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Summary

  1. Get in touch: bizlivepage@bbc.co.uk
  2. Barclays former executives in court
  3. US stock markets open higher
  4. Ofgem considers new bills cap
  5. Hinkley Point costs soar by £1.5bn

Live Reporting

By Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

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As the US stock markets are closing early, so too is Business Live.

We'll be back bright and early tomorrow at 6.00am with all the breaking business and economics news which, on Tuesday, will include a trading update from J Sainsbury.

Have a great evening.

Mixed close for US stocks

US stock market traders
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The US stock markets are closing early on Monday ahead of 4 July.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has finished 138.85 points ahead at 21,488.48.

The S&P is up 5.49 points at 2,428.91.

The Nasdaq has reversed earlier gains to finish the day down 30.36 points at 6,110.06.

Carney warns G20 not to give into 'reform fatigue'

Mark Carney
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Global economies must not give in to "reform fatigue" and complete the overhaul of the world's banking system which was triggered by the financial crisis, according to Mark Carney.

Speaking in his capacity as chairman of the Financial Stability Board, which coordinates financial regulations for the G20, Mr Carney said that reforms "have now addressed the fault lines that caused the global financial crisis".

But he said risks remain.

"In particular, giving into reform fatigue could erode the willingness of G20 members to rely on each other's systems and institutions and, in the process, fragment pools of funding and liquidity,"

Mr Carney, who is also governor of the Bank of England, said that would mean "less and more expensive" financing for households and businesses, and lower economic growth would be "very likely".

Another day, another data breach...

Computer screen
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The AA has been criticised over the way it has handled a data breach involving 13 gigabytes of data.

The huge cache was viewable online for a few days in April, but the motoring organisation said that it contained no "sensitive" information.

However, a security researcher who analysed the leak said he found details like email addresses, names and parts of payment card numbers.

Read the full story here.

US blip helps lift oil prices

Workers on an oil rig
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Monday's rise in the oil price is "all about sentiment" according to Commerzbank senior oil analyst Carsten Fritsch.

Brent crude is now up 1.3% at $49.40 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate is 1.5% ahead at $46.75.

Mr Fritsch highlighted a 100,000 barrel per day drop in US production because of tropical storms and maintenance, as well as a decline in the country's rig count.

"These factors outweigh the sharp increase in OPEC oil production in June... and the continued increase in Libyan and Nigerian output at least at the moment," he said

Miners lead the FTSE 100 higher

Mining
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The FTSE 100 index finished Monday up 63.34 points, or 0.87%, at 7,376.06.

Commodity and mining stocks dominated the day's leaders. Glencore rose 4.8% to 301p followed by Anglo American whose share price ended up 4.1% at £10.66 and Rio Tinto added 4% to £33.72.

On the fallers, subprime lender Provident Financial was the biggest loser, down 2.75% at £23.66.

The FTSE 250 closed down 19.72 at 19,320.43.

US stocks hit new record

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has hit a new record after rising 193.45 points to 21,543.08.

US Fed 'needs to pace itself'

US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen
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US Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen

Better-than-expected manufacturing activity in the US during June - up from 54.9 in May to 57.8 - has lifted stock markets and the dollar against the pound.

Jason Pride, director of investment strategy at Glenmede, said: "Manufacturing PMI's are a good gauge of economic growth and have risen materially in the last year.

"Coupled with the ambitious balance sheet reduction plan, monetary policy tightening could prove a larger headwind than anticipated. Normalising monetary policy is a good thing, but the Fed should be careful of the pace."

Later this week, the US Fed will release the minutes from its June meeting when it voted to raise interest rates by a quarter point.

Government launches £400m broadband fund

BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones gives his verdict on this latest plan to speed up Britain.

View more on twitter

Dollar rises on sterling

The pound is now down 0.64% against the dollar at $1.2943.

The greenback has been bolstered by better than expected data on manufacturing activity in the US during June compared to lacklustre activity in the UK.

This is sterling's performance today.

Pound v dollar
BBC

Fiat Chrysler beats forecasts

More car sales figures from the US. Fiat Chrysler reports that sales in June fell by 7.5% compared to expectations of a 10% fall.

CEO Secrets: Listen to the kids

Jenk Oz is the chief executive of iCoolKids. The 12 year-old has some advice on running a business.

CEO Secrets: Tips from a 12-year-old boss

Manufacturing data lifts stock markets

US manufacturing
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Stock markets in the US are flying, helped in no small part to better than expected manufacturing figures.

The manufacturing index rose to 57.8 in June ahead of an expected 55.1 reading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 160.93 points at 21,510.56.

The S&P 500 has added 14.34 points at 2,437.75 and the Nasdaq has risen 16.86 points to 6,157.28.

Mike Ashley 'vomited in fireplace'

Pints of beer
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More on that legal dispute between Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder of Sport Direct and investment banker, Jeffrey Blue.

Apparently, Mr Ashley, who also owns Newcastle United Football Club, once vomited into a fireplace during a management meeting in a pub after drinking 12 pints.

Read the whole delightful tale here.

Doing meetings the Mike Ashley way...

Mike Ashley
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Sports Direct founder and boss Mike Ashley

The boss of Sports Direct and owner of Newcastle United Football Club likes to lie under tables at boring meetings, according to a financial adviser who is in a dispute with the business mogul.

A barrister for investment banker Jeffrey Blue has told the High Court that Mike Ashley flew in the face of "business orthodoxy", lay underneath tables at "boring" meetings and "played a game of spoof" to decide who paid an investment bank's fees.

The dispute between Mr Blue and Mr Ashley relates to an alleged conversation in a London pub in 2013 when the banker says Mr Ashley promised to pay him £15m if he used his expertise to increase Sports Direct's share price to £8 a share.

He claims Mr Ashley paid only £1m.

BreakingBarclays and executives appear in court

Former Barclays chief executive John Varley (C) arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court
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Former Barclays chief executive John Varley (C) arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court

Barclays and four senior bankers have attended court for the first time charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

The four - John Varley, former chief executive, Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath - along with Barclays plc, are charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, with additional charges for Mr Varley and Mr Jenkins.

BreakingBarclays executives post bail

BBC business editor Simon Jack tweets...

Barclays and four of its former executives - John Varley, Roger Jenkins, Thomas Kalaris and Richard Boath - are appearing in court over charges they conspired to commit fraud over a bank capital raising with Qatari investors in 2008.

US stock markets open ahead

The Dow Jones Industrial Average opened 76.66 points higher at 21,426.29.

US traders will enjoy an early close on Monday ahead of the 4 July celebrations when markets will be shut.

In the meantime, the S&P 500 added 12.08 points at 2,435.49 and the Nasdaq rose 33.74 points at 6,174.16.

Oil prices head north

Oil production
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Oil is heading back up towards $50 a barrel.

Brent crude rose 0.7% to $49.13 a barrel while West Texas Intermediate rose by 0.8% to 46.42.

Is this a sign of better prices ahead? "There may be more upside to come in days ahead, despite sentiment having previously been extremely bearish," said Craig Erlam, analyst with Oanda Corporation.

US car sales beat forecasts

Toyota logo
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Toyota has just released its US car sales data for June and sales are up 2.1% compared to forecasts of a 0.1% rise.

Ford has also published published figures, showing a 5.1% fall last month compared to expectations of a 5.5% fall.

A meeting of minds?

US President Donald Trump and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel
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US President Donald Trump (L) and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel (R)

Expect the G20 summit to dominate headlines this week.

This time, Germany is hosting the event which takes place against a backdrop of frosty relations between Chancellor Angela Merkel and Donald Trump over issues such as trade and the President's decision to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Change Accord.

Reuters reports that Mrs Merkel and Mr Trump will meet on Thursday evening before the summit begins in Hamburg.

Oh to be a fly on the wall....

Iran and Total in gas deal

A general view of the Assalouyeh petrochemical refinery around the South Pars gas field near the southern Iranian port of Assalouyeh, Iran, 19 November 2015 .
EPA

The BBC's economics correspondent, Andrew Walker, has this report on the first major agreement between Iran and a European company since the lifting of western sanctions over Tehan's nuclear programme two years ago.

"Iran's gas industry is far below its potential. Some estimates of its reserves make it the largest on the planet. Yet it is not a singificant exporter. That reflects the lack of investment over many years. Now that the sanctions have been lifted there are many overseas energy companies keen to get involved."

"Total of France is joining forces with a Chinese energy business to develop Iran's South Pars gas field. But the political background has become more difficult as the United Sates under President Trump is more critical of Iran and is reviewing its approach."

Etihad flights to and from US avoid laptop ban

Man with laptop
EPA

Passengers on Etihad flights from Abu Dhabi to the US will be able to use larger gadgets, such as laptops, during their journey.

Regulations requiring passengers to put laptops and other gadgets in baggage in the hold were introduced in March.

The airline said its plan to conduct "enhanced inspections" of passengers had convinced the US to lift its restrictions.

The airline runs 45 flights per week from Abu Dhabi to six US airports.

Weetabix sale confirmed

Weetabix products
Reuters

The sale of UK cereal firm Weetabix to US firm Post Holdings for $1.8bn (£1.4bn), has been confirmed.

Weetabix - made in the UK since 1932, and still made in Northamptonshire - was put up for sale in January by China's Bright Food, which bought a 60% stake in 2012.

But who exactly are new owners Post Holdings?

The firm says it is "headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri" and "is a consumer packaged goods holding company operating in the center-of-the-store, foodservice, food ingredient, private label, refrigerated and active nutrition food categories".

"Through its Post Consumer Brands business, Post is a leader in the North American ready-to-eat cereal category and offers a broad portfolio that includes recognized brands such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles, Great Grains and Malt-O-Meal bag cereal as well as granola and hot wheat products."

'No change' on public sector pay

Downing Street insists the position on public sector pay has not changed despite several Cabinet ministers calling for it to be scrapped.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson is the latest senior cabinet minister to put pressure on the chancellor and the PM to end the 1% cap on pay rises.

No 10 said ministers would respond to pay review bodies in due course.

But 1% rises for dentists, nurses, doctors and the military have already been agreed for this year, it added.

Baby Dove adverts criticised over breastfeeding stance

Baby breastfeeding
PA

Skincare brand Baby Dove has been criticised by mums who say the company's new adverts support those who oppose breastfeeding in public.

One advert says "75% say breastfeeding in public is fine, 25% say put them away. What's your way?".

"Unmumsy mum" blogger Sarah Turner said supporting the "dangerous" view could put mums off breastfeeding in public.

The Advertising Standards Authority has received 110 complaints. The BBC has contacted Baby Dove.

FTSE holds on to gains

London's stock market has remained modestly higher all morning, and the FTSE 100 index is up 24.72 points at 7,337.44.

Mining and bank shares are among the biggest risers, with Glencore up 2.9% and RBS 1.8% higher.

In the FTSE 250, shares in Superdry owner Supergroup are up 3%. Investors have welcomed news of higher profits and plans for standalone sportswear stores.

Using tech to sell a famous tennis brand

As Andy Murray gets Wimbledon under way in less than an hour...

Statoil: Mariner project will support up to 1,500 jobs

Mariner platform
Statoil

Up to 1,500 offshore jobs will be supported by the next phase of a major North Sea oil field development, oil giant Statoil has announced.

Up to 800 people will carry out hook-up and commissioning work before production starts at the Mariner field in the second half of 2018.

Once in production, the field will support 700 permanent jobs.

Energy price cap: Labour's dim view

Rebecca Long-Bailey MP, Labour's shadow business secretary, responding to Ofgem's announcement of a possible energy price cap, said: "Ofgem's watered down proposals go nowhere near the promise made by the Prime Minister to adopt Labour's principle of a price cap."

Ofgem's potential price cap

Victoria MacGregor, the director of energy at the Citizens Advice Bureau, told Radio 5 live that they were "really pleased" Ofgem is considering a price cap for more domestic energy users because "people are struggling" with energy bills.

"Too many people have been paying too much for their energy and we've been particularly concerned about those vulnerable low income groups that really can't afford to pay more then they need to for this essential service," she said.

"Because this issue of standard variable tariffs being I think about 140 pounds a year more expensive than the cheapest deal, is one that we've been highlighting for quite some time."

Stock market update

FTSE-100 graph
BBC

What's happening today? Here is what.

The FTSE-100 share index is up 25 points at 7,338.

On the foreign exchange markets, the pound is down slightly at $1.30 and 1 euro 14.

Eurozone unemployment steady

Spanish job centre
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The unemployment rate in the eurozone remained at 9.3% in May, unchanged from the month before.

The Eurostat statistics agency said this remained the lowest rate recorded in the euro area since March 2009. The rate is down from a peak of 12.1% reached in April 2013.

A little over 15 million people were out of work in the 19-nation bloc during May, Eurostat said.

Public spending conundrum

BBC Economics editor Kamal Ahmed tweets...

Iran and Total to sign massive gas deal

Total oil truck
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Some major non-UK news now. Later today Iran and French energy giant Total will sign a contract worth close to $5bn (£3.8bn) to develop an offshore gas field in the Gulf.

It is the biggest foreign deal since most economic sanctions against the country were lifted in 2016.

Oil ministry officials said the deal to develop the South Pars gas field will be signed in Tehran, with Total getting a 50.1% stake.

China's CNPC will hold a 30% stake and Iran's Petropars 19.9%.

Pound slips below $1.30

Slides on weak manufacturing PMI data

Pound-dollar graph
BBC

Sterling slipped back below $1.30 on Monday after weaker-than-expected data from the UK manufacturing sector led investors to think again about whether interest rates will rise this year.

The latest purchasing managers' index (PMI) showed UK factory activity grew much more slowly than forecast in June, with export orders rising at the weakest pace in five months.

The data suggested that the supposed silver lining of a currency weakened by the Brexit vote was proving elusive.

Sterling reacted by falling to $1.2962, down half a percent on the day, having earlier traded as strongly as $1.3025 after hitting a six-week high of $1.3030 on Friday.

Small manufacturer confidence "could be short-lived"

FSB makes Brexit warning...

Responding to a fall in the UK Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) to 54.3 in June, Mike Cherry, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman, said firms had felt the "short-term benefits of a weaker pound".

"But with operating costs for small businesses now at their highest in four years, confidence will fall if the government fails to tackle the knock-on impacts of surging inflation."

He added: "Securing the right Brexit deal will be critical for our exporting manufacturers. Almost all of our members that buy or sell overseas trade with the single market. Without an ambitious EU Free Trade Agreement and a frictionless customs arrangement alongside access to the right skills post-Brexit, these businesses will undoubtedly struggle."

Employers 'having to pay more to recruit new staff'

Office workers
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Many UK employers have had to pay "well above market rate" to attract employees over the past year as a skills shortage intensifies, a survey suggests.

Almost all firms in a survey of 400 by the Open University said it had been difficult to find workers with the skills they needed.

The distance learning university calculated the problem was costing companies more than £2bn a year.

It said uncertainty surrounding Brexit was exacerbating the skills gap.

It found people already in work were reluctant to move employer, while some EU nationals did not want to take a UK role because of the lack of clarity over future immigration rules.

Superdry owner Supergroup plans sports stores

Superdry store
Reuters

Shares in the owner of Superdry jumped in early trade as it reported a big rise in profits and plans for standalone sports stores.

Supergroup said it would expand its Superdry sportswear business through "shops in shops, franchise outlets and an extended online presence". Its comments came as it reported a 53% rise in full-year pre-tax profits to £84.8m, with sales up 27% to £752m. Shares in the FTSE 250 company rose more than 6%.

UK exports 'disappointingly lacklustre'

More on the UK manufacturing PMI data.

Export orders rose last month at the weakest pace since January, which is a worrying development given that the benefit of the weak pound was given to be an increase in exports.

"While the survey data add to signs that the economy is likely to have shown stronger growth in the second quarter, further doubts are raised as to whether this performance can be sustained into the second half of the year," said Rob Dobson, senior economist at IHS Markit.

"Export orders remained disappointingly lacklustre despite the ongoing competitiveness boost of the weak sterling exchange rate."

Mr Dobson said increased business uncertainty was leading to delays in placing new contracts.