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Live Reporting

Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

  1. Post update

    That's all from the first business livepage of the week. Please join us again tomorrow at the usual time of 6am.

  2. Dow falls 177 points

    Wall Street pulled back from record highs on Monday with the S&P 500 marking its biggest one-day percentage decline in about five months.

    Heavyweight stock Apple cast a cloud over the US markets, falling 2% on reports that it may have to cut production of its latest iPhone.

    At the close, the Dow Jones was down 177.23 points, or 0.67%, at 26,439.4 points, and the S&P 500 lost 19.34 points, or 0.67%, to 2,853.5.

    The Nasdaq dropped 39.27 points, or 0.52%, to 7,466.5.

  3. Trust - the challenge facing developers of driverless cars

    Start button on self-driving car

    Two-thirds of Americans are uncomfortable about the idea of riding in self-driving cars, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.

    The survey underlines one of many challenges for companies spending billions of dollars on the development of autonomous vehicles.

    While 27% of respondents said they would feel comfortable riding in a driverless car, poll data indicated that most people were far more trusting of humans than robots and artificial intelligence under a variety of scenarios.

    The Reuters/Ipsos poll found a wide disparity of opinion by gender and age, with men generally more comfortable than women about using self-driving vehicles and millennials more comfortable than baby boomers.

  4. Banks fined

    US Department of Justice building

    US authorities have announced fines and charges against three European banks and eight individuals accused of manipulating futures markets for precious metals.

    Deutsche Bank, UBS and HSBC will together pay a total of $46.6m to settle allegations that traders at the banks worked to manipulate futures markets in precious metals through a process known as "spoofing," the Justice Department and Commodity Futures Trading Commission said.

    Seven former traders also face charges of "spoofing" - in which traders place and then abort trades to manipulate prices - on markets for various precious metals including gold and silver between early 2008 and about 2014.

  5. Miami stadium plans underway

    David Beckham

    More on David Beckham's football franchise...

    The price paid for the franchise rights is unclear. The owners of the Los Angeles FC team, which joins the US league in March, reportedly paid $100m.

    As well as buying the rights, the Miami consortium will have to build a stadium.

    Over the many years the Beckham group has tried to win a franchise, it had two different plans for waterside stadium venues defeated and was unable to secure a deal for a third location close to the Miami Marlins baseball arena.

    The latest proposed site is in the Overtown neighbourhood of Miami where the group has purchased six acres of land and has an agreement for three more acres after a deal with Miami Dade County authorities.

    That plan has also faced local opposition, including a legal challenge from businessman Bruce Matheson, and must still gain zoning approval, but Beckham said there was no doubt the Overtown site was the one his team will call home.

    "This is our site," Beckham said. "This is a site we have paid for. This is a site we plan on using."

  6. Beckham's Miami football franchise approved

    David Beckham

    Footballler David Beckham's long wait for a Major League Soccer franchise in Miami is over.

    MLS commissioner Don Garber announced on Monday that Miami would become the league's 24th city, awarding the franchise to a group headed by Beckham.

    The backers also include his manager Simon Fuller, the entertainment entrepreneur, Marcelo Claure, chief executive of telecoms company Sprint, Masayoshi Sun, founder of Softbank, and Jorge and Jose Mas, the duo behind telecoms and construction group MasTec.

    Beckham has been working on bringing a team to Miami for several years, and admitted during Monday's announcement there were times when he thought the idea might not work.

    "It was difficult at times," he said. "There were times when we sat back and said, 'This is not going to happen, this dream is not going to happen'."

    Read more here.

  7. Cash offer 'to silence pension complaint'

    Stephen Sefton, a driving instructor

    A man whose pension savings went into unregulated funds has told the BBC he was offered £6,000 by his financial adviser not to raise concerns with the authorities.

    Stephen Sefton, from Milton Keynes, found out his adviser is not authorised to deal with pension transfers.

    He was asked not to communicate with journalists, regulators and the national fraud reporting centre, Action Fraud, in return for the money.

  8. Argentina: austerity drive continues

    Daniel Gallas

    BBC South America business correspondent

    Mauricio Macri

    Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri (above) said on Monday that his government will freeze salaries in the executive branch this year and cut one in every four jobs held by political appointees.

    The government is hoping to axe 1,000 jobs and save over $70m per year as part of Macri’s austerity drive.

    Argentina has one of the highest inflation rates among G20 economies. Mr. Macri has been implementing austerity reforms widely regarded as pro-business.

    The government has been facing opposition from trade unions in its proposal to reform pensions and labour markets.

  9. Cost of British passport to increase

    A British passport and money

    The cost of a child's passport is increasing by 27% for applications made by post.

    From April, it will go up from £46 to £58.50 for anyone under the age of 16.

    For adults who make postal applications a passport will cost £85, up from £72.50 - a 17% rise.

    The cost of online applications is also increasing, but by significantly less. They will go up by £3, to £49 and £75.50 for children and adults respectively.

    Read more here.

  10. VMWare shares plunge on Dell reverse-merger report


    Shares in the virtual software maker VMware plunged 12% on reports that Dell is considering a massive "reverse-merger".

    Dell Technologies, which has been privately-owned since 2013, currently owns 80% of VMware.

    The reverse merger would enable VMware to buy Dell, and thus Dell could once again be publicly traded without going through a formal listing, according to a CNBC report.

    The Dow Jones is currently down 0.31%, or 83 points, to 26,533.85, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq is slightly lower, slipping 0.13%, or 10 points, to 7495.80.

  11. Ford to start bus services in London

    Chariot minibus

    US car giant Ford is to start running a minibus service in London after winning approval to operate on an initial four routes.

    Under the trial Ford's Chariot service will be able to operate its pre-bookable only services in Britain's capital city for a year on three routes and nine months on the fourth route.

    The US carmaker already operates its bus service in US cities such as San Francisco and Seattle, allowing passengers to book seats for journeys generally between transport hubs and to and from park and ride facilities for the last mile of a trip.

    The firm's proposed routes in London include areas south of the River Thames which are not close to underground stations including near the Battersea Power Station redevelopment, according to Transport for London's website.

  12. Sky Bet to list on stock market - reports

    Sky Bet logo

    Sky Bet is being prepared for a stock market listing that could value the online gambling firm at up to £3bn, according to reports.

    Reuters and the Financial Times say Sky Bet's majority owner CVC has hired investment bank Rothschild to examine a flotation. Broadcaster Sky owns 20% of Sky Bet.

    Plans for a listing come amid an expected clampdown on gambling machines in British betting shops that may make online-only firms like Sky Bet more attractive.

    CVC bought an 80% stake in the betting business from pay-television operator Sky just over three years ago in a deal that at the time valued it at £800m.

    Sky is itself the target of a £11.7bn takeover by Twenty-First Century Fox.

    The FT said CVC and Sky Bet declined to comment.

  13. Fines for firms with poor cyber-security

    Padlock symbol on computer

    Companies that fail to protect themselves effectively from cyber-attacks will face fines of up to £17m, the government has announced.

    Energy, transport, water and health companies are expected to have "the most robust safeguards".

    Regulators will be able to inspect cyber-security at such companies, under a new government directive.

    You can read more here.

  14. Nafta: US says progress being made

    America's Nafta trade negotiator has underlined reports that talks with Mexico and Canada about renegotiating the agreement are making progress.

    "We finally began to discuss the core issues, so this round was a step forward. But we are progressing very slowly," Robert Lighthizer, the US representative at the talks, told reporters.

    Earlier on Monday, Mexico said progress had been made during the sixth of seven planned rounds of talks.

    US President Donald Trump, who has described the 1994 pact as a disaster that has cost manufacturing jobs, frequently threatened to withdraw from the deal unless it was renegotiated.

  15. FTSE 100 finishes ahead - just

    FTSE 100 graph

    The FTSE 100 held its head above water to finish just 0.08% up at 7,671.5 points. Miners rose on the back of higher metals prices, with Glencore up 3.2% and Rio Tinto 2% ahead.

    Water group Severn Trent was the biggest fall on the blue chip index, down 2% after Goldman Sachs put a "sell" rating on the shares.

    The mid-cap FTSE 250 closed down 0.18% at 20,577.9 points.

  16. Nafta talks 'make progress'

    US flag in the foreground of the Ambassador Bridge between the US and Canada

    Mexico's Economy Minister Ildefonso Guajardo says that negotiators from the US, Canada and his country have made enough progress in the talks to revamp the Nafta trade deal to be able to conclude the negotiations soon.

    "For the next round, we will still have substantial challenges to overcome. Yet the progress made so far puts us on the right track to create landing zones to conclude the negotiation soon," said Guajardo said on Monday.

    US President Donald Trump is an outspoken critic of Nafta, and initiated a renegotiation of the three-way trade deal in May.

  17. East succumbs to funding squeeze

    Earlier this afternoon, it was announced that the owner of the Joe Bloggs and Gabacci brands had gone into administration.

    Now womenswear retailer East Lifestyle has also entered administration, with the appointed of FRP Advisory to take over the running of the firm.

    East opened its doors in London in 1994 and operates 34 stores and 15 concessions, employing 314 staff across the UK. The retailer will continue to trade while the administrators assess options for the sale of all or parts of the business.

    Joint administrator Geoff Rowley said: "Unfortunately East is the latest high street casualty following a tough trading period at the end of last year.

    "The retailer was making progress to expand its footprint, particularly looking at international opportunities, however it has been unable to secure the necessary funding to realise those plans."

  18. Avon set for a ding-dong with investors

    Two Avon ladies

    A group of activist investors has been calling cosmetics group Avon (that will probably mean more to our older readers).

    Barington Capital, Shah Capital and NuOrion Partners, which own a combined 3.5% of the company, want Avon to put itself up for sale.

    The investors think Avon would be worth more if it split itself up, writing in a letter to the board: “We are extremely disappointed by the company’s deteriorating operating and share price performance that has occurred under your stewardship.”

    It sent Avon's share price rising 5% at the start of trading on Wall Street.

    There's no response yet from the company.