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  1. Get in touch:
  2. Sterling slips under $1.40
  3. FTSE 100 rises 0.3%
  4. Capita raises £700m
  5. MoneySavingExpert's Martin Lewis sues Facebook

Live Reporting

By Karen Hoggan

All times stated are UK

  1. Good night

    That's it for Monday's Business Live; many thanks for following us.

    We'll be back tomorrow morning from 06:00 for all the latest business and finance news.

    Do join us then if you can.

  2. Wall Street ends flat

    Wall Street with New York Stock Exchange exterior

    Wall Street markets ended largely unchanged on Monday, as warnings of a slowdown in smartphone sales weighed on the Nasdaq index.

    With rising bond yields also spooking investors, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 14.25 points, or 0.06%, to 24,448.69.

    The S&P 500 gained 0.15 points, or 0.01%, to 2,670.29 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 17.53 points, or 0.25%, to 7,128.60.

  3. Google-owner's profits soar

    Google logo on laptop

    Profits at Google-owner Alphabet jumped almost 73% in the first three months of the year, as the firm enjoyed soaring revenues from internet advertising.

    First-quarter net income rose to $9.4bn from $5.43 billion a year earlier. Revenue jumped to $31.15bn from $24.75bn.

  4. Debenhams ramps up foreign exchange

    Exterior of Debenhams store

    Debenhams is ramping up its foreign exchange services as part of its drive to attract more customers.

    The department store is partnering with Western Union in 112 of its stores to offer global money transfer to shoppers.

    Western Union already partners with several major retailers - including John Lewis, WHSmith and Sainsbury's.

    The retailer already has currency exchange kiosks in many of its outlets.

    Debenhams is pursuing a strategy of focusing on leisure and "social shopping" to combat flagging sales and profits.

  5. Listen: Why was airline passenger fined over apple?

    BBC World Service

    A woman who took a flight from Paris to the US faces a $500 fine from US Customs for failing to notify them she had an apple in her bag (see earlier post).

    She faces the penalty for failing to declare an agricultural item.

    Crystal Tadlock says cabin crew on a Delta Airlines flight gave passengers a free snack and she saved the apple to eat later on a connecting flight.

    Travel expert Simon Calder told World Business Report, many countries have strict rules on importing food to protect farming crops.

    Video content

    Video caption: US customs have fined a woman for not declaring an apple in her bag as an agriculture item
  6. EU asks to join

    The European Union (EU) has asked to join a dispute brought by China to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over US import tariffs on steel and aluminium, reports Reuters.

    US President Trump will decide in just over a week whether the tariffs should apply to the EU or not.

    The US has set duties of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminium on grounds of national security, but provided a temporary exemption until 1 May for the EU.

    China has taken the US to the WTO over the measures and the first step in that process involves consultations.

    The WTO says the EU has made a formal request to join the consultations as a party with a significant trade interest in the matter.

  7. Why is the customs union so important?

    The BBC's Reality Check team have also been examining the Customs Union

    northern irish border

    The government again insists the UK will leave the customs union after Brexit.

    Reality Check: Why is the customs union so important?

    northern irish border

    The government again insists the UK will leave the customs union after Brexit.

    Read more
  8. Watch: What is the EU customs union?

    The government has restated its commitment to leaving the EU's custom union - ahead of a symbolic vote on the issue this week.

    Last Wednesday, the government suffered defeat on the EU Withdrawal Bill in the House of Lords on the issue of staying in a UK-EU customs union after Brexit.

    And MPs will get their own chance to debate the issue on Thursday.

    But a senior Downing Street source told the BBC the government's position would not change.

    "We will not be staying in the customs union or joining a customs union," the source said.

    So just what is the Customs Union?

    Video content

    Video caption: Brexit: Five steps to understanding the EU Customs Union
  9. Wall Street sheds earlier gains

    Wall Street traders and screens

    Having all started the day in positive territory, all three key US stock indexes are now down on the day.

    US bond yields have edged up and that usually makes shares less attractive in comparison. However, analysts have said a strong earnings season could balance that out.

    The Dow Jones is at 24,348.05, a fall of 115 points or 0.47%.

    The S&P 500 is at 2,665.26, that's down 5 points or 0.18%.

    And the tech-heavy Nasdaq is at 7,113.73, down 32 points or 0.45%.

  10. Culture secretary may intervene in newspaper deal

    Daily Star, Daily Express and Daily Mirror mastheads

    Culture Secretary Matt Hancock is considering whether to intervene in the £126.7m acquisition of the national Express and Star titles by the publisher of the Daily Mirror.

    In a statement, Mr Hancock cited the need to ensure both "free expression of opinion" and a "sufficient plurality of views" in newspapers as far as was "reasonable or practicable".

    The Mirror titles are politically left leaning, whereas the Daily Express and the Daily Star and their Sunday counterparts are more right-wing.

    Trinity Mirror said in February that it had struck a deal to buy a host of titles from Richard Desmond's Northern & Shell, including the Daily Express, the Daily Star and OK! Magazine. The merged company would own nine out of 20 national newspapers.

  11. 'Amazon working on domestic robots'

    Amazon is working on a "top secret" plan to build a domestic robots for the home, reports Bloomberg.

    The project is codenamed “Vesta,” after the Roman goddess of the hearth, home and family, and research and development is being carried out at the lab behind devices like Echo speakers and Fire TV set-top-boxes.

    Sources told Bloomberg that Amazon hopes to begin testing the robots in staff homes by the end of this year. It could be with consumers as early as 2019,

    An Amazon spokesperson told Bloomberg the company didn't comment on “rumours and speculation.”

    Bloomberg says it's not clear what tasks an Amazon robot might perform, but sources speculate it "could be a sort of mobile Alexa, accompanying customers in parts of their home where they don’t have Echo devices".

  12. Basic income trial falls flat in Finland

    Euro notes in a hand

    The Finnish government has decided not to expand a limited trial in paying people a basic income, which has drawn much international interest.

    Currently 2,000 unemployed Finns are receiving a flat monthly payment of €560 (£490; $685) as basic income.

    "The eagerness of the government is evaporating. They rejected extra funding [for it]," said Olli Kangas, one of the experiment's designers.

    Some see basic income as a way to get unemployed people into temporary jobs.

    Supporters say basic income would boost mobility in the labour market as people would still have an income between jobs. Read the full story here

  13. TSB customer says 'still no access to accounts'

    More on the TSB account access problems we reported on earlier.

    Business Live page reader Sue has emailed us within the past hour to update us on her experience.

    "Still no access to accounts. Just keep getting 404 page no found," she writes.

    "You cannot get to speak to anyone on the internet banking telephone line & there is no email address.

    "Thought you might like to know, as I heard on the news on Radio 4, a while ago, that they had fixed the problem and were now more or less back to normal."

  14. What's behind Sterling's fall?

    Pound coins

    As we reported earlier the pound has fallen below 1.40 against the US Dollar - it's currently at $1.39.46. Here's one analyst's take on what's behind the decline. What's behind the

    Quote Message: Investors are no longer seeing two rate raises for 2018, but just one. Carney confirmed this view, specifying that it is unclear whether the hike is also expected in May. This has generated huge selling on the pound, with investors that rebalanced their positions. The long trend still seems positive, but this fall will have a significant impact in the next few weeks, keeping the pound under pressure, despite the progress achieved on the Brexit negotiations in the next few months. from Carlo Alberto De Casa Chief analyst, ActivTrades said:
    Carlo Alberto De CasaChief analyst, ActivTrades said:
  15. Ups and downs on the London market

    Let's catch up with how some of the shares we've highlighted on Business Live today finished.

    Reckitt Benckiser closed 2% lower after being downgraded by JP Morgan.

    Marks and Spencer gained 1.2% after a broker upgrade by Credit Suisse.

    Whitbread closed down by 0.7%. Earlier speculation that it might split its Costa Coffee chain and Premier Inn hotel businesses, had boosted the stock.

    The mid-cap FTSE 250 closed at 20,316.37, a rise of 96 points or 0.47%.

    Outsourcing firm Capita ended the 13% higher after announcing a £701m rights issue to fund a reorganisation.

    Shipbroker Clarkson finished down by 18% after it said profits this year would be "materially below" last years.

  16. Woman 'fined $500 over free Delta Air Lines apple'

    Delta logo on plane

    A woman says she is facing a $500 (£357) fine from the US customs agency after a free apple she was given as a snack on a plane was found in her bag.

    Crystal Tadlock, travelling to the US from Paris, said she was saving the fruit for her onward flight to Denver.

    But the apple was revealed in a random search by US border agents after her first flight landed in Minneapolis.

    US Customs and Border Patrol would not comment on the case, but said all agricultural items should be declared. Read full story here

  17. FTSE 100 claws back lost ground

    London Stock Exchange sign

    Having spent much of the day trading lower, the FTSE 100 closed up on Monday, finishing at 7,398.87, a rise of 31 points or 0.42%.