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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Sterling back at $1.30, FTSE 100 closes higher
  3. Entertainment One making more Peppa Pig episodes
  4. Just Eat's Hungryhouse takeover to be probed
  5. Hikma Pharmaceuticals falls on revenue revision

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodnight

That's it for Business Live this week, we'll be back on Monday from 6am. Have a great weekend.

US stocks close higher

US trader
Getty Images

US stocks closed higher but pared gains after fresh news reports stoked the political controversy surrounding Donald Trump.

The New York Times reported that the president told Russian officials earlier this month that former FBI director James Comey was “crazy, a real nut job” and said that firing him had relieved “great pressure” on Mr Trump.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reported that a senior White House advisor had been identified by the FBI as a “person of interest” in its probe into possible collusion between Russia and Mr Trump’s presidential campaign.

The Dow Jones index gained 0.69% to 20,804.84, the S&P 500 climbed 0.68% to 2,381.73, and the Nasdaq was up 0.47% at 6,083.70.

Shares in industrials, financials and energy performed well, buoyed by a rise in commodities prices.

West Texas Intermediate and Brent crude oil both climbed 2.2%, hitting $50.73 and $53.66 a barrel respectively.

Bond yields fall on fresh Trump claims

Nearly a third of Americans 'only just getting by'

A dollar bill
Getty Images

Nearly one-third of US adults face financial difficulties or are "just getting by", according to an annual survey from the Federal Reserve.

The survey showed 30% or 73 million adults described their personal financial situation as difficult, but the rates of hardship were higher in black and Hispanic populations, compared with whites.

However, the report showed more adults would be able to withstand a modest financial disruption than in years past.

The number of respondents saying they could not cover a $400 emergency expense, or would cover it by selling something or borrowing money was down to 44% from 50% in 2013.

The Fed said debt associated with healthcare and higher education remained a major burden for many Americans.

What is going on in Brazil?

Daniel Gallas

BBC South America business correspondent

Brazilian protestors
Getty Images
Thousands of protestors hit the streets of Rio in the aftermath of a recording allegedly revealing President Michel Temer endorsing bribery payments.

Brazilians have now heard the tapes in which the president listens to a businessman talking about his attempts to thwart investigations and bribe a prosecutor.

And there’s a drip-drip of allegations coming out, as new documents are being revealed on Friday.

Will any of that be enough to bring down Mr Temer, who is now formally under investigation?

There are three possible ways for him to be removed. He could be impeached, which would require two-thirds of votes against him in Congress. He could simply resign, a path he promised not to take.

Or he could be removed from office when the electoral courts rule next month on alleged corruption in his 2014 campaign. Many analysts are betting on this last scenario, which would be the most speedy solution to the crisis.

But then what happens?

Brazil’s speaker of Congress Rodrigo Maia would then become president and have 30 days to organise indirect elections - to be held in Parliament.

Some MPs are actually trying to change the constitution to allow Brazil to hold general elections - since it is so extraordinary to have two presidents impeached in just over a year.

So will Brazil follow that route? The clock is ticking for Mr Temer, who now has just a few days to try to salvage his reputation and put an end to yet another serious crisis.

New allegations made against Brazilian president

Brazil's president , Michel Temer
Getty Images

New allegations are surfacing against the President of Brazil, Michel Temer, just a few hours after compromising tapes against him were revealed.

Mr Temer is being formally investigated for corruption, obstruction of Justice and forming a criminal organisation. The charges were accepted by a Supreme Court judge.

Investigators say the President received money from meat packaging giant JBS in exchange for helping the company in corporate disputes.

Mr Temer is now under increasing pressure to resign, despite his promise on Thursday not to do so.

The Bovespa index remains up - trading 1.4% higher - having slumped some 8% yesterday.

Researchers create fix to save files locked by WannaCry

A hacker
Getty Images

Researchers say they have found a way for technicians to save Windows files encrypted by the WannaCry ransomware attack last week.

WannaCry, which has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 nations, threatens to lock out victims who have not paid a sum of $300 to $600 within one week of infection.

However, a team of security researchers based across the globe said they had created a last minute workaround to unlock the encryption key, which several independent security researchers have verified, according to AFP.

The researchers warned their solution only works in certain conditions, namely if computers have not been rebooted since becoming infected and if victims applied the fix before WannaCry carried out its threat to lock their files permanently.

Europol said it had tested the team's new tool and said it was "found to recover data in some circumstances".

The free tool is being called "wanakiwi". For more details, visit this blog.

Alisher Usmanov makes £1bn takeover bid for Arsenal

BBC Sport

Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov
BBC

Uzbek-born Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has made a £1bn bid to wrest control of Arsenal from majority shareholder Stan Kroenke.

But with Kroenke showing no interest, the bid has in effect been rejected, though Usmanov is yet to receive written confirmation of that.

The Financial Times reported Usmanov made the offer last month, and that Kroenke has yet to formally respond.

Metal magnate Usmanov owns 30% of Arsenal's shares.

Read more.

Something for the weekend...

The latest Tech Tent podcast is now available to download. On this week's edition the team heads to France, which is aiming to be a leader in robotics and other high-tech businesses.

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones visits the Innorobo expo in Paris to see the latest robots and talk to the show's director Catherine Simon:

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Pound still above $1.30

Pound versus dollar
BBC

The pound is still above $1.30, its highest level for eight months - although this could owe more to the weakness of the dollar than the strength of sterling.

It's currently up 0.63% against the greenback, at $1.30230, and down 0.14% against the euro at 1.16390 euros.

Trump to Visit Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump is heading to Saudi Arabia for his first foreign visit as US president. Nick Pelham is Middle East correspondent for The Economist, and tells World Business Report what the business community can expect from the trip.

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FTSE 100 closes higher

UK trader looking at screens
Getty Images

The FTSE 100 has closed higher, having recovered some of the ground lost after Thursday's sell-off.

The blue chip index ended the day 34.29 points, or 0.46%, up at 7,470.71 points.

The best performer was software and IT firm Micro Focus International, which climbed 2.7%, followed by Anglo American, up 2.44%, and Smurfit Kappa Group, up 2.29%.

The biggest faller was Smiths Group, which shed 2.8% after announcing that chief financial officer Chris O'Shea was stepping down.

The FTSE fell on Wednesday and Thursday as markets were hit by the uncertainty surrounding the Trump presidency.

Shares in Footlocker dive 17%

Footlocker shop
Getty Images

Foot Locker shares dived by as much as 17% on Friday after the firm's first-quarter results missed analysts’ expectations.

The sports shoe chain blamed “unprecedented challenges”, including a delay in US consumers receiving their tax rebates this year.

Other firms have blamed weak results on the rebate issue, including Wal-Mart and Victoria's Secret-owner L Brands.

BT's Italy offices raided

BT logo
Getty Images

BT’s offices in Italy have been raided as part of an ongoing investigation into an accounting scandal, the firm has confirmed.

The telecoms giant shocked the market in January when it revealed it had uncovered years of improper accounting practices in its Italian unit.

It was forced to write down the value of the division by £530m, and its head of Europe resigned over the affair.

Commenting on Friday's raid, the company said: “We’ve been proactively assisting rosecutors in Milan with their investigations into the inappropriate behaviour that took place at BT Italy."

Consumer confidence in eurozone hits 'decade high'

Euro symbol
Getty Images

Consumer confidence in the eurozone hit its highest level in nearly a decade in May, according to the European Commission.

Its monthly consumer sentiment gauge gained 0.3 points to hit -3.3 - its best level since July 2007.

It is the latest sign the eurozone is recovering from its prolonged debt crisis, after recent data showed inflation and employment was picking up across the bloc.

Brazilian shares regain ground

The Sao Paulo stock exchange
Getty Images

Brazilian shares are trading higher after plummeting around 8% yesterday amid a political scandal that engulfed President Michel Temer.

The Bovespa index of stocks is up 3% at 63,433.08.

Mr Temer - who denies claims he endorsed bribery - has refused to quit and has urged his administration to "go out and fight" the allegations.

Will the Ivory Coast Mutiny affect business?

BBC World Service

Earlier this week, soldiers in Ivory Coast accepted a deal to end a five-day mutiny over pay.

However, this was the country's second mutiny of 2017, and some fear the uncertainty it has provoked could impact investor confidence.

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Fancy splashing some cash?

It's almost the weekend... and if you're at a loss for what to do the FT's How to Spend It has some tips.

They all involve spending large amounts of cash on clothes, watches or motorbikes.

The Role Deepsea watch starts at £8,000 but you can take it to 16,000 ft.

View more on twitter

Trump turmoil prompted '$9bn share sell-off'

US president Donald Trump
Getty Images

Investors ditched almost $9bn in US equities earlier this week as a political scandal in Washington roiled the markets.

According to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, funds invested in US stocks saw outflows of $8.9bn in the week to Wednesday - their third straight week of outflows.

By contrast, those dedicated to European shares added $1.1bn, the largest in 39 weeks and the ninth straight week of inflows.

Emerging market stocks also remained popular, with equities adding $3.9bn in a ninth week of gains - although the data was collected before a huge sell-off on Brazil's Bovespa on Thursday, spurred by corruption allegations against President Michel Temer.

On Wednesday, US stocks posted their sharpest falls in months after news reports claimed President Donald Trump had interfered in an FBI inquiry.

US stocks open higher

US trader
Getty Images

Wall Street stocks have opened higher as they continue to recover following Wednesday's sell-off.

The S&P 500 is up 0.4% at 2,375.18, the Dow Jones is up 0.22% at 20,707.54, and the Nasdaq has gained 0.57% to 6,089.42.

US stocks posted their heaviest losses in months on Wednesday after news reports claimed Donald Trump had interfered in an FBI investigation - a potentially impeachable offence.

FCC votes to overturn net neutrality rules

Ajit Pai, head of the FCC
Reuters

The US Federal Communications Commission has voted to overturn rules that force ISPs to treat all data traffic as equal.

Commissioners at the agency voted two-to-one to end a "net neutrality" order enacted in 2015.

Ajit Pai, head of the FCC, said the rules demanding an open internet harmed jobs and discouraged investment.

Many Americans and technology firms filed objections to the FCC's proposal prior to the vote.

Read more.

Firms 'nervous' about manifesto pledges on immigration

BBC business presenter tweets...

Adam Marshall, director of the British Chambers of Commerce, says firms are worried by some of the parties' plans for immigration.

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Wall Street expected to open higher

Wall Street sign
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Wall Street is expected to open higher despite growing concerns about the Trump presidency.

"The Dow Jones is in for its own green open – just. The futures have the Dow nudging 0.1% higher after the bell, keeping the US index a few points away from the 20,700 mark and roughly 300 points away from Tuesday’s highs," says SpreadEx analyst Connor Campbell.

Emmanuel Macron: What's next?

If you want to get more of an insight into the kind of economic policies new French president Macron is planning then we're here to serve.

Click on the videos below to find out more.

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Is the pound strong or the dollar weak?

pound sign
Thinkstock

The pound has kept up its momentum and is currently 0.6% higher against the dollar. Assuming sterling's upward move continues it will have gained 1% against the dollar this week.

But Chris Saint, analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says the uptick is more about a weaker dollar than a strong pound.

"The lingering political storm in the US surrounding President Trump continues to heap some pressure on the dollar, casting doubts over whether he can deliver the pro-growth economic reforms which were supporting expectations for the Federal Reserve to carry on lifting interest rates gradually this year.

"Sterling is having a harder time against the euro and changes hands at €1.1648 at noon, putting it on track to finish the week below €1.17 for the first time since Theresa May announced next month’s snap general election.

Campbell soup disappoints

Campbell soup
Getty Images

Campbell Soup says people just aren't buying condensed soups, broths and vegetable jucies... or at least not at a fast enough rate to boost its sales.

The soup company has warned full sales will be flat or 1% lower on last year, compared to its earlier forecast of flat to 1% higher.

Shares are down 0.8% in pre-market trading.

John Deere doing wheely well

tractor pic
Getty Images

Always good to have an excuse to put up a good tractor photo.

US firm John Deere - famous for its green and yellow tractors - has pushed up its full year profit and sales guidance.

The firm says sales will now rise by 9% in 2017, up from its earlier forecast of 4%, and way better than the 1% fall it had predicted in November.

Net income is expected to be around $2bn, up from the $1.5bn it was previously expecting.

Euro at six-month high

Euros
Getty Images

The euro has hit a new six-motnh high of $1.11745 - up 0.7% on the day.

Sterling, meanwhile, is 0.5% higher at $1.3010.

Picture perfect

At last - a response to our call for your favourite Peppa Pig episodes. Thank you Mr John Plunkett!

It seems that Daddy Pig is a good egg after all, contrary to what some in Business Live towers would have us believe.

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Why the US has changed its tune on the yuan

Karishma Vaswani

Asia business correspondent

Steve Mnuchin
Getty Images

A funny thing happened in the US on Thursday night. Steve Mnuchin, the US Treasury Secretary, testifying in a senate banking committee hearing, said something positive about China.

In response to a question from the floor about why the US has yet to name China a currency manipulator - an often repeated vow made by President Trump on the campaign trail - Mr Mnuchin responded that recently, "China has used its currency reserves to go in the other direction which is actually good for American workers".

Think about that for a second.

China has gone from being evil-incarnate to now suddenly being quite "good" for American workers.

So what's caused this change of heart?

Read more here.

Night at the (Bank) museum...

Stuck for something to do in London tonight? Here's an idea!

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FTSE maintains gains

Peppa Pig
EOne

The FTSE 100 is still in the black, 25 points higher at 7,463 - up 0.3%.

Hikma Pharmaceuticals remains the biggest faller, down about 5%, while silver Miner Fresnillo is the top riser, 2.5% higher.

Smiths Group is also down 2.5% after chief financial officer Chris O'Shea said he was stepping down to pursue other options.

On the FTSE 250, Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One has posted a modest 0.9% rise today but its shares have gained 39% over the past 12 months.

Manufacturing ticks up

factory
PA

The UK may be largely dependent on services for growth but manufacturing is powering up. Factory orders are growing at their fastest rate since February 2015, and output in the past three months rose by the most since 2013, according to the CBI's monthly industrial trends survey.

"The summer sun has come out early for Britain's manufacturers. Robust demand at both home and abroad is reflected in strong order books, and output is picking up.

"On the other side of the coin though, we have mounting cost pressures and expectations for factory-gate price rises are running high," says the CBI's director of economics, Rain Newton-Smith.

Is Somalia's economy on the up?

BBC World Service

Despite drought and an Islamist insurgency, is Somalia's economy set to turn the corner?

How high could the pound go?

trader
Getty Images

The pound is holding on to $1.30, currently 0.6% higher against the dollar. But analysts suggest further rises are unlikely.

"It was interesting that we couldn't hold north of that $1.30 threshold yesterday and that for me suggests it is going to be a case that topside is relatively limited from here," says Jeremy Stretch, currency strategist at CIBC World Markets.

Reports from major banks also indicate that big speculative investors and firms are still tending to sell the currency whenever it blips higher.

What laptop ban?

laptop
AFP

Speculation that the Trump administration is considering extending a ban on laptops in aircraft cabins to all flights to the US from anywhere in the world is rife.

Obviously if this happens it would create major disruption for passengers and airlines.

But Heathrow says currently it's still business as usual.

“The safety and security of our passengers and colleagues is our top priority and we work closely with the police and Government authorities to remain vigilant and to respond to any changes in the security situation.

"We are aware of media reports speculating on changes which may impact some passengers, but at this time, no changes have been announced by the authorities and there is no impact at Heathrow," a spokesperson for the airport has told BBC business correspondent Joe Lynam.

RBS trial to start on Monday

Fred Goodwin
Getty Images

We missed this last night, but former Royal Bank of Scotland chief executive Fred Goodwin is now facing court over his role in the bank's 2008 near-collapse.

Mr Goodwin oversaw the multi-billion-pound deal to buy Dutch rival ABN Amro at the height of the financial crisis in 2007, which led to RBS having to be bailed out to the tune of £45bn by taxpayers.

He had his knighthood removed in 2012, but is now due to appear in London's high court on 8 and 9 June in a civil trial bought by RBS investors who argue Mr Goodwin and other former senior executives misled them over the bank's financial health.

The trial kicks off on Monday.

RBS, which remains more than 70% state-owned, denies any wrongdoing and said its former bosses did not act illegally.