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Summary

  1. Pound and shares make strong gains ahead of EU referendum this week
  2. FTSE 100 led higher by banking and housebuilder stocks
  3. Premier League and UK car industry back Remain vote

Live Reporting

By Rebecca Marston

All times stated are UK

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  1. Wall Street joins global rally

    US stocks scored solid gains, joining a global equity rally in shares. At the closing bell, the Dow Jones was at 17,806.82 points, up 0.7%, and the broad-based S&P 500 rose 0.6% to 2,083.48. The tech-rich Nasdaq gained 0.8% to 4,837.44. 

    Earlier European stock markets jumped, with the FTSE 100 ending up 3%.

  2. HBOS report 'delayed again'

    The Daily Telegraph is reporting that a report into failed bank HBOS's accounts has been delayed again. 

    The paper says that MPs have already complained that the Financial Reporting Council missed chances to investigate in the years since the bank’s failure, and will now have to wait even longer than expected to hear back on the state of the lender’s finances.  

  3. Diesel cars may be more expensive - VW

    Demo at VW offices

    Volkswagen's chief executive has told German daily Handelsblatt that stricter standards will make diesel engines more expensive in the future, and could affect the carmaker's investments in the technology  

    The paper quotes Matthias Mueller as saying tougher emissions regulations in 2020 and beyond in the US will likely make the technology "enormously expensive" while electric technology is getting cheaper.

  4. Aston Martin boss says Brexit could make 'exports more competitive'

    Aston Martin sign

    The car company best known for having James Bond at the wheel has sent a note to employers saying that Brexit could make "exports more competitive," according to Sky News.

    The broadcaster says that chief executive Andy Palmer told workers in his message that while "an exit from the EU would [be likely to] have a negative effect on UK GDP growth in the near term... the impact of that slowdown in growth on Aston Martin is likely to be offset in part by the depreciation in the Pound, making our exports more competitive".  

    That comes in contrast to most other car makers, many of whom have voiced support for remain.

    Earlier today, the car industry trade body, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders' (SMMT), warned that leaving the EU would increase costs and threaten jobs.  

  5. Bayer 'sorry' for vegetarian tweet

    Bayer's crop science division has apologised for a tweet that suggested reduced meat demand could benefit the environment. Farmers were outraged by the tweet - to an article that suggested going vegetarian would cut your carbon footprint. The tweet was published on the official Bayer Crop Science (@Bayer4crops) account on Sunday. 

    Cows
  6. Nigerian interest rates jump

    Nigeria's interbank overnight rate has leapt to 15% from 2%, after the central bank debited the accounts of commercial lenders to cover hard-currency purchases, traders said. The central bank earlier auctioned $532m on the interbank market after floating the naira. Technical, but important to note. 

  7. US dollar slips v euro

    The US markets have lost some of the gains made at the open. The Dow Jones is now up 1% - compared with 1.4% at the open. It stands at 17865.82 points. The Nasdaq and the S&P are higher by similar amounts. The dollar is down about 0.3% of a cent against the euro at  €0.88370. 

  8. BHS: Sir Philip and pensions - more

    Another document reveals how Dominic Chappell was warned about the risks of taking on the BHS schemes, along with their ballooning deficit, just days ahead of the sale.

    Olswang, the legal firm advising Mr Chappell, told him that discussions had been taking place between the Pension Regulator, the trustees of the BHS pension schemes and Sir Philip Green, who had relayed to them that some form of agreement had been reached. Olswang had been unable to " verify anything" because it had no direct access to involved parties.

    But the firm highlighted concern from the trustees who viewed the proposed deal as "materially detrimental" to the pension schemes.

    MPs will likely want to know whether the trustees expressed this view to Sir Philip and his Arcadia group as well.

    The fate of the BHS pension scheme and its £571m pension deficit is at the heart of this inquiry. MPs are trying to establish the circumstances surrounding the sale, including whether Sir Philip sold it Mr Chappell, a former racing driver and bankrupt with no retail experience, in order to duck his financial obligations to BHS's 20,000 pensioners, who now face reduced incomes in retirement.

  9. Walmart selling China business

    More on that deal between Walmart and China's JD.com.

    The two companies have agreed to cooperate in several areas, including: 

    • JD.com will take ownership of the Yihaodian marketplace platform assets, including the Yihaodian brand, website and app. Walmart will continue to operate the Yihaodian direct sales business and will be a seller on its marketplace. JD.com  and Walmart  will  work  together  on  growing  the  Yihaodian brand  and  business  under  its  current  name  and  market position. 
    • Sam’s  Club  China will  open  a  flagship  store  on  JD.com, vastly expanding  the  availability  of  Sam’s  Club’s  high-quality  imported  products  across  China.  It  will  offer  same- and  next-day  delivery  through  JD.com’s delivery network, which covers a population of 600 million consumers. 
    • Walmart  and  JD.com  will  work  together  to  leverage  their supply  chains  to increase  the  product  selection  for customers  across  China,  including broadening the range of imported products.
  10. Walmart selling China business

    The US retail giant Walmart is selling its online Chinese business, Yihaodian, to JD.com, the country's second largest retailer after Alibaba.

    Under the terms of the deal, JD.com will issue about 145 million new class A shares to Wal-Mart, representing about 5% of its total shares.

    Walmart took a stake in Yihaodian, which caters to affluent female customers, in 2011 before taking full ownership in July 2015.

    "We thank the Yihaodian associates for creating a strong brand and business that has helped lead to this opportunity with JD.com," said Doug McMillom, president and chief executive of Walmart.  

  11. US market update

    A strong rally on the US markets.

    The Dow Jones is up 1.1%, nearly 200 points, at 17,873.76

    The Nasdaq has jumped 1.5%, or 70.4 points to 4,870.78

    The S&P has gained 1.1%, or 22.78 points, to 2,094.00

    Analysts said markets were likely to be volatile ahead of the UK's referendum on whether to stay in the EU on Thursday.

    "If I had a seatbelt while watching the markets, I'd put it on," said Kim Forrest, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt Capital Group in Pittsburgh. 

  12. Nigeria's currency plummets

    Nigeria's naira has plummeted by 40% in its first day of free floating. Nigeria's government last week allowed the currency to float. Nigeria had pegged the naira to the dollar at 197-199 since March 2015, even as other oil exporters let their currencies devalue in the wake of plummeting global crude prices, but limited access to foreign currency strangled imports and growth. 

    Not often we get to use the word "plummet" for a market move without stretching a point - this makes the grade.

    Naira
  13. BHS: Sir Philip revised down pension offer

    Sir Philip Green kept revising down what he would pay into the BHS pension schemes as a sale of the business was being negotiated, new documents reveal.

    MPs on the Work and Pensions Select Committee and the Business Innovation and Skills Committee have published a further tranche of written evidence into their inquiry on the collapse of the high street chain.

    They include successive drafts of the terms and conditions to be agreed between Sir Philip Green, the former owner of BHS and Dominic Chappell, who went on to buy the business for a pound.

    On the first draft, Sir Philip agreed a £50m "war chest" to meet the annual pension fund contributions for three years. The money would also be used to help the annual levy to the Pension Protection Fund or to help fund a potential restructuring of the pension schemes.

    By the time of the final draft, his promised contributions had been revised down to £5m a year for three years.

    Sir Philip Green
  14. VW responds to boss probe

    The new probe by German prosecutors against former Volkswagen chief Martin Winterkorn and another senior executive does not provide fresh facts that indicate a possible severe neglect of duty by the accused managers, VW said. The prosecutor's office in Braunschweig near Volkswagen's (VW) Wolfsburg headquarters said earlier on Monday that the probe centered on "sufficient real signs" that VW could have had a reason to disclose the financial consequences of its emissions scandal prior to VW's admission on Sept. 22, 2015. VW said on Monday its own legal examinations of the scandal have to date not brought to light a clear and severe breach of duty by current or former members of the executive board. 

    VW press conference
  15. Pound in biggest gain since late 2008

    That 2.3% rise against the dollar is the biggest rise since March 2009 when the markets were pretty bonkers amid the credit crunch and endless eurozone crises. It also gained strongly against the euro - 2% -  today. 

    Pound note and coin
  16. 'Regulators to drop claims that Big Six energy firms overcharged'

    Business Live has just got around to leafing through the FT, which says the Competition and Markets Authority is preparing to drop its claim that the big six power firms overcharged households by £1.7bn a year. It will now say, claims the FT, that that's what would have been saved had we all switched. Two years ago the CMA started looking into the operation of the energy market amid much anger from customers about high energy bills. That report is scheduled for Friday. It should prove a rare Brexit-free news story. 

  17. London markets close

    With a thumping gain of 3.13%, that puts the FTSE above 6,200 at 6,209.61 points. The pound also jumped, gaining 2.2% against the dollar to $1.4679 and up 2% against the euro to €1.2979. Investment business Hargreaves Lansdown topped the top 100 risers, with a gain of 8%, with Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds, Barclays and Taylor Wimpey all stronger by about 7% as investors bet that Remain is currently more likely than Brexit - a situation that they believe will favour their business prospects.

    Incidentally, the Hargreaves Lansdown boss Peter Hargreaves himself backs Brexit. 

  18. Ford letter on Referendum

    Quote Message: The UK is our largest sales market in Europe and home to significant Ford design, engineering and manufacturing operations. The IMF, OECD and Bank of England, among others, have warned that a leave vote could create economic instability and uncertainty. Although the full consequences of this are unknown, we estimate that the potential cost to our business could be hundreds of millions of dollars every year. Our primary interest is in maintaining stability and avoiding uncertainty in the trading environment so we can continue to build an even stronger business and create a more secure future for our almost 14,000 employees in the UK and for our business in Europe. We believe the best way of achieving this is for the UK to remain a member of a reformed EU. from Ford
    Ford
  19. Pound and shares hanging on to gains

    The London markets close in about half an hour. As it stands it looks like the pound and leading shares will hang on to their gains. Markets are relieved that the prospect of a Brexit looks less likely according to polls taken over the weekend. Markets, as we're constantly reminded, hate uncertainty - although it does of course give dealers the opportunity to make more exciting bets.