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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. That's all folks

    Due to a staff shortage we're closing shop a little earlier than usual today.

    We'll be back on Monday at 06:00. Have a lovely weekend.

  2. Chocolate company calls in administrators

    Chocolate being spread

    The Press Association is reporting that luxury chocolate brand Rococo - founded in 1983 by Chantal Coady when she was 23 years old - has gone into administration.

    The company has five stores in central London and PA reports it will now search for a buyer after it admitted it had been hit by "negative trading conditions".

    Insolvency specialists BDO LLP were appointed as administrators on 23 May.

    Rococo's stores, which include its flagship site on King's Road in Chelsea, are continuing to trade and no redundancies have yet been made.

  3. US tariffs 'baffling' and 'terribly damaging'

    Border sign

    The US Chamber of Commerce represents three million businesses in the US. It has this reaction to President Trump's plan to hit Mexico with tariffs.

    “These tariffs will be paid by American families and businesses without doing a thing to solve the very real problems at the border,” said Neil Bradley, the chief policy officer.

    Glenn Hamer, who is the chief executive of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce had this to says:

    “It completely contradicts the spirit of NAFTA, not to mention the USMCA that we’re attempting to ratify. Mexico is our friend and neighbor, a partner in trade and security. The president’s announcement is baffling and, if carried out, will be terribly damaging.”

  4. New role for ex-PM

    David Cameron laughing in the commons

    Former Prime Minister David Cameron has been appointed as chair of the advisory board of Afiniti, which describes itself as the world’s leading provider of AI-based behavioral pairing technology.

    The company, based in Washington DC, said: "Mr Cameron joins a senior group of former and current business and political leaders on the advisory board, who provide Afiniti with global counsel on critical issues to the company as it continues to expand in markets around the world".

    Mr Cameron, who resigned after the EU referendum, said: "I have been exploring developments in AI for some time to better understand how industry and policymakers can collaborate in solving these challenges and ensuring that AI serves people's everyday lives"..”

  5. What's at stake in the US-Mexico trade showdown?

    Mexican tomatoes

    Mexico exports products from air conditioners to rugs, cars to tomatoes, into the US market.

    They're about to become more expensive thanks to tariffs announced by President Trump.

    According to Goldman Sachs the US imported $352bn in goods from Mexico in 2018, and exported $265bn.

    The largest categories of imports from Mexico are:

    • Autos and auto parts ($93bn)
    • Computers ($27bn)
    • Routers ($10bn)
    • Other electronics ($17bn)
  6. Gap shares plunge on profit warning

    Gap store

    Shares in Gap have plunged almost 15%.

    On Thursday the retailer cut its forecast for profits this year and reported a bigger than expected fall in like-for-like sales.

    Sales tumbled 10% in the first quarter, even Old Navy which had been performing well, saw a 1% fall in sales.

    “This quarter was extremely challenging, and we are not at all satisfied with our results. We are committed to improving our execution and performance this year,” said Art Peck, chief executive officer of Gap.

  7. US car shares head south

    Car plant in Mexico

    US car shares have come under particular pressure today as many of their cars and car parts are made in Mexico.

    Fiat Chrysler is down more than 5%.

    General Motors is down more than 4%.

    Ford is down more than 3%.

    All three companies depend on Mexico for cars and parts.

    GM imports almost a third of its car parts from Mexico and Fiat Chrysler almost a quarter.

    GM also sources 41% of its Silverado trucks from Mexico - it sells around 580,000 of those a year.

  8. US shares tumble on trade tensions

    nyse TRADER

    US shares have opened with sharp losses.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 1.2%. The S&P 500 is down 1.1%.

    The Nasdaq Composite is 1.3% lower.

    Investors have been rattled by President Trump's threat to place tariffs on imports from Mexico, unless illegal immigration is cut.

    "It is a very sticky situation," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York. "American companies needed to find supply chains outside of China when it looked like the [US-China] trade deal is going to take much longer and one of those countries that was pointed to outside the pacific was Mexico."

  9. Yield on German government debt hits record low


    Investors have piled into assets considered low risk today. That includes German government bonds, which have seen prices rise.

    As prices rise, the yield falls and today the yield on ten-year German government bonds has fallen to a record low of negative 0.211%.

    That means investors are paying for the privilege of owning German debt.

    Investors are looking for a safe haven after President Trump, late on Thursday, tweeted his decision to raise tariffs on imports from Mexico until illegal immigration from Mexico was stopped.

    "Very clearly when we all thought that the main trade tensions in the world were between the US and China or perhaps between the US and Europe, we hadn't realised there will be another trade tension with Mexico...and it raises concerns about who the next country may be," said Andrew Milligan, head of global strategy at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

  10. Renault board to discuss Fiat approach on Tuesday


    The board of Renault will meet next Tuesday to discuss a merger approach from Fiat Chrysler.

    Renault directors will decide whether to open formal talks.

    On Monday Fiat Chrysler proposed a merger with Renault which would create the world's third biggest car maker.

    The French government, which is the biggest shareholder in Renault, supports the combination as long as French factories and jobs are preserved.

  11. Pension regulator 'wants another £50m from Green'

    Mark Kleinman is the City Editor of Sky News.

    Sir Philip Green controls Arcadia, the owner of Topshop, Burton and Dorothy Perkins.

    The company has proposed a plan to rescue the business, but it needs approval from creditors and the pension regulator.

    View more on twitter
  12. BreakingIndia grows 5.8% in first quarter

    India is growing at its slowest pace for 17 quarters - at just 5.8%, new government data for the year's first quarter shows.

    That puts it behind China for the first time in nearly two years.

    The new finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced today will be under even greater pressure to find a way to stimulate the economy.

    Growth for the fiscal year to 31 March was downgraded to 6.8% from 7% estimated previously.

  13. Readers' Boeing doubts: why is this sensor failing?


    One Biz Live Page reader has shared the benefit of his professional experience.

    "When I was briefly in air traffic control, passengers were sometimes referred to as “punters”," writes Robert.

    "You buy a ticket, and you take a chance with your life. With the 737 Max, that is so true."

    "Is anyone querying why these altitude sensors are failing so early in an aircraft that is only six months old? That is complete nonsense and a safety critical component should have L10 life of at least 20 years (i.e. less than 10% fail in the first 20 years).

    "But are any other airliners dependent on sensors and electronics to make them stable? Perhaps a bit like the diesel car scandal, have manufacturers closed ranks?"

  14. 'Ad hoc' approach to tariffs

    The news overnight that the US was imposing a set of rapidly rising tariffs on Mexico seemed to come out of the blue.

    The BBC's New York business bureau chief points out that trade policy has become a very personal matter as illustrated by comments from White House acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney.

    Mr Mulvaney has said that "We are interested in seeing the Mexican government act tonight, tomorrow."

    View more on twitter
  15. Mexican Peso and car makers suffer

    Mexican peso banknotes

    Mexico's currency, the peso, has fallen to a five-month low following the news of US tariffs. It's 3% down thanks to the increased threat to Mexico's economic stability.

    The impact is being felt further afield too.

    On European share markets, lower across the board, the falls were led by car makers dropping nearly 3% while Volkswagen and Fiat Chrysler - both significantly exposed to Mexico - tumbled 3.6% and 5%.

    Spanish banks with exposure to Mexico - Santander, Sabadell and Bilbao - also suffered.

  16. Markets trade lower on trade tensions

    Market trading desk

    European markets are more than 1% lower across the board at lunchtime on Friday.

    London's FTSE 100 is 1.02% lower at 7,144.

    Falls in other European financial centres are as follows:

    Amsterdam -1.3%

    Paris -1.45%

    Frankfurt -1.77%

    Madrid -1.75%

  17. Readers view: 'Boeing needs a replacement'

    Boeing planes on tarmac

    Earlier we asked: what would it take to persuade you it was safe to fly on a Boeing 737 Max again?

    We've had lots of responses from Business Live readers.

    Stan says there's no way he will ever fly in one again.

    "The current management team have put profit ahead of safety," he writes.

    "I believe the 737 Max is a flawed design, trying to make a very old design a modern aircraft. Boeing needs to design a new replacement."

    Brian in Perth, Scotland agrees. He thinks the problem lies in part with Boeing wanting to avoid increasing the number of pilot training hours required.

    What about you? Let us know your opinion.

    Email us at [email protected]