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  1. Get in touch:
  2. FTSE 100 closes 0.2% down
  3. Pound falls below $1.27
  4. French shares rise after poll success for Macron's party
  5. General Electric's Jeff Immelt to retire
  6. World's oldest stamp firm - Stanley Gibbons - for sale

Live Reporting

By Russell Hotten

All times stated are UK

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It's bye, bye from the livepage for another day. We'll be back from 6am tomorrow.

Tech shares send Wall Street lower

Wall Street's stock markets closed down, with high-flying technology giants like Apple and Netflix suffering another bruising session that analysts attributed to profit taking.

Apple fell 2.5%, Amazon 1.4% and Netflix 4.2% - with all three companies having fallen on Friday.

The tech-rich Nasdaq fell 0.5% to 6,175.46 points. The Dow Jones lost 0.2% to close at 21,235.67, while the S&P 500 shed 0.1% to 2,429.39.

Energy shares again posted modest advances, after scoring strong gains on Friday. Other sectors, such as financials and consumer stocks, avoided big moves.

General Electric shot up 3.6% after announcing that GE Healthcare president John Flannery would be promoted to chief executive, replacing Jeff Immelt, the long-time chief who is retiring. The shift comes as GE faces pressure to cut costs.

France vows to cut nuclear power

EDF's Chooz nuclear plant
The nuclear reactor at EDF's Chooz plant in northern France is already in the final phases of being dismantled.

French environment and energy minister Nicolas Hulot said on Monday that the government plans to close some nuclear reactors of state-controlled utility EDF to reduce nuclear's share of the country's power mix.

Hulot told reporters at the G7 environment summit in the Italian city of Bologna that it was too early to give numbers about France's aim to reduce the share of nuclear in its power generation to 50% from the current 75%.

"We are going to close some nuclear reactors and it won't be just a symbolic move," he said.

GE must sell to get oil merger clearance

More on General Electric - although this time not about its new chief executive.

US antitrust regulators have said the company must to divest one of its units in order to win approval for the merger of its oil services business with Baker Hughes.

Without the sale, the proposed merger would threaten competition in the petroleum refining business where the two companies compete vigorously, the Justice Department said.

Both companies supply chemicals to prevent corrosion and damage to petroleum refinery equipment, and the department said the sale of the GE's water and process technologies business would resolve the competitiveness concerns and allow it to approve the deal with Baker Hughes.

"Today's action will ensure that oil and gas refiners continue to receive competitive prices," said acting assistant attorney general Andrew Finch of the antitrust division.

GE in October 2016 announced the proposed merger of its oil services business with Baker Hughes, the third biggest company in the sector after Schlumberger and Halliburton.

New GE boss promises review

John Flannery

The incoming boss of industrial giant General Electric has promised a swift review of the business.

John Flannery, who is taking over from long-serving Jeff Immelt, told Reuters: "I'm going to do a fast but deliberate, methodical review of the whole company. The board has encouraged me to come in and look at it afresh."

Investors have become impatient at GE's progress, and shares in maker of jet engines, power plants and medical scanners have fallen about 15% this year.

Wall Street update

Wall Street's main markets pared losses in late trading. With about 30 minutes to the close, the Dow Jones and S&P were about 0.2% down, while the Nasdaq was 0.6% lower.

Tech stocks were still big losers. Apple was down 3.4%, although other tech heavyweights Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft also were down.

At the same time, energy shares, which have had the biggest declines so far this year, added to gains made on Friday.

"You're seeing a rotation. You're seeing people not want to come out of the market. They're selling what's been a winner, rotating into what's been a loser because they want to stay in the market," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at Jones Trading in Connecticut.

Trump: another legal headache

Donald Trump
Getty Images

Here are the BBC's Anthony Zurcher's thoughts on the latest legal battle facing US president Donald Trump - the lawsuits over payments from foreign governments via his business empire.

"The constitutional challenges to Donald Trump's ongoing business ties as president just got some state-level muscle behind them.

"While the lawsuit by the District of Columbia and Maryland isn't the first attempt to force the president to more fully separate himself from his real-estate empire, the two governments bring a new level of legitimacy and resources.

"The first hurdle the states face is whether they have the proper legal grounds to file this case. Given that this is judicial terra incognita, there's no telling how the courts will react.

"There's never been a businessman-turned-president quite like Mr Trump, so there's never been a lawsuit quite like this one.

"If Maryland and DC are able to proceed, the case could turn out like many other Trump-related controversies, where the president's own words - and those of his associates - are used against him.

"While Mr Trump pledged to extricate himself from his day-to-day business operations, his son Eric has acknowledged he still gives his father regular financial updates. Senior adviser Kellyanne Conway also was recently reprimanded for praising daughter Ivanka's clothing line.

"Even in a best-case scenario for the president, this represents the latest in a growing list of legal headaches."

Trump sued over foreign payments

The outside of the Trump International Hotel

Officials in Maryland and Washington DC are suing Donald Trump for accepting payments from foreign governments via his business empire.

The lawsuit cites the US constitution's emoluments clause, which says no federal official should receive a gift or a fee from a foreign government.

The suit - which is the first of its kind filed by government entities - claims Mr Trump is "flagrantly violating the constitution".

The White House has denied the claims.

The attorneys general for the District of Columbia and Marlyand, Karl Racine and Brian Frosh, announced the lawsuit on Monday.

"Never in the history of this country have we had a president with these kinds of extensive business entanglements or a president who refused to adequately distance himself from their holdings," said Mr Racine.

AIB sale timetable begins

AIB cashpoint

Shares in Allied Irish Banks will be priced at between €3.90 and €4.90 when a 25% stake is floated in Dublin and London, valuing the state-owned lender at up to €13.3bn (£11.8bn), Ireland's finance ministry said in a statement.

The initial public offering is set to be one of Europe's largest share listings by a bank since the 2008 financial crisis. It could raise up to €3.8bn euros assuming full exercise of the offering's over-allotment option.

The Finance Ministry said the long long-awaited sale of a 25% stake in the state-owned lender was still on track despite the Conservative party losing its majority in the UK election on Thursday.

"Market conditions remain favourable and I am encouraged by the strong level of interest shown by investors in the offering to date," said Finance Minister Michael Noonan.

Dublin rescued the bank in a €21bn taxpayer bailout that began in early 2009.

Ineos plans £1.8bn investment

Private energy giant Ineos has announced plans to build a new European petrochemical production plant and boost capacity at plants in Scotland and Norway at a cost of about €2bn (£1.8bn).

The plans include a new propylene production unit, with sites in Belgium among locations being considered.

It also plans to increase the ethylene capacity of its crackers at Grangemouth in Scotland and Rafnes in Norway.

Both rely on fracked shale gas being shipped across to Europe from the US.

Ethylene and propylene are key building blocks in the manufacture of plastics.

Borough Market to reopen

Floral tributes at Borough Market
Getty Images

Borough Market, the scene of the London terror attack earlier this month is to reopen on Wednesday.

Donald Hyslop, chair of the Trustees of Borough Market, wrote: "Starting on Wednesday, every person who comes here will be making a difference.

"At 10am, we will link arms, pause for a moment of silent reflection, then ring the market bell loud and clear. And from that moment onwards we will need you more than ever."

Eight people were killed on 3 June when three attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and launched a knife attack in nearby Borough Market. The attackers were shot dead by officers.

US stock indexes still lower

Wall Street sign with several US flags behind
Getty Images

The three key US stock indexes are still down afternoon trade.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq has lost the most ground - it's at 6,156.74, a fall of 51 points or 0.82%, as tech stocks continue to take a battering (see earlier posts).

The Dow Jones is down 71 points or 0.33% at 21,200.78. Microsoft is 1.12% lower.

And the S&P 500 is at 2,423.38, down 8 points or 0.35%.

'Sin tax' doubles price of Saudi cigarettes

BBC World Service

Man smoking in Saudi Arabia
Getty Images

Saudi smokers are have seen the price of a pack of cigarettes double as the first tax measures are introduced in the Kingdom, reports BBC World Service. It's been described as the "sin tax", which applies not just to cigarettes but to fizzy drinks as well.

The tax is part of a wide-ranging plan, not just in Saudi Arabia but across Gulf states, to find ways to make up for a sharp drop in oil revenues.

For decades, Saudis have benefited from a tax-free system, helped, too, by big subsidies from the government. Local Saudi media is reporting that a number of businesses are being accused of hoarding ahead of the tax in order to make big profits when the prices doubled.

Qatar ships cargo via Oman

Containers being moved by crane

Qatar says it has begun shipping cargo through Oman to bypass restrictions imposed by other Gulf states.

Qatar Ports Management Company said direct services to Sohar and Salalah in Oman would operate three times a week.

Cargo for Qatar is usually shipped to ports in the United Arab Emirates and then loaded onto smaller vessels.

But last week the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt severed economic and diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging it supported terrorist groups and Iran.

Qatar has denied the charges and said the restrictions violate international law. Read more here

Watch: Brexit wish-list

What do businesses want from Brexit? Here are the views of the bosses of two leading British brands.

Uber: is another executive heading for the exit?

Travis Kalanick

The Uber rumour mill is back in top gear today, with plenty of media speculation that executive Emil Michael is to leave the tarnished taxi-hailing company.

Uber's board met on Sunday to consider recommendations from an investigation into sexual harassment and related issues led by the law firm of former US Attorney General Eric Holder.

Bloomberg and Reuters were among news agencies reporting that Michael, a close ally of Uber founder Travis Kalanick (above) will go.

There's even speculation that Kalanick himself is about to announce that he will be taking a leave of absence.

McDonald's to snap up 250,000 jobs

McDonald's sign

McDonald's says it will hire about 250,000 staff this summer to cater for the annual upsurge in burger buying during the season. And, with half the recruits expected to be aged between 16-24, the firm will use Snapchat as part of the application process. McDonald's has even coined a term: 'Snaplication' is about to enter the lexicon of the recruitment industry.

FTSE 100 edges lower

It was a pretty uneventful day on the FTSE 100. Apart from a brief spike into positive territory in the early afternoon, the index remained just in the red from the start of trading.

The index ended down 0.2% at 7,511.9 points, led by Johnson Matthey, up 2%. Miners were among the main losers, with Fresnillo down 4.8%.

The FTSE 250 closed 0.44% lower at 19,682.7.

German grocers battle it out Stateside

Chris Johnston

Business reporter, BBC News

An Aldi store in Alexandria, Virginia
Getty Images
An Aldi store in Alexandria, Virginia

The battle of the German grocers is about to erupt on a new front. Lidl is preparing to open its first US stores this week, which has prompted rival Aldi to announce a big expansion plan across the pond.

Aldi already has 1,600 stores in the US but wants to boost that number to 2,500 by 2022, which would make it the third-largest grocery chain.

"We're growing at a time when other retailers are struggling," says Aldi boss Jason Hart.

The chain also plans to revamp 1,300 existing stores at a cost of $1.6bn over the next three years.

A long game

xbox logo

The US Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Microsoft in its bid to fend off class action claims by Xbox 360 owners who said the videogame console gouges discs because of a design defect.

The court, in a 8-0 ruling, overturned a 2015 decision by a Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed console owners to appeal the dismissal of their class action lawsuit by a federal judge in Seattle in 2012.

The Xbox console owners filed a proposed class action against Microsoft in a federal court in 2011.

The Supreme Court said plaintiffs will have to litigate their claims individually.

GE shares jump

Investors seem to like the changing of the guard at General Electric. Shares in the industrial giant - down about 15% this year - are up 4% on news that longtime chief executive Jeff Immelt is to leave. He's being replaced by John Flannery, current head of GE Healthcare.

What goes up is coming down

The recent record run for tech stocks on the Nasdaq index is certainly coming to a halt. After falling last week, the Nasdaq was down more than 1% about an hour into Wall Street trading.

Traders says profit-taking is a factor, but another broker downgrade for Apple hasn't helped sentiment.

Mizuho Securities cut its rating on the iPhone maker to "neutral" from "buy," and reduced its price target to $150 from $160 per share.

"The stock has meaningfully outperformed on a year-to-date basis and we believe enthusiasm around the upcoming product cycle is fully captured at current levels, with limited upside to estimates from here on out," said analyst Abhey Lamba.

Last week, Pacific Crest Securities lowered its rating on the stock to "sector weight."

Your country needs you

Cristiano Ronaldo

Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo's brand value is on a par with port in terms of importance to the country, says marketing expert Daniel Sa.

The director of the Portuguese Institute for Administration and Marketing says the player - who plies his trade at Spain's Real Madrid - joins port as Portugal's most well known product.

"When you compare Cristiano to the previous stars of Portuguese football, like Luis Figo or Rui Costa, it's social media that has changed the goalposts. It represents an incredible impact and unlimited promotional power," Sa tells the AFP news agency.

Tech stocks hit

A sell-off of tech stocks hit the Nasdaq index at the start of Wall Street trading. Soon after the open, the Nasdaq was down almost 1% at 6,154 points.

Investors appear to be taking profits - a strategy that started last week - after some major companies saw strong share price rises in recent weeks.

The Dow Jones was down 0.09% at 21,251 points and the S&P 500 was down 0.23% at 2,426.

Qatar airline boss wants UN action

Qatar Airways aircraft

The boss of Qatar Airways has called for the intervention of a United Nations body over a diplomatic row that has caused travel disruption.

Akbar Al Baker told CNN that a move by some Middle East states to close their airpace to Qatar breached a 1944 convention on over-flights administered by the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization.

Mr Al Baker said: "We have legal channels to object to this. ICAO... should heavily get involved, put their weight behind this to declare this an illegal act."

'Political punishment'

City of London skyline

Forcing London's multi-billion pound euro-clearing market to relocate to the eurozone after Brexit is illogical and would be a political "punishment", according to the chief executive of lobby group TheCityUK.

Miles Celic has been talking to the Press Association about fears the European Commission wants to strip the Square Mile of euro clearing after Brexit - and he's in no mood for diplomacy.

"Absolutely nobody has come to us saying that this is a good idea, this would be purely political. It looks like a punishment to the UK, and as with any punishment it comes with a price to pay for the punisher. The people who end up paying the price on the EU side are customers and clients."

The Commission wants to tighten up and streamline the derivatives market, with EU officials embarking on an "impact assessment". It brings London one step closer to losing its dominance over the euro clearing market, which settles business and trade conducted in the EU currency.

Mr Celic says: "To shift euro clearing would be economically inefficient, would make very little sense and would have a complete illogicality to it. If you turn around and say you can no longer have euro clearing in the UK, how can you logically allow New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore to have it?"

Man asks public to pick shares for $50,000 portfolio

Wall Street sign
Getty Images

Software engineer Mike Roberts is asking strangers on the internet to invest $50,000 (£39,000) of his own money into the stock market.

Via the app Twitch, viewers can vote on stocks over a five minute period and when the time is up the stock with the most votes is automatically purchased by a stock trading app.

The process is repeated all day during trading hours.

Mr Roberts says that Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations mean that trading will halt if the value of his account falls below $25,000.

BBC Click finds out more.

Cath Kidston: 'You can't do everything'

Famous for her retro, floral prints, designer and entrepreneur Cath Kidston launched her eponymous homeware brand from a single shop, and is still an investor in the company.

CEO Secrets caught up with her as she spoke at a meeting of The Budding Entrepreneur Club in London. Her tip for those starting up in business? "Don't expect to be able to do everything."

View more on twitter

FTSE 100 pares losses

Man outside the LSE
Getty Images

London's blue chip index is almost flat at 7,526.17 points having pared its earlier losses.

Among the best performers are Tesco, up 2.4%, Royal Dutch Shell B, up 1.91%, and energy firm Centrica which has gained 1.75%.

The pound has fallen 0.5% against the dollar since the beginning of the day to $1.26790.

Porsche faces emissions cheating probe

Porsche Cayenne Turbo S at the Xian International Auto Expo
Getty Images

The German government has ordered an investigation into whether Porsche cheated on diesel emissions tests.

It comes after Der Spiegel magazine reported that some models of the Cayenne V-6 SUV had much higher emissions than legally allowed.

The company, which is a division of Volkswagen, said the paper's findings were "not comprehensible".

Porsche sources the Cayenne's engine from Audi, which is itself under investigation over emissions-cheating claims.

Ocado shares slip despite jump in profits

Ocado van

Shares in Ocado have slipped 2.5% despite the online retailer reporting a sharp rise in profit for the 22 weeks to 30 April.

Underlying earnings rose 20.5% to £37.6m as it cut promotions and raised the price of some goods.

The firm also said it planned to raise at least £200m to fund further growth through a rights issue.

But Bruno Monteyne, a retail analyst at Bernstein, said orders growth had slowed at the grocer and its fundraising plans highlighted a weak balance sheet.

"The [rights] offer is in line with our expectation that the group is stretched for cash and would require additional new financing for further growth," he said.

European tech shares caught in downturn

European technology shares are trading lower this morning. In Frankfurt computer chip firm Infineon Technologies is down more than 4% and software firm SAP is down 3%.

In London Micro Focus International is down almost 4% and Sage Group is down by 2%.

Those shares have tracked big losses for US technology shares on Friday.

"Overvaluations of technology companies today resemble previous investment manias," said Fergus Shaw, fund manager at Cerno Capital.

"The fact that even successful businesses can become caught in a mania is evident in the case of Vodafone when its shares peaked at over 4 pounds in 2000, but are just 2 pounds today."

S&P flags worries over French trade deficit

Economists at the credit rating agency S&P have warned about France's persistent trade deficit.

France has been running a trade deficit since 2002 and last year it widened to 49bn euros.

S&P blamed "insufficient competitiveness" of French firms. Companies have not been spending enough on research, development and innovation, S&P said.

French flag
Getty Images

BreakingGE names John Flannery as new chief executive

John Flannery has been named chairman and chief executive of General Electric.

He has been serving as the chief executive of GE's healthcare business.

Among other acheivements on his CV, Mr Flannery led the takeover of France's Alstom in 2014.

BMW staff reject pension offer

Mini workers

A bruising dispute between BMW and its British workers looks set to continue.

Staff have rejected the latest pension deal from the company and union officials will meet on Tuesday to discuss what to do next.

There have already been four walkouts over the dispute and three 24-hour strikes scheduled for May were suspended while staff considered the deal.

BMW wants to close the final salary pension scheme and is offering a cash payment into a new scheme as compensation.

Pound moves lower

Having been steady most of the morning, the pound has taken a dip lower. A short while ago it was trading half a cent lower at $1.2698.

"I'd imagine investors being a little hesitant to buy sterling in the very short term," said Niels Christensen, currency strategist with Nordea.

"We have this political uncertainty around how strong will the new government be, how difficult will it be to get through with its politics domestically, and the Brexit negotiations beginning in a week or two."

Haldane reappointed as BoE head economist

Andy Haldane, Bank of England chief economist

The Bank of England says its chief economist Andy Haldane has been reappointed as a member of its Monetary Policy Committee for a new three-year term.

Mr Haldane has held his post since 2014 and often comments on important issues affecting the economy alongside governor Mark Carney.

The MPC is due to deliver its latest policy decision later this week.

UK stocks fall but pound holds steady

UK trader
Getty Images

The FTSE 100 is still down as political uncertainty hangs over the market.

A short while ago it was trading 0.23% lower at 7,510.26 points, with miner Fresnillo, investment group Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust and software firm Sage Group among the worst performers.

The FTSE 250, whose constituent companies are more focused on the UK, is doing even worse, trading 0.5% lower at 19,670.48.

The pound is flat at $1.27160 against the dollar, roughly the same level it has been since election night when it fell almost 2%.

S&P warns on UK outlook

Ratings agency S&P has warned on the outlook for the UK following the election, echoing similar comments by its rival Moody's.

Jean-Michel Six, S&P's chief economist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said the inconclusive result meant that "for the time being, the outlook remains negative".

"This latest bit of instability can only weaken the business environment and consumer confidence," he said.