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Summary

  1. US trade deficit at highest level in more than six years
  2. Australia cuts interest rates to a record low
  3. HSBC to make HQ decision 'in months'
  4. UBS reports surge in first quarter profit

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Over and out...

    That's all we have time for today at Business Live - thanks for reading. We are back at 0600 Wednesday - do join us then.

  2. Wall Street update

    As trading nears an end for the day in New York, the Dow Jones is down 0.8% at 18,070 points, while the S&P 500 is 1.2% lower at 2,089 points. Salesforce.com jumped 5.9% on bid rumours. Nasdaq is down 1.5% at 4,939 points.

  3. News Corp results

    News Corp, the publisher of newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and The Times, reported a slight fall in quarterly revenue to $2.06bn, hurt by the stronger dollar and dwindling advertising sales at its titles. However, net profit more than halved to $23m for the third quarter to 31 March, compared with the same period last year.

  4. All aboard for Havana

    JetBlue

    JetBlue will begin a weekly charter flight from New York to Havana on 3 July, the airline said on Tuesday. It is the first to announce a new flight to Cuba from New York since travel restrictions for Americans were eased recently. The service follows a recent trade mission to Cuba led by New York governor Andrew Cuomo.

  5. French Army goes Ford

    Ford Ranger

    Sacre bleu! French soldiers will soon be traversing the length and breadth of France in - wait for it - Ford pickup trucks. The New York Times reports that the army is buying 1,000 Ford Rangers to start replacing its Peugeot P4 jeeps that first went into service in 1983 and are becoming obsolete. While vehicles made by Citroën and Renault were considered, the Ford model was chosen as it is larger and can carry five people as well as a tonne of cargo.

  6. Gulf of Mexico deaths

    At least two Pemex workers died on Tuesday as an oil maintenance platform tilted off Mexico's east coast, forcing the evacuation of 101 employees. The rig, owned by a contractor called Typhoon, is continuing to tilt in the Sound of Campeche area of the Gulf of Mexico, Pemex said. No details of how the workers died have been released.

  7. Oil prices jump

    oil well

    Oil prices continued to climb on Tuesday following disruption of exports from Libya and higher prices for Saudi crude. US crude settled up $1.47 at $60.40 a barrel, after earlier hitting a high for 2015 of $61.10. Brent crude rose $1.10 to $67.55 in New York, after earlier hitting $68.40 - its highest for the year so far. Oil prices have risen by half in just over three months, after falling as low as $40 late last year.

  8. Euronext boss

    Euronext has appointed chief operating officer Jos Dijsselhof as its interim chief executive. The former Royal Bank of Scotland and ABN Amro executive became chief operating officer of Euronext before its IPO in June 2014. Mr Dijsselhof will take over from Dominique Cerutti, who is joining consulting firm Altran Technologies as chairman and chief executive. Amsterdam-based Euronext operates stock exchanges and fixed-income and derivatives markets in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, London and Lisbon.

  9. Europe digital strategy

    Google

    The European Union will announce a wide-ranging investigation on Wednesday into how big technology companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook use their market power as it considers whether to regulate them more tightly. The inquiry follows calls from France and Germany for regulation of so-called "essential digital platforms", encompassing everything from e-commerce sites such as eBay to social media companies. European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip's "digital single market strategy" aims to update copyright rules, remove barriers to cross-border parcel deliveries and ensure that European online businesses can compete with their bigger US counterparts.

  10. Via Twitter

    Periscope

    Periscope

    Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC technology correspondent, tweets: The rows over #periscope and piracy of live events/TV progs reminds me of the early days of YouTube - no doubt Twitter will be forced to act @ruskin147

  11. Economic consequences of general election

    World Service

    Roger Bootle from Capital Economics tells World Business Report the idea that there will be economic chaos after the general election is unlikely as long as "there isn't a very left leaning government" which he suggests would put the pound under some pressure. But he points out that Belgium managed perfectly well without a government for the better part of a year. "I have been amazed at how sanguine the markets have been about the general election," he adds. Mr Bootle says most observers would say the economy wasn't rocked by coalition government five years ago. Essentially, he says, markets understand that we have done this before and there is no reason why we can't do this again.

  12. Greece needs honest agreement with Europe

    World Service

    A fresh forecast shows a much brighter outlook for Europe. The European Commission has published its spring report on the eurozone economy. It suggests the eurozone will expand by 1.5% this year - 0.2 percentage points higher than previous estimates. But things in Greece are more problematic with growth of just 0.5% expected this year. Constantine Michalos, a businessman from Athens, told World Business Report that the new Greek government has made a number of promises to the Greek people and the hope is that it will be able to deliver on them. However, much hinges on Greece being able to reach an "honest agreement" with its European partners.

  13. EU to investigate McDonalds tax affairs

    The logo for fast giant McDonalds

    The European Commission is examining trade union allegations that McDonald's avoided paying more than €1bn (£737m) in corporation tax between 2009 and 2013. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said earlier that her office is "looking into the information gained by trade unions when it comes to McDonald's in order to assess if there is a case." A coalition of European and US unions claims McDonald's reduced its tax burden by moving its British headquarters to Switzerland and channelling money into a Luxembourg-based subsidiary with a Swiss branch.

  14. No-one sets oil price

    An Iraqi oil worker at The Rumaila oil field in Basra,

    Saudi oil minister Ali al-Naimi said he was "not worried at all" about the prospect of Iranian crude coming back onto the market if sanctions on Iran are lifted as part of an international nuclear deal in an interview with CNBC earlier today. He also blamed a higher authority for recovering oil prices. saying "No one can set the price of oil — it's up to Allah.". It comes as Brent crude hit a year high of $68 per barrel earlier - a 2.4% increase on the previous day. Brent crude has been rising steadily in the last couple of weeks as a result unrest in Yemen and rising concerns over supply.

  15. Linda Yueh

    Linda Yueh

    It's the last day with the BBC for chief business correspondent Linda Yueh, who is returning to the UK from Singapore. Her final blog focuses on the future of business news, which she sums up in two words: global and digital. Read more from Linda here.

  16. Skype trademark ruling

    Skype

    An EU court has ruled that Skype's name is too similar to that of satellite TV company Sky for a trademark to be granted for the video chat software. Microsoft, which owns Skype, says it will appeal against the decision.

  17. Airbus order

    Airbus A320neo

    A good day for Airbus: Colombian airline Avianca has confirmed an order for 100 A320neo aircraft. The order is the largest by a Latin American airline and worth about $10bn at catalogue prices. The new short-haul planes will operate from Avianca's hubs in Bogota, Lima and San Salvador.

  18. HP/Autonomy lawsuit

    HP logo

    Want to know more detail about Hewlett-Packard's lawsuit against Mike Lynch? Click here to read our full story.

  19. FTSE close

    BA

    The FTSE 100 has ended the first day of trading for the week down 58.37 points, or 0.8%, to 6,927.58 points. IAG, the British Airways owner, was the biggest faller, down 3.7% to 537p, while Coca-Cola HBC was the biggest riser, up 3% to £14.17.

  20. Mike Lynch vs Hewlett-Packard

    Mike Lynch

    Mike Lynch, who founded Autonomy and sold it to Hewlett-Packard in 2011 for $11.7bn, said the US company had failed to produce a "smoking gun" to back its claim that was behind a complex fraud to inflate the value of Autonomy. HP is suing Mr Lynch and the former Autonomy finance director Sushovan Hussain for about $5bn in damages. Lynch said the contents of HP's claim were "a simple rehash of previous leaks and insinuations that add up to one long disagreement over accounting treatment". "HP's claim is finally laid bare for what it is -- a desperate search for a scapegoat for its own errors and incompetence."

  21. Greece vs EU and IMF

    Sounds like Greece is ramping up the rhetoric against its lenders once more. A government official said on Tuesday that "serious disagreements" between the European Union and the International Monetary Fund are preventing Greece from reaching a deal with the two bodies. That has resulted in "red lines everywhere", the official said: "Against this background there cannot be a compromise. The responsibility belongs exclusively to the institutions and their weakness in coordinating."

  22. Tesco board changes

    Tesco

    Even more change on the board of Tesco in the wake of last year's overstatement of profits. Another two directors - Ken Hanna and Stuart Chambers - will both step down after the annual meeting on 26 June, having served for six and five years respectively. Mr Hanna - chairman of Inchcape and Aggreko - will be succeeded as chairman of the audit committee by Byron Grote, the former BP executive who joined as a non-exec on 1 May. Mr Chambers is chairman of ARM Holdings.

  23. Volkswagen chairman

    VW

    Volkswagen's supervisory board is in no rush to replace Ferdinand Piech, who quit as chairman last month following a public showdown with chief executive Martin Winterkorn, acting board chief Berthold Huber said on Tuesday. As you might expect from a German company, Huber told the annual meeting that the board would address the succession "with the necessary diligence and calm".

  24. Lund on Shell deal

    Helge Lund

    Helge Lund, chief executive of BG Group, said at the company's annual meeting on Tuesday that he welcomed Shell's $70bn takeover bid with "mixed emotions". The former head of Norway's Statoil took the BG job just two months before the Shell bid was announced on 7 April. "This is a strong deal for our shareholders," he said. "That said, you will understand that, from a leadership perspective, I do have slightly mixed emotions as I was looking forward to taking BG forward and a takeover was certainly not in my mind when I joined the company."

  25. Via Twitter

    More Disney magic

    Avengers

    Matthew Garrahan, FT global media editor, tweets: Bob Iger reveals that top three movie openings of all time are Disney flicks: Avengers 1 +2 and Iron Man 3. And Star Wars is on the way $DIS@MattGarrahan

  26. Wall Street update

    As trading gets underway in New York, the Dow Jones is flat at 18,066, and it's a similar story for the S&P 500 which stands at 2,113. The Nasdaq, meanwhile, has slipped 0.4% to 4,998.

  27. Via Twitter

    Star Wars toys

    Star Wars toys

    Matthew Garrahan, Financial Times global media editor, tweets: Disney planning special September "event" to launch new Star Wars toys. Probably a good day to take the kids for a long walk in the country. @MattGarrahan

  28. Kellogg sales slide

    Corn Flakes

    Net sales at Kellogg, the world's biggest maker of breakfast cereals, have fallen by 5% to $3.56bn. Sales at the company's US morning foods business, which includes cereal, dropped by almost 3% to $776m. That slide helped push quarterly net profit for the maker of Corn Flakes and Rice Krispies down by nearly half to $227m.

  29. German rail strike

    rail strike

    Misery for millions of commuters in Germany on Tuesday after a strike by train drivers disrupted rail services. The industrial action by the GDL union began with freight services on Monday and is set to last as long as a week. Economists predict that the strike could cost up to €750m and cut second-quarter economic growth by 0.1 percentage points. The union wants a 5% pay rise and a two-hour reduction in the working week to 37 hours for rail workers.

  30. Good afternoon

    Thanks indeed to Tom and Ben for this morning's coverage. Chris Johnston here until 2130 GMT to keep you up to date with the rest of the day's business news and views from the UK and beyond. Get in touch at bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk or on Twitter: @bbcbusiness

  31. US imports surge

    Striking workers at Port of Los Angeles

    The US trade deficit in March was the biggest in more than six years, rising 43% to $51.4bn. Imports jumped 7.7% in March - the largest increase on record. That surge followed a labour dispute at major West Coast ports, which had held up imports in previous months.

  32. Greene King sales up

    The George pub, Southwark, London

    Shares in Greene King are up 0.74% after the brewer and pub owner released a trading update. For the 51 weeks to 26 April total sales growth was up 6.3%. At its pubs and restaurants like-for-like sales were up 0.4%, but would have been 0.8% higher had it not been for new drink-driving regulations in Scotland, Greene King says.

  33. Strong results from Disney

    Disney characters of animation movie, Frozen at Tokyo Disneyland

    Disney has reported its latest quarterly results. Revenue for the three months to the end of March was $12.5bn, up 7% on the same quarter last year. Net income was $2.11bn, up 10% on last year. Disney's parks and resorts registered a 6% increase in revenue to $3.8bn. Consumer products revenue rose 10% to $971m, thanks partly to merchandise related to the movie Frozen. However, income at its cable networks was down 9% because of the rising costs of sports rights for ESPN.

  34. Market update

    FTSE 100

    The FTSE 100 is trading higher and still above the 7,000 level, despite losing some ground during the morning here in London. Coca-Cola HBC, Europe's biggest bottler and seller of Coca-Cola products, is leading the FTSE 100 higher with a gain of 3.4%. HSBC is one of the biggest losers, down 1.9% after its first quarter results.

  35. Chips are up in Germany

    Infineon computer chip

    Shares in German computer chip firm Infineon Technologies are up 2.4% in Frankfurt. That's after it raised its full-year sales target for the second time this year. The company has been helped by the weaker euro and the purchase of US rival, International Rectifier. Infineon expects a 36% jump in group revenue for the year to September.

  36. EU considers McDonald's probe

    McDonald's Paris

    The EU is considering an investigation into McDonald's' tax arrangements. "We are looking [at] if we should open a case on McDonald's" based on information supplied by unions, EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. The EU is already looking into the tax arrangements of Apple, Starbucks, Amazon and Fiat.

  37. HSBC shares fall

    HSBC shares

    HSBC shares are down more than 2% after the firm reported its first quarter profits. It reported pre-tax profits of $7.1bn up 4% on last year.

  38. Greek debt

    European Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici adjusts his glasses

    Ways to reduce Greece's debt can only be discussed after Athens agrees on a reform programme with its creditors, EU economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici says. "As to the debt... this issue can only be discussed after we have agreed a reform programme which I hope will be consistent, detailed, complete and which will make it possible for the Greek economy to recover... we hope that Greece is committed to that."

  39. Via Blog

    Grexit and the UK

    Robert Peston

    Economics editor

    For all the hour-by-hour reports that talks between Greece and its eurozone creditors are going better (as is said to be the case today) or worse, the working assumption in the UK government (in its dying days) is that Greece will leave the euro."

    Read Robert's full blog post.

  40. Disney profits

    Jez Frampton

    Walt Disney releases its second quarter numbers later today. Jez Frampton, global chief executive of Interbrand, says Disney is very good at tying in merchandising around movies. "You have to have a great story at the heart of it, which is really the success of Frozen, but then the way that they bring that into merchandising, into their stores, and of course into their parks as well, and how they cross-fertilise all that, is really part of the story of the Disney success."

  41. Via Twitter

    Simon Gompertz

    Personal finance correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: HSBC says moving HQ, maybe to Hong Kong, would only mean 250 top jobs leaving the UK

  42. Ryanair boss rules out wifi

    Irish low-cost airline Ryanair's chief executive Michael O"Leary

    Ryanair is unlikely to introduce wifi to its services in the near future, according to its chief executive Michael O'Leary. Earlier this year it was reported that Ryanair was experimenting with wifi on some flights. But speaking on Bloomberg TV Mr O'Leary said the problem is that roaming charges are "prohibitively" expensive in Europe and he thinks customers would rather have cheap tickets than free wifi.

  43. UK construction activity slows

    Construction worker in London

    There was a "sharp" decline in activity in the UK construction sector in April, according to the latest CIPS/Markit survey. Its index fell to 54.2 from 57.8 in March, which is the lowest level in two years. However, the index remains above 50, which indicates expansion. "The uncertain general election outcome appears to have put some grit in the wheels of decision making," Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit said.

  44. Greece growth

    Flags in front of the Acropolis, Athens

    The European Commission sharply cut its Greek growth forecast, saying it now expects the Greek economy to grow only 0.5% this year due to uncertainty over the outcome of its debt talks. Three months ago, the Commission forecast Greece would grow 2.5% this year. "The current lack of clarity on the policy stance of the government vis-à-vis the country's policy commitments in the context of the EU/IMF support arrangements worsens uncertainty further," it said.

  45. A question of sport

    Business Live

    Ramon Vega

    Ramon Vega, who spent 13 years as a professional footballer, now runs his own investment firm. He said it was initially tough to persuade people to let his firm manage their money. "We all know, the perception of football players... ok, they're earning a lot of money, but we're talking here very serious business, managing people's money. The perception of football players - was the hardest part to convince people. For two to three years, very difficult."

  46. EU boosts Eurozone growth forecast

    "Euro" by the artist group Superflex at the stand of the gallery 1301PE at the Art Cologne, in Cologne, Germany

    The European Commission (EC) has boosted its forecast for 2015 eurozone economic growth. The Commission predicted 1.5% eurozone growth this year, up from 1.3% - its previous estimate in February.

  47. HSBC on UK retail banking

    Stuart Gulliver is asked if HSBC has any plans to sell its UK retail banking operation (which has been rumoured). He clarifies that HSBC is still working on ring-fencing the bank as required by UK regulators. That is due to be complete by 2019. If at the end of the process HSBC has no management control over the UK bank and is just the owner, then "that would be a problem", he says.

  48. HSBC results

    After certain items, HSBC's first quarter adjusted profit rose to $6.9bn (£4.6bn), from $6.5bn the year before. One-off items included lower restructuring, regulatory, and customer redress costs. The figure primarily reflected higher revenue of $661m and lower loan impairment charges of $136m, partly offset by higher operating expenses of $483m.

  49. HSBC examines HQ move

    HSBC sign

    The board of HSBC has asked executives to look into where the best location would be for HSBC's headquarters. Executives will take a few months to come up with a recommendation. The management will then go to the board with that recommendation and if they decide to move from London, there will have to be a shareholder vote. "It's impossible" to say what any saving might be, Mr Gulliver says. The bank hopes to have decision by the year end, but will be able to give more details on the process in an investor update on 9 June.

  50. HSBC results

    Stuart Gulliver

    HSBC chief executive Stuart Gulliver is holding a media call following the release of the bank's first quarter results. He says the Swiss banking scandal (he calls it data theft) has "undoubtedly done reputational damage" and it has had an effect on morale within the business. But it has not affected results. In fact new money has been coming into the private bank.

  51. HSBC results

    HSBC sign

    HSBC profits rose in the first quarter to $7.1bn from $6.8bn in the same period last year, the banking giant has said.

  52. Australia rate cut

    David Stubbs

    Why has Australia's central bank decided to cut interest rates? David Stubbs from JP Morgan tells Business Live. "This is about the fallout of the commodity bubble," he says. "We've seen now two or three years of steep price declines in most commodities - most especially iron ore - that's Australia's key commodity there... When you get a commodity boom like this it pushes up your currency, it makes the rest of your economy structurally uncompetitive, and that's why Australia's struggling right now."

  53. Newspaper review - business pages

    newspapers

    "China's migrant miracle grinds to halt" says the lead story of the Financial Times. It says an "unprecedented" movement of rural labour to cities is over. The Wall Street Journal also leads with a China story. It says that oil industry officials and government advisors are backing away from a plan to combine Chinese oil firms into a giant new national champion. The Guardian reports on price rises by TalkTalk. Among the changes, customers will no longer be able to call 0845 and 0870 numbers for free.

  54. US presidential race

    Business Live

    Pippa Malmgren

    Former Hewlett Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina is a controversial addition to the race for the US presidency, US economic and political analyst Pippa Malmgren tells BBC Live. "She's never been elected to public office before... it's partly because she's a businessperson, she's very outspoken, she's definitely on the right in American politics - she has strong views on abortion and social issues - but I have to say... she's going to add a lot of spice to this race."

  55. Chinese shares fall

    Hong Kong Stock Exchange

    The Shanghai composite index has fallen 181.76 points to 4,298.71, a drop of 4.06%. Analysts are citing a number of concerns including poor factory data on Monday, and media reports of tougher margin requirements. Investors might also be selling holdings to raise funds so they can invest in a number of upcoming new share sales, traders say. Hong Kong's Hang Seng is down 1.65%.

  56. Strong allegations against RBS

    The Times

    The business section of the Times leads with a claim that Royal Bank of Scotland was "under pressure to strip companies of their assets to improve its balance sheet". You might remember that back in 2013 a report by government advisor Lawrence Tomlinson said that RBS put viable businesses into default to boost its profits. The Times' report covers similar ground, but says the balance sheet of RBS could have benefited by defaulting high-risk customer loans. RBS maintains that it helped save businesses and jobs.

  57. Lufthansa results

    Lufthansa logo

    German airline Lufthansa has reported a first quarter net profit €425m (£313m) after making a €252m loss in the same period last year. However, it said the result was once again "overshadowed" by the impact of the pilots strike called by the trade union Cockpit.

  58. Aberdeen Asset Management boss

    BBC Radio 4

    Martin Gilbert

    Martin Gilbert, chief executive of Aberdeen Asset Management is on Today. He says the markets are "pretty relaxed" about the election outcome and are prepared for a hung parliament. They are expecting a government to be formed in the early, or the middle part of next week.

  59. Aberdeen Asset Management results

    Half year profit before tax for Aberdeen Asset Management, one of Scotland's biggest companies, has risen to £185.4m from £168.7m in the same period the year before. It added that its underlying profits rose 25% after its acquisition of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership last year.

  60. Glencore copper mining

    Glencore headquarters in Baar, Switzerland

    Mining giant Glencore has said its first quarter copper production is down 9%, reflecting lower copper grades at its Alumbrera and Antamina mines in South America, and maintenance at its Collahuasi mine. Copper is the largest earner for the Swiss-based company.

  61. Adidas results

    Adidas logo and stripes

    Sportswear giant Adidas has said its first quarter net income rose 8.1% to €223m (£163m) compared with the same period last year. In March the firm unveiled a turnaround plan after struggling to match rival Nike.

  62. Oil firm clarifies chairman's comments

    Horse Hill drill site

    UK Oil & Gas Investments has again had to disown comments made by its chairman David Lenigas. In an interview with the London Evening Standard on 1 May, Mr Lenigas repeated the claim that there could be 100 billion barrels of oil in the south east of England. This morning the company released a statement reiterating that it could only really comment on its small licence area. Last month it had to issue a similar clarification.

  63. What is fintech?

    BBC Radio 4

    City of London

    The business slot of the Today programme is telling its listeners all about fintech, which is a term for businesses that apply technology to financial services. Claire Cockerton, chief executive of Innovate Finance says there has been a big expansion of firms and products over the last two years. Derek White, chief design officer at Barclays is "not scared at all" by the challenge to its business. He says that Barclays is an important customer to such firms.

  64. UBS results

    UBS logo

    UBS says it is in "advanced talks" with the US Department of Justice to settle allegations that it attempted to rig the foreign exchange market. That news came along with its first quarter results. It reported a net profit of $2.18bn (£1.44bn), almost double the same period of last year, and ahead of analyst expectations.

  65. Sanguine investors

    Radio 5 live

    The markets haven't been that spooked by the prospect of a hung parliament after the UK general election, Sue Noffke from Schroders tells Wake Up to Money. "We're likely to see this week, and maybe for a couple of weeks afterwards, until we get resolution on what situation we're dealing with, a little bit more volatility, but we haven't seen really any angst from markets being priced in to stock markets."

  66. Australia rate

    Radio 5 live

    Australia's rate cut has partly been prompted by "a lot of unease about the Australian dollar's strength, [and] lots of ongoing concerns about the deteriorating economic outlook for Australia," the BBC's Sharanjit Leyl tells Wake Up to Money.

  67. HSBC results

    Radio 5 live

    HSBC

    There are a number of reasons why HSBC may want to move its headquarters back to Hong Kong, the BBC's Sharanjit Leyl tells Wake Up to Money. China would probably look "incredibly positively on that move" . "There's the potential of the deal pipeline alone from China and Asia that it could reap the benefits from." Some shareholders also think there could be a higher dividend, and taxes would be lower, she adds.

  68. Australia interest rate

    Reserve Bank Australia

    The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 2%. The 0.25% rate cut is the first since February. "At today's meeting, the board judged that the inflation outlook provided the opportunity for monetary policy to be eased further, so as to reinforce recent encouraging trends in household demand," Reserve Bank of Australia governor Glenn Stevens said.

  69. Good morning

    Eyes on HSBC this morning as is announces its first quarter results. Last month the bank said it was considering moving its HQ from London. It's also been a troubled period for HSBC, with executives recently taking a battering from MPs over the activities of its private bank in Switzerland.