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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Oil price hits five-month low
  3. FTSE 100 higher, sterling just under $1.29
  4. KPMG's Rolls-Royce audits investigated
  5. Next shares sink as sales slide

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

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    Thank you for joining us on Business Live.

    We'll be back on Friday at 6.00am to bring you all the breaking business news throughout the day.

  2. Closing bell

    Trader at closing bell on NYSE

    Wall Street has finished flat after steep falls in the energy sector outweighed gains elsewhere. 

    The S&P 500 rose 1.4 points to 2,389.52, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 6.4 points to 20,951.47, and the Nasdaq Composite added 2.79 points to 6,075.34.

    Exxon Mobil and Chevron were two of the biggest fallers, down 1.3% and 1.8% respectively.

    Fitness tech firm Fitbit, payment operator Square and beer giant AB InBev were among the biggest winners, after they reported better-than-expected quarterly results.

  3. Tesla shares run low on power

    Tesla car

    Shares in electric car maker Tesla have fallen by about 5% to $295.46 following concerns about future sales. 

    The firm reported a 7% drop in customer deposits to $616.4m in its latest quarterly results, raising concerns about future sales. 

    Tesla, which recently overtook Ford and General Motors as the most valuable US car maker, reported that first-quarter revenue doubled to $2.7bn, but its net loss net widened to $330m.

  4. Brexit jobs shift in 'low thousands'

    City of London

    The City of London's new policy chief reckons the shift of jobs from the UK to the EU will be in the "low thousands".

    Catherine McGuinness, chairman of the City of London's policy and resources committee, tells Reuters: "All the signals that we are seeing is that people are just making plans for the minimum necessary to ensure continuity. 

    "The signals that we are seeing would be in the low thousands. Indeed at the moment, just a couple of thousand."

  5. Energy stocks drop

    No surprise that oil giants are some of the biggest fallers on Wall Street. The energy sector has dropped 2%, easily the worst performing group of stocks. 

    Chevron is down 2.1% and Exxon Mobil has fallen 1.4%, making them two of the biggest losers on the Dow Jones index. 

    It comes after oil prices tumbled about 5% on signs that Opec and other producing countries would not take more drastic steps to reduce the world's stubbornly persistent glut of crude

  6. Macron takes aim at Ireland's tax rate

    The French election is being felt far and wide. Emmanuel Macron has just criticised Ireland's tax rate. 

    RTE Europe editor Tony Connelly tweets:

    View more on twitter
  7. Catch a falling knife

    Oil rig workers

    Oil prices continue to fall.

    Brent crude is now down 4.6% to $48.43 per barrel.

    US oil has fallen 4.9% to $45.49 per barrel.

    Will it go lower? Dean Rogers, senior technical analyst at Kase & Company, said: "It is dangerous to try and pick a bottom in this type of market, it is like trying to catch a falling knife."

    He said charts showed that the next potential "stalling points" were $44.20 for WTI (US) and $47.20 for Brent.

    "Sustained closes below this levels would be extremely bearish for the long-term," he said.

  8. US markets shrug-off healthcare result

    The US House of Representatives has narrowly passed the revised healthcare bill. It now faces a Senate vote.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 32.30 points at 20,925.60.

    The S&P 500 is 0.66 points lower at 2,387.48.   

    The Nasdaq is off 0.67 points at 6,071.88.

  9. Volkswagen sees future in gas

    Volkswagen

    Volkswagen is in talks with energy giants E.ON and Gazprom about running cars on natural gas.

    The German car maker is hoping to make the shift from diesel-fueled cars towards more fuel efficient technologies.

    Chief Executive Matthias Mueller Austria's ORF radio: "We are now really trying to think out of the box and find solutions that can be helpful at least in this transition period of 10 to 20 years."

  10. Putting Opec in its place

    The fall in the oil price, despite Opec-led production cuts, shows that the cartel is perhaps not a powerful as it once was, says Commerzbank's head of commodities research Eugen Weinberg. 

    "At some point, the market should recognise OPEC isn't the most important player in the market any more. That is non-OPEC, and, above all, US shale."

  11. Nudge, nudge..want to improve your driving?

    It is like having your very own KITT from Knight Rider but without the jaunty American quips.

    The Lightfoot dashboard device could make drivers greener and better drivers.

    Video content

    Video caption: A dashboard device claims to make people smoother drivers. Dougal Shaw reports.
  12. Oil prices lose momentum

    The price of Brent oil is now down 4% at $48.75 a barrel on Thursday. 

    From the following graphic, it is clear to see the impact the Opec/Russia production cut from January has had on prices. 

    However, that now appears to be running out of steam.

    Oil price over a year
  13. The challenge for Opec

    Opec

    How hard will it be for Opec to convince Russia to sign up for another six months of oil production cuts?

    Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy's Global Gas Analytics, says: "While the cartel is expected to extend a self-imposed production cap by another six months, it will be a challenge to convince several non-OPEC members to follow suit.

    "Persistent growth in US oil production ... will also make extensions of the OPEC cap beyond 2017 unlikely." 

  14. US stock markets edge down

    The upturn on US stock markets proved to be short-lived today.

    All the main indexes are now down.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is off 28.96 points at 20,928.94, the S&P 500 edged down 0.50 points at 2,387.63 and the Nasdaq has slipped 1.19 points at 6,071.36.

  15. Russian reticence spooks oil investors

    Oil

    It appears that the fall in oil prices today may have been sparked by the Kremlin.

    Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "no decision has been made yet" on whether to extend an deal between Russia and Opec to reduce oil output.

    Last year, the cartel of oil producing nations and Russia agreed to reduce production for the first six months of the year to support a rise in oil prices.

    There had been speculation the two would extend the deal for the rest of the year. 

    Opec is due to meet again on 25 May. 

  16. May the 4th be with you

    It is Star Wars day today (see the date) and some memorabilia from the films is worth a huge amount of money. 

    Except perhaps for Jar Jar Binks - presumably you can't give that stuff away.

    View more on twitter
  17. Oil drops below $49 a barrel

    Brent crude oil price

    The oil price continues to slide. Brent crude, the international benchmark, is now below $49 a barrel.

    It's dropped 4% - a big fall even by the volatile standards of the oil market - on growing fears of over-supply.

    "The market continues to hunt for a bottom," said Gene McGillian, manager of market research at Tradition Energy. "We've dropped to a five month low." 

  18. US committee backs Dodd-Frank changes

    Lehman Brothers
    Image caption: The collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2009 was catastrophic

    The Republican-led House Financial Services Committee has approved a bill that will undo large parts of the Dodd-Frank bank rules which were introduced in 2010 to prevent another financial crisis.

    US President Donald Trump ordered a review of the regulation, which he described as a "disaster", in February. 

    It has been criticised for stopping banks from lending.

    The bill will now go to the Senate for a vote.

  19. Airline lifts FTSE 100

    BA

    The FTSE 100 finished 13.57 points higher at 7,248.10.

    International Airlines Group, which owns British Airways, replaced HSBC as Thursday's biggest gainer with its share price up 2.97% at 572p.

    HSBC remained in the top five climbers, up 2.8% at 663.8p, following a strong set of result.

    Less welcome were Next's figures today when the retailer warned that the market "remained challenging".

    Its shares fell 5.1% to £41.85.

    The FTSE 250 fell 2.58 points to 19,680.81.

  20. Burberry shifts jobs from London to Leeds

    Burberry

    Burberry is moving 300 jobs from London to Leeds in a cost-cutting measure that will involve redundancies.  

    The FTSE 100 fashion house said it will "reduce its office space requirements in London" as it opens a new business services centre in the Yorkshire city.

    Burberry is hoping to reduce expenditure by £100m by 2019.

    Chief executive Christopher Bailey is stepping down from that role in summer and will be succeeded by Marco Gobbetti in July.

    Mr Bailey will become president and chief creative officer.