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Summary

  1. Dollar falls to seven week low against basket of currencies
  2. FTSE closes down as pound strengthens
  3. PM unveils plans for UK industry
  4. Help for carmakers, pharma and 5G
  5. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good night!

That's it for Monday's Business Live coverage. 

We'll be back from 6am tomorrow.

Do join us if you can for all the latest news and views from the world of money. 

Jobs under threat at Greggs bakery

Greggs sign
PA

High Street baker Greggs has announced plans to cut an unspecified jobs from its Clydesmill bakery in Cambuslang, South Lanarkshire.

The company said the move was part of a manufacturing restructuring plan which aimed to concentrate production into centres of excellence.

Greggs confirmed a consultation process had started with employees but declined to specify the number of jobs at risk.

The union Usdaw said 100 jobs were under threat. Read more here

UK - in the WTO but outside the EU

BBC political editor tweets

Wall Street closes lower

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

The three key US stock indexes have closed down - as investors fretted about protectionist moves by the new president and switched to safe=haven assets like gold.  

Earlier in the day Donald Trump signed an order to take the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal. He also told business leaders that he would impose a border tax on firms that import products into the US afer moving American factories overseas. 

The Dow Jones ended the day at 19,799.85, a fall of 27 points or 0.14%.

The S&P 500 finished at 2,265.20, that's down 6 points or 0.27%.

And the tech-heavy Nasdaq edged down 2 points or 0.04% to 5,552.94.

"Given that the President's first order of business is challenging trade deals, it has probably caught a number of optimistic investors off balance," said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank in Chicago.

"Investors were positioning for tax cuts and regulatory rollbacks out of the gate. Perhaps they are impatient but they are certainly disappointed," he added. 

Equatorial Guinea applies to join OPEC

OPEC building
Getty Images

Equatorial Guinea has applied to join the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, an OPEC source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.  

If the country does join it will bring OPEC membership to 14. 

The African nation, which said earlier that it was seeking to join OPEC, is one of the non-member producers that has agreed to cut output in the first half of 2017 alongside OPEC in an effort to boost oil prices.  

Ecclestone 'forced out' as F1 chief executive

Bernie Ecclestone
Getty Images

Bernie Ecclestone has been forced out of his position as Formula 1 chief executive, according to a German motor sport magazine.

The 86-year-old told Auto Motor und Sport he was asked to resign by new F1 chairman Chase Carey.

"I was dismissed today. This is official. I no longer run the company. My position has been taken by Chase Carey," he said.

He added he was offered a new role as "a kind of honorary president".

However, he continued: "I have this title without knowing what it means," and did not say whether he would accept the role. Read more here

Citigroup subsidiaries fined

The US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Monday it had fined Citigroup subsidiaries $28.8m for giving "for giving the runaround to struggling homeowners seeking options to save their homes. 

"The mortgage servicers kept borrowers in the dark about options to avoid foreclosure or burdened them with excessive paperwork demands in applying for foreclosure relief," the CFPB said in a statement.  

CitiMortgage will pay an estimated $17m to compensate borrowers as well as a civil penalty of $3m.

CitiFinancial Services will pay about $.4m to borrowers, and pay a civil penalty of a further $4.4m. 

US to pursue 'bilateral trade opportunities'

Sean Spicer talking to journalists
Reuters

More on President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the Trans_Pacific Partnership - the giant free trade deal with Pacific rim countries, that was negotiated by the Obama administration but never ratified. Here's what the White House spokesman had to say about it.  

As the president has said many times, this type of multinational agreement is not in our best interest and he's moving quickly to advance trade policies that increase the competitiveness of the American worker and manufacturer. This executive action ushers in a new era of US trade policy which the Trump administration will pursue bilateral trade opportunities with allies around the globe. This is a strong signal that the Trump administration wants free and fair trade throughout the world.

Sean SpicerWhite House spokesman

Paris trials driverless buses

Driverless bus, Paris
Getty Images

Paris began its first trials of driverless buses today. 

The city deployed two vehicles capable of carrying around 10 people - within the safety of a special lane - on a bridge connecting two railway stations to the east of the city centre.

"Autonomous vehicles represent a revolution for every city on the planet... which will change our urban environment and public space in a spectacular fashion over the next 20 years," said Paris deputy mayor Jean-Louis Missika.

The trials will last three months, according to city officials. 

US blocks health insurers' $37bn merger

Aetna sign
Investopedia

A federal judge has blocked a proposed $37bn merger between the US health insurers Aetna and Humana, saying the tie-up would stifle competition.

US District Judge John Bates said patients, including the elderly, were at risk. 

The decision does not bode well for Cigna and Anthem, two other major insurers seeking to merge but also facing regulatory obstacles. A separate court heard that case just before Christmas but is yet to issue its ruling. 

But others support the decision...

Free bus pass age to rise in Scotland?

BBC Scotland business and economy editor tweets

Wall Street trades lower on protectionism fears

Let's check in on how Wall Street's doing, and all three key indexes are still trading lower. 

The Dow Jones is down 66 points or 0.33% at 19,761.24. 

The S&P 500 is at 2,261.58, a fall of 10 points or 0.43%. 

And the tech-heavy Nasdaq at 5,541.87, a drop of 13 points or 0.24%. 

Stocks are suffering as investors turn to safe-haven assets amid fears about President Trump's protectionist measures, including withdrawal from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (see earlier post). 

Women fear 'CV gaps' alienate employers

Woman using computer
Thinkstock

The belief employers don't want to hire someone with a gap in their CV is the biggest barrier to some women returning to work, a group of MPs has been told.

The All Party Parliamentary Group on women and work calls for companies with more than 250 staff to put better programmes in place for returners.

It says existing "returnship" schemes rarely help women on lower incomes.

The MPs were examining reasons why women find difficulties in returning to work after a career break. Read more here

David Davis: Negotiations done in two years

Brexit secretary David Davis says negotiations will be done and dusted in two years.
David Davis, the secretary of state for exiting the European Union, says negotiations with the EU will conclude after two years as per Article 50.

Mr Davis was keen to stress that the UK is not a "supplicant" in negotiations and that a good deal would benefit both sides. He does admit, however, that implementation of new deals may take significantly longer.

(Image: Theresa May, credit: Getty Images)

Dollar hits seven-week low

US dollar notes
get

The US dollar hit a seven-week low against a basket of key world currencies on Monday, while stock markets around the world traded lower. 

Investors are worried about the strongly protectionist stance adopted in President Trump's inauguration speech and have turned to safe haven assets like gold. 

SpreadEx financial analyst Connor Campbell said: "The greenback... seems to have been shaken both by the apocalyptic tone set by Trump at his inauguration, and the global protests that greeted the former Apprentice host's ascension to the highest office in the land."   

At his meeting with US business leaders on Monday morning the president told them he would impose a border tax on firms that import products into the US after moving American factories overseas.

Chinese financier jailed for share price manipulation

BBC World Service

One of China's best-known financiers has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for manipulating share prices. 

Xu Xiang, founder of the Shanghai-based private equity fund Zexi Investment, was one of a number of investors detained by investigators in 2015 after the Chinese stock market went into freefall. 

The court in Qingdao said he'd colluded with listed companies to drive up their share prices. Xu Xiang's is the first insider trading case to have been brought to court in China.   

Trump takes US out of TPP

Donald Trump with order withdrawing US from TPP
Getty Images

President Trump has now signed an executive order to formally withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership which includes a dozen countries see earlier post). 

The trade agreement was negotiated under the Obama administration but was never ratified. 

Mr Trump argued throughout his presidential campaign that the TPP was harmful to American workers and manufacturing - something he repeated shortly after signing the order: 

All right we're going to sign three memorandums right now. The first one is the withdrawal of the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Everyone knows what that means, right? We've been talking about this for a long time. OK. A great thing for the American workers, what we just did.

Jay Z sells Tidal stake for $200m

(L-R) Rhianna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Daft Punk and Kanye West
Getty Images

American rapper Jay Z has offloaded a 33% stake in his Tidal music streaming business to Japanese telecoms giant Sprint for an estimated $200m.

It means that Jay Z, husband of singer Beyonce, will make a return on his initial $56m investment when he bought Tidal from Norway's Aspiro three years ago.

The aim of Tidal is to give music artists more control over their content on streaming platforms, where Spotify remains as the market leader. Tidal was unveiled to much fanfare in 2015 with the likes of Madonna, Rhianna, Daft Punk and Kanye West signing up.   

Small firms hail improved technical education

Small businesses will be especially pleased to see the promise to boost technical education as an attractive alternative to university, and a proper strategy to improve careers advice in schools and colleges. These meet a challenge long felt by small employers who struggle to find the right skills for their workforce.

Mike CherryNational chairman, Federation of Small Businesses

FTSE closes down, sterling still higher

London Stock Exchange sign
Getty Images

The FTSE 100 closed at 7,151.18, that's a fall of 47 points or 0.66%.

It fell as the pound rose - Sterling's up by 0.94% at $1.2492. 

As we reported earlier, the pound is rising partly because traders reckon the the Supreme Court will rule on Tuesday that the government needs Parliament's approval to trigger formal Brexit talks. 

Earlier in the day the pound hit a one month high against the dollar.

The FTSE 100 tends to fall as sterling climbs because so many of the companies on the index are exporters and a higher pound makes their goods more expensive. 

US to withdraw from TPP?

Protestors against TPP
Getty Images

US media are reporting that President Donald Trump will sign an executive action later on Monday to withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which was the linchpin of Mr Obama's Asia policy.

Want to update yourself on exactly what the TPP is and why it matters? 

Find out here

Trump to slash taxes?

Donald Trump at meeting with business leaders
Getty Images

President Donald Trump also business leaders and journalists that: "We are going to be cutting taxes massively for both the middle class and for companies.

"And that’s massively. We’re trying to get it down to anywhere from 15 to 20%," he added. 

PM: 'Need to ensure economy works for everyone'

Theresa May with local business leaders
reu

This isn’t about backing winners but creating the right conditions for the UK. As we leave the EU I’m ambitious about the opportunities that are available to us building the truly global Britain, but need to ensure that our economy works for everyone in every part of the country and this is about how we can create that environment, how can we build on the success that we already have in different parts of the UK and in different sectors and how can we encourage the growth of businesses in the UK to bring jobs in the UK, higher wages to the UK and higher skills

Theresa MayPrime Minister

UK output lags behind key rivals

Associate editor, Daily Telegraph tweets

Hedge your bets

Good news and bad news for the world of hedge funds. The total value of the world's hedge funds has passed the $3 trillion mark, At the same time as withdrawals from hedge funds is at its highest level since the financial crash, $70 billion last year according to US investment bank JP Morgan.  

View more on twitter
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Lord Hutton: Industrial strategy is big shift in thinking

The World at One

BBC Radio 4

Nuclear Industry Association chair welcomes the idea of working closer with government

Industrial strategy green paper published

Welder
gett

The government's green paper, Building Our Industrial Strategy, has now been published. 

It's a more interventionist approach to industrial strategy designed to boost the post-Brexit UK economy.

It says the aim "is to improve living standards and economic growth by increasing productivity and driving growth across the whole country". 

The government says its a consultation and it's looking for responses by 17 April. 

BCC: Communities at heart of industrial strategy

Business communities across the UK will be pleased to see that harnessing the potential of our cities, towns and counties lies at the heart of the government's approach to Industrial Strategy. There are dynamic business communities in every corner of the UK - and it is their future success that will make our country more competitive and more prosperous. Given the significant skills gaps that so many firms continue to face, the Industrial Strategy's strong emphasis on boosting technical and further education will be cheered by companies and business communities alike, whatever their location or sector.

Adam MarshallDirector general, British Chambers of Commerce

Manufacturing pillars

Lee Hopley chief economist at the manufacturers association EEF says "last week we had the 12 point Brexit plan, today’s modern industrial strategy green paper will set out ten pillars." 

View more on twitter

Trump can cut company regulations 'by 75%'

BBC World Service

President Donald Trump giving inauguration speech
gett

More from BBC World Service - and President Trump has told a meeting of business leaders in Washington that he thinks he can cut US regulations governing companies by 75% or more. 

At a breakfast meeting with about 10 senior executives at the White House, Mr Trump reiterated his pledge to impose a substantial border tax on foreign goods entering the country. 

But he promised advantages for companies making their products in the US. 

Mr Trump is reported to be about to sign an executive order stating that he intends to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement.  

Steel sector welcomes industrial strategy

The publication of an industrial strategy is an important first step in achieving a strong, sustainable and world-class steel sector. We will continue to work with government to embed UK steel as a foundation industry, promote skills, productivity and local growth, deliver cost competitiveness and world-class innovation, focus on long-term investment and continue the drive for decarbonisation.

Gareth StaceDirector, UK Steel

Wall Street down in early trade

Wall Street sign
gett

The three key US share indexes were down in early trade on Monday.

They were hit by investors snapping up safe-haven assets such as gold and US Treasuries following President Donald Trump's inauguration speech in which he expressed protectionist sentiments.  

The Dow Jones was at 19,806.61, a fall of 20.64 points or 0.10%.

The S&P 500 was at 2,268.29, down 3.02 points or o.13%.

and the Nasdaq was at 5,552.18, that's down 3.16 points or 0.06%.

More delays for Japan airliner

BBC World Service

Shunichi Miyanaga, president, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries,
Getty Images

The makers of Japan's first commercial airliner for more than half a century have announced a further delay in its delivery, reports BBC World Service.

Shunichi Miyanaga, president and CEO of Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries [pictured] said it needed another two years to make adjustments to the design of its Regional Jet, or MRJ. 

A company spokesman said the changes were to meet new, stricter safety standards. It's the fifth postponement since the programme started in 2008 and means the first customer - Japan's ANA Holdings - will not receive the aircraft until mid-2020. 

Global oil to turn corner but not quite yet

Halliburton
Getty Images

The international energy market is not expected to reach "an inflection point" until the second half of this year, according the US oilfield services giant Halliburton.

The company said that while the North America market - where it returned to profitability in the first quarter -  "appears to have rounded the corner" the "international downward cycle is still playing out".  

Halliburton reported results for the fourth quarter and full year. Losses in the final three months of last year deepened from a previous $28m to $149m. For the full year, losses swelled from $165m to $6.8bn.

A little over a year ago Brent crude traded as low as $27 a barrel but today is priced at $55. 

Halliburton's chairman and chief executive Dave Lesar: "We do not expect to see an inflection in the international markets until the latter half of 2017."  

Sterling hits five-week highs

Sterling, dollar and euro notes
Getty Images

Sterling advanced to five-week highs just under $1.25 against the US dollar today. The dollar has come under selling pressure after Donald Trump’s inauguration speech on Friday gave little away on his intended fiscal stimulus measures, concentrating instead on his protectionist trade agenda with a pledge to put American interests first. More widely, the pound is higher against all of its major peers this morning amid speculation a Supreme Court ruling tomorrow will uphold a High Court judgment that the government needs parliamentary approval before triggering Article 50 to start formal EU divorce proceedings. The pound is up 0.20% versus the euro at close to the €1.16 mark by noon.”

Chris SaintSenior analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown currency service

Happy Birthday

Milton Keynes at 50

Tim Harford presenter of More or Less extols the virtues of Milton Keynes.

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Northern Powerhouse funds 'not new money'

As part of the government's industrial strategy announcement, there's to be £556m for the Northern Powerhouse. 

The move was welcomed by former chancellor George Osborne, the main cheerleader for the scheme. 

But James Reed, political editor of the Yorkshire Post, points out the money has been announced before.  

View more on twitter

Strategy will 'spread jobs across UK'

Business Secretary Greg Clark says he wants to drive industrial growth across all parts of the country. 

However, his opposite number at Labour, Clive Lewis, says the government's industrial strategy is "too little too late".

Greg Clark: Strategy will spread jobs