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Summary

  1. Brent Crude rises 1%
  2. Pound holds gains
  3. Debenhams plans closures
  4. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Debenhams closure plans

    Debenhams store

    Debenhams doesn't say in the strategic review which of its 176 UK stores are at risk of being shut.

    Instead, the company says it'll "review up to 10 stores for closure over five years should these stores not meet our required return thresholds".

    At the same time, it's investing £150m a year to upgrade some of its best stores, as well as upgrade its mobile systems and supply chain.

  2. Debenhams considers store closures

    Debenhams bag

    Debenhams is considering plans to close up to 10 UK stores as part of a turnaround strategy announced by its new chief executive.

    The department store chain is also consulting on the closure of one distribution centre and about 10 smaller warehouses, as well as moving about 2,000 staff from back-of-house to customer-facing roles.

    Sergio Bucher, who joined from Amazon, announced the plans as Debenhams reported a 6.4% fall in first-half profit to £87.8m.

  3. Sky and HBO announce co-production deal

    Sky logo

    Sky and HBO have announced a co-production deal worth $250m, they also promise a "ground-beaking" virtual reality experience in partnership with Sir David Attenborough and the Natural History Museum.

    Sky also announced results for the nine-months to 31 March.

    Sales were up 11% to £9.6bn. 

    In the third quarter Sky added 100,000 new customers.

  4. Who faces the biggest tax burden?

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said yesterday that rich people - which he suggested were those earning above £70,000 a year - could be asked to pay more tax under a Labour government.

    But it's people earning between £70,000 and £100,000 who have already seen the biggest increase in tax burden in recent years, says Paul Johnson, director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

    What's remarkable, Mr Johnson tells Today, is that Middle England - those earning between £25,000 and £40,000 - have "not seen any tax increases at all in six or seven years of austerity". 

    But that might not last. Any government which wants to raise more from income tax "will have to hit people on average earnings because there are so many more of them", he says.

  5. Premier League revenue to 'rocket up'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Arsenal

    The annual football finance survey from Deloitte shows that sales at Premier League clubs grew by 9% to £3.6bn last season.

    However, the clubs made an aggregate loss of £110m over the same period.

    Those losses are a "blip" though, and finances will recover in the current season, said Dan Jones from Deloitte.

    The most recent TV deal will see income "rocket up" and clubs will return to profitability "at record levels", he said.

    Just over £2bn is spent on wages, the "vast majority" of that goes on players

  6. Rio Tinto slips on wet weather

    Large mining truck

    Mining giant Rio Tinto has revealed a 3% fall in first quarter iron-ore production from a year ago, due to wet weather at its mines.

    But the firm is keeping its full-year guidance intact, despite weakening ore prices. Iron ore prices dropped by more than 33% since hitting a peak of $94.86/tonne in mid-February.

    Rio also reported a 37% decline in copper output during the first quarter, due to a strike in Chile. That was at the Escondida mine where Rio has a 30% interest.  

  7. Debenhams 'boxed in'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Debenhams store

    Debenhams also has results out this morning with investors waiting to hear about its new chief executive's turnaround plans. 

    Sergio Bucher, who joined the department store from Amazon, will need to talk about his online strategy, says Ewen Cameron Watt, senior director at BlackRock Investments.

    Debenhams is also "boxed in by a lot of their stores being on long leases which means closing them is very expensive," he adds.

  8. Pound likely to 'drift up'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Pound dollar

    The pound is back above $1.28, having dipped below that level overnight. It surged on Tuesday after the government called for a snap election.

    One analyst speaking on the Today Programme says that it could go higher.

    "The pound feels a bit undervalued, not as much as it did a few weeks ago," said Ewen Cameron Watt of the Blackrock Investment Institute.

    "Nobody is going to really bet against it at this stage.

    "In that circumstance... drifting up, rather than pushing down is probably the default."

  9. 'Drop the stiff upper lip'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    Jayne-Anne Gadhia

    Virgin Money boss Jayne-Anne Gadhia has been urging businesses to do more to help staff suffering from mental health problems.

    She tells Wake Up to Money she's had "messages of support and the opposite" since speaking about suffering from post-natal depression.  

    Businesses need to be understanding - they "can't expect people to have a stiff upper lip if they are unwell," she says.

  10. RBS report 'within a year'

    BBC Radio 5 live

    RBS cash machines

    A long-delayed report into how Royal Bank of Scotland dealt with thousands of small businesses should be published within a year, the boss of the UK's financial regulator has told Wake up to Money. 

    The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has been criticised for hanging on to the report, which looks into allegations RBS forced companies into difficulties so it could make a profit when they went under.

    "I would be disappointed if it's not within the year, very disappointed, but there are legal hurdles to clear," said FCA chief executive Andrew Bailey.

  11. Asian markets higher

    Hong Kong stock Exchange trading area

    Japanese stocks are up 0.4% heading towards the close, as yen weakness boosts buying in banks and car makers. 

    Over in Hong Kong the benchmark Hang Seng is up 0.4% after three straight days of losses due to geopolitical concerns.  

    Australian shares headed higher too. Financial stocks led the gains, but energy stocks remained under pressure due to weakness in crude oil prices. 

  12. Good morning

    It's a busy morning for corporate results with Marmite owner Unilever, broadcaster Sky and mining giant Rio Tinto all reporting results. 

    Elsewhere, TalkTalk and BT have received the worst customer satisfaction scores in a survey of 12 UK broadband providers. 

    And on the world stage, G20 finance ministers and central bankers are flying into Washington DC for their first meeting since Donald Trump took office.