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Live Reporting

Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Thanks for reading Business Live. We'll be back tomorrow at 6am.

  2. Wall Street closes lower

    Wall Street closed down on Thursday after US President Donald Trump cancelled a planned June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

    However, after suffering an initial shock, stocks recovered much of their losses.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.3% to close at 24,811.76 while the S&P 500 gave up 0.2% to settle at 2,727.76.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq was essentially flat at 7,424.43.

  3. Watch: Why is there a row about Galileo?

    Video content

    Video caption: Why is there a row about Galileo?

    Britain may be denied full access to the EU's Galileo satellite navigation system on security grounds after Brexit. That could cost UK firms billions of pounds, and hundreds of hi-tech jobs.

  4. Carney: We have the tools and are ready to use them

    More from Bank of England governor Mark Carney's speech this evening on bolstering the economy after Brexit...

    He says: "Although the exact policy response cannot be predicted in advance, observers know from our track record that, in exceptional circumstances, we are both willing to tolerate some deviation of inflation from target for a limited period of time and that there are limits to that tolerance.

    In the event of a smooth Brexit, the speed of rate hikes would depend on the strength of demand in the economy and could prove faster than the recent assumption in financial markets - of three hikes over the next three years - if investment proves suprises to the upside, Carney said.

    "From a monetary policy perspective, the Bank is ready for Brexit," he said. "The MPC is well-prepared for whichever path the economy takes. We have the tools we need. We will be prudent not passive."

  5. Netflix deposes Walt Disney

    Netflix's stock market value ballooned to a record $153bn on Thursday and eclipsed Walt Disney for the first time, making it the world's most valuable entertainment company.

    With about 45 minutes of trading to go, the share price was up 2.3% and is up 80% this year on the back of soaring subscriber numbers and investment in content.

    Since Netflix's flotation in 2002, when it was a mail-order DVD service, its shares have surged nearly 33,000%.

  6. Brexit: Bank could return to stimulus if needed

    Mark Carney

    The Bank of England could pump more stimulus into Britain's economy if this year's Brexit negotiations result in a bad deal, governor Mark Carney said this evening.

    While the BoE expected a smooth transition, investors should look at its response to the shock referendum decision in 2016 - which included an interest rate cut and more bond-buying - for a sense of how it might react to a "disorderly" Brexit, he said.

    Britain is due to leave the EU in March next year but the terms of its new relationship with its most important trading partner remain unclear. Prime Minister Theresa May's ministers are divided on what kind of Brexit they should pursue.

    "A more disorderly transition, or a materially different end state from our assumption, would have implications for monetary policy," Carney said in a speech to the Society of Professional Economists in London.

  7. Edmonds: "I paid 67p to grill the chairman... A good deal."

    Noel Edmonds

    A few more snippets from Noel Edmonds' attendance at today's Lloyds annual meeting have emerged, courtesy of the Press Association.

    The former Deal Or No Deal presenter is seeking damages from the bank after allegedly falling victim to fraud by former staff at HBOS, which Lloyds rescued at the height of the financial crisis.

    During the meeting, the former Deal or No Deal presenter berated the board. "If you want to turn it into a game show, the way you treat us I would call it 'Pointless'. If you want to turn it into 'Jail Or No Jail' you are going in the right direction. Things are very serious but I keep asking questions and you keep ducking them."

    Lloyds' chairman Lord Blackwell wasn't amused. "This isn't a show Mr Edmonds, it's an AGM," he said. "You've set out one version of events on what you believe happened. We have a different version of events, we do not agree.

    "You wish to pursue it in court and I'm happy to leave it to the court to look at the evidence and I'm happy to let the judge decide on the basis of that evidence what the right outcome is and I hope you are too."

    Lloyds has set aside £100m for victims of the fraud at the hands of HBOS Reading staff between 2003 and 2007. Corrupt financiers from the branch were jailed last year for a scam which destroyed several businesses.

    Separately, Edmonds told PA: "I have tried to arrive at a negotiated settlement of my situation and they just drag it out and try to break you with legal fees."

    Edmonds gained the right to attend the meeting after buying one share. "I paid 67p to grill the chairman. I think that's quite a good deal," he said.

  8. Lloyds suffers pay revolt at annual meeting

    Antonio Horta-Osorio

    A fifth of Lloyds Banking Group's shareholders have refused to back the company's executive pay report.

    The influential advisory group Institutional Shareholder Services had been campaigning against the pay of chief executive António Horta-Osório (above) and a lack of transparency around the bank’s bonus scheme.

    He received £6.2m in 2017, an 11% rise on the previous year, and received a benefits package worth 12.5% his salary.

    Separately, TV presenter Noel Edmonds was at the meeting after buying one share in order to gain the right to attend. He berated the board over its handling of small businesses.

    He is seeking compensation from Lloyds over an alleged fraud carried out by former employees of HBOS, which the bank acquired in 2009.

  9. Wall Street pares losses

    Wall Street shares have edged back from earlier falls when US President Donald Trump cancelled talks with North Korea.

    The Dow Jones is now down about 0.29% to 24,814 points, while the S&P 500 is off 0.18% at 2,728.4. The Nasdaq is flat at 7,426.9.

  10. McDonald's to continue with straws

    McDonald's drink - with straws

    A shareholder proposal that the world’s biggest hamburger chain stop using plastic straws has been voted down at the company's annual meeting.

    The proposal by activist group SumOfUs asked for a report about the “business risks” of using plastic straws at the chain’s 37,000 locations globally.

    McDonald’s said it was already working on finding alternatives to plastic straws and urged shareholders to reject the proposal.

  11. EU criticises US car tariff threat

    Volkswagen badge

    The European Union has added its voice to growing condemnation of possible US tariffs on car imports.

    "It is very difficult to imagine (car imports) create any sort of threat to the national security so it is very difficult to understand," European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen said.

    It follows criticism from EU carmakers, including Volkswagen, and the German Federation of the Automotive Industry.

    US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday raised the threat of car tariffs when he said he had initiated an investigation into whether auto imports "are weakening our internal economy and may impair the national security".

    The move came after President Donald Trump tweeted there was "big news coming soon for our great American autoworkers".

  12. Dutch bank in cyber attack

    Dutch bank ABN-Amro has suffered a cyber attack that has knocked out parts of its online services, the Financial Times is reporting.

    The paper quotes a bank spokesman saying that it does not yet know how many clients have been affected.

    In January, ABN and rival ING were hit with a series of attacks, along with the Dutch tax office.

  13. FTSE 100 closes almost 1% down

    The FTSE 100 closed down 0.9% to 7,716.7 points. Better retail sales data boosted sterling, a negative for an index many of whose constituents earn in foreign currencies.

    Paddy Power Betfair gained 2.6% after last night's announcement of a takeover in the US.

    Mediclinic was the stand-out faller after posting a hefty $863m writedown on its Swiss business. It's shares finished 9.4% lower.

  14. Gazprom happy with EU deal

    Gas tanks

    Russia's Gazprom has said it is satisfied with the deal it struck with the EU to settle claims that it abused its dominant position as a gas provider in Eastern European member states.

    The firm said in a statement that the decision was "the most reasonable outcome" for the entire European gas market.

    Although the deal spares Gazprom billions in fines, EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said it also imposed strict obligations on the company's future behaviour.

    At the same time, it "removes obstacles created by Gazprom, which stand in the way of the free flow of gas in Central and Eastern Europe", she said.

  15. Stop the rot

    Harvard academic and popular science author Steven Pinker tweets:

    Tesla's Elon Musk has been raging against journalists lately - and, it seems, winning support...

    View more on twitter
  16. Uber declines to comment on report into fatal accident

    Uber did not directly comment on the report by the US National Transportation Board, but noted that it recently named a former NTSB chairman, Christopher Hart, to advise on the company's safety culture.

    "As their investigation continues, we've initiated our own safety review of our self-driving vehicles program," the company said on Thursday, adding that it planned to announce changes in the coming weeks.

    On Wednesday, the ride-hailing company said it aimed to resume self-driving operations this summer, likely with smaller routes and fewer cars.