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Summary

  1. Co-operative Bank puts itself up for sale
  2. Baby Boom pensioners 'better off'
  3. Pubs and restaurants warn of rate rise impact
  4. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

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Good night

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BBC

That's all from Business Live for today. 

Please join us again tomorrow from 6.00am onwards for all the breaking news and analysis from the world of business and economics.

Trump fuels stock market rally

Stock market trader
Getty Images

The Dow Jones industrial average closed 142.10 points ahead on Monday, fueled by renewed optimism about the US economy.

The index reached 20,411.47.

Last week, US President Donald Trump promised a major tax deal, at the weekend he hosted Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and on Monday he appeared to take a more measured stance towards the tri-lateral North American Free Trade Agreement when he said America's agreement with Canada would be "tweaked".

The Nasdaq also ended in positive territory, up 29.83 points at 5,763.96 after gains by Apple which closed at a record high $133.29.

The S&P 500 rose 12.15 points to end at 2,328.25.

UK must 'face consequences' of Brexit

Emmanuel Macron
Getty Images

One of France's presidential hopefuls has said that Britain must face the consequences for voting to leave the European Union.

Emmanuel Macron said: "If your government decides to organise a Brexit, I will be pretty tough on it."

Mr Macron told Channel 4 News: "We have to preserve the rest of the European Union and not to convey the message that you can decide to leave without any consequence." 

He said there was no desire to "punish" the UK but "it cannot be a game where Britain can maximise their interests without taking into consideration the EU's interests". 

Canada holds its tongue over US and refugees

Apple shares at record high

Apple
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Shares in Apple are currently trading at a record high thanks to a note by investment bank Goldman Sachs which reckons the company's services business is undervalued.

Its stock rose by 1% to $133.46. 

Apple is focusing on growing its services side of its business to counter any slowdown in its hardware sales.

While services revenue is comparatively small compared to, for example, the iPhone - $24.3bn compared to $136.7bn in the most recent full financial year - it is gaining momentum. 

Service turnover rose from $19.9bn in the previous year compared to sales of iPhones, iPads and Mac which all fell in the year to 24 September 2016.  

Getting the call

Who will Mnuchin pick for his Treasury team?

Steve Mnuchin
AFP

The US Senate is set to confirm veteran banker Steven Mnuchin as Treasury Secretary later today.

Then, of course, he's got to get on with appointing his team.

CNBC is reporting that several Wall Street veterans are likely to join him, including Jim Donovan who could come over from Goldman Sachs to become deputy treasury secretary. They also put Justin Muzinich, a former Morgan Stanley banker in the frame, possibly as undersecretary for domestic finance. 

The White House team of course already includes former Goldman Sachs alumni Gary Cohn as national economic council director, and advisers Dina Powell and Stephen Bannon.  

Republicans will argue their experience is what qualifies them for the job. Democrats think its all a bit too cosy.

US to "tweak" trade deal with Canada

Justin Trudeau (L) and Donald Trump (R)
Getty Images

Trump is questioned on NAFTA, and is reminded that while he has spoken a lot about Mexico he has said little on Canada.

He says that US has a "very outstanding trade relationship" with Canada which will be "tweaked".

Trump says that the situation with Canada is "much less severe than what has taken place on the Southern border".

Trump and Trudeau create council for women

Trump and Trudeau say they have also been discussing the role of women in the workplace and have created the Council for the Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs.

"We must work to address the barriers faced by women and women entrepreneurs."   

US and Canada to work 'closely' together

Justin Trudeau (L) and Donald Trump (R)
Getty Images

The US President Donald Trump is meeting with and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and now, in a joint press conference, is saying that America will work "closely" with its northern neighbour.

He talks about "reciprocal trade and shared growth". 

So what does this mean for the North American Free Trade Agreement?

Upbeat traders send US stocks higher

Dow Jones average
BBC

Halfway through the trading day, and the Dow Jones average in the US continues its upward trend.

Currently it is up 169 points at 20,439, a rise of nearly 1%. Optimism has been restored after US President Donald Trump promised last week promised to make a major tax announcement in the next few weeks.

The Nasdaq was also ahead, up 33.80 at 5,767.93 while the S&P 500 added 14.31 points to rise to 2,330.41.

Greek debt crisis

Christine Lagarde
Reuters

The Greek debt crisis rumbles on.

It has been widely reported that Greece, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the country's eurozone lenders cannot agree on letting the country have more funds as part of its previously agreed bailout. 

But the IMF managing director, Christine Lagarde, has told Reuters that it is doing its best to agree on bailout loans for Greece, but cannot compromise its principles and cut a sweetheart deal for the country. 

She added that, in her view, a cut in Greece's debts could take place without international lenders having to take write-downs on their loans - an issue of great concern to European Union creditors.  

Promotion problems: 'Not just at Tesco'

A BBC investigation has found that Tesco customers are being short-changed by promotions which have expired but are still advertised on the shelves. 

Have you come across this problem at the checkout? Is it just Tesco, or do other supermarkets have out-of-date offers too? One Business Live reader writes:  

David ends battle with Goliath over water deal

Co-op: ethics are key to customers

Co-op Bank
Getty Images

More on the Co-op bank putting itself up for sale.

Chief executive Liam Coleman has told BBC News that the bank is hoping for a sympathetic buyer.

He says: "Any person that is considering, I think, what is the key strength of this bank will understand that the values and ethics plays a vital role in terms of the relationship that our customers have with us," he said.

"They tell us, in the research that we do, that it's extremely important to their relationship with us. 

"And I'm sure that anybody looking at the bank from the outside will come to very much the same conclusion," he added. 

Brits less romantic than Americans

Red roses
Getty Images

Ahh, Valentine's Day, it really is a marketeer's dream.

Here at New Broadcasting House we've been receiving some absolute corkers.

One app company, for example, has been able to find out which country is the most romantic by tracking the number of people visiting flower shops for Valentine gifts - you know, red roses, flammable teddy bears, that kind of thing.

It turns out that America is the most romantic nation based on trips to florists, followed by France leaving Britain limping behind in third place. 

Read into that what you will.

How to stabilise the fishing industry

Commercial fleets help make new discoveries in our waters that could help stabilise fishing industries, discovers BBC's The Food Chain aboard a voyage with one of the oldest record-keepers of the sea - to see how its plankton, and our seafood, might be changing...

Species of the world's smallest creatures, plankton, are moving homes - and our seafood.

London stocks end on a positive note

Mining
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The FTSE 100 closed 20.17 points ahead at 7,278.92 with mining companies leading the way.

A rise in iron ore and copper prices lifted shares in Anglo American, up 4.2% at £14.09, Rio Tinto, 3% higher at £36.79 and Glencore whose stock rose 2.56% at 328.95p. 

The FTSE 250 also ended in positive territory, up 43.42 points at 18,758.78. Mining Ferrexpo was the biggest gainer, 6.71% ahead at 175p.

The price of copper touched a 20-month high on the back of supply worries after shipments were shut off from the world's two biggest copper mines.

Glencore raises stakes in DRC mines

DRC
Getty Images

Second time lucky for Glencore which has just acquired a 31% stake in the Mutanda mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Glencore is buying the shares from Dan Gertler's Fleurette Group. 

It is also acquiring a 10.25% holding in the Katanga mine from the colourful Israeli mining entrepreneur. That mine is also in the DRC, one of the poorest countries in the world. 

Mr Gertler has been criticised in the past over his business deals in the DRC amid claims he was able to buy mining assets at low prices because of his friendship with Joseph Kabila who has been the country's president since 2001. Mr Gertler and Fleurette have denied the claims. 

Glencore originally attempted to buy the 31% stake in the Mutanda mine in 2015. Today's deal will give it total control of the mine. Both deals are worth a total $960m.

Something stinks...

Ore and peace

Iron ore
Getty Images
Iron ore

Top marks to Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK, who came up with that cracking headline to describe share trading on Monday.

The FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 are bumping along nicely led by the miners who in turn are supported by stronger copper and iron ore prices. 

We'll give you an update on prices when the markets close in 20 minutes.

Sentiment has also been helped by US President Donald Trump's more emollient tone towards China and Japan. 

This has helped US stocks also make a positive start to Monday trading, with the Dow Jones industrial average currently up 120.55 points at 20,389.92. 

Germany and France 'must prosper'

Angela Merkel (L) and Bernard Cazeneuve (R)
Getty Images

Europe can only be strong if Germany and France prosper, according to Chancellor Angela Merkel.

In a meeting with French Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Monday, Mrs Merkel said: "We will exchange ideas about economic policy as Germany and France are intertwined together through close trade relations.

"And Europe can only be strong when both countries are prosper economically."

She added that she would discuss transatlantic relations with Mr Cazeneuve.

US President Donald Trump has been highly critical of both Mrs Merkel over the refugee crisis and of Nato. He has also rounded on Germany's car industry and threatened high tariffs on vehicles sold to the US.

The sausage of love

Peck from Heck
Heck

Nothing quite says "I love you" like raw meat.

Thankfully, Yorkshire-based Heck has come up with a Valentine's Day present that your better half with never forget - a sausage in the shape of a love heart.

Called "A Peck from Heck", this culinary delight also features a built-in Valentine's Day card so you can "eat and greet" the love of your life. 

The BBC would love to hear from you if you receive this special gift. Did it cement your love? Or have you begun divorce proceedings?

Let us know...

Waitrose renames meals in lamb fracas

Oil demand solid for year ahead

Oil
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More from Opec's monthly oil report.

It expects demand for the black stuff to remain buoyant this year and increase by 1.19 million barrels per day.

It cited factors such as strong global economic growth, demand from the road transport sector, and expectations for high vehicle sales in the US, Europe, China and India.

The price of Brent oil fell 46 cents at $56.24 a barrel. US oil fell 41 cents at $53.45 a barrel.

US stocks open ahead

Stock market trader
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US stocks soared at the opening bell on Monday, up 77.56 points at 20,346.93.

Nasdaq, the technology heavy index, rose 27.45 points 5,761.58 and the S&P 500 rose 8.861 points to 2,324.62. 

Trade at centre of Trump-Trudeau meeting

US President Donald Trump will meet with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday. So what now for the North American Free Trade Agreement? 

View more on twitter

Chinese steel output grows despite dumping pledge

Chinese steel plant
Getty Images

China steel-making capacity continued to grow last year, despite repeated promises to cut excess production. 

According to a report by steel consultancy Custeel and Greenpeace, China's operating steel-making capacity increased by 36.5 million tonnes in 2016. This, they said, is more than twice as much as the total production capacity of Britain.  

While some capacity was cut, it was more than offset by new factories opening or idle plants being restarted.

China has been accused of dumping its production on world markets, pushing down prices and violating international trade agreements.

In January, the European Union unveiled taxes of between 30.7% and 64.9% on certain Chinese steel products to protect struggling local producers. 

Fall in tourism hits Prada sales

Shoppers
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Italian luxury fashion brand Prada says its sales slid last year due to a fall-off in tourism in key markets.

For the 12 months to the end of January, the Hong Kong-listed business saw consolidated revenues slip by 9% at constant exchange rates to €3.18bn (£2.7bn).

The company saw the biggest sales fall in Japan, down 13%, which it blamed on a "reduced flow of tourists from China" due in part to the appreciation of the yen.

Fewer tourists visiting the US and Europe also dragged on growth, it said.

Allergan plumps for body contouring in $2.47bn deal

Diet
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Allergan, the very acquisitive maker of Botox, has added another company to its ever-expanding stable.

This time it has bought Zeltiq Aesthetics, an American company which is in the delightful business of freezing human fat.

Its star product is the CoolSculpting system which is "designed to selectively reduce stubborn fat bulges that may not respond to diet or exercise".  

Allergan is paying $2.47bn (£1.97bn) for the company and it estimates that the "body contouring" industry is worth $4bn.

US drilling holding back oil prices - Opec

US oil worker
Getty Images

Renewed drilling by US oil producers is holding back efforts to revive global crude prices, Opec says.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) began curbing their production last month, in an effort to reverse two years of falling prices caused by oversupply.

Oil prices climbed by 73 cents in January as a result, Opec said, but they would have risen further if US producers had not flocked back to the market attracted by the higher prices. 

"Production adjustments by Opec and some non-Opec producers supported the market, although gains were capped by increased drilling activity in the US," it said in its latest oil market report.  

The Opec cartel and some non-Opec countries agreed to reduce output by about 1.8 million barrels per day from January, however experts doubt this will reverse the declines seen since 2014.

FTSE 250 hits fresh high

Uk trader
AFP

Meanwhile, the FTSE 250 - which, unlike the 100 index, is formed of largely UK-focused companies - hit a fresh record high earlier.

The UK share index climbed to 18,776 points around midday, before easing back slightly.

Among the stocks leading the index higher were energy firm Evraz and trading software provider Fidessa, which said its annual results withstood the uncertainty following the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's election victory. 

Why has the price of copper jumped?

Grasberg mine, Indonesia
Getty Images

As we mentioned earlier, the FTSE 100 climbed in morning trade after mining stocks were boosted by a jump in copper prices. It comes after issues at two of the world's biggest mines put pressure on supply. 

Firstly, a strike which began last week at a Chilean copper mine, run by BHP Billiton, has disrupted shipments.

And exports from the world's second-largest copper mine, Grasberg in Indonesia (pictured), have been suspended for a month due to regulatory issues. The mine is co-owned by FTSE giant Rio Tinto - whose shares are up 2%.

On Friday the price of copper climbed more than 4.1% to above $6,000 a tonne - the highest level since June 2015 - before dropping back slightly today.  

Last of the great Defenders

Here's a flashback to 29 January, 2016 - the day when the last Land Rover Defender rolled off the production line. More than two million had been made since production started in Solihull in 1948. 

In this clip, fans summed up their love for the off-road vehicle in one word... No doubt some of them will be excited by the news that a UK firm has plans afoot to produce a 4x4 in the spirit of the Defender.

In a word: Fans pay tribute to Land Rover Defender

Goldfish bosses

Declan Collier, head of London City Airport, shares the business advice he wishes he had been given when he started out.  

View more on twitter

The Co-op Bank in numbers

Co-op Bank
Getty Images

As we've been reporting this morning, the Co-op Bank has put itself up for sale after a tough few years.

However, as these stats show some parts of the business are doing better than others. Between 2013 - when a £1.5bn hole in its accounts almost sunk the bank - and 2016:

  • Customers fell from 4.7 million in 2013 to 4.1 million in 2016
  • Branches fell from 294 to 105
  • Current accounts - 1.5 million then, 1.4 million in 2016
  • Mortgage borrowers - 175,000 up to 225,000. 

Will the price of a pint go up?

So, the obvious question with many pubs facing a rise in business rates is: Will the cost of a pint go up? 

"Some will look at putting up prices but it's a highly competitive market out there and consumer confidence is still fragile," says Kate Nicholls of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers.

More likely is that some pubs will hire less, delay refurbishments, or even close outlets, she tells the BBC.

Why pubs and restaurants will be hit by rates rise

Man pulling pint
Getty Images

We reported earlier that pubs and restaurants could be among the worst affected by the recalculation of business rates this April. But why?

Kate Nicholls, of the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, says business rates are based on the value of a business' trading premises, and that property's earning potential. 

However, the system has not kept up with rise of e-commerce, which means firms can increase their profits without expanding their physical headquarters. Pubs and restaurants, of course, are "bricks and mortar" businesses that can't reap such benefits. 

"What's happening now is there is a see-saw effect: the government has decided to reduce rate-able values for certain sectors and we are picking up the slack."

Why did Dyson go for Singapore?

Sir James Dyson
Getty Images

Sir James Dyson, a prominent Brexit supporter, said his firm chose to open a dedicated research centre in Singapore - its first outside the UK - partly because there were far more engineers available to hire.

"In Singapore 40% of all graduates are engineers and scientists. In England it’s 4%," he told BBC Asia business reporter Simon Atkinson.

Dyson founder plays down US trade threats

From one UK manufacturer to another...

Simon Atkinson

Asia Business Reporter

Sir James Dyson (right) at launch of Dyson hairdryer
Getty Images

Dyson founder Sir James Dyson has told the BBC he would be "surprised" if the US administration made it harder for firms like his to sell into America.

The US is a big market for the firm's vacuum cleaners, air purifiers and hairdryers - though they are all imported from its factories in Asia.

President Donald Trump has been calling for more manufacturers to make things in the States - and threatened higher tariffs. 

But speaking at the launch of Dyson's new research and development centre in Singapore, Sir James told me: "I believe in free trade. I would be surprised if the Americans put up barriers because they believe in free trade as well, so I very much hope they stick to that. 

"There are inequalities in world trade, and I suspect the rhetoric is trying to deal with that. It's aimed more at that rather than America becoming protectionist."