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Live Reporting

By Dan Ascher

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Due to unforeseen circumstances, we're having to close a little early today.

    But don't worry, we'll be back from 06:00 on Monday.

  2. FTSE 100 closes down slightly

    Pound coin

    The FTSE 100 closed down 23 points at 7,346 after another day of subdued trading in London.

    There was also little movement on the FTSE 250 - often considered to be more representative of the UK economy - which was down 43 points at 19,129 when the market closed for the week.

  3. UBS economist on leave over pig comments


    A senior economist for Swiss bank UBS has been put on leave after comments he made sparked an outcry and caused one Chinese client to suspend dealings with the bank.

    Yesterday, Paul Donovan said that consumer prices in China had risen as a result of sickness among pig stocks in the country, which have been ravaged by African swine fever.

    "Does this matter? It matters if you are a Chinese pig. It matters if you like eating pork in China," Donovan said in comments that some have interpreted as referring to people, not livestock.

    But UBS said the comments had been misconstrued and were in fact about inflation and a rise in Chinese consumer prices due to higher pork prices.

  4. Huawei delays launch of folding smartphone

    Huawei Mate X

    Huawei has delayed the launch of the Mate X folding handset until September, having originally planned to launch it this summer.

    The firm said it wanted to conduct extra tests following screen problems reported by early reviewers of Samsung's Galaxy Fold.

    Both firms had unveiled the devices in February but Huawei said it now wanted to be "cautious".

    Samsung currently has no release date for the Fold.

    Read more here.

  5. US markets trade down


    Gains made in US share prices yesterday were wiped out in early trading in New York.

    News of a slowdown in Chinese industrial production last month, which fell to its slowest pace in 17 years, added to an increasingly gloomy outlook for trade between the US and China.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 63 points at 26,043, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq was trading 52 points lower at 7,786 and the S&P 500 was 8 points lower at 2,884.

  6. Oil prices steady

    Oil pumps

    Oil prices steadied in early trading following a significant spike yesterday, when two suspected attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman caused investors to worry about supply.

    A few minutes ago, Brent crude futures were up $0.42 a barrel at $61.73, below yesterday's high of $62.64.

    Oil prices are on track to finish the week lower than when markets opened on Monday amid fears that trade disputes could have an impact on demand.

  7. Mark Carney: Finance doesn't offer enough for women

    Mark Carney

    The governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has said that the City is not doing enough to encourage female representation in the boardroom.

    The bank itself is trying to address a severe lack of female representation in its own ranks.

    In a speech today, Mr Carney said: "Finance offers so much, but it still doesn’t offer enough for women."

    He said the bank wanted 35% of its senior managers to be women by 2020. Currently, 32% of senior posts are held by women, although that figure is up from just 17% in 2013 when Mr Carney joined the bank.

    "One of the problems in finance can be bonus cultures based on self-promotion rather than objective metrics, a culture of presenteeism over flexible working, and de facto penalties imposed for maternity leave," Mr Carney said.

  8. Oman Air puts pressure on Boeing

    Oman Air

    Oman Air chief executive Abdulaziz Al Raisi plans to hold talks with Airbus if Boeing does not provide a support and recovery plan for its grounded 737 MAX planes before 17 June, the Omani company has said.

    ''The grounding of the 737 MAXs has had a major financial impact on Oman Air,'' Mr Al Raisi said. ''The airline's expansion plans for 2019 had been significantly curtailed'' and Oman Air ''also suffered revenue losses and market share declines,'' he added.

    Boeing ''promised a recovery and support plan for Oman Air that would be submitted to the airline before the upcoming Paris Airshow starting on 17th June 2019.''

    "If I don’t hear back from Boeing before I arrive at Le Bourget Airport, then I will have to go ahead with my planned business lunch with Airbus at the airshow,” he said.

  9. Kier share slide continues


    Shares in Kier Group, the construction business, are now down 23% on the day.

    The move follows a report in the Times, mentioned earlier, that it was considering selling its house building arm and that trade credit insurers had withdrawn cover insuring Kier’s suppliers from any potential losses.

  10. US May retail sales rise

    The US Commerce Department said retail sales rose 0.5% in May, boosted by car sales and other goods.

    Economists polled by Reuters had forecast retail sales climbing 0.6% in May.

    The data for April was revised to show retail sales rising 0.3% - not dropping 0.2%.

  11. Royal Mail says 'lessons learnt' after pay row


    Royal Mail endured a rebellion against executive pay at last year's annual general meeting when 70% of shareholders failed to back its pay report.

    Its annual report for this year contains a promise from the new chairman Les Owen that "lessons have been learned".

    There are no bonuses for the board, including chief executive Rico Back - who took over in June. He received £647,000 for the 10 months to the end of March.

    The ratio of his pay to staff was 26 to 1, as shown in the table above.

    The company said; "We believe that the [chief executive] to median pay ratio at target of 57:1 is appropriate in our business, assuming good business performance. As business performance has been challenging in the 2018-19 year, no bonus was paid and so the pay ratio was lower, at 26:1. We believe that it is appropriate for our CEO, and other senior executives, to have a far higher proportion of their remuneration at risk, compared to our operational colleagues".

  12. Rolls-Royce: possible deal for Spanish unit

    Engine and a man wearing a Rolls-Royce jacket

    Engineering company Rolls-Royce says it received "a preliminary and conditional indication of interest" from Indra, the Spanish company, to acquire a majority stake in its Spanish operations, ITP Aero.

    "This indication of interest is subject to a number of conditions. There is no certainty that this will result in a transaction involving ITP Aero," Rolls-Royce said.

    Rolls-Royce, which owns 100% of ITP Aero, said it intends to retain a long-term relationship with the business across its civil aerospace and defence programmes.

  13. Fund reassures over Arcadia rents


    Arcadia's creditors backed a restructuring of the Topshop to Burton group earlier this week. That sparked one of the investment trusts with exposure to Sir Philip Green's retail empire to try to reassure investors about the impact on its financial position on Friday.

    NewRiver REIT (real estate investment trust) said that its rental exposure is limited to £363,000, which represents 0.3% of its gross income, and that there will be no reduction to this rental income as a result of the restructurings.

    Creditors, including landlords, backed a series of Company Voluntary Arrangements which will trigger the closure of 48 stores and rent reductions on others.

    NewRiver says it specialises in buying, managing and developing retail and leisure properties throughout the UK. Its shares, part of the FTSE 250, are up 1% at 191p but were trading above 230p a month ago.

  14. US and China halt WTO dispute over intellectual property

    china and us flat on a lampost

    The US and China have halted their dispute over intellectual property rights at the World Trade Organization until 31 December.

    That's according to the WTO dispute panel hearing the case which said said the US asked for the suspension on June 3 and China agreed the next day.

  15. Dominica removed from a EU tax haven list

    A beach on Dominica

    The Caribbean island of Dominica has been removed from a European Union list of tax havens, the EU has said.

    Dominica changed its tax rules to comply with EU requirements meant to reduce the risks of tax evasion, the EU said.

    There are 11 11 jurisdictions that remain on its list: American Samoa, Belize, Fiji, Guam, Marshall Islands, Oman, Samoa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, the US Virgin Islands and Vanuatu.

  16. New boss for Cadent

    gas ring

    Cadent - which last month received the largest-ever enforcement action, of £44m, from Ofgem - has hired Steve Fraser as its new chief executive.

    Mr Fraser is joining from United Utilities, where he was chief operating officer, after more than 14 years.

    Cadent, previously known as National Grid Gas Distribution, is involved in the final leg of piping gas into people's homes.

    Ofgem took action against Cadent after it left customers without gas for months and after it emerged it had no records of 775 high-rise blocks of flats. That discovery was in part prompted by an information request from a council in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

    Steve Hurrell will remain as interim chief executive of Cadent until the autumn, and then return to his role as chief financial officer, after stepping into the top job in February when Chris Train announced plans to retire.