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Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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  1. Sucks

    The body that decides which letters a web address is allowed to finish with is concerned at the high charges for the new ".sucks" name. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Number has asked the US and Canadian trade authorities to investigate Vox Populi, which secured the rights to sell the name. The firm denies wrongdoing. Many companies and celebrities have bought their name with controversial suffixes such as ".porn" or ".xxx".

  2. Via Twitter

    Duncan Weldon

    BBC Newsnight

    tweets: If the OBR did have the power to analyse election manifestos, the results might look something like this: http://www.cpb.nl/en/pressrelease/3212215/cpb-and-pbl-present-election-manifestos-analyses …

  3. LVMH

    Louis Vuitton

    French luxury goods group LVMH posts a 3% rise in like-for-like first-quarter sales, boosted by the weak euro against the dollar and Louis Vuitton's "excellent start to the year". But the world's biggest maker of luxury goods says its wines and spirits unit, which includes the flagship Hennessy cognac brand, was hit by tough trading in China. Overall, LVMH's first-quarter sales rose 16% to €8.323bn.

  4. FTSE 100 close

    FTSE 100 graph

    The FTSE 100 retreated from last week's record highs as weak data from China weighed on mining stocks. The index closed 25.47 points lower at 7,064.3, with BHP Billiton, down 3.25%, the biggest casualty. Anglo American fell 2.28%. Ashtead Group, up 1.58%, was the main gainer.

  5. RBS

    RBS logo

    Royal Bank of Scotland says it intends to sell its Luxembourg-based fund management business as part of its plan to shrink and focus on its core UK retail and commercial banking. The bank says it has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers to advise on the sale. Shares in the state-owned back rose more than 1.3% in late trading.

  6. Via Twitter

    Linda Yueh

    Chief business correspondent

    tweets: HK restricting mainland Chinese visas as 47 million visitors entered city of 7m. A sea change from when HKers bought cheap goods in Shenzhen

  7. Deloitte

    MG Rover site

    Accountant Deloitte has had a £14m fine relating to its dealings with collapsed carmaker MG Rover cut to £3m after an appeal. The reduction penalty was announced today after an appeals tribunal earlier this year threw out eight of 13 charges against the firm in a case brought by the Financial Reporting Council. It also cut the fine imposed on former Deloitte partner Maghsoud Einollahi from £250,000 to £175,000 and reversed his three-year ban from the profession.

  8. Markets update

    The FTSE 100 looks on course to end the day down, with shares currently trading 19.59 points lower at 7,070.18. BHP Billiton and Tesco and the two biggest fallers, down 3.07% and 2.85% respectively.

  9. Via Blog

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    So how constraining on Labour is its self-imposed "Budget Responsibility Lock"? See Robert's latest blog for an answer.

  10. Sexist bank notes?

    banknotes

    After the UK's successful campaign to get Jane Austen on the £10 note, the US and Canada are now trying to do the same. But is one woman enough?

  11. US markets

    Wall Street opens slightly higher, led by gains in the energy sector as the price of oil moves higher. The Dow Jones edged up 14 points, less than 0.1%, to 18,074, while the S&P 500 rose a point to 2,104. The Nasdaq increased 17 points, or 0.4%, to 5,013. The price of oil rose $1.12 to $52.84 a barrel in New York.

  12. Gazprom

    Russian natural gas monopoly gaint Gazprom headquarters in Moscow, 03/01/06

    Russia's gas giant Gazprom warned the European Union against moves to block Moscow's plans to bypass Ukraine as a transit country for its gas to Europe. Russia plans to build the Turkish Stream pipeline to Turkey and further on to Greece via the Black Sea. "If someone thinks about blocking Turkish Stream, it is a very serious mistake," Gazprom chief Alexei Miller told a conference in Berlin.

  13. Tax fraud

    The heir to the Nina Ricci perfume and fashion house has been convicted of tax fraud by a Paris court after hiding millions in an offshore HSBC account. Arlette Ricci, 73, was sentenced to a year in prison and ordered to pay a €1m (£720,000; $1.1m) fine. The court also confiscated two properties worth €4m. HSBC's Swiss private banking arm is being investigated after a leak revealed large scale tax fraud.

  14. Indian inflation surprises

    The result is in, but it's not what was expected. India's annual rate of consumer price inflation unexpectedly fell to 5.17% in March from February's 5.37%. The three-month low surprised economists who, because of the impact of unseasonal heavy rain, had forecast a rise in the rate to 5.5%.

  15. Oil prices

    graph

    World oil prices have continued last week's rise. US benchmark West Texas Intermediate rose 68 cents to $52.32 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude advanced 79 cents to $58.66. A glut of supply may cap further rises, however. "There has been a continuation in the rise of oil prices from Friday's session, but the market has started this week cautiously due to the ongoing oversupply situation," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist with CMC Markets in Sydney.

  16. Dollar nears euro parity

    dollar versus euro

    The US dollar is quietly creeping up against the euro again, with one dollar now buying €0.949. Traders expect the euro to continue to be weak while the European Central Bank has its stimulus programme in place, meanwhile the dollar is supported by the prospect of a future rise in US interest rates.

  17. 'Making it up'

    Paul Johnson

    Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, is sceptical of the figures all three parties have said that they're hoping to raise from clamping down on tax avoidance. The Conservatives have said they will raise £5bn, the Liberal Democrats £7bn and Labour £7.5bn. "Frankly they're (the numbers) are not at all credible. All of the three main parties are just making up numbers," he tells the BBC.

  18. Market update

    FTSE 100

    The FTSE 100 lost further ground during the morning and is down 0.4% at lunchtime. Miners continue to weigh on the index. Those shares have been hit be weak economic data from one of their most important customers - China. The insurer Aviva was the biggest winner, up almost 2% after positive comments from analysts at Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan.

  19. Labour manifesto: Liberal reaction

    Labour have a "mountain to climb" to establish fiscal credibility, says Malcolm Bruce, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats on BBC News Channel. He is reacting to Labour's election manifesto. In particular Mr Bruce criticises Labour's choice not to set a timetable for the elimination of the deficit.

  20. Apple watch sales

    Apple watches

    A US research firm has estimated that Apple won 957,000 pre-orders for its new watch in the US on Friday. Slice Intelligence analysed email receipts from 9,080 online shoppers (who it has agreements with). Its analysis suggests that many buyers bought more than one watch. On average buyers spent $503.83 on each watch.

  21. Via Twitter

    Paul Lewis

    Presenter, Money Box

    Financial Ombudsman upholds age discrimination mortgage case against HSBC even though financial products age discrimination exempt

  22. Labour manifesto

    Ed Miliband is asked if it's going to be possible to raise £7bn by cutting down on tax avoidance. He says "there is going to be a change" in the way tax avoidance and evasion is approached. He cites Labour's pledge to eliminate non-dom status. He also promises a review into the customs and practice of HMRC.

  23. Miliband: 'Arbitrary timetable'

    Ed Miliband

    During his manifesto launch Ed Miliband says that setting an arbitrary timetable for eliminating the deficit is "not the answer". He will only commit to reducing the deficit to zero as soon as possible in the next parliament. Mr Miliband says it erodes credibility to set out timetables that can't be met.

  24. Via Twitter

    Labour manifesto

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    @Ed_Miliband big theme is UK as "country of working people" - but CBI and IoD may question whether minimum wage pledge is affordable

  25. Shell petrol station sale

    shell

    Shell says it is to sell 185 service stations in the UK to independent dealers and has exchanged contracts on 158 service stations with two dealer groups. You won't probably notice however, as the stations will keep the Shell branding. Shell has more than 1,000 service stations bearing its name, about half of which it owns.

  26. Italian recovery on track?

    Italian and EU flag

    Hopes that Italy's economic recovery is on track have been boosted by official data showing industrial output rose by a slightly higher-than-expected 0.6% in February. The rise follows January's 0.7% fall and marks the strongest monthly gain since June last year. However, output is still down almost 25% since its 2008 peak.

  27. Post update

  28. Indian inflation

    India's consumer inflation is expected to have risen in March for the fourth consecutive month after a record low in November. Heavy rain has driven up the price of food in the country. Consumer prices are forecast to rise to 5.5% in March from a year earlier compared with February's 5.37%, according to a poll of economists by newswire Reuters. The data is due to be released at 12:00.

  29. City rock stars

    Uberkill band

    Perhaps you don't recognise these chaps without their suits? Carsten Hoyer (bottom right) is a senior compliance officer at Unicredit and Graham Tull (back left), is business intelligence manager at Earthport. After hours they are also known as Uberkill, a hard-rock band that, according to the Daily Telegraph, is now headed for international success.

  30. Statoil cuts

    rig

    Statoil could cut 2,400 jobs in May, or about a tenth of the total workforce, Oslo business daily Dagens Naerinsliv has reported. The sharp drop in the oil price, which has halved since last summer, has led the oil firm to cut costs. "We are working on reinforcing the productivity within the company and that could have consequences in terms of jobs but it is too early to speculate on their number," Statoil spokesman Jannik Lindbaek told the AFP newswire.

  31. Working lunches

    Dabbawalas in Mumbai

    For decades Mumbai's dabbawalas have been a familiar sight on the city's streets with bicycles laden with "tiffins", or lunch boxes, which they deliver from customer's homes to their offices around the city. Now Flipkart, India's biggest online retailer, has announced it's trialling using the dabbawalas to distribute parcels around the city, using their knowledge of the often-cramped streets to meet the "last mile" part of transactions.

  32. Coal India

    India coal power station

    The sale of another stake in state-owned Coal India, the biggest coal producer in the world, is "not ruled out". That's according to finance ministry official Aradhana Johri speaking to CNBC-TV18 television channel. In January, Delhi raised about £2.5bn by selling a 10% stake in the miner, the largest-ever equity deal in India.

  33. Via Twitter

    Mark Broad

    Economics reporter, BBC News

    UBS report shows for 1st time in 4yrs Eurozone stocks got more upgrades than downgrades in March. Had been 48 months in row of downgrades

  34. 'Stealing clothes'

    "Both main parties seem to be stealing each other's clothes," BBC's assistant political editor Norman Smith tells Business Live referencing the Conservative's pledge to spend £8bn on the NHS.

  35. Via Twitter

    Labour manifesto

    Laura Kuenssberg

    Chief Correspondent, BBCNewsnight

    Expect row about Lab promise on deficit every day for next 3 weeks! But big move for them to make promise NOT to spend big manifesto idea

  36. Newspaper review

    Newspapers

    Both Evans Cycles and Travelodge are up for sale according to the business section of The Times. The Guardian reports that Co-operative members are demanding the consideration of rejected candidates for the board of directors. The FT says that US shareholders could receive a record $1 trillion in share buybacks and dividends. The Daily Telegraph reports that Labour and Conservatives have been criticised for plans to cut tax relief on pensions for high earners. The IFS says the measures would be "counter-productive".

  37. Market update

    Volkswagen Golf GTI at the Seoul Motor Show 2015

    Let's start in Frankfurt where Volkswagen shares are down 1.7% following the appearance of a rift between the company's chairman and chief executive. That's weighing on the Dax index which is down 0.2%. The FTSE 100 has also recorded modest losses in early trading. BHP Billiton is the biggest loser among FTSE shares, down 2.3%. Mining shares have been hit by weak economic data from China, a big market for miners.

  38. Inheritance Tax

    BBC Radio 4

    Economics Editor Robert Peston is on Today talking about the inheritance tax changes proposed by the Conservative Party, allowing a house worth up to £1m to be passed on without the tax. "Most families that will benefit from this tend to be in London and the south east... The vast majority of people won't benefit from this," he says.

  39. Via Twitter

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    @edballsmp concedes there may be cuts in Scotland under a Labour government

  40. Shell deal eyed

    Royal Dutch Shell flag

    Australian manufacturers have warned that Royal Dutch Shell's £47bn takeover of BG Group could exacerbate a lack of competition in the country's eastern gas market. The chief executive director of lobby group Manufacturing Australia, Ben Eade told Reuters. "What we need is more suppliers than less."

  41. Labour manifesto launched

    Radio 5 live

    Shadow chancellor Ed Balls (left)

    Shadow chancellor Ed Balls is on Radio 5 live and says that his party's manifesto has two important promises. First "nothing is in the manifesto where we are not showing where the money is coming from". And second "every Labour budget will reduce the budget every year".

  42. Falklands oil drilling

    UK-based explorer Falkland Oil and Gas has announced that it is deferring a potential second well in the South and East Falkland basin. It says the decision means that, along with its partners in the joint venture, it might in the future be able to take advantage of lower drilling costs.

  43. Sterling hits five year low

    Pound vs dollar

    The pound hit a fresh five-year low against the dollar this morning, falling to $1.4568 before recovering. Traders say uncertainty over the outcome of May's election in the UK has been weighing on the pound.

  44. EasyJet hire

    easyjet

    EasyJet says it hired Andrew Findlay, currently at Halfords, as its chief financial officer. It's all change at Halfords. Chief executive Matt Davies is leaving for Tesco next month.

  45. Volkswagen leadership 'crisis'

    VW chief executive Martin Winterkorn right, Chairman Ferdinand Piech left

    The Financial Times and others report on the appearance of a rift between chairman Ferdinand Piech (pictured left) and chief executive Martin Winterkorn (right). Mr Piech, VW's chairman said on Friday "I am at distance to Winterkorn". The FT says that in the past just a few words from Mr Piech have been sufficient to "seal the fate" of senior executives at VW.

  46. Easter boost for Heathrow

    Plane taking off from Heathrow

    Heathrow has reported its busiest ever March, with a record 5.95 million passengers travelling through the airport last month. It credited an earlier Easter travel rush for the 3.4% increase in passengers compared to March last year.

  47. India - Germany meeting

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel (R) and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the opening ceremony of the Hannover Messe in Hanover, Germany

    India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in Germany today meeting German chancellor Angela Merkel. Bilateral trade between the two countries is worth more than $18bn and BBC correspondent Damien McGuinness tells World Business Report TV that Mr Modi is keen to promote India as a manufacturing destination. "This is a high profile visit that both want to get a lot from," he says.

  48. Weak Chinese trade data

    Chinese shipping

    Chinese export sales shrank 14.6% in March compared to the year before. That's the sharpest contraction since the 2009 financial crisis. "It's a very bad number that was much worse than expectations," says Louis Kuijs, an economist at RBS in Hong Kong. Imports fell 12.3%. which economists says indicates slowing demand within the Chinese economy.

  49. Pay rows

    BBC Radio 4

    Aviva is hoping to head-off any potential controversy over the pay of its top executives. The insurer has agreed to reduce the long-term bonuses of their chief executive and chief finance officer. David Cumming, head of UK equities at Standard Life tells the Today programme: "I think the remuneration team at Aviva decided they didn't want the hassle."

  50. Cashless society?

    Radio 5 live

    Sterling

    The amount of £50 notes in circulation is going up says Dave Birch from Consult Hyperion, an IT consultancy that specialises in electronic transactions. He speculates that big notes are being used in the black economy including tax evasion and money laundering. On Wake Up to Money he says that paying with mobile phones is going to erode the use of cash.

  51. UK productivity puzzle

    Radio 5 live

    UK workers are significantly less productive than their counterparts in the US, France and Germany. On Wake Up to Money Mark Beatson chief economist at the CIPD says in the early stages of a recession it is usual for productivity to fall but it's "very very unusual" for productivity to have been so slow to recover. He says part of the reason is in 2009 and 2010 businesses did not invest in new equipment.

  52. Travelodge sale?

    Radio 5 live

    Travelodge Hull

    Travelodge almost went under in the aftermath of the financial crisis. Now it has reported strong results and The Times reported on Sunday that its owners are considering selling the business for more than £1bn. On Wake Up to Money chief executive Peter Gowers will not comment on that report, but agrees that the current owners which includes Goldman Sachs "are not natural long term holders of the business".

  53. Post update

    Ben Morris

    Business Reporter

    Good morning. Van sales in the UK are running at record levels. Also Labour publishes its election manifesto later in Manchester which should give us something to chew over. If you want to get in touch email bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or tweet @bbcbusiness.