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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Slack plans to float shares on stock market
  3. Uber plans to sell shares at $44-$50 to value the company at $90bn
  4. US economy grows at annual rate of 3.2% in Q1
  5. RBS shares fall as bank reports profit fall
  6. Debenhams names 22 store closures
  7. SAS pilots strike grounding 673 flights

Live Reporting

By Mary-Ann Russon

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    BBC testcard

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

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

  2. Best tech stories of the week

    Video content

    Video caption: Astrobees help astronauts in Space Station and other news
  3. Nike raises eyebrows with model's unshaven armpit

    Nike model

    One of Nike's social media posts has attracted attention not for the sportswear on display - but for the model's body hair.

    The latest picture on its Nike Women Instagram page shows model and singer Annahstasia Enuke posing with her arm behind her head, revealing a small amount of underarm hair.

    Nike captioned the post 'Big Mood', but the comments reveal that some people were left in a bad mood after seeing the post.

    ''That's disgusting. Like please don't get me wrong I'm delighted that this woman is brave enough to go around like that..... but that's horrible. It's not cute,'' read one Instagram comment.

  4. Goldman: UK faces Brexit labour market shock

    UK and EU flags

    Economists at Goldman Sachs are warning that the negative effects of Britain's EU exit on the UK economy are intensifying.

    "The politics of Brexit have become more protracted and, as a result, the side-effects of Brexit on the UK economy have intensified," Goldman said in a note entitled "Brexit — Withdrawal Symptoms".

    "The balance between weaker demand for workers and a shorter supply of workers bears the hallmarks of a Brexit-induced labour market shock," the economists said.

    Low investment combined with a tight labour market are likely to "accentuate the chronic under-performance of UK productivity," they added.

  5. Wall Street ends slightly higher

    Wall Street

    Wall Street ended slightly higher, as energy stocks fell and the indexes were affected by a mixed bag of earnings results, including weak results from Intel, and better-than-expected profits from Ford.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day 0.31% higher at 26,543.33 points, while the S&P 500 closed up 0.47% to 2,939.88.

    The tech-heavy Nasdaq meanwhile rose 0.34% to 8,146.40.

  6. Scooters hacked to play rude messages to riders

    Two people on an e-scooter

    Lime scooters in Brisbane have been making suggestive and offensive comments to riders after pranksters swapped audio files on some vehicles.

    The scooters were hacked to make a variety of comments most of which were sexual in nature, local papers in the city reported.

    At least eight scooters had files swapped in the cyber-attack.

    Lime said the prank was "not funny" and that it was working to return the hacked scooters to their normal state.

  7. American Airlines cuts earnings forecast

    American Airlines

    American Airlines has cut its full-year profit forecast for 2019, blaming an estimated $350m hit due to the grounding of its Boeing 737 Max aeroplanes.

    However, American Airlines said it was confident the aircraft would start flying again in August.

    It also said its fuel expenses for the year would now be $650m more than previously expected, due to rising oil prices.

  8. CBI records unprecedented stockpiling

    forklift with bags

    The CBI's latest survey of the manufacturing sector has recorded a slight pick-up in pace.

    Perhaps more significantly it also registered an unprecedented acceleration in stockpiling of raw materials, work in progress and finished goods.

    Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist, said: “UK manufacturing activity is just about holding up, but the unprecedented pace of stockpiling suggests that Brexit contingency planning stayed at the forefront of manufacturers’ minds."

    Investment intentions for the year ahead remained poor but were less negative compared to recent quarters across all categories surveyed, the CBI said.

  9. Landlords losing patience with CVAs

    House of Fraser

    Retailers in trouble frequently resort to what are known as CVAs or Company Voluntary Agreements - a way to negotiate lower rents in a bid to keep companies in trouble solvent.

    Debenhams is just the latest. But House of Fraser, Paperchase, Homebase and Poundworld have also used them. Unsurprisingly landlords aren't impressed with the increased frequency CVAs are being used.

    “The CVA process was designed to help businesses that are genuinely in distress, to restore a struggling business’s long-term health, and this is a rescue culture that we continue to support," says Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:

    "For some retailers, however, CVAs have become a tool to simply enable a tenant to walk away from its lease liabilities, without tackling its wider issues. This bad practice is unfair and it must stop."

  10. Huawei on the defensive

    In this photo illustration a Huawei logo seen displayed on a smart phone

    As the UK government continues to grapple with the leak over its policy towards Chinese tech firm Huawei, the company has again refuted claims that it is not independent from the Chinese government.

    "Huawei is owned by its employees," said Jiang Xisheng, chief secretary of the board at China's tech giant Huawei, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.

    "No government agency funds the company or holds its shares. As a result, the enterprise operates independently while achieving steady long-term growth."

    Huawei has come under international scrutiny, with many Western governments flagging security concerns surrounding its products.

  11. Scooter tampering 'not funny'

    Couple on scooter

    Lime scooters in Brisbane have been making suggestive and offensive comments to riders after pranksters swapped audio files on some vehicles.

    The scooters were hacked to make a variety of comments most of which were sexual in nature according to local media reports.

    "It's not smart, it's not funny and is akin to changing a ringtone," a Lime spokesman said.

    It's particularly unfunny for Lime who are currently bidding to win one of two licences to run rentable, electric scooters in the city.

    Read the full story here.

  12. More on Ford's emissions testing process

    Ford logo

    In February, automobile manufacturer Ford launched an internal investigation into its emissions testing, after receiving feedback from employees about the analytical modelling used to decide the US fuel economy and emissions compliance process.

    The US uses computer modelling simulations as part of its vehicle certification process, and the issue seems to concern the quality of the data put into the model, relating to issues such as friction or rolling resistance of tires.

    At the same time, Ford informed the US Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board, as well as hiring an outside firm to conduct an investigation into the vehicle road load specifications used in its testing and applications to certify emissions and fuel economy,

    Ford said on Friday that it is working with regulators and independent experts to complete a technical review of the issue.

  13. Protests over plan to change old domains

    Red Cross banners

    Protests have greeted plans to remove a cap on the price of web domains that end in .org, .biz and .info.

    This change could hit a lot of charities, many of which use the .org domain for their websites.

    The organisation overseeing web domains wants to let the companies behind the suffixes set their own prices.

    One domain seller criticised the idea, saying prices to renew or buy these domains could go "sky high"as a result.

  14. Ford in criminal probe over emissions

    Ford cars

    A criminal investigation has been opened into the way Ford tests the emissions of its vehicles.

    The US Department of Justice took action after Ford alerted the US Environmental Protection Agency to potential problems in February.

    Ford said the issue did not involve the use of defeat devices, which were at the centre of the emissions scandal involving Volkswagen in 2015.

    VW was found to have used software that could cheat emissions tests.

  15. London ends slightly lower

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended slightly lower, after US economic growth data failed to impress investors and US markets opened lower.

    The FTSE 100 closed just 6 points or 0.08% down to 7,207.59. Top of the losers is Just Eat, falling 4.6% to 714.4p after reporting slowing sales growth due to warmer weather in February.

    The FTSE 250 ended 14.2 points or 0.07% lower to.19,856.87. The losers are led by Ferrexpo, which plunged 28.4% to 192.6p after its auditor Deloitte abruptly resigned amid a row over charity payments.

  16. What could happen if P&O wins its case?


    Emily Heard, Head of Procurement, Competition and State Aid at law firm Bevan Brittan, explains what P&O's claim against the government could be.

    "P&O's potential grounds include a claim that the £33m payment to Eurotunnel amounts to a contract, which should have been advertised under the Public Contracts Regulations 2015.

    "The remedies include setting aside the contract, damages and a fine.

    "The interesting question here is whether securing "Improvement Projects" as part of the Eurotunnel settlement agreement turns an otherwise lawful settlement agreement into an unlawful public contract.

    "P&O may also be arguing that the settlement amounts to unlawful state aid, on the grounds that it confers an advantage on Eurotunnel over its competitors.

    "If unlawful state aid is found, the government would have to recover the aid in full, with interest, and damages may be payable to P&O.

    "The extent to which the settlement represents fair value will be highly relevant here."

  17. Oil prices fall

    A worker on an oil rig in Brazil

    Oil prices fell by over 3% on Friday.

    The drop was initially due to efforts to resume imports of Russian crude oil, which were suspended due to contamination, but comments by US President Donald Trump caused a further decline.

    President Trump told reporters that he had personally called Opec and demanded that the cartel bring down its prices.

    Brent crude futures is now down 3.7% to $71.60, while West Texas Intermediate futures have fallen 4.2% to $62.50.

  18. Could the US economy grow even more?

    Andrew Walker

    World Service economics correspondent

    A woman works at a plastic packaging factory in Illinois

    The 3.2% GDP figure was quite a surprise and it certainly defuses some of the warnings about a possible recession in the US.

    There were, however, some features of the figures that suggest the headline growth rate is a little flattering. The acceleration owed something to companies building up their stocks of goods.

    That is a process that won’t go on indefinitely, not at the same rate.

    There was also a contribution from government spending and from international trade. The last of these is striking, in the context of the increase in global trade tensions due to a significant extent to the more assertive policies pursued by the Trump administration.

    Will that be sustained? Consumer spending is a traditional source of US economic strength. It did grow in this period, but more slowly than before. Spending on goods actually declined, although that was more than offset by services.

    All that said, some observers point out that the first estimate for this quarter tends to be revised upwards. So we could yet end up with an even stronger figure.

  19. 'US growth back to normal levels'

    US construction workers

    Jake Robbins of Premier Asset Management feels that the 3.2% gain in US GDP is a good sign.

    "This much better-than-expected GDP number shows that not only has growth stabilised, but is back above levels that are regarded as normal. With a dialling back of trade tensions with China and a pause in interest rate hikes by the Fed, clearly growth is back on track after slowing from very fast rates induced by tax cuts last year," he said.

    "With valuations back in line with historic norms, equities could well need some evidence that accelerated economic growth is both sustainable and spreads to Europe and Asia before moving higher.

    "If inflation also picks up with growth, the further rate hikes which have been discounted in markets currently will be back on the table and this is typically negative for equities.”