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Summary

  1. FTSE 100 ends flat
  2. Euro eases after Macron victory
  3. Macron adviser gives softer line on Brexit
  4. UK house prices stagnate - Halifax
  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 another day on Business Live. 

Thank you for staying with us. 

Do join us tomorrow from 6am for all the latest financial news, reaction and analysis.

Time to chill

Joe Biden holding two ice creams
Getty Images

Joe Biden says it himself - he's a massive fan of ice cream - apparently chocolate chip is his favourite.

In fact the former US V-P's love of the dairy treat has become a bit of a thing with internet memes springing up on the topic.

So Cornell University - which happens to have its very own dairy processing plant - is creating a flavour in his honour for when he comes to visit at the end of this month.

But what to call it?

Shortlisted names include: Bits n’ Biden; Big Red, White & Biden; and Not Your Average Joe’s Chocolate Chip.

Apparently they've already made 90 gallons of it. But will it be enough?

Bag your share

Two companies did see their shares boosted today though after Coach announced it was taking over younger rival Kate Spade.

Coach shares were nearly 5% higher and Kate Spade shares were up 8%.

US markets take it easy

The share markets haven't been overly impressed by Macron's win, or by anything else today.

It was news as expected.

At the close the Dow Jones was 5 points higher, or 0.02%, at 21,011.94.

The S&P 500 was flat at 2,399.37 

And the Nasdaq Composite added 1.9 points, or 0.03% to end the day at 6,102.66.

Coach and Spade

Kate Spade bags
Getty Images

Will the tie up between smart bagmakers Coach and Kate Spade work?

Richard Kestenbaum, of Triangle Capital, (a bit of an expert in the field of mergers in the retail sector) explores the topic for Fortune magazine. And he's not convinced. 

He reckons while both firms are doing well, both are also mature businesses and may not have enough room for growth once combined.

"Both brands are legacy brands and this is a questionable time for brands that have been long established in a bricks and mortar world. And it’s not clear that as consumers change they will come along with the brands they previously liked," he writes.

Full stream ahead

Ed Sheeran
Getty Images
Some of it can be explained by the success of this man

Warner Music Group says streaming has helped digital revenues jump by more than fifth in the first quarter.

Steve Cooper, Warner Music chief executive, says streaming revenue is now double that of physical sales and triple that of downloads.

Read more here.

Kushner family apologises

Kushner Companies logo
Reuters

A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, has apologised for mentioning him at a Chinese conference.

Nicole Kushner Meyer used her brother's name while promoting an investment-for-visas scheme in Beijing and Shanghai.

Critics were quick to accuse the family business of playing up its connection to the White House at the event.

But the company said on Monday the comments were misconstrued and Ms Meyer was only pointing out he had left the firm. Read more here

What migration targets mean for business

BBC business editor tweets

Prime Minister Theresa May has insisted that leaving the European Union will help the UK reduce net migration to "tens of thousands" a year. 

The commitment is set to form part of the Conservatives' General Election manifesto, even though the party has failed to reach the target while in Government.

Coming up on BBC News at Ten - companies react to the pledge ... 

View more on twitter

Oil ahead on hope supply curbs will be extended

Intraday Brent Crude price 8 May 2017
BBC

Let's quickly check in on the oil price now - and a barrel of Brent Crude is ahead of the previous close at $49.3, that's up 0.6%.

A barrel of West Texas Intermediate is at $46.44, a rise of 0.5%. 

It's been a bit of an up and down day for oil but the markets are still hoping that Opec members will extend their supply curbs.

However, Eugen Weinberg, head of commodity research at Commerzbank said: "The market is getting tired of hearing from OPEC how good they are, how compliant (with supply curbs) they are and especially how all their projections for inventories falling seemed to be moved into the future."

Those claims do no withstand the reality check with the inventories staying stubbornly high and non-OPEC production rising strongly," he added.

Germany needs 'to help' France

Emmanuel Macron (R) and Francois Hollande (L)
AFP

The German foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, said it was a relief that Emmanuel Macron had won in the French election. But he warned other countries, including Germany, needed to help the new president realise his reforms. 

He ( Mr Macron) needs to have success now otherwise the next president after him might be Marine LePen. Macron wants reforms, so he needs time to reduce the deficit. If at the same time he destroys growth and jobs he will lose. That's why I say that Germany has to stop treating France like a student. We need to help and we need German-French investment projects and we have to make sure that the eurozone finally is doing more against unemployment.

Sigmar Gabriel

US TV sector consolidates

Sinclair logo
Getty Images

The number of companies that own US television stations is about to get smaller.  

Sinclair Broadcast Group, which operates hundreds of local channels, said on Monday it would buy a smaller rival in a stock deal valued at $3.9bn.  

The deal for Chicago-based Tribune Media would create a company with 233 local television stations in 108 markets, if approved by regulators.  

Sinclair, based in Maryland, is known for its conservative editorial stance. In April, the company announced it was hiring a former special assistant to US President Donald Trump.

Tribune Media owns or operates 42 television stations in 33 markets. Until 2014, it was part of a larger company that included newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times.  

The US Federal Communications Commission recently loosened rules governing local television station ownership and consolidation.

Sinclair said it expects the purchase to go through by the end of the year.

French labour laws set for shake-up?

BBC World Service

View more on twitter

World Business Report talked to Sophie Pedder, Paris bureau chief of The Economist and Pierre Gattaz, president of the French employers' organisation MEDEF.

New rules spark rise in safety fines

Building site from above
Getty Images

The amount UK firms paid out in health and safety fines rose sharply last year following the introduction of tougher rules, new research has found.

Law firm BLM said there were 292 fines issued during the year, with more than £61m paid out in total - a 148% rise since 2015.

The average cost of a fine rose from £69,500 to £211,000.

BLM partner Helen Devery said strong safety processes were vital for businesses "big or small". Read more here

Directory enquiries costs 'should be given up front'

BBC Radio 5 live

Man waring telephone headset
Getty Images

Telecoms regulator Ofcom says it is "very concerned" about the rising cost of calling directory enquiries and plans to examine the situation.

One popular enquiry service - 118 118 - recently increased its prices to a minimum of £8.98.

In a previous enquiry the watchdog decided against imposing a stipulated price cap on such charges, but it could now review that decision.

The head of the Fair Telecoms Campaign, David Hickson, told 5live that simple services which just supply a number and location are available much cheaper, but people don't know about them and no-one has quality checked them

Higher priced lines offer "bells and whistles", for example texting customers the number. 

He said that's OK if people are willing to pay, but for the basic function of looking up a number people should be able to do it a lot cheaper. 

The Fair Telecoms Campaign is calling for firms to warn about the costs at start of call.

"Being told what you're paying after you're paying isn't really much good, is it?" he said. 

Older people without smartphones are the most vulnerable.

The Campaign wants an investigation into people "trapped into calling these numbers in all sorts of devious ways". 

Euro fails to sustain rally

The euro was down against the dollar on Monday at $1.0926, a fall of 0.66%.

It was also down against the pound at £0.8450, that's 0.27% lower.  

Overnight the euro hit a six month high against the dollar - above $1.10 - as Emmanuel Macron's won the election. However, it didn't sustain the rally.

Sterling down against dollar, up against euro

Sterling, dollars and euros
Getty Images

The pound was down slightly against the US dollar at 1.2937, a fall of 0.35%

Meanwhile, it was up against the  euro at 1.1838 euros, a rise of 0.3%.

The pound has risen more than 3% against the dollar since Prime Minister Theresa May called a surprise general election three weeks ago. The gains were prompted by hopes among investors that a strong win for the Conservatives would give Mrs May more leeway in Brexit negotiations. 

However, the gains have stalled over the past week amid concern about how the UK economy will cope post-Brexit. 

"There is no reason for the pound to really gain at the moment, because every time it does you have to stop and say that the risks ahead are still tremendous," said Esther Reichelt, a strategist with Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

"If you look at pricing, the market is remarkably calm with regard to the election. That ignores that a lot of the risk is with the EU and that it may be hard for May to achieve a lot of what she is promising."

Later this week the Bank of England' Monetary Policy Committee will meet to make its latest decision on interest rates.

Kolkata nightclubs must breathalyse customers

BBC World Service

Police in the Indian city of Kolkata have told nightclubs that, if they want to have a liquor licence beyond midnight, they must agree to breathalyse their customers when they leave - and make arrangements for them to be driven home if they've had too much to drink, reports BBC World Service. 

The order was given during a meeting between the city police and leading bars and restaurants who often apply for late night licences. 

Drink-driving is causing growing concern in India. Last month, it introduced a nationwide ban on selling alcohol within five-hundred metres of main roads.  

ChemChina and Sinochem in merger deal?

ChemChina office
Getty Images

ChemChina and Sinochem are planning to merge next year in a move which would create the biggest chemicals group in the world, the Financial Times reports, quoting "several senior bankers in Asia".  

The paper says the new group would have revenues of $100bn (£77bn). 

ChemChina is already set to take over Swiss agrochemicals company Syngenta.

The FT says the merger of ChemChina and Sinochem will ensure ChemChina has enough financial muscle to absorb Sygnenta. 

Cac down nearly 1%

In Paris, the Cac 40 closed down on the day at 5,382.95, a fall of 49 points or 0.91%. 

At the start of trading the Cac had hit a nine year high following Emmanuel Macron's election victory.

The Cac had been doing well since Mr Macron won the first round of voting two weeks ago. 

Analysts say investors are now asking whether Mr Macron can push through his economic proposals. 

FTSE 100 edges up - just

LSE sign
Getty Images

The FTSE 100 was little changed at close of play on Monday. It edged up by just 3 points or 0.05% to 7,300.86 on the day.

One third 'feel poorer' than in 2015

Sterling notes and coins
Getty Images

Most consumers think the main political parties and their leaders don't understand their financial worries. 

More than half don't believe the next government will be able to introduce measures to improve their financial situation, according to price comparison website, comparethemarket.com’s consumer manifesto. 

More than 6,000 adults were polled for the company's research which also found that 34% of people feel worse off compared to the last election in May 2015. 

Most - 87% - blame policies implemented by the current government, for feeling poorer. 

Thirty one per cent of respondents thought Theresa May understood the financial concerns of ordinary people "well", while 28% thought Jeremy Corbyn did. 

Banks ramp up relocation plans

Canary Wharf
Getty Images

The biggest banks in London plan to move about 9,000 jobs to the continent in the next two years, according to Reuters, which has added up figures from public statements and other sources.

Thirteen major banks including Goldman Sachs, UBS, and Citigroup have given an indication of how they would bulk up their operations in Europe to secure market access to the European Union's single market when Britain leaves the bloc. 

Talks with financial authorities in Europe have been underway for several months, but banks are increasingly firming up plans to move staff and operations. 

"It's full speed ahead. We are in full motion with our contingency planning," said the head of investment banking at one global bank in London. "There's no waiting."

Although 9,000 sounds like a lot of jobs, it's still only about 2% of the number employed in the financial sector in the capital.

More from Reuters here.

The heat is on Centrica

The Financial Times energy correspondent, Nathalie Thomas, is at British Gas owner Centrica's AGM this afternoon. 

The government proposal to cap energy prices is way up the agenda, with the company warning it could lead to higher bills for consumers and reduce competition.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Zero hours workers 'losing out'

Warehouse
Getty Images

Thousands of workers on zero hours contracts miss out on paid holiday because they are lied to or do not know their rights, it has been claimed.

Citizens Advice says that half of those on a zero hours basis - more than 900,000 people - are not aware of their holiday benefits.

The charity said bosses are either ignorant of workers' rights, or are "deliberately flouting the law".

It is calling on the next government to step in to help protect workers. Read more here

Can Macron push through policies?

Emmanuel Macron
EPA

The US open did little to change the mood this Monday, trading defined by the non-existent relief rally that greeted Macron’s presidential victory in France. Continuing this morning’s trend, the CAC was the day’s worst performer, falling more than half a percent as investors reassess the French political and economic landscape. While there is no doubt the market is pleased with the election result – no-one wanted Le Pen to be added to the toxic Trump/Brexit stew – the difficulties Macron faces means that, like the thin-skinned US president, he may face an uphill battle to push through his policies.

Connor CampbellFinancial analyst, Spreadex

PPG to 'review' AkzoNobel's rejection

Dulux dog with pot of paint
PA

More from PPG's response to Dulux owner AkzoNobel's rejection of its takeover offer ...

PPG said its proposal "represents a 50% premium over AkzoNobel’s unaffected stock price and 24% premium to its stock price after the announcement of its standalone plan. 

"The failure of the AkzoNobel Boards to engage with PPG to fully evaluate and discuss PPG’s proposal reflects a continued lack of proper governance, and is another attempt to avoid a true comparison on stakeholder impacts of PPG’s proposal versus AkzoNobel’s standalone plan.

"PPG will review the full details of AkzoNobel’s response issued today."

PPG 'disappointed' at AkzoNobel rejection

AkzoNobel logo
AkzoNobel

Dulux paint owner AkzoNobel has said it has turned down a third takeover bid from US rival PPG (see earlier post). 

Now PPG has responded saying it is "disappointed that AkzoNobel has once again refused to enter into a negotiation regarding a combination of the two companies, ignoring the best interests of its stakeholders, including long-term shareholders who overwhelmingly support engagement. 

"PPG continues to believe its proposal is vastly superior in shareholder value creation and provides more certainty to employees and pensioners than AkzoNobel’s recently announced new standalone plan."

Wall Street edges down at open

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

Shares on Wall Street were pretty flat at the open on Monday 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 24 points or 0.11% at  20,983.14, the S&P 500 was at 2,397.28, a fall of 2 points or 0.08%,and the tech-heavy Nasdaq  was at 6,095.87, down 5 points or 0.08%.

Mining shares take a hit

Shares in mining companies are among the biggest losers on the FTSE 100. 

Antofagasta is down 3%, Glencore down 2.5%, Anglo American down 2.3% and BHP Billiton down 2.1%.

It seems data out of China is to blame. 

Mining stocks are weighing on an otherwise positive stock market performance as Chinese import and export figures slowed more than expected. The data showed particular weakness in imports of copper and iron ore, sending the likes of copper specialist Antofagasta and iron ore giant Rio Tinto down 2.3% and 1.8% respectively

George SalmonEquity analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown

FTSE 100 boosted by energy sector

The FTSE 100 is still ahead in early afternoon trading - it's at 7,315.55, a rise of 18 points or 0.25%.

Energy firms were among the biggest gainers because of the increase in the oil price, which picked at the prospect of an extension to an OPEC-led production cut. 

SSE was up 2.6%, British Gas-owner Centrica up 2.3% and United Utilities up 2.2%. 

How much support does Macron have?

He's won the presidential race, but how much real support does Emmanuel Macron have? 

Olivier Tonneau - lecturer in modern languages at Homerton College Cambridge - explains why he thinks the new French president will face considerable opposition.

'Crack down on 118 firms'

BBC Radio 5 live

Martin Lewis
BBC

Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert, says new rules are needed to "rein in" the rising cost of calling directory enquiries.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom has said it's "very concerned" with the market.

"This needs to be cracked down upon. We need new regulation," Mr Lewis said on Radio 5 live. 

The market was opened up in 2003, with commercial firms - whose numbers start with 118 -replacing the old 192 and 153 directory inquiry services.

But it's been a "truly failed deregulation market", Mr Lewis said. People on the internet don't use the numbers, whereas those that do tend to be "some of society's most vulnerable people", he said.

Etihad executive changes

Etihad aircraft
Etihad

Etihad Airways has appointed temporary replacements for its long-serving president and chief executive James Hogan and chief financial officer James Rigney, who are to leave on 1 July. 

The company, which had announced in January only that the two Australians would leaving some time in the second half of the year, said it had appointed insiders Ray Gammell as interim group chief executive and Ricky Thirion as interim group financial officer. 

The temporary replacements come less than a week after Italy's Alitalia, 49%-owned by Etihad, filed for special administration for the second time in less than a decade after workers rejected its latest rescue plan. 

      

What is the pensions triple-lock?

Reality Check

Labour and the Lib Dems have pledged to keep the pensions triple-lock if they win the general election, while the Tories are considering their position. 

According to BBC Reality Check, pensioners would be worse off in the long-run without the current protection on state pensions. 

Steph McGovern explains who the winners and losers are from the policy.    

High cost of 118 calls under fire

A Phone
Getty Images

Telecoms regulator Ofcom says it is "very concerned" about the rising cost of calling directory enquiries and plans to examine the situation.

One popular enquiry service - 118 118 - recently increased its prices to a minimum of £8.98.

But Ofcom says some firms charge even more than that - up to £10.50 a call.

In a previous enquiry the watchdog decided against imposing a price cap on such charges, but it could now review that decision.

Operators charge a flat-rate connection fee, which Ofcom says is "typically up to £7".

Read more here.

Oil price flat

Oil pumps in the US
Getty Images

The oil price seems to have steadied after last week's 10% tumble. The Brent crude price is hovering just above $49 a barrel, about 0.1% up. Comments from Russia and Saudi Arabia - the world's two biggest oil producers - that they want to extend production cuts appears to have helped.

Opec members agreed in November to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day for six months beginning from the start of the year in a bid to shore up prices.

The move was also partly matched by non-cartel producers led by Russia and the critical question is whether Opec will extend the deal for another six months or even beyond at its next meeting on 25 May.