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Summary

  1. FTSE 100 closes at new record high
  2. Labour plans corporation tax rise
  3. Inflation hits 2.7% in April
  4. Vodafone reports 6bn euros loss
  5. EasyJet takes £80m hit on weak pound
  6. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Daniel Thomas

All times stated are UK

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  1. Good night

    Thanks for tuning in to Business Live - we will be back tomorrow at 6am sharp.

  2. Can knowing your genetic make-up lead to a healthier life?

    Suzanne Bearne, Technology of Business reporter...

    Mandy Mayer

    The latest health and fitness trend involves taking a DNA test to find out more about how our bodies respond to different types of food and exercise. But how accurate and effective are these kits?

    Fitness fanatic Mandy Mayer, 56, took a DNAFit test, which tests the body's genetic response to key foods and exercise.

    After sending off a swab of her saliva, she received a report on her fitness and diet in January. 

    Three months later and she has dropped from a size 12 to a size 10 and lost several kilos. 

    She attributes her leaner figure to understanding more about her genetic code.

    "Without a shadow of a doubt it was down to the test," says Mandy, who lives in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

    "It's made me follow the right training and make little changes to my diet."

    Read more

  3. BMW partnering on driverless technology platform

    BMW

    BMW has revealed it is working on a driverless technology platform that can be adopted by other car makers.

    The firm, which is working in partnership with tech firms Delphi, Intel and Mobileye, says the system will help car makers who do not have their own tech to lower their costs, achieve scale, and deal with tricky questions of safety and liability.   

    “There will be a consolidation of platforms, and there’s most likely to be a small number of platforms remaining that will for a longer time determine the market," Richard Rau, director of product development at BMW, told Bloomberg.

    "That’s why we believe it’s so important to not just build now an exclusive BMW solution, but really start to process opening this approach to as many original equipment manufacturers as care to join.”

  4. JP Morgan boss defends Trump advisory role

    Jamie Dimon meets Donald Trump and others

    JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon has shrugged off criticism from shareholders of his role advising President Donald Trump on economic matters, adding that he would not give up his efforts.  

    At the bank's annual general meeting in Delaware, several attendees called him out on his role on a White House business council and JPMorgan's involvement with financial deregulation efforts in Washington.

    "I would try to help any president of the United States, because I'm a patriot," Dimon responded. "That does not mean we agree with all the policies that an administration comes up with."

  5. EasyJet eyes bigger planes to boost profits

    EasyJet plane

    After posting a bruising first-half loss on Tuesday, EasyJet said it was looking to use bigger planes to help it cut costs.

    Europe's second largest low-cost carrier said it had arranged to convert part of an Airbus order to larger planes, which would cut costs per seat, and was also postponing some orders of smaller planes.

    The group, which reported a pretax loss of £212m, partly due to the impact of the lower pound, said it was hopeful of doing better in the second half. 

    "Our bookings for the summer are ahead of last year showing that demand to fly remains strong," chief executive Carolyn McCall said.

  6. Wall Street closes flat

    US markets were a bit of a mixed bag at the close after mixed economic data and earnings.

    US manufacturing production showed its biggest increase in more than three years for April.

    While home improvement chain Home Depot reported a better-than-expected first-quarter performance, TJX, the owner of T.J. Maxx and Marshalls stores, reported slowing like-for-like sales growth and a disappointing current-quarter profit forecast.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 2.19 points, or 0.01%, to 20,979.75. The S&P 500 had lost 1.65 points, or 0.07%, to 2,400.67 easing from an all-time high of 2,405.77. 

  7. Yahoo announces $3bn share buyback

    Yahoo logo

    Yahoo is to buy back up to $3bn (£2.3 billion) of its own shares to provide liquidity to stockholders looking to cash out ahead of the firm's merger with Verizon.

    The news pushed Yahoo's stock up by 2.3% to $50.99.

    Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo's core internet platforms last year for $4.83bn in cash. It lowered the original offer by $350m in February following two massive cyber attacks at the internet company.

    After the Verizon deal, Yahoo will be renamed Altaba, a holding company whose primary assets will be its 15% stake in Alibaba and a 35.5% stake in Yahoo Japan.

  8. US stocks tread water

    Wall Street stocks are a mixed bag after energy and healthcare stocks edged lower. 

    Having hit an intraday high, the S&P 500 index is now 0.15% lower at 2,398.77, while the Dow is down 0.04% at 20,973.21.

    But the Nasdaq - which also hit a fresh intraday high - is up 0.18% at 6,160.47. 

  9. Hotel groups target Cuba despite Trump rhetoric

    Cuba

    Major hotel chains Marriott, Hilton and Hyatt are attending The annual Latin American Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference in Havana this week, in the latest sign that the US hospitality industry believes President Donald Trump will not block their access to Cuba.

    “We are very interested in Cuba as a destination for our guests,” David Tarr, senior vice president for real estate and development at Hyatt, told Reuters. 

    "Certainly we hope relations will be normalised. Our guests want to visit, which is why we are here."

    President Obama visited Cuba last year, ushering in a detente between the feuding nations, but Mr Trump criticised the move. 

    Only one US hotel has been granted a licence to operate in Cuba, but others are keen, as US travel to the island picks up speed. Major cruise companies and airlines have also announced plans to run more Cuba services. 

  10. Macron a 'big step forward' for business

    ‎Business producer and reporter Josh Thorpe...

    Emmanuel Macron, the new French President

    The BBC’s Joshua Thorpe is in Paris where as Emmanuel Macron starts the first week of his presidency, the business community is eagerly awaiting what it sees as much-needed reforms to labour rules.

    Paul Armbruster runs a company called HopBuddy which delivers craft beer all over France. He told Joshua Thorpe that so far he has been unable to employ full time staff as it is too costly. 

    He says he is continually getting letters in the post with more charges to pay for his business. "I have no idea what they are for," he says.

    On Emmanuel Macron's labour reform plans he says: "It's a very big step forward. We are one of the last countries in europe that haven't reformed our labour laws in the last 30 years. Maybe we will have the courage it takes to do it all the way this time and not fix bit by bit.".

  11. Labour: We can't reverse benefits freeze

    Radio 4 PM

    Video content

    Video caption: Labour's Emily Thornberry responds to confusion over Jeremy Corbyn's comments

    The shadow foreign secretary, Emily Thornberry, has said Labour cannot reverse the benefits freeze, despite leader Jeremy Corbyn's earlier comments which seemed to suggest otherwise.

    "I don't think we can reverse it entirely and we shouldn't be promising things that we can't afford," she told BBC Radio 4's PM programme.

  12. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone to rejoin the company

    witter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and Twitter co-founder Evan Williams pose for a photo after Twitter's IPO on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on 7 November, 2013
    Image caption: Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey, Biz Stone and Evan Williams after the firm's IPO in November 2013

    Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has said he will return to the social media firm in an unspecified role.

    Mr Stone, who set the firm up with Jack Dorsey, Ev Williams and Noah Glass, left in 2011 and went on to co-found the online publishing platform Medium.

    He rejoins Twitter at a time when the network is fighting to boost user growth and advertising revenue. 

    "My top focus will be to guide the company culture, that energy, that feeling," Mr Stone said in a blog post, adding that Jack Dorsey had asked him to come back to work at the company.

    View more on twitter
  13. What Labour's income tax proposals look like

    Reality Check

    Labour chart

    Here's a handy chart showing what Labour's income tax plans would do to tax rates.

    The chart is already a bit bumpy. When people earn above £100,000 the taxman starts clawing back their income tax-free allowance at a rate that means it's all gone if they earn more than £123,000.

    In that band, people are paying a higher rate of tax on each extra pound earned than people earning over £123,000. 

    £123,000 is also the rate at which Labour wants to introduce the 50p rate of tax on each pound earned.

    This chart does not include other bumps in the system such as the loss of child benefit for parents earning between £50,000 and £60,000 a year, which raises the marginal tax rate in that band considerably.

  14. Inflation outpacing 'rock bottom' saving rates

    Inflation vs saving rates graph

    The gulf between inflation and interest rates on cash savings is at its widest since December 2011, according to research from asset manager M&G Investments. 

    While the Consumer Price Index (CPI) shot up to 2.7% in April 2017, banks and building societies offered average rates of just 0.15% on instant-access cash savings accounts, it said, citing Bank of England data. 

    It means consumers could be seeing real returns of -2.55% per year on their cash savings, M&G said.

    At that rate, £5,000 saved in an average bank account would lose £127.50, in real terms, over the course of a year.

    Ritu Vohora, investment director at M&G, said: “We naturally want our hard-earned savings to grow, but the corrosive combination of rising inflation and rock-bottom interest rates makes them more likely to shrink."

  15. Dow and S&P 500 turn negative

    US traders

    After a positive start, the Dow Jones and S&P 500 indexes have entered negative territory - down 0.02% and 0.09% respectively. 

    The tech-focused Nasdaq is up 0.19% though.

    Earlier, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 touched record intraday highs. 

  16. UK government 'sells remaining Lloyds stake'

    Lloyds logo

    The government has sold its remaining stake in Lloyds Banking Group, fully reprivatisatising the lender, the FT has reported quoting sources. 

    It comes nearly a decade after taxpayers bailed the bank out during the financial crisis, with the government taking a 43% stake, worth £20.3bn. 

    The sell-off - due to be announced on Monday - is set to generate a profit of more than £500m, sources said. 

    The government began selling off its stake in Lloyds in late 2013, "drip-feeding” shares into the market under a programme run by Morgan Stanley.

  17. Labour's economic plans unpacked

    BBC World Service

    Video content

    This content is currently not available

    The leader of the UK's main opposition party has laid out his vision for the country. World Business Report discusses the Labour party's economic policy with Peter Dowd, who is a member of Jeremy Corbyn's shadow cabinet.  

  18. 'Red letter day' for London market

    UK-based traders

    A we have been reporting, the FTSE 100 has closed above 7,500 for the first time despite inflation being at the highest rate since September 2013.

    Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, says it's a "red letter day for investors" who continue to see the value of their pensions and ISAs rise with the market. 

    Quote Message: An improving global economy, a weaker pound and higher commodity prices are behind the surge in share prices. It's quite amazing to think the footsie has gained 2000 points in the last fifteen months against a background of weak investor confidence. In the short term the market can of course move in either direction but investors will be thinking that the 8,000 mark is hovering into view.