... there will be a £40bn hole in the public finances. Under those circumstances taxes will not be going down."

She claimed energy prices are kept lower because of staying in the EU.

"Our ability to access cheaper energy through interconnectors, through influencing the shape of the EU energy deal, is instrumental in keeping prices low."

Kraftwerk loses hip-hop copyright case