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Summary

  1. Morrisons boss Dave Potts awarded a £1.1m bonus
  2. US jobs growth slows in April
  3. FTSE 100 closes 8 points higher at 6,145 points
  4. Sir Philip Green calls for Frank Field to quit as head of work and pensions committee

Live Reporting

By Chris Johnston

All times stated are UK

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Good night

That's all from Business Live today and indeed this week - thanks for reading. We are back on Monday at 06:00 so do join us then.

Wall Street closes....

Wall Street sign
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US shares picked up ground at the close. Investors viewed the day's jobs report as less disappointing than first thought. The Dow Jones gained 79.79 points to 17,740.5, the S&P rose 6.55 points to 2,057.18 and the Nasdaq was up 19.06 points at 4,736.16. 

Oil higher - but Brent down 6% on week

Oil pump
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Oil prices edged up on Friday, supported by an early fall in the dollar and a fire that has cut output from Canadian oil sands.

Brent crude ended up 36 cents, or 0.8%, at $45.37 a barrel, while US oil finished up 53 cents, or 0.8%, at $44.66 a barrel. 

However, Brent ended the week down 6% - its sharpest weekly drop in four months as investors cashed out of April's big rally.

"The global surplus still exists and there is still a possibility that oil prices could retrace further," said Dominick Chirichella, senior partner at the Energy Management Institute.

VW shareholder withering critique

This is very interesting: VW shareholder issues scathing critique of executive pay levels and  condemns 'improper relationship' between management and unions. Doesn't pull its punches.  Read it in full, here:

Americans flash the plastic in March

US mall
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US consumers sharply increased use of their credit cards in March with a 14.2% rise - worth $11.1bn - the biggest one-month gain since July 2000.

The Federal Reserve says total consumer borrowing rose $29.7bn in March - a 10% increase. It was the largest percentage gain since a surge of 18.4% in November 2001 - a month when consumer borrowing surged in response to government officials urging Americans to boost spending to support the economy following the September 11 terrorist attacks.  

Breaking$56bn US cable merger approved

Time Warner Cable truck
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The FCC has voted to approve Charter Communications' $56bn deal to buy Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks. 

Charter, backed by billionaire John Malone's Liberty Media - which also owns Virgin Media in the UK - has pursued Time Warner Cable for the past three years.  

The two companies had acrimonious exchanges in 2013 and early 2014 that ended with Time Warner Cable rejecting unsolicited approaches by Charter and instead finding a white knight in Comcast, the top US cable provider. However, that deal collapsed in April 2015.

Morrisons shares on the up

Morrisons trolleys
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Shares in Morrisons have risen 29% since the start of the year to close on Friday at 191.3p (down a touch), although the stock is virtually flat over the past 12 months. 

Given its recent woes, the company is worth a rather impressive £4.4bn - not that much less than Sainsbury's £5.1bn market cap as it happens. Shares in Sainsbury's have risen just 4% this year. 

Streaming success for Warner

Jason Derulo
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Jason Derulo is a Warner Music artist

The inexorable rise of streaming continues as Warner Music says it made more money from streaming platforms than any other source of revenue from recorded music in the latest quarter. The record company claims to be the first of the three major labels (Universal and Sony being the others) to reach the milestone.

Warner's streaming revenue rose 59% for the three months to March, helping boost overall revenue by 10% to $745m.   

Last month the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry said streaming revenue globally rose 45% last year, while revenue from downloads fell 10.5%. 

Hohn fury at VW bonuses

Matthias Mueller
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Volkswagen chief executive Matthias Mueller

Activist investor TCI has increased pressure on Volkswagen, demanding it overhaul its "excessive" executive pay scheme as part of a plan to boost profits and end years of "mismanagement". Following the emissions scandal, which dragged the company to a record €1.6bn loss for 2015, investors have been furious that its top bosses would still get millions in bonuses.

In a letter to the executive and supervisory boards seen by Reuters, Chris Hohn, founder of the £7bn London-based hedge fund TCI, said paying such large rewards when the company performs poorly was exacerbating its problems. "This extravagance must end. The management remuneration system needs to change. It is currently not fit for purpose," he wrote.

Mr Hohn, who says TCI has a 2% stake in VW, said his four years as a shareholder had been marred by constant disappointment with both the share price and management. The car maker needs to overhaul its entire remuneration structure to ensure pay is linked with performance, he adds. 

Obama on jobs

The US President tweets on today's US jobs figures:

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When Myners chaired M&S...

Lord Myners, then M&S chairman (right), with chief executive Stuart Rose in 2005
PA
Lord Myners, then M&S chairman (right), with chief executive Stuart Rose in 2005

Frank Field, chair of the work and pensions committee, has put together a panel of financial assessors to assist with its inquiry into the collapse of BHS. That panel will be led by Lord (Paul) Myners, whom some older readers will recall was once chairman of Marks & Spencer. 

He held that position back in 2004, when former BHS owner Sir Philip Green mounted an audacious takeover bid for the high street institution. His bid ultimately failed and as this FT article from that year suggests, Myners played a crucial role in winning over the hearts and minds of small M&S shareholders at the retailer's annual meeting.

Read more here.

Potts' pay package

Morrisons supermarket
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More on Dave Potts' remuneration package. He was appointed to run Morrisons last March on a base salary of £850,000 and was awarded a 2.5% increase for 2016/17 - but decided to turn that rise down. 

As well as the bonus of almost £1.1m, he earned other benefits of £226,000 and a payment of £187,000 in lieu of a pension for the 2015/16 year - as well as £747,000 in basic salary (as he did not work the entire 12 months of the year). 

Advertising slump hits News UK

Politico European media editor Alex Spence tweets on the advertising slump affecting UK newspaper publishers. 

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No rate rises this year?

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Don't hold your breath for much action from the Federal Reserve this year. Rick Reider, chief investment officer of global fixed income at BlackRock - the world's biggest asset manager - does not expect the US central bank to raise interest rates more than once following today's poor jobs figures. "We think that perhaps one, or even no, hikes are a distinct possibility this year," he says. 

Job fears for UK steel industry

FTSE closes higher

London's blue-chip index managed to end the week in positive territory, up 8.4 points at 6,145.7 points - although it is down 185 points, or almost 3%, for the week. 

After falling almost 12% on Wednesday, Randgold Resources reclaimed some ground to be the biggest riser today with a 6.6% gain, while Inmarsat won the wooden spoon with a 5.8% slide.

More dramatic action over on the FTSE 250, however, with Interserve falling more than 16% and Centamin rising 9.2%.

Entertaining Amazon

Yes I've decided its Statistics Friday, so here are some more fascinating figures from Retail Week on the UK's audio-visual entertainment market.

I'm almost surprised that Amazon doesn't have more than a quarter of the market - but then again the supermarkets still account for a very healthy chunk of DVDs and CD sales.  

View more on twitter

Fat cats get fatter

FTSE 100
BBC

Chief executives at the UK's largest companies took a pay cut last year, but profits fell further, meaning they continued to take a rising share of corporate profits. The average pay for bosses of a FTSE 100 firm was £5.23m - down slightly from £5.36m in 2014, according to Reuters calculations. 

However, FTSE 100 profits fell more than 40%, helping to boost chief executives' earnings to the equivalent of 0.58% of their companies' total annual profits, compared with 0.32% in 2014. 

In 2005, bosses' compensation, including pensions and share awards, accounted for just 0.1% of pre-tax profits, Reuters finds. 

US jobs disappointment

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Economics correspondent Andrew Walker has some thoughts on today's lacklustre US jobs figures:

This is a rather disappointing report. Slower growth in jobs - compared with what was expected and compared with previous months. There was also a marked increase in the number of people not in the labour force. That means people not looking for work, which can sometimes mean they don't expect to find any. The good news was the slightly faster rise in average earnings. This has been a weak feature of the recovery after the financial crisis, so the acceleration - modest though it is - can be seen as encouraging. Still, this was just one month's worth of data. That can give some clues about the underlying state of the labour market, but it's no basis for drawing firm conclusions."

£1.1m bonus for Morrisons boss

Dave Potts
Reuters

The Guardian's retail correspondent Sarah Butler has been paying attention to the RNS feed this afternoon and noticed that Morrisons has published its annual financial report. That document reveals chief executive Dave Potts (pictured) has been given a bonus of almost £1.1m after the supermarket returned to profitability and increased sales.

The bonus took his total pay to £2.25m - half of which is paid in shares that do not vest for three years. Mr Potts joined from Tesco last year on a salary of £747,000 in salary.

IAG traffic soars

Kimberley Walsh
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British Airways and Iberia owner IAG says April traffic rose by 10.9%, with premium traffic up 4.4%.

IAG shares are flat at 509.5p but it's not been a great year for the stock, which has fallen more than 16% since January. 

And just to jazz up this otherwise rather dull post, I've chosen a picture of former Girls Aloud member Kimberley Walsh standing in front of a BA plane at Gatwick last month. She was promoting the airline's Caribbean campaign, or somesuch. Well, a girl's gotta eat...  

Coffee, tea - or a boiled sweet?

Coffee
Washington Post

Bored this afternoon? Well this marvellous Washington Post article by Roberto Ferdman has more squiggly lines than you can poke a stick at. They were made by KILN, a UK data visualisation and digital journalism institute and use data from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs to reveal increases or decreases in the consumption of everything from tea (falling) to boiled sweets (rising, as it happens). 

Charts
Washington Post

Jail for sofa speeder

A company director caught gesturing at a speed camera has been jailed after providing bogus information in relation to 67 speeding offences. Manchester-based Speedy Sofas Ltd director Waqas Chaudhry, 47, of Wilmslow in Cheshire was jailed for 18 months after admitting providing false information when prosecution notices were sent out. 

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said that Chaudhry or his family members were caught speeding 67 times between 2003 and 2014. At Manchester Crown Court he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and was also disqualified from driving for 21 months. 

A GMP spokesman said Chaudhry also put a German export registration plate on a Mercedes van that he used to deliver sofas around the country, in the hope he would not be caught.

Golf crackdown spooks fund managers

Gerina Piller hits her second shot on the third hole during the Yokohama Tire Classic
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A crackdown on corporate hospitality by the UK's Financial Conduct Authority has alarmed fund managers, the Financial Times reports.

A note warning investment managers to steer clear of golf has led to blanket bans on sporting events, says one asset manager.

Bitcoining it

Technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones tweets:

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Good afternoon

Chris Johnston

Business reporter

Thanks to Tom and Willem for this morning's sterling coverage. Chris Johnston here for the rest of the day's business news and views - follow me on Twitter at @cajuk

Dollar adds losses after U.S. April jobs data

The dollar briefly extended its earlier losses versus a basket of currencies on Friday as news of lower than forecast US hiring in April reinforced the view of slowing economic growth, which may cause the Federal Reserve to not raise interest rates in June.

BreakingUS adds 160,000 jobs in April

New York street view
BBC

The US economy added 160,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate held at 5%, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The March jobs figures were revised down from 215,000 to 208,000.  

Lord Myners to assist MPs with BHS pensions probe

Lord Myners
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Former Mark and Spencer chairman Lord Myners has been appointed to assist MPs looking into BHS's pension fund.

Lord Myners was on the M&S board when it fought off a bid from Sir Philip in 2004, and has been an opponent of Sir Philip for many years.

On Friday, Lord Myners told the BBC: "The big question is whether when Philip Green sold BHS to a group of individuals with no retail experience, led by a former mini racing car driver and twice bankrupt person... that the pension scheme had enough assets to meet its liabilities."

Leicester hotel searches triple

Leicester City supporters celebrate team's win
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The East Midlands city is expecting a surge in tourist visitors this weekend after its Premiership title win, according to numbers out from travel search engine Trivago. 

Searches for hotel rooms for this weekend in Leicester have risen 277% during the 5 days after the team clinched the title, compared to the same period a week earlier.

And it sounds like the potential visitors are only in town for the final game, or a celebration:

The average stay duration of one night suggests that fans have either managed to obtain last-minute tickets, or simply want to soak up the atmosphere and celebrate."

Denise BartlettTrivago UK & Ireland Spokesperson

European markets and oil prices fall

There is quite a bit of red on the boards after this morning's trading:

The FTSE 100 is currently down 0.8%.

The DAX in Germany is off 0.76%. 

The CAC index in Paris is down 1.25% for the day so far. 

Meantime crude prices are also down after yesterday's jump.

Brent has dipped 0.7% to $44.69 per barrel, while West Texas intermediate is 0.6% lower at $44.05 per barrel. 

BHS offers major discounts

The BBC's personal finance correspondent writes....

FTSE 100 stays in negative territory

London main index is down almost 0.9% as the lunchtime lull takes hold. The satellite firm Inmarsat is still down 5%, with ITV another of the big drops, falling 2.5%.

Three stocks with a big commodities exposure are also big losers: - Glencore is down 3.2%

- Anglo American is down 3%

- Antofagasta is down 2.4%

Ireland may extend stake in bank sector

Customers outside a branch of Irish bank AIB
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A banking crisis in Ireland in 2008 prompted a massive government rescue programme, the biggest in the eurozone. The outgoing government of Enda Kenny has for a long time said it was not interested in remaining a long-term shareholder in the banking sector. But as Mr. Kenny negotiates to form a new minority government, some new policy proposals have leaked to the Irish Times, and they relate to the government's stake in the country's banks. The key stipulation that's drawing attention is a promise that the state will refrain from selling off more than 25% in any Irish bank over the next two years. 

'Consumer caution extends to car buying'

While overall UK new car registrations increased 2% in April, Pantheon Macroeconomics says that is not necessarily a clear indicator of consumer growth:

Private new car registrations fell 2.5% year-over-year in April, well below the +7.8% average growth rate of the previous twelve months... Falling private car sales indicate that the consumer slowdown extends beyond retail spending. Car sales are reaching a plateau, now that pent-up demand from households unable to replace their cars during the recession has been satiated."

Samuel TombsPantheon Macroeconomics chief UK economist

Thomas Cook cabin crew vote to strike

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A 12-hour work day with just a 20 minute break. That's the latest expectation for Thomas Cook's cabin crew, and today they are responding with a ballot for industrial action. Members of the UK's biggest union, Unite, are participating in the strike vote. Unite national officer Oliver Richardson claims the company's "work until you drop, no matter what the cost, ethos will harm passenger safety and customer service".

Deutsche Bank cooperating with Italian authorities on bond sale probe

Deutsche Bank logo
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Deutsche Bank is cooperating with authorities in Italy in an inquiry into the sale of Italian sovereign bonds in 2011.

We are cooperating with the authorities in this inquiry. In 2011 we responded to a related inquiry made by Consob, and we provided information and relevant documents at that time."

Deutsche Bank

IMF says Russia slump 'to moderate'

A vendor downloads vegetables at a marketplace in Russian southern city of Stavropol
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The worst of the economic slump in Russia may be over, the International Monetary Fund said earlier, but it warned that possible eurozone stagnation and shifting politics made in central and eastern Europe's prospects increasingly uncertain.

Growth [in central and eastern Europe] is projected to fare better in 2016 compared to 2015, mainly on account of a more moderate recession in Russia."

Excalibur to try to secure Tata Steel UK buyout funding

Port Talbot
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Excalibur Steel, which wants to buyout Tata Steel's UK assets, will meet bankers on Friday to start funding negotiations.

Tata UK executive Stuart Wilkie, who leads the group, said that will hold talks with one UK and three international banks to present the buyout plan.

"Ideally, by the end of next week we will have secured [the] necessary lines of finance," Mr Wilkie said.