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Evening Wrap: today's top business stories

News from around the web.

George Osborne: Seven departments agree new cuts (BBC)

George Osborne has reached agreement with seven Whitehall departments on savings he wants made in 2015.

The chancellor said he had found 20% of the £11.5bn he wants to cut spending by in the year from April 2015.

One in five shops could close by 2018, warns study (BBC)

The Centre for Retail Research (CRR) is warning that High Streets could see 20% of their shops close down within five years as more people turn to the internet for their shopping.

The organisation, which conducts research into retail, technology and crime, says this would equate to 62,000 shops closing down.

France's central bank head warns FTT could 'destroy' jobs (Telegraph)

France's central bank boss has warned that a planned financial transactions tax could “destroy” parts of the country’s banking industry, cost jobs, and damage the public finances.

Crown Estate agrees £320m venture to revamp St James's (Telegraph)

The Crown Estate, which manages the Queen's property portfolio, has created a £320m joint venture with Oxford Properties, the Canadian real estate company, to redevelop London's upmarket St James's Market district.


US house prices rise most in seven years (FT)

US house prices rose in March and racked up their largest annual gain in seven years as more Americans rushed to buy homes in a market with low inventory levels.

The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index, which tracks monthly changes in the value of residential property in 20 metropolitan regions across the US, showed that prices adjusted for seasonal variations rose 1.1 per cent, compared with a 1.3 per cent gain in February. This beat consensus forecasts of a 1 per cent uptick.