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Summary

  1. Get in touch: [email protected]
  2. Thomas Cook shares plunge
  3. Metro Bank raises £375m
  4. Talks resume over British Steel
  5. Staffline issues profits warning
  6. Sterling touches three-month low
  7. Easyjet reports loss

Live Reporting

By Tom Espiner and Jill Treanor

All times stated are UK

  1. Markets pricing in political uncertainty

    Quote Message: It looks like no-deal or no Brexit. The third option – a new PM who is allowed to ‘renegotiate’ the terms of the deal, is not entirely out of the question, but we know the EU’s desire to avoid such a scenario is strong. [Angela] Merkel may go for it, but others like [Emmanuel] Macron would certainly not. As noted yesterday, it seems a ‘dead cert’ that Theresa May’s deal won’t pass and she is almost certain to be gone by June. Having seen the pound trade in a narrow range around $1.30 for some time as it all went quiet on the Brexit front, markets are pricing in greater political uncertainty again. from Neil Wilson chief market analyst at Markets.com

    It looks like no-deal or no Brexit. The third option – a new PM who is allowed to ‘renegotiate’ the terms of the deal, is not entirely out of the question, but we know the EU’s desire to avoid such a scenario is strong. [Angela] Merkel may go for it, but others like [Emmanuel] Macron would certainly not. As noted yesterday, it seems a ‘dead cert’ that Theresa May’s deal won’t pass and she is almost certain to be gone by June. Having seen the pound trade in a narrow range around $1.30 for some time as it all went quiet on the Brexit front, markets are pricing in greater political uncertainty again.

  2. BP faces investor push to beef up fight against climate change

    BP platform

    Copyright: Getty Images

    BP will face pressure at a meeting next week to set tougher targets to combat climate change, the latest signal from investors that they want the oil and gas industry to do more to clean up its act.

    After BP’s 2018 carbon emissions rose to their highest in six years, the oil giant is being lobbied by activists and an increasing number of shareholders to ensure its operations are in line with goals set by the 2015 Paris climate deal to curb global warming.

    BP has already backed a resolution being put to investors on Tuesday for it to be more transparent about its emissions, link executive pay to reducing emissions from BP’s operations and show how future investments meet Paris goals.

    The motion, proposed by BP and a group of 58 shareholders holding 10 percent of its shares, known as Climate Action 100+, is expected to pass at BP’s annual meeting in Aberdeen.

    But some investors want BP to go further and follow the lead of rival Royal Dutch Shell, which bowed to years of lobbying and set the toughest industry targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

  3. LGBT harassment at work widespread, TUC survey suggests

  4. Textiles company warns on trading

    Textiles company Leeds Group is warning about deteriorating market conditions since its last update in March.

    It says it now expects income for the current financial year to be significantly below last year. working capital remains adequate.

    “In light of these difficult trading conditions, the Board has requested each trading subsidiary to implement further programme of cost reductions and efficiency savings, which will not have an effect on the current years trading result, with the objective of returning the group to acceptable profit levels in the next financial year,” Leeds Group said.

  5. More on tariffs

    Donald Trump

    Copyright: EPA

    Donald Trump had to decide by tomorrow whether to impose the tariffs on imported cars and parts.

    That follows reports earlier in the week that the US President was going to allow a delay to allow more time for trade talks with the EU and Japan.

    The President has now asked Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer
    to embark on negotiations and report back within 180 days.

  6. BreakingDelay to car tariffs

    The White House has announced a six-month delay on the imposition of tariffs on imported cars.

  7. CBI: ‘Failed politics’

    Director General of CBI tweets:

    That’s after Jeremy Corbyn said the discussions had “gone as far as they can”, blaming what he called the government’s “increasing weakness and instability”.

    Theresa May said the lack of a “common position” over a further referendum in Labour had made talks “difficult”.

  8. Amazon seeks share of consumer spending

    deliveroo riders

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Greg Lawless of Shore Capital has also been thinking about the implications of the tie-up between Amazon and Deliveroo.

    “Today’s news will send shockwaves through the UK food service
    sector, given the potential firepower and distribution capabilities that Amazon
    has at its disposal. It has always felt a question of when, not if, Amazon
    would enter the food service arena. Whether this leads to an outright
    acquisition of Deliveroo in time, remains to be seen,” he said.

    “The Amazon
    strategic stake in Deliveroo suggests that the technology giant has its eyes on
    adjacent consumer markets, as it attempts to capture an even greater share of
    consumer spending,” he added.

  9. Deliveroo dominance?

    just eat logo on a phone

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Just Eat’s shares are down 8% as a result of Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo, mentioned earlier.

    Julie Palmer, partner at Begbies Traynor, said:The partnership comes at a time when Deliveroo and its
    competitors, Uber Eats and Just Eat, are investing and evolving rapidly as they
    continue to grab market space from each other.

    “This fresh investment could help
    the food courier to steal a march on its rivals. Despite having failed with its
    own service, Amazon Restaurants UK, Amazon knows the potential that is still to
    come from this growing market and has put its money where its mouth is.

    “If
    Amazon also shares its expertise of customer service and network for
    couriering, then Deliveroo is creating a partnership which could follow in
    Amazon’s steps and dominate the marketplace.”

  10. Costly flights to Madrid

  11. IoD: Brexit talks breakdown ‘a fresh disappointment’

    Sandcastle

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Labour and Tory Brexit talkshave ended without a deal.

    Edwin Morgan, interim director general of the
    Institute of Directors, says:

    “This is a fresh disappointment heaped upon the pile of previous disappointments.

    “With a parliamentary deadlock, seeking cross-party consensus was always a worthwhile endeavour – but it makes it all the more frustrating for business leaders to see the talks result in little more than precious time used up.

    “We urge the government to confirm their plans immediately and crucially before the recess. It’s time to make a decision on the future of this country, we can’t live in limbo forever.

    “Politicians must remember that we’re eating into potential negotiating time. Equally, no deal, which a clear majority of our members say would negatively impact their firms, is still on the table.”

  12. Influential investor to vote against Metro Bank chair

    metro bank logo

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Back to Metro Bank, which announced earlier it had raised £375m from investors.

    Legal & General Investment Management is to vote against Vernon Hill, the chairman of Metro Bank, at next week’s annual general meeting.

    Last year LGIM voted against Mr Hill and the remuneration report. It says it is taking the “rare step” of announcing how it intends to vote ahead of the AGM on 21 May.

    It said it will vote not just against Mr Hill but also members of the audit committee and other directors.

    “This announcement is being made to highlight and share these issues with other investors. Furthermore, there are continuing concerns following the recent announcements on accounting errors and the significant share price underperformance,” LGIM said.

    Sacha Sadan, director of corporate governance at LGIM, said:
    “As a long term investor of our clients’ assets, we hope that in sharing our voting intentions early, and that following the results of the AGM, this will help encourage Metro Bank to strengthen their governance structures.”

  13. Pound falls to lowest level since mid-Feb

    Pound v dollar

    Copyright: BBC

    Talks between Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn to try to hammer out a Brexit deal compromisehave ended without a deal.

    The pound, which was already on a downward trajectory, has fallen to it’s lowest level since 14 February as the chance of a disorderly Brexit increases.

  14. Just Eat ‘could get knocked out of FTSE 100’

    Just Eat bike

    Copyright: Getty Images

    That 7% slide in Just Eat’s share price could bring respite for other companies in the FTSE 100, says Laith
    Khalaf, senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown.

    “For Just
    Eat, the fall in the share price means it could well get knocked out of the
    FTSE 100 in the forthcoming reshuffle, potentially saving the blushes of
    easyJet and Marks & Spencer, who are also fighting a relegation battle,” he said.

    “Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo has taken a bite out of Just
    Eat’s share price. It’s not just the fresh funding that has stoked concerns,
    Amazon is known for its tolerance for losses, and its willingness to
    price-gouge in search of market share,” he added.

  15. What does the Deliveroo deal mean for Just Eat?

    just eat logo

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Analysts at Liberum reckon that concerns about the impact on Just Eat from the investment by Amazon in Deliveroo are overdone.

    The fears are that the extra funding will
    allow Deliveroo to become a more effective competitor to deliver companies such as Just East.

    “We see those concerns as
    overdone and that Amazon’s investment does not hide the fact that, as an online
    classified marketplace portal like AutoTrader and Rightmove, Just Eat’s market
    leading position will be incredibly difficult to overcome, especially given its
    strength in smaller towns,” they say.

    “What we do think is more
    likely than a serious threat from competitors is that Just Eat – and the other
    portals – are bought by bigger players looking to dominate the food delivery
    portal market,” they add.

    Just Eat’s shares are down around 7% while Takeaway.com, listed in Amsterdam, is off 2.5% and Delivery Hero, listed in Frankfurt, is down 5%.

  16. Sterling down

    pound

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Jeremy Corbyn has said talks with the government to find a compromise over Brexit “have gone as far as they can”.

    The Labour leader said the six weeks of cross-party discussions could not carry on due to “the increasing weakness and instability” of the government.

    That follows the report on the BBC earlier that Brexit talks were close to collapse with no deal.

    That confirmation has pushed sterling, already touching three-month lows, at bit lower to $1.2763.

    The latest BBC story ishere.

  17. More on Thomas Cook

    Thomas Cook

    Copyright: BBC

    The Citi analysts mention the £1.1bn write-down in value of My Travel, the business Thomas Cook merged with in 2007 and a comment from auditors of “material uncertainties” linked to the sale of the airline and a new £300m loan.

    The analysts say that the management of Thomas Cook have said that this does not mean they have to
    sell the airline to access the facility and a “highly priced airline disposal could alleviate near-term pressures”.

    What do other analysts say? “The single most important component of the equity value in Thomas Cook is the disposal price of the airline,” say analysts at Redburn, noting the company had said there were “multiple bidders”.

    Analysts at Morgan Stanley have suspended their forecasts for the share price until there is more clarity.

  18. Citi analysis on Thomas Cook

    thomas cook plane

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Thomas Cook reported a £1.5bn loss yesterday and warned of “further headwinds” for the rest of the year.

    Analysts at Citi have been looking at the numbers and reckon that while the travel company has an equity value of £738m this is outweighed by its debt of around £750m.

    That “implies zero equity value”, the analysts say, so they have cut their target price for the shares from 28p to 0p.

  19. Eurozone inflation rises to 1.7%

    Eurozone annual inflation was 1.7% in April, EU statistics agency Eurostat has confirmed after a flash estimate at the beginning of May.

    This is up from 1.4% in March.

    The acceleration offers some mild relief to the European
    Central Bank, which targets inflation of just below 2%.

  20. More on Easyjet

    drone

    Copyright: Getty Images

    Back to Easyjet, which published results earlier.

    Ed Monk, associate director at Fidelity Personal Investing’s share dealing service, says the first half figures were no worse than expected but “grim nonethless”.

    “Even an encouraging improvement in customer numbers couldn’t prevent the predicted fall in revenue per seat,” he said.

    The drone delays and cancellations at Gatwick in December caused £10m of costs and the company spent £1.4bn on fuel, he said.

    “Brexit, of course, is holding back bookings but it’s also true that weak growth on the continent is hurting demand,” he added.