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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Wall Street opens at record highs
  3. EU to investigate Ikea's tax affairs
  4. Advertising standards watchdog may launch Amazon Prime probe
  5. FTSE 100 holds onto gains

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

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  1. Goodnight

    That's all for the first livepage of the week. Please join us as usual from 6am on Tuesday.

  2. Wall Street's bull continues to run

    Wall Street's bronze bull

    Wall Street closed at record highs amid sustained optimism about the likelihood of lower corporate tax rates as the Republican tax bill moved closer to passage.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 140.46 points, or 0.57%, to 24,792.2, the S&P 500 gained 14.35 points, or 0.54%, to 2,690.16 and the Nasdaq added 58.18 points, or 0.84%, to 6,994.76.

    The three indexes set record closing highs, as did the small-cap Russell 2000 index, up 1.21% to end at 1,548.93.

    More Republicans said they expected Congress to pass the tax bill this week, with a Senate vote set for Tuesday and President Donald Trump expected to sign the bill into law by the end of the week.

    "This Congress has shown an inability to pass anything over the past five years," said Michael O'Rourke, chief market strategist at JonesTrading, in "If a major piece of legislation is passed, you'd expect the markets to be happy."

    US stocks have enjoyed a near year-long rally, with the benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow set for their best year since 2013.

  3. Rates rise warning over Northern Ireland budget pressures

    Sterling notes

    Incoming ministers at Stormont could have to make deep cuts to some departments, an official briefing paper has warned.

    The Department of Finance has laid out three scenarios as part of a budget preparation exercise.

    Under all scenarios, health and education budgets would remain protected.

    However, that would see other departments having to make cuts of between 4% and 12%.

    One scenario also examines the possibility of raising revenues through measures such as increasing domestic and business rates - the property tax paid by households and most businesses.

    A 10% increase in rates is among the options looked at in the briefing paper. Read the full story here

  4. Video content

    Video caption: Trump: China and Russia rivals in 'new era of competition'

    'We are engaged in a new era of global competition,' says the president in a national security speech.

  5. Five ways YouTubers make money

    Evan Edinger

    Whenever YouTuber Evan Edinger meets somebody new he says he always get asked: "How much money do you make?"

    "I'm open to telling [people] a rough estimate. Enough to pay rent and to have a takeaway once in a while. It's not too bad," he said.

    In a one-off vlog he has decided to explain exactly how it's done.

    He's shared with his thousands of viewers the five main ways that YouTubers make a living.

    Read the BBC's Newsbeat report here

  6. Kaspersky: 'We've done nothing wrong'

    This is how the chairman and chief executive of Kaspersky Lab broke the news to his Twitter followers ...

    View more on twitter
  7. Kaspersky sues US government

    BBC World Service

    The anti-virus software company Kaspersky Lab has filed a lawsuit against the US government after President Trump banned the use of its products by government agencies, reports BBC World Service.

    The US Department for Homeland Security had previously ordered government departments to remove Kaspersky software from their computer networks, saying it was concerned about ties between officials who work for the Moscow-based company and the Russian intelligence services.

    The UK's National Cyber Security Centre has also advised government departments not to use Kaspersky Lab anti-virus software. The company has repeatedly denied ties to any government.

  8. BBC and Guardian sued over Paradise Papers leaks

    Beach with palm tree

    Law firm Appleby is taking legal action against the BBC and the Guardian over their reporting of leaked documents detailing offshore tax-avoidance schemes, known as the Paradise Papers.

    It is suing for breach of confidence and wants the documents disclosed.

    Appleby said confidential information had been taken in a "criminal act".

    The BBC and the Guardian said they would "vigorously" defend the revelations, which were in the "highest public interest".

    The leak of financial documents revealed how the powerful and ultra-wealthy secretly invest cash in offshore tax havens. Read more here

  9. Crunch time for snack brands?

    Crisps in a bowl

    "It'll spoil your dinner," may be what your parents told you about snacking, but no one seems to have listened.

    The Hershey Company and Campbell Soup both struck multi-billion dollar deals on Monday to buy rival snack firms.

    Hershey said its $1.6bn (£1.2bn) purchase of popcorn and Tyrrells crisps maker Amplify would help turn it into "a snacking powerhouse".

    Meanwhile, Campbell Soup said it would splash $4.89bn on tortilla chip and pretzel crisps maker Snyder's-Lance.

    Both deals show how US firms are increasingly trying to cope with a shift in buying habits, with many people favouring smaller, more artisanal brands as well as food that is perceived to be healthier.

    Read the full story here

  10. Bagging a bargain?

    Meghan Markle

    On her first royal visit Meghan Markle carried a Strathberry Midi Tote Tri Colour handbag.

    It sold out within 11 minutes.

    Now the final available bag in that style has sold for £1,819 in a charity auction, almost four times the retail price.

    As part of their visit, Ms Markle and fiance Prince Harry attended a World Aids Day charity fair put on by the Terrence Higgins Trust.

    Edinburgh based Strathberry, which was established four years ago, had just one bag remaining from the same production run as Ms Markle's and it has been auctioned on behalf of the Terrence Higgins Trust.

    The company says its website traffic has gone up by 5000% since Ms Markle was seen with the bag.

  11. Toys R Us 'doesn't have that money'

    More on Toys R Us now.

    Sources close to the process said Toys R Us "doesn't have that money", meaning the £9m reportedly demanded by the PPF, although the PPF has not confirmed that it does indeed want Toys R Us to pay it that amount.

    "If they (the PPF) say 'yes' the CVA can go through then, fine, the business will work its way through the [restructuring] plan."

    However, it the PPF votes against the CVA then Toys R Us would go into administration and all 3,200 jobs would be lost, the source said.

  12. PPF 'yet to decide' on Toys R Us vote

    The Pension Protection Fund's will not confirm that it wants Toys R Us to pay it £9m.

    However, director of restructuring and insolvency, Malcolm Weir, has issued a statement.

    He said the PPF had "yet to decide" how its votes would be exercised in the vote on whether the company's CVA should be allowed to go ahead.

    "We are seeking to fully understand the current position of the company, including its future potential, position of the US parent and the reported historic financial transactions.

    "The pension scheme is already underfunded and, if we were to vote in favour of the CVA, we would need actions taken that ensure the position of the pension scheme was not going to further weaken.

    “The filing of CVA proposals means that an assessment period is automatically triggered for a pension scheme. Whatever the outcome of the CVA the pension scheme members can be reassured that they remain protected," he added.

  13. PPF wants £9m from Toys R Us - reports

    Toys R Us

    The Pension Protection Fund (PPF) wants Toys R Us's UK pension scheme to pay it £9m to secure its backing for the proposed shake-up of the UK business, according to Sky.

    The PPF and the scheme's trustees want the payment to be agreed within 24 hours, the broadcaster added.

    The PPF was set up by the government to provide compensation to pension scheme members when a company becomes insolvent and the scheme can't pay out sufficiently.

    The deadline for a vote on Toys R Us's company voluntary arrangement (CVA) which will allow the firm's restructuring is Tuesday.

    That plan would mean some 26 of the chain's shops would close, but without the PPF's support it could fail.

  14. Facebook's defence against depression claims

    Couple arguing

    Facebook has defended itself against claims that using the site can damage wellbeing and mental health.

    In a blogpost, it said while there was evidence it could negatively affect mood, the way it affected people was determined by how they used it.

    Facebook's downsides could be combated by making more use of the site and interacting positively, it said.

    A social media expert said the way Facebook was built made it hard to use it in those better ways. Read the full story here

  15. Wall Street still at record levels

    Wall Street sign

    Checking in US shares now - and they're still trading at record levels, boosted by the expectation that the tax reform legislation will go through this week.

    The Dow Jones is at 24,825.72, a rise of 174 points or 0.71%.

    The S&P 500 is 18 points higher or 0.68% at 2,693.96.

    And the tech-heavy Nasdaq is at 6,999.38, a gain of 63 points or 0.91%.

  16. Pound rises on dollar weakness

    Pounds, dollars, euros

    However, the FTSE 100 might have risen further had the pound not been trading higher.

    Against the dollar the pound was up by 0.53% at $1.3392.

    Against the euro it was 0.12% higher at 1.1351 euros.

    A strong currency usually cuts revenues for the big exporting global that dominate the FTSE 100.

    The problem for the dollar was that investors were selling because of worries that the tax reform bill might not provide a huge boost to the US economy.

    That's what had the effect of bolstering sterling.

  17. Prospect of US tax cuts drives shares higher

    So why have London shares received a boost?

    One reason is events in the US where Wall Street's main shares indexes are trading at record levels.

    Investors are expecting President Trump's tax cutting legislation to finally get the go-ahead this week, a move that would benefit American business.

    The anticipation has driven shares around the world higher, including in London.

  18. May warned on 'contradiction' at heart of future EU deal

    Kamal Ahmed

    Economics editor

    Pierre Moscovici

    One of the European Commission's leading officials has said there is the danger of a "contradiction" at the heart of Britain's separation agreement with the EU.

    Pierre Moscovici told the BBC that it was difficult to see how an open border could be retained on the island of Ireland if Britain did not stay in a customs union with the European Union.

    If Britain did agree to a customs union arrangement then the UK could be barred from signing free trade agreements with other countries.

    And would be obliged to follow EU regulations. Read Kamal's full blog here