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Live Reporting

Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    Thanks for joining us on Business Live today.

    We'll be back tomorrow at 6.00am sharp.

  2. Aid stagnates

    Rohingya Muslims gather behind Myanmar"s border

    Rich nations spent more on helping poor countries last year but less on refugees at home, leading to stagnation in overall aid expenditure, according to the Organisation for Cooperation and Development.

    Figures released on Monday showed that official development assistance was $146.6bn, down 0.6% on 2016. The slight decrease was due mainly to a near 14% drop in the amount spent on hosting and processing migrants and refugees in rich countries, which cost a total of $14.2bn in 2017, the Paris-based think tank said.

    ODA excluding refugee costs rose about 1%. Bilateral aid to the world's poorest countries climbed 4% to $26bn after years of decline, while humanitarian aid rose by 6.1% to $15.5bn.

    Only five of the 29 members of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee - Denmark, Luxembourg, Norway, Sweden and Britain - met the United Nations' target of spending 0.7% of national income on development aid.

  3. US stocks finish higher

    Wall Street sign

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 48.68 points at 23,981.44.

    The S&P 500 ended up 23.52 points at 2,627.99.

    The Nasdaq finished 35.23 points ahead at 6,950.34.

  4. BreakingFBI raids office of Trump lawyer Michael Cohen

    The New York Times is reporting that the FBI has raided the office of Michael Cohen, a lawyer for US President Donald Trump.

  5. Sound and fury

    US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping
    Image caption: US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping

    With US stock markets whipsawing, it is hard to predict which way shares will move next as America and China continue their war of words over trade.

    But with Chinese President Xi Jinping set to give a speech on Tuesday, does that mean there will be a resolution soon?

    "This is not going to happen tomorrow,” says Marshall Gittler, chief strategist at ACLS Global. “And given the mercurial nature of the US administration, the whole issue could well disappear before anything really happens.”

    He adds: "Many market participants may be starting to think that this is just a lot of sound and fury, signifying nothing in the end. But ... you never know, US trade policy is in the hands of someone totally unpredictable."

  6. 'Killer robot' boycott ends

    Killer robot poster
    Image caption: The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots met at the United Nations

    More than 50 artificial intelligence researchers have ended a boycott of KAIST, one of South Korea's top universities, after it agreed not to develop "killer robots" under a partnership with a defence company.

    KAIST and Hanwha Systems, one of two South Korean makers of cluster munitions, launched their defence and artificial intelligence project in February.

    The researchers, based in 30 countries, said last week that they would refrain from visiting KAIST, hosting visitors from the university, or cooperating with its research programmes until it promised not to develop AI weapons without "meaningful human control".

    KAIST said no such weapons would be made.

    Boycott organiser Toby Walsh, a professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, said the boycott was being rescinded given KAIST's "swift and clear commitment to the responsible use of artificial intelligence in the development of weapons".

    Representatives from more than 120 UN countries met in Geneva on Monday to debate the challenges posed by lethal autonomous weapons, dubbed "killer robots" by critics.

  7. Wall Street update

    Trader at the NYSE

    Wall Street's major indexes remain well above 1%, as technology stocks jump and a softer stance by US policymakers on China tariffs powered a rebound from last week's sell-off.

    Ten of the 11 major S&P sectors were higher, and 29 of the 30 Dow components were in positive territory. Goldman Sachs was the biggest boost to the Dow, while gains in Apple shares led the S&P 500.

    With about 30 minutes left of the trading day, the Dow was up 1.47%, while the S&P was 1.49% ahead. The Nasdaq added 1.66%.

  8. Rouble suffers

    The Russian rouble hit its weakest level against the US dollar since late 2017 after Washington imposed sanctions on companies and individuals. The rouble fell as much as 4%, before easing back to about 3.8% lower.

  9. China releases number of Tesla recalls

    Model S

    China's quality watchdog says that Tesla will recall 8,898 Model S vehicles in the country as part of a broader, global recall announced last month.

    Tesla said on 29 March that it would voluntarily recall about 123,000 Model S sedans built before April 2016 and sold globally in order to replace bolts in the power steering component.

    The company said in its original announcement that the bolts could corrode in very cold climates. A failure would result in a loss of power steering assist, the company said.

  10. US budget deficit to balloon on tax cuts

    The US budget deficit will balloon over the next few years mainly because of deep tax cuts approved in December by Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office says.

    Despite stronger-than-predicted economic growth ahead, the CBO said the deficit will grow to $804bn in fiscal 2018, which ends on 30 September, up from $665bn in fiscal 2017.

    The deficit is how much Washington's spending exceeds its revenues. The CBO forecast 3.3% growth in 2018 in gross domestic product, a broad measure of the economy, and 2.4% GDP growth in 2019.

    In the next few years, deficits will "grow substantially" before stabilising in 2023, resulting in a projected cumulative deficit of $11.7tn for 2018-2027, the CBO said.

  11. US clears Monsanto-Bayer deal?

    Shares in Monsanto have surged 7% in minutes after the Wall Street Journal reported that the US Justice Department has approved in principle Bayer's acquisition of the chemicals giant. The WSJ, citing unnamed sources, said the clearance was given after the companies agreed competition concessions.

  12. How much would a trade war hurt?

    A general view of at the Yangshan Deep-Water Port, an automated cargo wharf, in Shanghai on April 9, 2018

    A full-blown trade war will damage global growth - and the risk of that scenario is rising.

    That's the warning today from two of the biggest credit ratings agencies, Fitch and Moody's.

    They think the dispute between the US and China is still likely to be resolved through negotiations. That's in part due to the costs anticipated.

    Fitch thinks the proposed tariffs - in which each country has threatened to impose tariffs on at least $50bn worth of the other's imports - would shave 0.2% of US GDP, and 0.3% off of China's.

    Moody's projects a 0.26% hit to US GDP and 0.45% to China's.

    A slowdown in the world's two biggest economies could pinch other places too.

    Fitch names the Eurozone, Japan and the UK as countries likely to be affected. Moody's also identifies South Korea, Vietnam and Taiwan.

  13. Listen: 'Putin's favourite industrialist'

    Video content

    Video caption: The Russian billionaire has been described as President Putin's favourite industrialist

    US sanctions have been placed on Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and his company Rusal. But just who exactly is the man they're targeting?

    Mr Deripaska has been described as President Putin's favourite Industrialist. Eric Reguly is European bureau chief for Canada's Globe and Mail. He has met Mr Derispaska several times and told the BBC's Susannah Streeter of his impressions of the businessman.

  14. Investors return to Facebook

    Mark Zuckerberg's fulsome apology earlier for the Facebook data crisis seems to have eased some investor concerns. Shares in the social media giant are up 1.8%. That said, tech stocks generally are higher today on Wall Street.

  15. Asia demand boosts LVMH

    LVMH fashion show

    Louis Vuitton owner LVMH has posted a better-than-expected rise in first quarter sales, pointing to undiminished appetite from Chinese consumers that should boost luxury goods rivals too.

    Paris-based LVMH, the industry's biggest company and parent to labels such as Christian Dior and champagne house Moet & Chandon, benefited like many peers from a rebound in Asian demand last year and a growing following from younger shoppers.

    LVMH's revenue across all sectors, including perfume and watches, reached €10.85bn, up 13% from a year earlier on a like-for-like basis, which strips out currency swings and sales and acquisitions. Analysts had expected growth of closer to 9%.

  16. Sterling strengthens

    Sterling climbed against the dollar and the euro, boosted by data showing British house prices rose more than expected in March and after the greenback slipped to a six-day low.

    Economists expect the Bank of England to raise interest rates in May to help curb inflation, which has risen above target since Britain's vote to leave the European Union in 2016 sent sterling plummeting.

    That assumption, along with a weak dollar and a transition deal Britain signed last month to cover a 21-month period after it leaves the bloc, have seen the pound claw back some of those losses.

    Sterling on Monday was on track for a third consecutive day of gains and changed hands as high as $1.4163, up 0.5%.

    Against the euro, the pound traded up 0.1% at 87.14 pence per euro after hitting a day's high of 86.98 pence.

  17. France's costly strikes

    SNCF sign

    France's state railways have lost around €100m since a series of strikes began on 3 April, the chairman of the SNCF rail service said on Monday.

    Labour unions show no sign of faltering in their test of President Emmanuel Macron's resolve to shake up the domestic rail monopoly and deliver a raft of reforms he says are vital to economic modernisation.

    Guillaume Pepy, the chief of SNCF, denounced the stoppages, which cut the number of high-speed TGV trains on Monday to one in five.

    Services fell to a third of normal in the Paris region, where two million commuters rely on trains each day.