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Summary

  1. US stocks brace for worst day in two months
  2. UK earnings fall below inflation
  3. British jobless rate lowest since 1975
  4. Labour's figures 'don't add up' says Chancellor
  5. Foxtons's sales tumble on cooling capital
  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'll be back tomorrow from 6am.

  2. Google owner Alphabet balloons connect flood-hit Peru

    Dave Lee

    North America technology reporter

    Project Loon

    “Tens of thousands” of Peruvians have been getting online using Project Loon, the ambitious connectivity project from Google's parent company, Alphabet.

    Project Loon uses tennis court-sized balloons carrying a small box of equipment to beam internet access to a wide area below.

    The team told the BBC they had been testing the system in Peru when serious floods hit in January, and so the technology was opened up to people living in three badly-hit cities.

    Until now, only small-scale tests of the technology had taken place.

    Read more

  3. Ralph Lauren names new chief

    Models wearing Ralph Lauren

    Ralph Lauren has appointed Patrice Louvet, a French executive from the beauty industry, as its new chief executive.

    It comes months after previous boss, Stefan Larsson, announced he was stepping down after little over a year with the firm, following disagreements with chairman Ralph Lauren over how to position the brand.

    Louvet was most recently president of global beauty at Procter & Gamble, where he oversaw fashion brands including Gucci and Hugo Boss.

    He will answer directly to Mr Lauren as well as to the company's board of directors.

  4. Wall Street ends lower as Trump turmoil intensifies

    US traders

    US stocks saw their worst day in monthsafter the White House found itself engulfed in fresh controversy.

    It follows allegations the president asked former FBI director James Comey to drop an inquiry into the former national security adviser Michael Flynn - a potentially impeachable offence.

    Mr Trump's plans to cut taxes and loosen regulation may now be delayed, or simply not come to fruition, some investors fear.

    By the closing bell all the major indices were sharply lower, with the Dow Jones down 370 points or 1.76% at 20,609,the S&P 500 down 43 points or 1.81% at 2,357, and the Nasdaq was 158.63 points or 2.57% lower at 6,011.

    Bank stocks - which have outperformed the rest of the market in recent months - suffered most.

    Bank of America was down 5.9%, Goldman Sachs lost 5%, and Wells Fargo slipped 1.9%.

  5. Trump 'odds on for impeachment', says Ladbrokes

    Donald Trump, US president

    Donald Trump is now odds-on to be impeached before the end of his first term, according to the bookie Ladbrokes.

    It follows allegations that the president asked former FBI director James Comey to drop an investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    Ladbrokes said the odds in favour of impeachement had narrowed from from 11/10 to 4/5.

    Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “Political punters are wondering how many more scandals can Trump overcome.

    “And despite the short price on offer, money has poured in for the President to be impeached, leaving us with little option but to cut the odds.”

  6. Central banker silence 'can limit uncertainty'

    Mark Carney, BoE governor

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney may appear reticent at times, but there could be a good reason why.

    In an article published this week, Gaetano Gaballo, an economist at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, says that silence may be the best option for central bankers if the alternative is sending out ambiguous messages that stoke uncertainty.

    If investors get the wrong message, he adds, they can make risky bets, creating excess volatility in financial markets.

    “Releasing information that is open to subjective interpretation may increase market uncertainty, especially in periods of already high financial turbulences," he writes.

    “In such a case, communication may not improve on silence.”

  7. Wall street update

    US stocks are headed for their worst day in two months, after reports yesterday claimed that Donald Trump had tried to interfere in an FBI investigation into his former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

    The Dow Jones index is down by 1.3%, the S&P 500 has dropped 1.37%, and the Nasdaq has shed almost 2%.

    Bank stocks, which have generally outperformed since Donald Trump's election, have been hit worst.

    The S&P 500 financial sector is down 3.3%, with Bank of America down 6.38%, Goldman Sachs 5.22% lower, and Wells Fargo down 2.8%.

  8. Russian economy shows further signs of recovery

    Vladimir Putin, Russian President

    The Russian economy grew 0.5% in the first quarter of 2017, as the country continued to recover from its drawn out financial crisis.

    Thanks to plummeting oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine, Russian GDP contracted 0.2% overall last year, having shrunk 2.8% in 2015.

    The economy expanded for the first time in two years in the fourth quarter of 2016, the Rosstat agency said in March.

    "The picture here is of a slow but steady recovery," Neil Shearing of Capital Economics said of the latest figures.

    "Our view is that growth will continue to edge up over the coming months and quarters as lower inflation and looser monetary police strengthen demand."

  9. Video content

    Video caption: Reality Check: Could legalising cannabis raise £1bn?

    The Liberal Democrat manifesto says that legalising cannabis would raise £1bn per year.

  10. Lidl promises huge discounts for US shoppers

    Lidl logo

    Discounter Lidl has said its first US stores - which open this summer - will charge up to 50% less than competitors, Reuters reports.

    Lidl, along with German peer Aldi, has already disrupted Britain's grocery market, hurting incumbents like Tesco. It plans to open 100 stores within its first year in the US, and analysts believe it could have 300 stores by 2020.

    "This is the right time for us to enter the US," Brendan Proctor, chief executive for Lidl US, told Reuters. "We are confident in our model. We adapt quickly."

  11. Yorkshire and Humber sees biggest leap in employment

    BBC Radio 5 live

    We found out today that employment is the lowest it's been for 42 years according to official figures. The economy's beaten expectations for job creation, but wage growth is stagnant.

    5 live Money's Colletta Smith has been out and about meeting businesses in Leeds today.

  12. Irish PM to step down

    Enda Kenny

    Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny has resigned as leader of the Fine Gael party, kicking off a succession contest.

    Mr Kenny had already announced he would not lead Fine Gael into an election late next year.

    View more on twitter
  13. 'Trump trauma' hits Wall Street

    Donald Trump, US president

    David Madden, analyst at CMC Markets, says the Trump administration has put the stock market in a tailspin, with all the major indices currently down more than 1%.

    "Throughout the day the chatter of Donald Trump being impeached was largely confined to social media, but now that Congressman Al Green of the Democratic Party has called for it, traders are taking it more seriously," he says.

    "The latest controversy Mr Trump has got himself into could see him be on the receiving end of a 'you’re fired' from the US government."

    He adds: "There was so much bullish sentiment behind Trump’s economic policies, but now that he may not even be around to execute them, investors are scrambling to get out.

    "Traders would want to be very brave to try and buy into this dip as the downside is potentially very big."

  14. Economy takes centre stage in Iran election

    BBC World Service

    Iranians vote on Friday in their first presidential election since sanctions were lifted. The BBC's Amir Paivar tells World Business Report how the economy has been centre stage throughout the campaign.

    View more on twitter