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  1. Monsanto rejects $62bn Bayer bid
  2. Strike hits all French oil refineries
  3. Swiss criminal probe into BSI bank
  4. Nationwide profits rise to £1.3bn

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Over and out

    That's all from Business Live today - thanks for reading. We're back at 06:00 tomorrow for Wednesday's happenings, so do join us then.

  2. Wall Street closes higher

    Technology and banking shares were among the big winners on Tuesday as Wall Street jumped on the back of greater confidence in the US economic outlook. 

    Investors had been troubled by the prospects of a Federal Reserve interest rate increase, but "now they're starting to embrace it", said Charlie Bilello of Pension Partners. 

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2%, the S&P 500 jumped 1.4%, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 2%.

    Apple rose 1.5%, while Microsoft jumped 3.2%. JPMorgan Chase rose 1.8% and Citigroup 1.7%. 

  3. High living

    St George's Tower

    If you live in London, it's hard to miss the 50-storey skyscraper at Vauxhall that dominates the skyline in that part of the capital. It is the tallest residential structure in the UK after all. Ever wondered who owns the apartments? 

    Wonder no more. According to the Guardian, the owners include a Russian billionaire whose business partner is a close ally of Vladimir Putin, the former chairman of a defunct Nigerian bank and a Kyrgyz vodka tycoon. 

    Read more here.

  4. Hat trick for Palmerston

    Video content

    Video caption: Philip Hammond defends Foreign Office's cat, after MP raised fears it could be an EU spy

    We're not going to pretend this is a business story, but it's important news nonetheless. 

    Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has told MPs that Palmerston, his department's cat, is on course to have more Twitter followers than him by the summer.

    He was adopted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office last month to deal with an infestation of mice and has nabbed three thus far.

    Perhaps Mr Hammond could lend Palmerston to the BBC's business and economics unit on occasion too?

  5. Jersey cracks down on money laundering

    UK notes and coins

    Jersey's efforts to crack down on money laundering have been praised by a Council of Europe watchdog, the BBC's Channel Islands team reports. 

    Moneyval, the body which examines jurisdictions' compliance with international laws, said Jersey had a "mature and sophisticated regime".

    However, it did call for moves including more investigations into money-laundering.

    The report also suggested more powers for authorities to be able to confiscate assets from offenders.

    It said more rigorous checks could be done on who owned or benefited from particular funds and companies.

  6. Brazil's acting president aims to end recession

    BBC World Service

    Michel Temer

    Brazil's interim president, Michel Temer has unveiled a series of economic measures aimed at cutting public spending and bringing to an end a deep recession, reports BBC World Service 

    Mr Temer said the growth in government spending was unsustainable and he would seek a constitutional amendment to limit it. 

    The measure, he said would help curb a budget deficit of about 10% of GDP. 

    Mr Temer also said he would reform the pension system. 

    He's standing in as his predecessor, Dilma Rousseff, is facing impeachment over allegations of financial mismanagement.   

  7. Would Brexit make a holiday £230 dearer?

    Reality Check

    Downing Street press release quoted: Treasury analysis shows £230 rise for a four person holiday to the EU

    The claim: Leaving the EU would make an average holiday for four people to the EU £230 more expensive in two years. 

    Reality Check verdict: It would be reasonable to expect a weaker pound to make foreign holidays more expensive, but it is hard to predict a precise figure.

    Read the full Reality Check here.

  8. Eurozone finance ministers discuss £8.4bn loans to Greece

    BBC World Service

    Euro notes and coins

    Eurozone finance ministers are meeting in Brussels to discuss further international assistance to Greece, reports BBC World Service.

    Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the head of the Eurozone finance ministers, said full approval of Greece's reform efforts by creditors would pave the way for the release of up to €11bn (£8.4bn) in loans. 

    On Sunday the Greek parliament passed the latest package of spending cuts and tax rises, as well as a guarantee of further austerity measures in the event that the budget is not balanced.

  9. Dorsey: Make tweeting more 'intuitive'

    More on those changes that Twitter's making in an effort to make itself simpler to use and more attractive to new users.  

    Photos, videos and other media will no longer count against the current limit of 140 characters per tweet. 

    The company's co-founder and chief executive Jack Dorsey has been talking to the BBC about the thinking behind the move. 

    Jack Dorsey
    Quote Message: We're focussing all of our energy on making sure that when people tweet it makes sense. And the other thing that was happening is people are tweeting out images, or tweeting out videos; they're tweeting out polls. What was happening is they add an image and then the character count goes down. We removed counting against any time you add an image or media or a poll - and, again, just making it a whole lot more visible and intuitive. from Jack Dorsey Co-founder and chief executive
    Jack DorseyCo-founder and chief executive
  10. Monsanto rejects Bayer $62bn bid

    Monsanto logo

    Monsanto has turned down Bayer's $62bn (£43bn) takeover bid as incomplete and "financially inadequate," Reuters reports

    German drugs giant Bayer made the offer for Monsanto. A deal would have created the world's biggest agricultural supplier.

    However, Monsanto's board says it's open to continued and constructive conversations to assess if a transaction in "best interest of Monsanto share owners can be achieved". 

  11. Shell shareholders approve executive pay packages

    Shell logo above a forecourt

    Earlier we mentioned a potential revolt over directors' pay at today's Shell AGM.

    In the event nearly 86% of the votes cast were in favour of the remuneration report, including chief executive Ben van Beurden's €5.14m, (£3.51m) package. 

    However, 14.17% of investors voted against the pay packages - that's up from 3.84% last year.  

    Royal London Asset Management, which holds Shell shares worth nearly £1bn, said it was "disappointed" that van Beurden received very close to the maximum possible bonus in a year when the firm's overall financial performance was weak.

  12. FTSE boosted by Kingfisher and banks

    London Stock Exchange sign

    The FTSE 100 closed up 1.35%  (or 83 points) at 6,219.26.

    Banks did particularly well over the course of the day.  

     "UK banks are once again in demand, with a reported rise in mortgage activity at Nationwide further enhancing the attractiveness of names like RBS," Chris Beauchamp, senior market analyst at IG, explained in a note. 

    The day's biggest gainer was Tesco - up nearly 7%. Mining company Fresnillo was the biggest loser - it shed 3.34%.

    Screwfix and B&Q owner Kingfisher rose 3.5% after it reported an increase in first-quarter sales to £2.7bn.

    Kingfisher said it had seen a "solid" start to the year with like-for-like sales up 3.6%, with Screwfix sales up 16.2%.

    In the UK and Ireland sales rose 6.2%, helped by a 16.2% jump at Screwfix.

  13. 'If you want to rob a bank go to the Libor market'

    House of Commons


    Conservative Ken Clarke welcomes the Criminal Finances Bill.

    He laments the UK's poor record of dealing with white collar crime - "If you wish to rob a bank you go to a Libor market. You don't put on balaclava."

    He urges the government to tackle "not just tax evasion" but also money laundering - "London is the money laundering capital of the world."

    Kenneth Clarke