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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. UK inflation steady at 2.3% in March
  3. Toshiba warns that the company is at risk
  4. JD Sports defends working conditions

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Thanks for joining us on today and for all your feedback.

The big news for Wednesday is Tesco and its annual results.

So make sure you log on to Business Live from 6.00am for all the breaking business and economic news and analysis.

The reckoning

United Airlines
Getty Images

For United Airlines' parent company, United Continental Holdings, shares ended down 1.12% at $70.71 following an apology from its chief executive to the gentleman who was dragged off an "overbooked" flight on Sunday.

Why was a passenger dragged off a US flight?

US stock markets close down

Dow Jones
Getty Images

US stock markets concluded a volatile day of trading on Tuesday against a backdrop of geopolitical tensions between the US and Syria, Russia and North Korea.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended down 6.72 points at 20,651.30.

The S&P 500 lost 3.38 points at 2,353.78 and the Nasdaq finished 14.15 points lower at 5,866.77.

Paul Christopher, head global market strategist for Wells Fargo Investment Institute, said: "Investors should get accustomed to uncertainty because of US foreign policy questions and trade questions.

"The market will see good days and bad days and end the year roughly where it is."

The hardest word

From falling as much as 4%, shares in United Airline's parent company United Continental Holdings are now down 1.5% after chief executive Oscar Munoz's second attempt at an apology.

As Wall Street heads towards the closing bell, here is what the company's shares have done today.

United Continental Holdings
BBC

United share fall narrows on apology

David Dao
Jayse D Anspach

That seems to have done the trick.

Shares in United Airlines-owner United Continental Holdings are regaining a little ground after chief executive Oscar Munoz issued another statement, this time "deeply" apologising to the customer who was forcibly removed from a flight.

Mr Munoz said in his second statement: "It's never too late to do the right thing."

Its shares are now down 2% at $70.05.

BreakingUnited boss: 'we take full responsibility'

United Airlines chief executive Oscar Munoz has issued another statement after a 69 year-old passenger was violently removed from one of its flights on Sunday.

This time, Mr Munoz says:

The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened. Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologize to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way. I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right. It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again. This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivizing volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement. We’ll communicate the results of our review by 30 April. I promise you we will do better. Sincerely, Oscar

Bombardier ticks higher on train talk

Bombardier and Siemens are both keeping schtum on talk of a tie-up between their train operations but investors are excited. 

Shares in Canada's Bombardier are currently 4.5% higher at C$2.32. 

Investors believe United will weather the storm

United
Getty Images

Wall Street thinks United Airlines will survive the public relations crisis the business finds itself in.

Shares in its parent company, United Continental Holdings, are currently down 3% at $69.33.

Craig Hodges, portfolio manager at Hodges Capital, said: "The company has a very black eye, and they need to do some PR work, but I don't think it will have any effect on the fundamentals."

United footage 'troubling', says Spicer

Sean Spicer
G

White House press secretary Sean Spicer says of the videos showing a United Airlines passenger being dragged out of his seat:

"It was an unfortunate incident, clearly when you watch the video it is troubling to see how that was handled. 

"I don't think anyone looks at that video and isn't a little disturbed that another human being is treated that way.  

He's "sure" that President Trump has seen the video - but doesn't want to make a statement that might prejudice the reviews being carried out by United and the Chicago police. 

To boldly go...

Rail deal could create buffer against China rival

Bombardier
Getty Images

There are now more reports emerging that Siemens and Bombardier are in discussions about combining their rail businesses.

Reuters is reporting the talks and says a joint venture between the German and Canadian companies could give them strength against Chinese rival CRRC Corp.

There has been speculation in the past that Siemens and Bombardier have attempted to combine their rail operations, though this was denied by the Canadian firm.

Bombardier employs 3,500 people in the UK and among its customers has produced trains for London Underground.

Listen: where now for United Airlines

United Airlines shares regain ground

Shares in United Airlines-owner United Continental Holdings have clawed back a bit of ground and are now down 2.7% at $69.59.

US tax reform will not be 'easy'

Stephen Schwarzman (L) and Donald Trump
Getty Images
Stephen Schwarzman (L) and Donald Trump

Stephen Schwarzman, the chair of Donald Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum, is taking a cautious stance on tax reform.  

Mr Schwarzman, who is also chairman and chief executive of private equity giant Blackstone, told FOX Business Network: "It’s a complicated area because to lower rates you have to raise revenue from areas and there are a lot of sacred cows that people don’t like to have taken away, whether they are mortgage deductions or charity deductions or deductibility of state and local taxes.

"And so, threading the needle on say a program that works on the numbers but also works politically is not particularly easy.” 

Word of the day: volunteer

US dictionary publisher Merriam Webster has offered some help to United Airlines

View more on twitter

Apple rumours hit Dialog

Dialog
BBC

Is Dialog Semiconductor about to suffer the same fate as UK chip designer Imagination Technologies?

German bank Bankhaus Lampe has reduced its rating on Dialog's shares from "hold" to "sell" because it reckons that Apple, which accounts for a major slice of its revenue, is developing its own chip for the iPhone.  

It is feared Apple's own battery-saving chip could replace Dialog's power management integrated circuits as early as 2019.  

Its shares fell by 14.3% but Dialog said it saw no reason for the fall and remain comfortable with its financial outlook for "good revenue growth" in 2017. 

Mining stocks rise on flight to safety

Gold
Getty Images

Investors' rush to find a safe haven in gold helped send shares in precious metal miners to the top of the FTSE 100 on Tuesday.

Randgold Resources was the day's biggest riser, with its shares closing 4.63% higher at £75.65. It was followed by Fresnillo, whose shares rose 3.92% to £16.52. 

Gold rose 1% to $1,266.96 an ounce. 

The FTSE 100 closed up 23.18 points at 7,372.12.

The FTSE 250 ended Tuesday up 41.92 points at 19,306.52, led by JD Sports which reported record profits, sending its shares 8.24% to 440.10p.

AI wins $290,000 in poker tournament

Trump tantalises with talk of trade 'surprises'

Donald Trump
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Donald Trump has promised the chief executives of US businesses some "very pleasant surprises" on the North American Free Trade Agreement or Nafta. However, he declined to say what the surprises are. 

The US President also reiterated a promise to "reduce taxes". His Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin promised "very significant" tax reform before the Congressional break in August.

United brand damage

The chief executive of pollsters Ipsos Mori tweets after shares in United Airlines' owner fall 4%, wiping more than $700m off its market value...

View more on twitter

Trump to revamp Dodd-Frank

Donald Trump
Getty Images

Donald Trump has told the chief executives of some of America's biggest businesses that his administration will keep some but "get rid of many" rules designed to prevent another financial crisis "entirely".

On Tuesday, the US President repeated his promise to do a revamp of the Dodd-Frank rules. 

United shares head downwards

Shares in United Continental Holdings have fallen further since the opening bell and are now down 4.25% at $68.48.

United Continental
Getty Images

BHP criticised for 'dismissive' response to restructure

BHP
Getty Images

Activist shareholder Elliott is not impressed with BHP Billiton's response to a restructuring plan. 

Elliott has suggested that that mining giant get rid of its dual listing in the UK and Australia and sell its US petroleum business. 

BHP's answer? Thanks but no thanks.

Elliott said on Tuesday that it does not understand the "dismissive and premature nature" of BHP's response, and sought "a more thorough and reasoned assessment" of its plan.

United Airlines: the video and the statements

Just in case any readers out there have missed the outcry over United Airline's violent removal of a 69 year-old passenger, here's a refresher.

First, the incident:

A passenger is dragged off a United Airlines flight

Next, Oscar Munoz, chief executive of United Airlines, issues the following statement:

“This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.”

An internal email from chief executive Oscar Munoz to United Airlines staff then emerges:  

Dear Team, Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville. While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I've included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees. As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help. Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right. I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation. Oscar

Here is Oscar Munoz's summary of the events on United Express Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville:

- On Sunday April 9, after United Express Flight 3411 was fully boarded, United's gate agents were approached by crew members that were told they needed to board the flight.

-We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation) and when we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.

-He was approached a few more times after that in order to gain his compliance to come off the aircraft, and each time he refused and became more and more disruptive and belligerent.

-Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight. He repeatedly declined to leave.

-Chicago Aviation Security Officers were unable to gain his co-operation and physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist - running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.

There is this statement from the Chicago Police Department, explaining the passenger's "fall":

Chicago Police Department
Chicago Police Department

And finally, this is United Airlines-owner United Continental Holding's share price today:

United Continental
BBC

Late payments a 'huge burden' for small firms

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Krista Brown says it's 'mind-boggling' how her recruitment company has stayed afloat

With Labour launching new policy calling on big businesses to pay their bills to small firms within 30 days, Radio 4's World at One talks to Krista Brown, who owns east London-based recruitment company Persona HR. 

She says late payments cause a "huge burden" for firms like hers and that it was "mind-boggling" how she had managed to keep it afloat at times.  

Lagarde: 'Increase US minimum wage'

Joe Miller

Business reporter

"Excessive inequality is not compatible with sustainable growth" is Ms Lagarde's mantra here at the ESMT. 

The IMF head says that "instead of providing fossil fuel subsidies," governments should spend more money on education. 

Is she talking about the US, where inequality has been soaring? Ms Lagarde says that the IMF has strong policy suggestions for the new administration, including a "significant increase" of the minimum wage and an expansion of earned income tax credit. 

Political tensions spook US stock markets

Dow Jones
Getty Images

US stock markets opened lower on Tuesday as the Trump administration ramped-up its rhetoric on Syria and North Korea .

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14.26 points to 20,643.76.

The S&P 500 gave up 4.38 points at 2,352.78.

The Nasdaq slid 9.76 points to 5,871.16. 

Round two for Bombardier and Siemens?

Bombardier
Getty Images

Bombardier's rail division is a major employer in the UK, with 3,500 employees at eight sites and 23 service locations.

The Canadian company reportedly held talks in 2015 with Siemens of Germany about combining their train operations. 

However, Bombardier denied discussions had taken place.

BreakingSiemens and Bombardier 'in talks' over train deal

Siemens and Bombardier are in discussions to combine their rail operations, according to Bloomberg.

Lagarde: income does not match knowledge

Joe Miller

Business reporter

Christine Lagarde
Getty Images

The IMF's Christine Lagarde is addressing the business community at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin. 

The world has experienced an "explosion of knowledge" in the past few years, she says, but most have "not seem their real incomes rise" in the tech boom years.

Ms Lagarde adds that the question of why the "fruits of innovation" remain out of reach for so many is crucial, and may be why social problems are "spilling over into the political sphere".

United Airlines stock down in pre-market trading

United Continental Holdings, which owns United Airlines, is down more than 2% in pre-market trading.

The airline has been criticised after a passenger was dragged off an overbooked US domestic flight .

Being 'bumped' is relatively rare

Departures board
Getty Images

A tiny fraction of US passengers are "bumped" from flights every year, according to statistics from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics .

Data for 2015 shows that of more than 613 million passengers in 2015, only 552,000 were denied boarding, that's 0.09%.

The 'illusion' of competitive markets

Monopoly board
Getty Images

"Markets that look competitive are not delivering the benefits that competition should deliver," writes James Plunkett, from Citizens Advice .

In particular he says that companies exploit customers' inertia. They know that many do not switch to cheaper deals when an introductory offer runs out. He calls it the loyalty penalty.

He thinks the problem is likely to get worse, as big firms get better at using data, advertising and psychology to hook us with new deals.

The government should introduce price caps to limit the size of the loyalty penalty, Mr Plunkett says.

Government strikes deal with Microsoft

Microsoft logo
Getty Images

According to technology website The Register , the UK government has saved £15m by signing a new deal with Microsoft.

There was a danger of Microsoft hiking prices, because of the fall in value of the pound.

But the report says the government's deal will avoid sharp increases in licenses for Microsoft technology.

Microsoft has almost 200,000 government customers.

Do airlines have to take you on a flight?

If you've booked a seat on a flight and paid, surely you should be able to take that flight?

Well, says Independent travel correspondent Simon Calder, not necessarily. Airlines have to compensate passengers if they all turn up, but they don't have to take them on the flight.

Is there an appeal process if passengers are selected to be turfed off?

Mr Calder says: "Normally the gate staff or cabin crew will make an informed decision when passengers make representations.

"If someone is going to a wedding or funeral, or they have a job interview, or they’re a surgeon due to operate the next day, they will be prioritised.

"However important the journey is to you, if you are instructed to leave an aircraft and your appeal fails, just go quietly."

Deal to create bicycle giant

Santa Cruz brand
Pon

A Dutch company has proposed a deal which it says would create the world's biggest bicycle firms.

Pon Holdings wants to combine its bicycle business with Accell Group.

Accell Group is also Dutch and owns several bike brands, including Raleigh.

"The combination results in the world’s leading global bicycle company, with headquarters in the Netherlands and with sufficient scale to be the long term winner in the industry," Pon said in a statement.

Inflation pause 'won't delay pay squeeze'

Pound notes and pound coins
PA

Real average earnings "look set to have fallen during the first three months of 2017, six months ahead of the OBR’s projection in the recent Budget," according to the Resolution Foundation.

"Despite the temporary pause in inflation, real pay growth is expected to have fallen to around 0.1% in the three months to February... before turning negative for the first quarter of 2017 as a whole," it said.    

Toshiba troubles

So why has Toshiba warned that it may not be able to continue as a going concern?

In a statement it says the impairment it took from buying the CB&I Stone & Webster nuclear business meant a net loss to its shareholders in its full year 2015.

Because of this, ratings agencies downgraded its credit rating, causing it to breach financial covenants it had on loans.

This, plus money Toshiba may have to pay on Westinghouse nuclear power construction projects, mean its liquidity will be hit "significantly", it says.

Adding to these problems, Toshiba needs a "special construction business licence" from the Japanese government that may be in doubt if it doesn't manage to sort out its financial difficulties, it says.

Troubled Toshiba 'warns survival at risk'

Toshiba logo
Getty Images

Toshiba has filed its delayed financial results, warning that the company's survival is at risk.

The electronics-to-construction conglomerate made a loss of $4.8bn for April to December.

"There are material events and conditions that raise the substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern," the firm said in a statement .

The results have not been approved by the firm's auditors.

Read more here .