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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Wall Street slips on open
  3. Average earnings outstrip inflation
  4. Productivity slips in first quarter
  5. Unemployment falls to 1.42 million
  6. easyJet narrows losses
  7. Vittorio Colao to leave Vodafone

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

Good night

BBC Testcard

That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Wednesday.

Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis from the business world.

Fed monetary policy language needs updating

US Federal Reserve
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San Francisco Federal Reserve President John Williams says the Fed's current statement and its description of loose monetary policy has "served its purpose".

The Fed's monetary policy language was sufficient through the years of crisis recovery, but it now needs revisiting.

"That language still works today," Mr Williams said.

But as interest rates approach neutral, a point that could be reached this year or in early 2019, he said: "We will have to come up with something at some point...That will be a committee decision about how best to describe where money policy is positioned."

Wall Street closes lower

Bull and little girl sculptures in Wall Street
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Wall Street has closed lower as stocks slid on inflation fears and a perceived lack of progress in the US-China trade talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 24,706.75, a fall of 192.66 points or 0.77%.

The S&P 500 closed down 25.6 points or 0.94% at 2,704.51.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq was at 7,351.63 having lost 59.7 points or 0.81%.

Welsh roastery Coaltown Coffee named in Lonely Planet list

Coffee grounds and a cup of coffee
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Looking to taste the perfect cup of coffee and Carmarthenshire might not be the first place that springs to mind.

Ammanford's Coaltown Coffee has been named one of the UK's best roasteries and cafes by travel guide Lonely Planet.

Scott James began roasting specialty coffee as a garage enterprise in 2014. It is moving to bigger premises to supply 200 cafes in July.

"We are really proud," he said.

Mr James was inspired to set up the business sourcing coffee beans from suppliers around the coffee-producing world after helping his parents, Jennie and Gordon, to run a coffee shop in the town up until 2008

Read more here.

London looking to introduce more car-free days

London traffic
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London Mayor Sadiq Khan is looking to reduce air pollution in Britain's capital city by introducing more "car-free" days where vehicles will be banned from certain areas or roads.

“The Mayor already supports a number of car-restricted days for annual events in London, and he has asked City Hall officials to consider additional opportunities for car-free activities as part of his Healthy Streets vision,” the Mayor's office said.

“The Mayor is determined to do everything in his power to protect the health of Londoners and prioritise walking, cycling and public transport and reduce Londoners’ dependency on polluting cars.”

Mr Khan has brought forward the introduction of an ultra-low emission zone, and has already introduced additional charges on most vehicles entering central London.

Another fatal Tesla crash being investigated

Tesla car interior
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A fatal crash involving a Tesla electric car in Switzerland is being investigated by police in Bellinzona.

“We are deeply saddened by this accident, and we are working to establish the facts of the incident and offer our full cooperation to local authorities,” Tesla said in a statement, according to Bloomberg.

“Tesla has not yet received any data from the car and thus does not know the facts of what occurred, although it appeared to be a high-speed collision.”

Elon Musk posted a series of tweets on Monday criticising the media of its coverage of Tesla accidents.

He was particularly upset that a Tesla accident in which a woman in Utah broke her ankle when her car slammed into a fire engine at 60 miles per hour was front page news, but other horrific car accidents featuring automobiles by other car makers did not merit the same level of media scrutiny.

Number of EU workers in Britain falls

Workers walk across London Bridge
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The number of European Union citizens working in the UK has fallen for the first time in eight years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

ONS said that 2.29 million people from other EU countries were working in Britain in the first three months of 2018, down 1.2% from the same period in the previous year.

However, the number of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals have risen, increasing by over 19.8% in the last 12 months, since nationals from these two countries have only been able to work freely in the UK since 2014.

House to vote on biggest rewrite of US financial laws

President Trump signs an order to review the Dodd-Frank act in February
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President Trump signs an order to review the Dodd-Frank act in February

The House of Representatives will likely vote on a Senate bill that rewrites some important banking laws next week, sources told CNBC.

The Dodd-Frank reform act was passed in 2010, two years after the global financial crisis, by the Obama administration to decrease various risks to the US financial system.

The Trump administration wants to repeal the act, as it believes the bill harms the competitiveness of US firms compared to their foreign counterparts, and therefore economic growth.

Thomson Reuters shifts foreign exchange arm ahead of Brexit

Thomson Reuters building in Canary Wharf
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Thomson Reuters, which operates trading systems for financial institutions around the world, is moving its foreign exchange derivatives trading business to Dublin from London.

The company said it was moving so that post-Brexit it would still be regulated by European Union rules and could continue to sell into the EU.

The company has set up an Irish company and will employ staff there.

However, it said no jobs would be lost in London as a result of the move.

What are the financial advantages of being married?

Martin Lewis told BBC Radio 5 live about the financial advantages of being married.

Ahead of the royal wedding on Saturday, money saving expert Martin Lewis has been explaining the financial benefits of being married, on his regular Monday lunchtime slot on BBC Radio 5 live.

He told Anna Foster about the marriage tax allowance, assets in a will, pensions and inheritance tax and inherited ISAs - all of which can apply to people who are married or in a civil partnership.

Grenfell Tower: Safety clearance for fridge-freezer model

Grenfell Tower

No product recall is required for the make of fridge-freezer blamed as the origin of the Grenfell Tower fire, an investigation has concluded.

The independent review assessed that the Hotpoint FF175B model posed a "low risk" and did not need modifications.

Consumers are being advised that they can carry on using the model as normal.

Whirlpool, which owns the Hotpoint brand, said consumers could be reassured. It sent its sympathies to the families of those who died.

Ryanair cuts check-in to two days ahead of flight

Ryanair aeroplane

Ryanair is cutting its check-in time window from four days to 48 hours for passengers without reserved seats.

It said the changes to online check-in would take effect from 13 June.

Ryanair said that even after the change, the check-in window was still double that of many of its rivals.

The airline said the move will give customers who have paid for reserved seating more time to pick their seats. Those customers will be allowed to check-in up to 60 days before flying.

Airbus: 'Boeing is continuing with illegal behaviour'

Airbus A380
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In response to the WTO's ruling that the European Union paid billions of dollars in illegal subsidies to Airbus, the aerospace manufacturer said the ruling fails to fix the harm done to its rival Boeing.

Airbus has a similar case against Boeing awaiting a ruling from the WTO. The accusations, rulings and appeals have been going on for 14 years.

"Of course, today’s report is really only half the story – the other half coming out later this year will rule strongly on Boeing’s subsidies and we’ll see then where the balance lies," said Airbus' chief executive Tom Enders.

“The result is simple: Airbus pays back its loans, Boeing pays back nothing and continues to exploit the generosity of the US taxpayer.

"Despite Boeing’s rhetoric, it is clear that their position today is straightforward healthy: they have half the market and a full order book, they have clearly not been damaged by Airbus repayable loans.”

London closes slightly ahead

London Stock Exchange
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London shares have closed slightly ahead, after a positive day where the FTSE hit a four-month high thanks to rallying oil majors.

The FTSE 100 closed 12 points or 0.2% up to 7,722.98, led by British housebuilder Taylor Wimpey, which rose 0.1% to 202p and Easyjet, which climbed 0.6% to £17.41.

Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 was flat, ending just 16 points or 0.08% lower to 20,784.92. The fallers were topped by specialist healthcare company BTG, which dropped 10.9% to 591p.

US wins right to impose sections on EU imports

An Airbus aeroplane
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The Word Trade Organisation has made a landmark ruling over illegal EU subsidies to Boeing and Airbus, which will enable America to impose billions in retaliatory tariffs on EU imports.

The WTO's appellate body upheld a 2016 ruling that the EU had failed to comply with requests to remove $18bn in subsidised financing that was inconsistent with WTO rules.

“President Trump has been clear that we will use every available tool to ensure free and fair trade benefits American workers,” said US Ambassador Robert Lighthizer.

“This report confirms once and for all that the EU has long ignored WTO rules, and even worse, EU aircraft subsidies have cost American aerospace companies tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue. It is long past time for the EU to end these subsidies.

"Unless the EU finally takes action to stop breaking the rules and harming US interests, the United States will have to move forward with countermeasures on EU products.”

Brexit: What can UK learn from other external EU borders?

Technology can streamline EU borders but they are not frictionless.

As the British government continues to debate the kind of customs relationship it wants with the European Union after Brexit, one question looms large: how will it solve the Irish border problem?

One of the most difficult issues in the entire Brexit process is how to ensure that there is no return to a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, once that border becomes the external border of the European Union, of its single market and its customs union.

That is what has been promised: no physical infrastructure or checks of any kind at the border.

An open border is a vital part of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement which underpins the Northern Ireland peace process.

MPs in a bind over GDPR data law

Rory Cellan-Jones

Technology correspondent

Shredding a piece of paper
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Across the UK, small businesses are in something of a panic over GDPR. And among those worried about whether they will be ready for the new data protection laws are 650 firms based in Westminster.

I am talking about MPs - and there is worrying evidence that they and their staff may be getting poor advice.

The issue was raised in the Commons yesterday by Labour MP Chris Bryant.

He tweeted this: "Just raised a point of order on the ludicrous exaggerated advice to MPs on the General Data Protection Regulation that we should delete all casework information from before June 2018."

Read more here.

Uber: 'We do the right thing, period'

Women riding in an Uber

Ride hailing app taxi firm Uber has decided to remove a clause that requires victims of sexual harassment or assault to use mandatory arbitration to settle claims.

In the past, victims were required to enter into confidentiality agreements that prevented them from speaking publicly about the facts surrounding any sexual assault or harassment.

Uber says its new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi is focused on doing "the right thing".

"Moving forward, survivors will be free to choose to resolve their individual claims in the venue they prefer: in a mediation where they can choose confidentiality; in arbitration, where they can choose to maintain their privacy while pursuing their case; or in open court," Uber wrote in a blog post.

Uber will also publish a safety transparency report that will include data on sexual assaults and other incidents that occur on the Uber platform.

Facebook details scale of abuse on its site

Facebook swearing image

For the first time, and under intense pressure, Facebook has released internal data on the scale and nature of its abuse problem.

Many numbers are headline worthy: violent content is up dramatically and hate speech is slipping through large cracks - but there appears to be a tightened grip on terrorist propaganda.

There are also key statistics missing, such as how often Facebook removes something incorrectly or leaves something up that should be deleted.

The report also lacks data on the total amount of abuse posted to its network - but the reason for that is straightforward: Facebook simply doesn't know.

'People are dying on the doorsteps of prosperity'

Large US companies are being pressured to contribute more to local communities, as impoverished neighbourhoods are often on the doorsteps of large fancy campuses.

Seattle wants firms like Amazon and Starbucks to pay taxes that can be used for affordable housing, but will it work?

View more on twitter

Are higher prices for plus size clothes discriminatory?

Two models wearing smaller and larger sizes of clothes
New Look

As we mentioned this morning, fashion chain New Look is reviewing its prices after an outcry that some larger-sized clothes were more expensive than those in smaller sizes.

Plus-size model Nyome Nicholas-Williams told the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire programme she felt the application of higher prices was discriminatory.

"Some people don't choose to be the size they are - or height. If you have to pay extra money [for clothes] subliminally it feels like you are being told you have to lose weight," she said.

However, Anna Scholz, a plus-size fashion designer, told the programme there was a limit to the size range that could be produced for the same price as it can take twice the fabric to make the same shirt for a larger size as a small one.

"As a company we sell from size 16 to 28 - if I had smaller sizes as well I would have to price them differently."

Wall Street slips on open

Wall Street
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Wall Street shares have slipped on open, due to US retail sales figures showing only moderate growth in April, as well as a perceived lack of progress in US-China trade talks.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 174 points or 0.7% to 24,725.36. Top of the losers was chemical producer DowDuPont, falling 0.4% to $67.11, after rising yesterday on news it was partnering with consumer drone giant DJI to set standards for agricultural drones.

The S&P 500 slid 18.2 points or 0.7% to 2,712.25, with 3D modelling software firm Autodesk leading the losers, down 2.3% to $131.81, after rising yesterday on announcing a new deal with General Motors, which will use its software to 3D print automobile parts.

And finally the tech-heavy Nasdaq fell 76.4 points or 1% to 7,334.89. Medical research investor Illumina headed the losers, dropping 4.6% to $264.89.

Yesterday, the firm was announced as a key investor of Luna DNA, a startup that has set up the first ever community-owned genomic and medical research database.

Good afternoon

Tower of London in the sunshine
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Thanks Katie and Chris for this morning's live coverage of all things business.

Mary-Ann Russon with you until 21:30 for the rest of the day's news and views.

Are you enjoying the sunshine today?

Got a point of view? Tweet me at @concertina226 and @BBCBusiness

Dutch government will stop using Kaspersky software

Kaspersky Lab logo
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The Dutch government is phasing out the use of anti-virus software made by Russian firm Kaspersky Lab amid fears of possible Kremlin spying.

The Dutch Justice and Security ministry called it a "precautionary measure" designed to "guarantee national security".

Kaspersky Lab, whose anti-virus software is installed on 400 million computers worldwide, is also suspected by US authorities of helping the Kremlin with its espionage efforts.

However, it strongly denies any wrongdoing and says it plans to move its core operations to Switzerland to "strengthen the proven integrity" of its products.

Pawternity leave?

Should employers give staff pawternity leave? What do you think?

View more on twitter

Royal wedding prep

It's a tough assignment, but someone's got to do it. The BBC's Sally Bundock is already at Windsor Castle, preparing for coverage of the royal wedding on Saturday.

View more on twitter

FTSE remains flat

Vittorio Colao
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At lunchtime, the FTSE remains little changed from where it started. It's currently 0.4% higher at 7,741.31.

Taylor Wimpey is the biggest riser, up over 3% after the house builder raised its ordinary dividend and said it would pay a special pay-out of £350m in 2019.

EasyJet is hot on its heels up almost 3%, following the airline's better-than-expected first-half results.

On the losing side, it's still Vodafone topping the fallers. The telecoms firm's shares are down 3.5% after it announced its chief executive Vittorio Colao is to leave the firm in October after 10 years at the helm.

AirFrance gets new temporary boss

Former boss Jean-Marc Janaillac
Former boss Jean-Marc Janaillac resigned on 4 May

Air France-KLM has promoted finance director Frederic Gagey to interim chief executive just days after the former chief executive resigned in a standoff over staff pay.

Former boss Jean-Marc Janaillac announced his resignation on 4 May after French staff at the strike-hit airline rejected a new pay deal.

The new chief executive will not have the right to take decisions that would endanger the growth strategy approved by the board of directors, the company said in a statement.

Air France-KLM - one of Europe's biggest airlines - has seen a series of strikes in recent weeks.

The industrial action has cost the Franco-Dutch alliance millions of euros.

Home Depot disappoints

Home Depot chain

US Do-it-yourself chain Home Depot has missed Wall Street forecasts for sales at established stores, as an unusually long winter hit sales of typical spring products like lawn-mowers and patio furniture.

The downbeat results have pushed Home Depot shares down 3% in pre-market trade.

It's an unusual disappointment for the home improvement chain which has largely managed to buck the trend of retailers losing out to online rivals such as Amazon.

Oil price nears $80

Car at petrol pump
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The oil price is hovering at a three-and-a-half-year high today with Brent crude currently at $79.22 a barrel.

Planned US sanctions against Iran and tighter production restrictions instigated by oil cartel Opec have helped drive oil prices up by more htan 70% over the past year.

Norbert Rücker, head of macro and commodity research at private bank Julius Baer, says at the forefront of everyone's mind is "the potential impact on Iranian oil exports and thus the risk of another meaningful supply disruption".

Wickes cuts 100 jobs

DIY retailer Wickes is axing 100 jobs at its head office as part of a cost-cutting drive.

The group, owned by Travis Perkins, said the cull will affect workers at its headquarters in Watford, Hertfordshire, where it employs 300 people.

Last month Travis Perkins, which has a workforce of about 7,000, pledged to take more costs out of the business and improve efficiency, but said it remained confident in the longer-term outlook for the building materials market.

Hammond: more money in pockets

Philip Hammond
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Chancellor Philip Hammond comments on today's earnings figures:

Growth in real wages means that people are starting to feel the benefit of more money in their pockets ... the unemployment rate is at it’s lowest in over 40 years and with our National Living Wage we are making sure that the lowest-paid feel the benefit with an extra £2,000 a year. Now the focus has to be on ensuring that wages keep rising faster than inflation, so that living standards increase.”

Services threat to departure of EU workers

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More on that fall in EU workers from NIESR associate research director Heather Rolfe:

"The employment rate is at a record high of 75.6% for UK workers. At the same time, the number of EU nationals working in the UK has fallen by 28,000 on the previous year’s figures to 2.29 million and is the first annual decrease since January to March 2010.

"With a participation rate of 81.9% this represents a reduction in arrivals and increase in departures of EU citizens, which employers explain by uncertain futures and hostility. The reverse trend is shown by non-EU nationals in employment who increased in number by 20,000. This may be explained in part by employers making more use of the visa system when faced with skills shortages."

She adds: “These trends - in particular the fall in EU nationals working in the UK - are likely to affect the UK’s economic performance and also services, with the NHS and social care under particular pressure."

Anyone for avocado toast?

The Daily Mail's Hannah Uttley has been taking a closer look at Patisserie Valerie's menu:

View more on twitter

EU nationals leaving UK?

BBC Economics correspondent Andrew Verity has been digging through the data from the ONS release with some surprising findings.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Not time for champagne yet

pound coins and notes
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Wages are now growing more quickly than prices meaning that we can officially say the year-long incomes squeeze is over.

But it's not time to crack open the champagne yet, cautions the BBC economics editor Kamal Ahmed.

"Weak incomes have been a problem for a decade.

It will need a long period of wages rising above the rate of inflation for people to feel significantly better off.

And, for the public sector, the 1% cap on wage rises is only just being released.

Many millions of people still have incomes below where they were a decade ago," he says.

Read more from Kamal's blog here

Planning shock

Times property correspondent Tom Knowles tweets:

View more on twitter

Well heeled

In 2018 it's a little hard to belive that women are still required to wear high heels on the red carpet at the Cannes film festival.

It seems Kristen Stewart made a protest of sorts against that rule last night when she attended the premiere of Spike Lee’s new film Blackkklansman.

After turning up in her Christian Louboutin stilettos, she later took them off and walked across the red carpet before enterting the auditorium.

Cannes - the world's premier film festival - yesterday signed a charter vowing to push for parity between men and women by 2020.

Only 82 female directors have competed for the top Palme d'Or prize since 1946, compared with nearly 1,700 male directors.

Kristen Stewart
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Kristen Stewart
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Kristen Stewart
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Hong Hong falls

Asian markets fell on Tuesday as investors turned cautious ahead of fresh US-China trade talks and developments on North Korea after rises yesterday helped by President Donald Trump's willingness to help Chinese telecoms firm ZTE.

Tokyo's Nikkei 225 closed 0.2% lower at 22,818 points, Seoul's Kospi fell 0.7% to 2,458 points and Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 1.2% at 31,152.

The Shanghai Composite bucked the trend, closing 0.6% higher.

Easyjet shares rise


Easyjet shares are almost 3% higher following this morning's - better than the meagre 0.2% rise the FTSE 100 has managed today thus far.

Liberum analyst Gerald Khoo says the results were better than he had forecast, but said the earlier timing of Easter helped this year.

The airline's profit outlook for the full year of between £530m and £580m is about a third higher than last year's result and 5 to 15% better than most analysts are forecasting.