Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.

Summary

  1. FTSE ticks higher in early trade
  2. Mothercare reveals huge losses amid store closures
  3. Pound rises against both the dollar and euro
  4. WH Smith boss defends scruffy stores
  5. British Steel buyer unlikely, say analysts
  6. Retail sales flat in April, official stats show
  7. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's all from the Business Live page for tonight. Please join us again after the bank holiday, at 06:00 on Tuesday.

  2. US stock markets close higher

    Wall Street traders

    US stocks closed higher, ahead of a long Memorial day weekend, after US President Donald Trump predicted a swift end to the ongoing trade war with China.

    President Trump said on Thursday that Huawei Technologies could also be included in the trade deal, while at the same time calling the Chinese telecommunications giant "very dangerous."

    However, no high-level talks have been scheduled since the last round of negotiations in Washington two weeks ago.

    The Dow Jones rose 98.14 points, or 0.39%, to 25,588.61.

    The S&P 500 gained 4.14 points, or 0.15%, to 2,826.38.

    And the Nasdaq Composite added 8.73 points, or 0.11%, to 7,637.01.

  3. Facebook tweaks 'threaten Instapoets'

    Financial Times

    Tweaks that Facebook made to Instagram algorithms in 2016 are threatening "Instapoets", the FT writes.

    The changes, which Facebook said were introduced to boost content from accounts the user engaged with, have pushed Instagram posts from poets lower down in users' feeds, the article says.

    British-Indian writer Nikita Gill tells the FT: "Instagram is making the platform more and more inaccessible for artists and small businesses unless we pay it money to boost our posts."

    Instapoets have an appreciable chunk of UK poetry sales - more than 12% of the UK's £12m market - and use Instagram as a free platform to promote their work, the FT adds.

  4. Arcadia closures 'to exceed 23 stores'

    Miss Selfridge shopfront London

    Sir Philip Green's rescue plan for Arcadia will mean "substantially more" than 23 stores will close, the Guardian reports.

    The number of closures will be at least double that the paper suggests, with Evans and Miss Selfridge bearing the brunt, with a greater impact on jobs.

    The Guardian says the extra store closures are in the small print of the company voluntary arrangement put out this week.

  5. Data watchdog 'ratcheting up fines'

    Man on phone looking at laptop

    The UK's data watchdog has increased the size of its fines since the introduction of the EU's privacy shake-up, the GDPR, says law firm RPC.

    In the year since the GDPR was introduced, the average Information Commissioner's Office fine has increased 14% to £143,000, the firm says.

    Richard Breavington, a partner at RPC, says: "The ICO has already begun to ratchet up the value of fines, and it has barely scratched the surface of its powers."

  6. Trump clears arms sales to Saudi Arabia and UAE

    Donald Trump

    US President Donald Trump, saying there is a national emergency because of tensions with Iran, is clearing the sale of billions of dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia and other countries, US senators have said, despite strong resistance to the plan from both Republicans and Democrats.

    The administration has informed congressional committees that it will go ahead with 22 arms deals worth about $8bn, congressional aides said, sweeping aside a long-standing precedent for congressional review of such sales.

  7. Thames Water boss 'steps down with immediate effect'

    Steve Robertson is to step down as chief executive of Thames Water "with immediate effect", the firm has announced.

    It seems the board didn't think he was the right man for the job, and perhaps neither did he.

    A spokesman said: "The decision was mutual. It was felt this was the right time for new leadership to take on the operational and delivery challenges for the next regulatory period (2020-25)."

    Mr Robertson will remain an employee until 30 June, working with new interim executive chairman Ian Marchant "to ensure an orderly transition".

    According to the Guardian, Mr Robertson was "sacked with immediate effect after a row over his failure to reduce leakage".

  8. Boeing shares pare gains

    Business journalist Dan Ascher writes...

    Boeing 737 Max body

    Shares in Boeing are getting a bit of a bumpy ride.

    Reports that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expects to approve 737 MAX jets to return to service as soon as late June helped shares rise 3% to a two-week high.

    But not long after, there was a Bloomberg report that the US markets regulator, the SEC, was investigating whether the aircraft manufacturer properly disclosed issues with the plane.

    The regulator is also reportedly examining whether Boeing properly accounted for the potential impact of the planes being grounded in its financial statements.

    After the Bloomberg report, Boeing stocks pared gains to 1.7%.

  9. Trump tries to keep financial records secret

    Business journalist Dan Ascher writes...

    President Trump

    Lawyers for US President Donald Trump, three of his children, and the Trump Organization have appealed against a decision by a US court that clears the way for Deutsche Bank and Capital One to hand over Trump financial records to Democrats.

    They are asking the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan to overrule the decision by US District Judge Edgardo Ramos.

    Two committees in the House of Representatives, which are investigating Mr Trump for potential conflicts of interest linked to his businesses during his presidency, subpoenaed the banks for the information.

    Despite the lawyers' argument that the investigations were "the epitome of an inquiry into private or personal matters", a Manhattan judge gave the banks permission to hand over the documents.

  10. Roll on Friday

    Business journalist Dan Ascher writes...

    Greggs vegan sausage roll
    Image caption: A Greggs vegan sausage roll on Friday

    Internet searches for all things vegetarian and vegan spiked at the beginning of the year when bakery chain, Greggs, launched its vegan sausage roll, according to analytics firm SEMrush.

    While the company points out that "correlation does not indicate causation", its data also suggests that searches for "sausage roll", as well as either "vegan" or "vegetarian", also spiked, it says.

  11. May move 'well-flagged'

    LSE

    Britain's FTSE 100 held its gains after Prime Minister Theresa May announced her resignation date in a widely expected move.

    Her departure raises the prospect of a successor likely to seek a more hardline Brexit divorce deal.

    Nevertheless, the FTSE 100 closed up 0.65% at 7278 points.

    "It's been so well-flagged and UK assets have been hammered all week. Realistically we know no more or less than we did yesterday," said a trader.

  12. Nestle 'still likes chocs'

    Mark Schneider

    Nestle is still interested in confectionery, a bit, despite selling its US chocolate operations, chief executive Mark Schneider has said.

    "Our wide portfolio makes us strong... not everything is going to change," Mr Schneider said.

    "You have to find focus and areas where you concentrate your efforts," he said, saying water, baby food and animal food were where Nestle was looking for growth.

    "Sweets are not among those. But we also want to exploit the opportunities of that market," Mr Schneider added.

  13. No deal Brexit 'could take pound to $1.15'

    Sandcastle

    Theresa May stepping down adds to Brexit uncertainty, according to Dean Turner, UK economist at UBS Wealth Management.

    There's more of a chance of a further delay to Brexit, he says, raising the possibility of a snap general election or second Brexit referendum.

    But with Boris Johnson and other hard-line Brexiters in the running to become the next Prime Minister, that puts a no-deal Brexit back on the table.

    If the UK crashes out of the EU without a deal, the pound could fall as low as $1.15, or 0.97 versus the euro, Mr Turner adds.

  14. Huawei shipments 'could fall by a quarter this year'

    Huawei sign

    China's Huawei, hit by crippling US sanctions, could see shipments decline by as much as a quarter this year, and faces the possibility that its smartphones will disappear from international markets, analysts have said.

    Smartphone shipments at Huawei, the world's second-largest smartphone maker by volume, could fall between 4% and 24% in 2019 if the ban stays in place, according to Fubon Research and Strategy Analytics.