1. US president Donald Trump really wants to go to Prince Harry’s wedding to actress Meghan Markle. So much so, he’s apparently threatening to withhold a vital post-Brexit trade deal with the UK if he doesn’t receive an invitation to the royal nuptials. That’s according to Michael Wolff, author of the explosive new “Fire & Fury: Inside the White House” book, which digs into the Trump administration. Wolff made the suggestion to the Mail on Sunday in an interview saying that Trump “doesn’t like being snubbed and wants to be the centre of attention all the time.”
2. UK prime minister Theresa May will switch up her Cabinet on Monday, Downing Street has confirmed. Foreign secretary Boris Johnson is expected to keep his job, despite calls for his resignation over his blunders around Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, the British-Iranian citizen currently held hostage in Iran. Home secretary Amber Rudd and Brexit secretary David Davis are also thought to be safe.
3. Dogecoin, the alternative cryptocurrency inspired by a popular meme, has surged over the weekend and now has a market capitalisation over $US2 billion. It soared above the $US1 billion milestone for the first time on Christmas Day and climbed over $US2 billion on Sunday. As for its price, the coin was trading at $US0.018 at the time of writing. That’s up 800% from $US0.002 a coin at the beginning of December.
4. U.S. oilfield service companies are gearing up for initial public offerings, according to regulatory filings and analysts, after several shelved equity sales last year during a weak period for oil prices. Oil is trading near its highest level since early 2015, fuelling demand for service firms to bring new shale wells to production.
5. Oil prices firmed on Monday on the back of a slight decline in the number of U.S. rigs drilling for new production, with crude holding just below near three-year highs reached last week.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $US61.53, a gain of 0.15% as of 6.50 a.m. GMT (1.50 a.m. ET).
6. Asian shares neared all-time peaks on Monday after Wall Street boasted its best start to a year in over a decade, with brisk economic growth and benign inflation proving a potent cocktail for risk appetite. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.1%, having added 3.1% last week.
7. German leaders have started talks with the aim of creating a grand coalition government. Talks to create a coalition government collapsed in November, and present talks hope to prevent the country from a snap election.
8. The US Ambassador to the UN said President Donald Trump’s tweets keep Kim Jong Un “on his toes.”Last week, Trump responded to a threat from North Korea saying he had a “bigger & more powerful” nuclear button.
9. ‘Big Four’ accountancy firm KPMG has quit its role as an advisor in the Grenfell Tower inquiry after criticisms over its appointment. Campaigners said KPMG had failed to disclose a conflict of interest and called for the firm’s removal from the role. In a statement, KPMG said it had “mutually agreed with the inquiry that we will step down from our role with immediate effect”.
10. Sales at shoe shops Office and Offspring nearly doubled last year and profits quadrupled, new accounts show.Accounts filed with Companies House this week show that revenue at Truworth UK Holdco 1, which owns the Office and Offspring chains, jumped by 75% to £298.6 million in the year to July 2017. Profits surged from £5.3 million in 2016 to £20.3 million. The group paid £3 million in UK tax.
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