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Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

  1. Europe's top carbon emitters

    BBC data journalist Daniele Palumbo has put together this graphic to show Europe's carbon emitters.

    It is the first time a company that does not run a coal-fired power plant has come near the top of the ranking.

    Carbon emitters
  2. Ryanair 'one of Europe's top polluters'

    A Ryanair plane on the runway

    Ryanair has become the only airline to be included in a list of Europe's top 10 polluters,according to data from the EU's Transport & Environment group.

    It is the first time a company that does not run a coal-fired power plant has come near the top of the ranking.

    Seven plants in Germany and one in both Poland and Bulgaria were on the list.

    The data said Ryanair's carbon dioxide emissions rose by 6.9% last year, but the firm said it was "Europe's greenest and cleanest airline".

  3. BreakingSuperdry's founder on course for comeback

    Julian Dunkerton
    Image caption: Julian Dunkerton co-founded Superdry in 2003

    Investors voting ahead of a shareholder meeting have narrowly backed founder Julian Dunkerton's return to the chain.

    Investor votes gathered ahead of the meeting showed 50.75% were in favour of Mr Dunkerton's return.

    It means he looks on course for victory by the narrowest of margins in his attempt to return to the fashion label’s board, after a bitter struggle with the company’s incumbent directors.

  4. Construction falls on Brexit uncertainty

    Construction at Brentford's new football ground
    Image caption: Construction at Brentford's new football ground

    British construction activity slowed slightly for the second month in a row in March, according to the IHS Markit/CIPS Purchasing Managers’ Index.

    The index edged up to 49.7 from 49.5 but remained below the 50 mark that divides growth from contraction, representing the first back-to-back fall in output since August 2016, just after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

    “Brexit-related uncertainty continued to generate indecisiveness, ultimately hitting order book volumes,” said Joe Hayes, an economist at IHS Markit, which compiles the survey.

    Housebuilding continued to record moderate growth, but civil engineering fell and commercial projects — such as new shops, factories or warehouses — dropped off at the fastest rate since September 2017.

  5. Turkish lira weakens on F-35 concerns

    F-35 fighter jets

    The Turkish lira has weakened by 2% after a volatile few days.

    There's still disagreement over whether the government or opposition held Istanbul in local elections which saw the opposition take control of the capital, Ankara.

    Now the US is reported to have halted delivery of equipment related to the F-35 fighter aircraft to Turkey. Relations between the US and Turkey have been fragile, and Reuters says sources have said Washington is moving to block delivery of the jet.

    Turkey is also using a Russian missile system. According to Reuters, Washington fears the Russian S-400 system will learn how to spot and track the F-35, making it less able to evade Russian weapons.

  6. Traditional supermarkets have lost 'consumer relevance'

    William Hall, strategy director at global branding and design agency Landor, said it's no surprise that Asda has overtaken Sainsburys. He said:

    Quote Message: Where supermarkets like Tesco once seemed unassailable in terms of brand strength, stature and buying power, the growth of the discounters over the last five years has started to make its position at the top wobble a little. Ultimately, the establishment supermarket brands have seen a gradual drop in consumer relevance and are increasingly difficult to tell apart from the rest of the ‘crowd’ of brands in the market.
  7. Asda now second-largest supermarket

    BBC data journalist Daniele Palumbo has prepared this graphic to show the top supermarkets

    Supermarkets graphic
  8. What the Dickens?

    Fiction vending machine

    Do you start novels then fail to finish them?

    French firm Short Edition can help there. They've installed vending machines at Canary Wharf selling stories that take just one, three or five minutes to read, with the a launch story coming from Anthony Horowitz.

    From Thursday you'll be able to pick up a print-out from one of three locations. These are the first in the UK though you can already get fiction by slot machine in Hong Kong, France and the US.

    One quirk: you don't get to choose what story you get, or the author, they're issued at random, so you could end up with Virginia Wolf, Dickens, or who knows what.

  9. What's boosting London shares?

    Intraday pound trade against the US dollar
    Image caption: The pound has been up and down a bit against the dollar

    The Brexit process drags on. But the FTSE is higher. Why?

    Two relevant factors:

    The FTSE 100 index is export-oriented and the weaker pound is boosting firms' prospects.

    And mining firms have been given a boost by higher iron ore prices after BHP warned of lower output following the recent cyclone in Australia.

    Sterling is currently 0.29% lower against the euro and 0.26% lower against the dollar at $1.3069.

    The FTSE 100 is 0.43% higher, while the FTSE 250 is 0.03% lower.

  10. Australia balances budget

    Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in Australian parliament

    With an election looming, some time before May, Australia's conservative government has announced a budget of tax cuts and record spending on health and education.

    But it's still delivering a budget surplus.

    "The budget is back in the black, and Australia is back on track," Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told parliament.

  11. Ghosn wants separate trial

    Carlos Ghosn

    Carlos Ghosn's lawyer says he should be tried separately from Nissan and his former right-hand man, Greg Kelly. He's lodged a petition calling for different judges and separate cases.

    "We believe that however you look at this issue, having Mr Ghosn sitting with Nissan and being judged together is a very peculiar situation that goes against having a fair trial," Junichiro Hironaka said.

    Mr Ghosn is facing charges of deferring his salary and hiding the fact in official documents to shareholders; he's also charged with seeking to transfer personal investment losses to Nissan's books.

    Nissan itself is facing charges for publishing the documents containing falsified information. But Mr Hironaka argued Nissan was effectively "on the prosecutor's side", as they have been investigating and providing information on the firm's former boss.

  12. YouGov revenue climbs 18%

    Research graphic

    Pollsters YouGov have reported revenue growth of 18% and underlying business growth of 10% in the half year to 31 January.

    Adjusted operating profit climbed 41% to £12.5m over the same period while adjusted profit before tax jumped 28% to £13.7m.

    "The numbers themselves are ahead of expectations on several measures and the company has set ambitious new five-year targets for sales and earnings growth alongside margin improvement," commented Russ Mould, investment director at AJ Bell.

  13. Doorstep lender takeover battle continues

    Provident building

    Non-Standard Finance said has secured commitments for its £1.3bn hostile takeover of doorstep lender Provident Financial.

    Non-Standard said it has acceptances for 50.7% of Provident's shares, although this includes previously announced support from Woodford Investment Management, Invesco Asset Management and Marathon Asset Management, who together hold a 49% stake in Provident.

    Non-Standard chief executive John van Kuffeler said: "We are delighted to have received acceptances for a majority of Provident's shares."

    But Provident insisted it is continuing to explore "all appropriate alternatives" to maximise value for shareholders and continues to advise its shareholders to "take no action".

  14. Risers and fallers on the London share market

    London FTSE trading day
    Image caption: The FTSE's performance so far

    After an hour and a half of trading the FTSE 100 index is 0.45% higher.

    Hungarian airline Wizzair has seen its shares rise 3.65% today despite reporting a fall in pre-tax profit for the three months to end of December. It kept its guidance on full-year profits unchanged, keeping investors' faith. It's the biggest riser this morning on the London FTSE 250.

    Microfinance group, Asa International is up 5.28% and Hostelworld, the online hostel booking site, is up 3.83% on strong bookings via its app.

    Fuller Smith & Turner, makers of London Pride and other beverages, is down 5.15%.

    Raven Property Group is down 4.3% and Pendragon is down 3.8%.

  15. Row grows over 'loan charge' suicide

    Tax

    The UK tax authority has reported the suicide of an individual facing a new "loan charge" to its complaints body for the first time, The FT reports today.

    HMRC reported the incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigates serious complaints involving the tax body.

    From Friday at least 50,000 people who avoided NI and income tax by using schemes that paid them mostly in loans - described as "disguised remuneration" by HMRC - face the loan charge.

    Mel Stride, financial secretary to the Treasury, told the paper, that he was "deeply upset and disturbed" by the death reported.

    But he dismissed claims the charge was unfair or would lead to bankruptcies.

  16. Singapore planes grounded through engine troubles

    Singapore Airlines plane
    Image caption: Not one of the grounded Singapore Airlines planes

    Singapore Airlines has grounded two Boeing Co 787-10 jets after experiencing problems with Rolls-Royce engines after checks found premature blade deterioration.

    The jets have been removed from service pending engine replacement, the airline said in a statement, but added: "As a result, some flights to destinations served by the 787-10 fleet have been affected".

    The Trent 1000 TEN is the latest version of an engine that has had problems.

    Rolls-Royce said it told "operators that the high-pressure turbine blades in these engines would have a limited life cycle" but that tests showed "a small number of these engines need to have their blades replaced earlier than scheduled".

    By the end of last month 35 787s had been grounded globally due to engine blades corroding or cracking prematurely.

    The manufacturer said it was aiming to reduce the number to 10 by the end of the year.

  17. Eggs in the basket

    Basket of easter eggs

    Supermarket sales grew 1.4% over the 12 weeks to 24 March. Not strong growth, but then Mother's Day and Easter both fall outside the period, points out Kantar.

    Points of interest:

    • Shoppers have already spent £146m on Easter eggs
    • Sales of carpet cleaners are up by 18% on last year
    • 42% of households have bought hot cross buns
    • Sales of loose fruit and vegetables are growing twice as quickly as those wrapped in plastic
  18. Asda now UK's second largest grocer

    Asda shopping basket

    UK supermarkets saw their sales grow over the 12 week period to 24 March, except for Sainsbury's and Morrisons which both had slight sales drops, according to Kantar, publishing its latest sector report.

    Aldi sales grew 10.6% with London its fastest growing region. More people are now visiting Aldi than Morrisons.

    While Asda's sales grew only 0.1%, it has crept up to become Britain's second largest retailer.

    Here's how market share now looks for the grocers:

    • Tesco 27.4%
    • Asda 15.4%
    • Sainsbury's 15.3%
    • Morrisons 10.3%
    • Aldi 8%
    • Co-op 6.1%
    • Lidl 5.6%
    • Waitrose 5%
  19. Superdry's founder faces showdown

    Julian Dunkerton
    Image caption: Julian Dunkerton co-founded Superdry in 2003

    Investors are to vote today on Julian Dunkerton's long-running fight to return to the fashion chain he began.

    Mr Dunkerton, who left the chain a year ago, has blamed new management for a collapse in sales and profits and vowed to return the firm to its former glory.

    In turn, Superdry has urged investors to reject Mr Dunkerton's return, saying it would be "extremely damaging."

    Judging on past form, the showdown between current and former management is likely to be colourful.

    We'll report on events as they unfold but there's a breakdown of the background here.

  20. Wizz Air passenger numbers climb 16.7%

    Wizz air plane

    Hungarian airline Wizz Air said net profit for the year to 31 March will be in the upper half of a range between €270m and €300m.

    Passenger numbers in the 12-month period climbed 16.7% to 34.57m.