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Summary

  1. Pound drops against dollar and euro
  2. FTSE 100 hits fresh intraday high
  3. Tories and Labour not being honest - IFS
  4. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Good night

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BBC

That is it for another week with Business Live.

We hope you have a great Bank Holiday weekend and will join us 6.00am on Tuesday morning.

Mixed close for US stock markets

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has closed 3.66 points lower at 21,079.29.

The S&P 500 ended Friday flat at 2,415.81.

The Nasdaq finished 4.94 points ahead at 6,210.19.

Businesses face fines after website crashes

Oil prices rise

Oil is making a bit of a comeback.

Brent crude prices are now up 1.4% at $52.2 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate is 1.9% at $49.82.

It has been an interesting journey for Brent leading up to and after the Opec meeting on 25 May...

Oil price
BBC

Trump at G7 'to get smarter'

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump (C) and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (R)
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Donald Trump (C) and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni (R)

US President Donald Trump went to the G7 summit in Italy "to get smarter", according to his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn.

During the gathering, Mr Trump managed to offend Germany by calling it "bad, very bad" over car sales to the US, then he held out against the other participants about backing the Paris climate accords.

Mr Cohn said: "His views are evolving He came here to learn. He came here to get smarter.”

US stocks trim losses

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has trimmed losses and is now down by 1.85 points to 21,081.10.

Walt Disney leads the risers, with its share price up 0.85% at $108.18. On the downside, retailer Home Depot is the biggest loser with its stock down 0.92% at $155.

The S&P 500 remains flat at 2,415.46 while the technology-heavy Nasdaq is 1.7 points ahead at 6,206.96.

Four times a charm for Tidal?

Jay Z
Getty Images
US rapper Jay Z

Music streaming business Tidal has lost its third chief executive in two years.

Tidal confirmed on Friday that Jeff Toig has left the business which is owned by US rapper Jay Z and a number of other music artists.

On joining in 2015, Mr Toig replaced Peter Tonstad who was an interim chief executive following the departure of first boss Andy Chen earlier that year.

Tidal said: "As part of Tidal’s continued expansion this year we will be announcing a new chief executive in the coming weeks."

It wished Mr Toig "all the best in his future endeavors”.

US continues to add oil rigs

US oil rig
Getty Images

Oil prices are not going the way Opec nations and some other major economies had hoped after a key meeting on Thursday, and the following is a factor.

New figures from oil services group Baker Hughes show that US drillers added 2 rigs last week to take the total to 722. This is compared to 316 in the same week last year and signals the 19th week of rises.

Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at Nordic corporate bank SEB, says: "As a consequence of the extension of the cuts, we are likely to see a more supportive oil price and yet more US shale oil rigs being added to the market over the coming nine months.

"In our view, this is likely to flip the global supply/demand balance for 2018 and 2019 into surplus."

Who is America's highest earning boss?

Thomas Rutledge
Getty Images

The highest paid chief executive in the US earned a staggering $98m (£76.5m) last year.

According to The New York Times, a big bunch of stock options propelled Thomas Rutledge of telecoms group Charter Communications, to the top of the list. Last year, he earned a measly $16.4m.

If you would like to see who earned what, as you desperately cling to your EuroMillions ticket, click here.

Parties 'take risks' with manifesto maths

General election 2017: IFS on costs of Labour and Tory plans
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has analysed Labour and Conservative manifestos and compared their plans on public spending, the public finances and reforms to taxes and benefits.

IFS deputy director Carl Emmerson offered analysis of what the bigger parties are offering voters when he spoke to Daily Politics presenter Jo Coburn and commentators Ian Collins and Rafael Behr.

Sainsbury's 'in talks' with Palmer & Harvey

Smoker
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Sainsbury's may be plotting a takeover of tobacco distributor Palmer & Harvey.

The Daily Telegraph reports that the supermarket group is putting together plans for a bid, which is understood to be at an early stage.

Palmer & Harvey is a supplier to Sainsbury's rival Tesco which itself is in the process of buying wholesaler Booker for £3.7bn.

No sign of US second quarter bounce

More on the upwardly revised US GDP for the first quarter.

Friday's figures revealed the worst was the worst performance in a year and followed a 2.1% growth rate in the fourth quarter.

Scott Anderson, chief economist at Bank of the West, said: "Economic indicators so far aren't entirely convincing on a second quarter bounce in activity and show a US economy struggling to surprise on the upside."

Amazon adds more bricks to its clicks

The giant online retailer is opening another bookshop.

Amazon opens seventh US bookstore

German car industry fires back at Trump

US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel
Getty Images
US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Germany's car industry has responded to claims by US President Donald Trump that the country is "bad, very bad" because of all the vehicles they sell in America.

The Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA) says that 265 plants owned by German car makers and parts manufacturers created 110,000 jobs in the US.

VDA president Matthias Wissmann says: "For German manufacturers, the US is not just an important market, but more than ever a significant production location.

"Investment in the US and the international exchange of goods are inseparable for us.”

BBC Election Panel: Your thoughts on housing

The BBC is running an election panel, asking voters for their thoughts ahead of 8 June.

We wanted to know: What should we be doing to address the need for more low cost housing? Does any party have policies you think would help?

Houses
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Tarz, Birmingham: "Use up all avaliable brownfield sites. If landowners do no build within three years of purchase, then the councils should buy them back at the price that was paid. The council then gets houses built on the sites. This stops land-hoarding. Trouble is, each individual is responsible for his/hers situation, and should not rely on others to house them. All parties talk the talk then do sod all when in power."

Beatrice, Shrewsbury: "Use greenbelt areas to build more houses, decrease demand."

Carol, Stoke: "I think derelict buildings could be used. They could be renovated and either rented or sold at a reduced rate to people who would benefit from low cost houses. There are some old derelict factory buildings near where I live, they have been unused for years now, but could be put to good used if turned into flats."

Goodbye John

Industry and employment correspondent John Moylan is leaving the BBC. His dulcet tones on air and in the office will be much missed.

View more on twitter

FTSE 100 closes on a high

The FTSE 100 ended Friday up 33.64 points to a new high of 7551.35.

The FTSE 250 also enjoyed a strong close, rising 57.34 points to 20,024.92.

Sir Philip considers plans for Topshop Australia

Topshop opened in Sydney in 2012
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Topshop opened in Sydney in 2012

Sky News is reporting that Sir Philip Green is weighing up options to save the Australian arm of his Topshop chain.

The franchise partner, called Austradia, fell into administration on Wednesday.

Topshop has nine shops in Australia and 17 concessions within Myer, the department store group. It employs 760 people.

Sky News says that Sir Philip's Arcadia Group is in discussions with administrators Ferrier Hodgson about the next step.

UK and US commit to post-Brexit trade deal

Donald Trump and Theresa May
Getty Images

The special relationship is still special it seems - despite the leak of details about the Manchester bombing.

An announcement from the G7 summit in Italy says that Prime Minister Theresa May and President Donald Trump "reaffirmed their commitment to increasing trade between the UK and the US, including a post-Brexit trade deal."

Sun takes UK solar power to record levels

Don't start complaining that it is too hot.

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Oil cuts will achieve 'balance'

Despite the surprise fall in oil prices following Thursday's key meeting between Opec and other major oil producing nations, there is optimism that the deal will achieve its objective.

The agreement "will help motivate balance of the market," said Suhail bin Mohammed al-Mazroui, the United Arab Emirates energy minister.

Oil prices creep upwards

Oil trader
Getty Images

The price of Brent crude edged up on Friday but is nowhere near the pre-Opec meeting high of over $54 a barrel.

Brent rose by 0.3% to $51.62 a barrel. The price of West Texas Intermediate increased by 0.5% to $49.13.

Opec and non-Opec nations met on Thursday to agree a nine month extension to production cuts.

However, despite the unanimity of the gathering, oil prices fell as investors had been expecting other announcements such as steeper cuts and a longer extension.

US bosses lobby Trump over Nafta

Donald Trump
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The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a number of business leaders have written to US President Donald Trump asking him to move quickly on updating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) but not to change the underlying structure.

Executives of 32 companies have signed the letter, including those at US rail giant Union Pacific and clothing and footwear group VF Corp.

The letter says that Nafta supports 14 million American jobs and a trading volume of more than $3.5bn on a daily basis.

Cashing in

US stock market trader
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A canny gambler knows when to cash out and perhaps that is what is happening with US stocks before the Bank Holiday weekend.

Markets opened lower on Friday, breaking a run of six days worth of gains.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now down 10.98 points at 21,071.97.

The S&P 500 is flat at 2,415.34 and the Nasdaq is down 3.15 points at 6,202.10.

Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital says: "The market is going to digest this move, people are going to take profits and are going to be a little cautious before the three-day weekend because, apart from all the good news, we still have potential for geo-political concerns that can come up at any time."

'Dead people' sign net neutrality consultation

FCC
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A campaign group has complained to the US Federal Communications Commission over its refusal to erase fake comments from a consultation on net neutrality.

Fight for the Future's complaint is signed by 14 people who say their details were used without permission to file anti-net neutrality views.

The campaign group says that some of the comments were posted using the names and details of dead people.

Read the full story here.

Not such good news after all?

Shopping
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The second revision of US first quarter GDP figures may be much better than the first reading, but they are nothing to shout about.

Although consumer spending rose at 0.6% compared to a previously reported 0.3%,that is still the slowest pace since the fourth quarter of 2009.

Michael Gapen, chief economist at Barclays, says: "The second estimate paints a better picture about the degree of slowing in activity at the start of the year, but the main concern about soft growth in private consumption remains."

Listen: Pay it forward

If it is good enough for George Clooney...

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US rate rise in June is 'a certainty'

Janet Yellen is chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve
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Janet Yellen is chairwoman of the US Federal Reserve

Regardless of America's better first quarter GDP figures, Ian Kernohan, economist at Royal London Asset Management, reckons the US Federal Reserve has already made up its mind about interest rates this year.

He says:"As first quarter GDP estimates in the US are often weak, the Fed have already dismissed this data, instead placing more emphasis on the labour market figures, which have strengthened in recent months.

“Off the back of this strength, another hike in US interest rates next month now seems a certainty.”

US stock markets open lower

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 15.24 points lower at 21,067.71.

The S&P 500 is down 1.60 points at 2,413.47.

The Nasdaq started Friday down 1.5 points at 6,203.75.

Pound remains down

Pound v dollar
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The pound is now trading 0.99% down on the dollar at $1.281 as the FTSE 100 steams ahead, up 28.58 points, to a record intraday high of 7,546.29.

The FTSE 250 is also enjoying a stella day - up 57.52 points at 20025.10.

The US stock markets open shortly. Will there be much reaction to the upwardly revised GDP figures for the first quarter?

Spending lifts US economy

The new figure for US GDP is the second estimate of economic growth - meaning it is based on more data - and shows that areas such as consumer spending fared better between January and March than initially thought.

SFO delays Barclays-Qatar decision

Barclays
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The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has delayed a decision over whether former bankers at Barclays will face criminal charges over a 2008 emergency fundraising from Qatar.

The initial deadline was the end of March which was then changed to the end of May.

The SFO's investigation relates to commercial agreements between Barclays and Qatari investors as part of a total £12 billion fundraising during the financial crisis which meant the bank did not have to seek state help.

The Financial Times reports that a decision from the SFO is now expected in mid-June.

US GDP revised up

US GDP has been revised up from 0.7% to 1.2% for the first quarter.

Legal & General latest to head for Dublin

Legal and General logo
PA

Insurance firm Legal & General has become the latest in a long line of British-based companies to reveal they plan to move some functions to Ireland.

The company's investment arm - Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM), will move some parts of the business to Dublin to prepare for any possible regulatory changes following Brexit negotiations.

LGIM's people are being very coy about how many jobs could end up moving.

They said in a statement: “Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) confirm that they have chosen Ireland, subject to regulatory approval, for part of their investment management operations.

"The decision is part of LGIM’s strategy to ensure it can continue to serve its customers, both in Ireland and across the EU, after the UK leaves the European Union. There is no foreseeable impact on operations and staff in other LGIM locations.”

Solar power record broken

Seemingly the impact from E.On's marketing wheeze with Gorillaz is having an impact faster than we thought...

According to Sheffield University solar generation hit 8.52gw, beating the previous record of 8.48gw.

View more on twitter

Investors gorge on Restaurant Group

Catching up with the Restaurant Group, which held its annual general meeting earlier today, investors and observers seem impressed with what they heard, because shares are soaring.

The company behind Frankie & Benny's has had a pretty terrible time in recent years, but the chairman claimed that the problems of the past are now firmly behind them.

Complicated menus, overpriced food and restaurants in the wrong location are being overcome, apparently.

Shares are now up 9.3% to 346.9p. Although, investors have a long road ahead... Shares were at 695p just 18 months ago.

E.On enjoys the sun

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E.On has teamed up with virtual rock band Gorillaz to launch a solar powered music studio.

The energy company wants to push its solar and battery storage technology and hope the band will appeal to environmentally friendly minds. Somehow.

It includes a video of dancing toys, all powered by solar panels.

Why? Well, Anthony Ainsworth, global head of marketing at E.On, reckons he's got the answer.

He said: “The partnership highlights the potential for solar power to help deliver more sustainable results without compromising on performance."

FTSE 100's top riser

Informa exhibition
Getty Images

Exhibitions and publishing business Informa is leading the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 today, thanks to a bosses confirming that they expect a decent set of results this year.

The company’s exhibition division has been performing particularly well, the company said, with 90% of its expected revenues for 2017 from major exhibitions already banked.

A helpful upgrade from analysts at Peel Hunt have also helped the shares jump 4.8% to 681.75p.

Its business intelligence unit, where clients pay huge fees to access information, has improved with 90% renewal rates from current customers.

And its academic publishing also "remains steady", with growth in journals offsetting a fall in book sales.

Sold to the Chinese?

BBC reporter Yogita Limaye has been in Sri Lanka exploring how the indebted country is turning to China to help build its way towards growth.

China is investing billions of dollars in infrastructure and developments in Sri Lanka, but many local citizens feel the country is being sold to the Chinese.

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'Ouch moment'

Kamal Ahmed

Economics editor

As Carl Emmerson came to the end of his presentation on the Tory and Labour manifestos presented to the voters, there was an "ouch" moment.

"The shame of the two big parties' manifestos is that neither sets out an honest set of choices," the deputy director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies said.

Does that mean there is no point in reading them? Not quite.

Read Kamal's blog here. It'll save you going through the manifestos yourself.