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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Oil prices approach 2019 highs
  3. Busy week for US corporate results
  4. Asian markets mixed at close
  5. British Land sells Sainsbury's superstores
  6. Increase in UK firms reporting a cyber-attack
  7. Abigail Disney criticises Walt Disney boss's pay packet
  8. UK coal-free for 91 hours

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

    That's it for today on Business Live - thanks for reading. We'll be back bright and early at 06:00 on Wednesday.

    Do join us then for all the latest breaking news and analysis.

  2. US shares hit record highs

    Wall Street

    The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes have hit record closing highs following stronger-than-expected quarterly results from top US companies.

    The Dow Jones index gained 0.6% to 26,655.99, while the S&P 500 rose 0.9% to 2,933.62.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq climbed 1.3% to 8,119.88 points.

  3. Scepticism over Wing FAA decision

    Wing drone

    Earlier, the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) gave approval for Google subsidiary drone delivery firm Wing to begin drone deliveries.

    The FAA did so by approving Wing as a commercial airline, which enables the firm to deliver cargo for profit using airspace.

    However not everyone is convinced that drone deliveries are a good idea.

    "Though it gives the company a significant advantage over competitors like Amazon, the true test will be how it succeeds in rolling out services," said Harrison Wolf, drone project lead for the World Economic Forum Centre's Fourth Industrial Revolution, and author of Drones: Safety Risk Management for the Next Evolution of Flight.

    "Drone operators still need to answer the larger questions around safety and security to establish trust from the public. We are seeing other countries around the world moving fast in the drone space, this announcement sees the US take a major stride forward."

  4. Airport workers back strike action

    Aberdeen International Airport

    Members of the Unite union at Aberdeen International Airport have voted in favour of strike action in a dispute over pay and pensions.

    The dispute is over a 2019 pay claim, as well as proposals to close the final salary pension scheme.

    A pay offer has been tabled and a consultation period on pensions has been extended for further negotiations.

    Unite said members had now given it a mandate for strike action if there was no agreement.

    Aberdeen International Airport said in a statement it was "disappointed" at the result of the ballot but that talks were set to continue.

  5. Sending money back to Ethiopia

    Video content

    Video caption: Sending money back to Ethiopia

    Remittances from Ethiopians abroad were estimated at almost $5bn in 2017, and most of it comes from the US, which has the biggest concentration of Ethiopians outside Ethiopia.

    According to the World Bank, the average cost of sending remittances to Ethiopia is far higher than the rest of the world at 7%.

  6. IMF: African nations 'need to focus on debt'

    Video content

    Video caption: African nations 'need to focus on debt'

    The IMF has cut its global economic forecast for 2019 and said growth could slow down even further.

    But what does the picture look like for Africa?

    Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), tells In Business Africa that the economic environment in Africa is very different to that of other continents, but there is a lot of hope.

  7. Lyft receives positive recommendations

    Lyft car sticker on a taxi

    US ride hailing app firm Lyft has received positive recommendations from 14 banks on its stock.

    Lyft began selling its shares to the public on the Nasdaq stock exchange on 29 March. However its share price has fallen by 30% since its opening price of $72, which gave it a market value of just over $24bn.

    Analysts from 14 banks including JP Morgan recommended buying Lyft's stock, seven were "neutral" and one bank recommended selling.

    Before Tuesday 23 April, only banks that had not worked on Lyft's initial public offering (IPO) were allowed to make recommendations about its stock, and these banks were decidedly more sceptical about Lyft's future.

    However today the rest of the banks have been allowed to release their recommendations.

    Lyft's shares are now up 0.7% to $61.38.

  8. Watchdog monitors chemical plant flaring

    Sepa are monitoring the Mossmorran flare

    An environmental watchdog is monitoring air quality at a Fife chemical plant as unplanned flaring continues.

    The flaring began on Easter Sunday at the ExxonMobil Chemical Ltd facility at Mossmorran.

    Residents have complained of a chemical smell and rumbling noise that can be heard from several miles away.

    The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said air quality monitoring would continue but so far had shown no cause for concern.

  9. Google 'retaliating' after worker protest

    Google staff walked out of Google's London office in November over the company's treatment of women

    Organisers of a series of walkouts in protest at Google's treatment of women have said they have since become victims of retaliation by the company.

    In November, 20,000 employees walked out of their offices demanding several key changes in how sexual misconduct allegations were dealt with at Google.

    Now, in an internal email published by Wired, two of the employee activists behind the protest accuse Google of retaliating against several organisers.

    Google denies retaliating in any way.

  10. US new home sales rose in March

    Homes being built in California

    Sales of new homes in the US rose by 4.5% in March, according to the US Department of Commerce.

    New home sales rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 692,000 units in March, the third straight monthly increase and the highest since November 2017.

    The rise in home sales has been helped by the fact that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate has dropped by about 80 basis points since November, according to data from Virginia-based mortgage loan firm Freddie Mac.

    Wage growth has also picked up, making house purchases more affordable.

  11. Further delay to Scottish devolved airline tax plans

    A consumer jet liner in the air

    Plans to replace air passenger duty with a discounted Scottish alternative have been delayed until at least 2020.

    Scottish ministers want to set up a devolved air departure tax (ADT), and would immediately cut the levy by 50%.

    However, the plans are tied up in legal issues, and ministers now say they will not be resolved until after April 2020.

    A group of air industry bosses urged ministers to "get on with it sooner rather than later, or be up front with us that it's never going to happen".

  12. Hasbro sees its best day since 1996

    Hasbro

    Shares in toymaker Hasbro are now up by 15.7% to $101.92, and it is on track for its best ever day since January 1996, when its shares rose to $110.88.

    Hasbro is currently top of the S&P 500, followed by Twitter, which is up a whopping 15.6% to $39.77 on better-than-expected revenues and rising numbers of users.

    Department store chain Kohls is in third place, rising 8.9% to $73.42, after announcing that customers can return purchases made on Amazon to any Kohls stores in the US.

    Dignostics testing firm Quest Diagnostics is in fourth position, up 8% to $92.06 after reporting better-than-expected earnings for the first quarter of 2019, while aerospace and defence firm Lockheed Martin rounds off the top five, climbing 6.8% to $336.57 after raising its 2019 profit forecast and reporting a 47% jump in quarterly profits.

  13. Verizon raises profit forecast

    Verizon logo

    US communications giant Verizon has raised its profit forecast for the year after seeing a rise in net income to $5bn for the quarter ending 31 March 2019, compared with $4.55bn in the same period in the previous year.

    However, Verizon said it lost 44,000 mobile phone subscribers during the quarter, compared with analysts' expectations of losing 25,000 subscribers.

    The firm also lost 53,000 customers for its Fios video streaming service, as people chose cheaper streaming service alternatives. Analysts had expected Verizon to lose only 40,000 video customers.

    On Tuesday, Verizon announced that it is partnering with Google to provide a new live and on-demand content streaming service called YouTube TV to its customers.

    Verizon's shares are currently down 2.5% to $56.91.

  14. Majestic responds to exit rumours

    Majestic Wine Warehouse

    Earlier today, Sky News reported that British wine retailer Majestic is seeking to sell its entire 200-strong retail store estate.

    The story said Majestic is looking to focus instead on the Naked Wines online business.

    In March, Majestic announced that it was revamping its business and had plans to close some stores and rename itself as Naked Wines.

    Majestic has sent the BBC a response to the Sky story: "As stated in March, Naked Wines has significant potential for long-term, sustainable growth. We believe the combination of customer migration, disposals and store closures from Majestic Retail will release substantial investment capital and transform the company into an out-and-out growth business.

    “While a total sale of Majestic Retail continues to be a potential option, it would be wholly unwise to pursue a single track process and materially limit the potential value that can be realised to drive growth.

    "We are confident the transformation plan will deliver substantial, long term value to the business. Management will provide more details on 13 June.”

  15. London ends higher

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended ahead, as the US ended Iran oil sanction waivers, which caused oil prices to soar.

    The move lifted European markets and boosted the FTSE 100 to a six-month high.

    The FTSE 100 closed 63.2 points or 0.9% higher to 7,523.07, led by NMC Health, which rose 4% to £26.21.

    The FTSE 250 ended 72 points or 0.4% ahead to 19,908.02. Top of the winners was Cairn Energy, up 5.4% to 174.7p.

  16. P&G profits hit by strong US dollar

    Gillette shaving cream

    Leading personal care goods maker Procter & Gamble has reported a decline in operating margin for the quarter ending 31 March 2019 by 60 basis points to 19.9%, which was below analysts' expectations of 20.9%.

    P&G said a stronger US dollar had hurt sales of its grooming products. As a result, the firm tried to off-set the higher costs by bringing out new versions of its products and raising their prices.

    Overall organic sales rose by 5%, although P&G's grooming division - which makes Gillette razors, foams and gels - saw sales slip by 2%.

    Net income for the quarter rose to $2.75bn, while net sales rose 1.1% to $16.46bn.

    P&G shares fell 2.5% to $103.38 on the news.

  17. Is your takeaway from a 'dark kitchen'?

    Video content

    Video caption: 'Dark kitchens': Are they the future of takeaways?

    The UK’s fast-food delivery market continues to grow at a record rate – and the takeaway industry is worth more than £4.9bn per year.

    But these days some takeaways come from places customers can't go themselves: A so-called "dark kitchen," which could well be tucked away on an industrial estate.

    "Deliveroo Editions" is one such venture. The BBC's Colletta Smith has been to see inside.

  18. Student says Apple AI led to false arrest

    Apple logo

    A student is suing Apple Inc for $1bn (£0.77bn), claiming that its in-store AI led to his mistaken arrest.

    Ousmane Bah, 18, said he was accused of stealing from Apple Stores in four US states, and arrested at his home in New York last autumn.

    He believes Apple's algorithms linked video footage of the thief with his name, leading to the charges.

    He also claims that a detective reviewed security footage and found the thief looked "nothing like" him.

  19. Your next car may stop you speeding

    Video content

    Video caption: Your next new car will try to stop you speeding

    Drivers will soon find it harder to ignore speed limits - as "intelligent speed assistance" systems will become compulsory by 2022.