FirstFT: Today’s top stories 

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Donald Trump’s top economic adviser sought to contain the fallout from a collapse in trade talks with Beijing last week, saying there was a “strong possibility” the US president would meet Xi Jinping, China’s president, at the G20 summit in Japan next month.

Larry Kudlow raised the prospect of a face-to-face encounter as the US prepared to dramatically escalate the stakes in the ongoing trade dispute. The Trump administration is expected on Monday to outline plans to subject a further $300bn of Chinese imports to 25 per cent tariffs, after it increased the levies on $200bn of Chinese trade on Friday.

The tariffs, which are expected to meet Chinese retaliation, have rattled markets and raised concerns about the global economic outlook. There’s also a growing risk that Mr Trump’s tariffs won’t stop at China, with Washington trade hawks circling Japan, Germany and the wider eurozone.

The only thing worse than a bad US-China trade deal: none at all, the FT editorial board writes. (FT)

In the news

City’s cash crunch
The City of London Corporation, which runs the UK capital’s Square Mile, is to take on debt for the first time in almost three decades, borrowing more than £1bn to fund costly and high-profile construction projects. (FT)

VW faces investor revolt
Volkswagen executives are gearing up for another challenge from influential advisory groups, which are urging shareholders to vote out the company’s board on Tuesday, citing corporate governance risks years after the German carmaker’s diesel emissions scandal. (FT)

Boeing’s soul searching
Boeing is expecting “far reaching” changes to the way aircraft are certified safe across the global aviation industry, its lead independent director told the FT, as pressure builds on regulators following two recent disasters. “Nobody’s ducking anything.” (FT)

Theresa May’s premiership threatened
The UK prime minister faced pressure to quit as new surveys highlighted the threat of the new Brexit party. Downing Street on Sunday proposed reopening Brexit negotiations with the EU in an effort to breathe new life into stalled talks with Labour. (FT, Bloomberg)

Pakistan accepts $6bn IMF loan
Pakistan has reached an agreement with the IMF on a $6bn loan to bail the country out of a balance-of-payments crisis, undercutting Prime Minister Imran Khan’s campaign promises to establish a welfare state. (FT, WSJ)

EU economies bring voters closer
Next week hundreds of millions of European citizens will go to the polls to elect a new parliament that will reflect the continent’s varied politics — but in an economic sense, the bloc is converging. (FT)

SoftBank backs UK finance group
SoftBank’s $100bn Vision Fund is on the verge of investing £500m in Greensill, a privately held finance company where David Cameron has worked as an adviser since his departure from government. (FT)

Lithuania’s PM headed for defeat
Saulius Skvernelis announced plans to step down in July after being knocked out in the country’s presidential election on Sunday. Partial results suggest SEB bank chief economist Gitanas Nauseda will face former finance minister Ingrida Simonyte in a run-off later this month. (BBC, Bloomberg)

The day ahead

Pompeo’s Russia trip
Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, visits Moscow planning to confront President Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov over Syria, Ukraine and Venezuela. Meanwhile, Donald Trump will host Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban in Washington. (Reuters, FT)

Philippine elections
Midterm elections in the Philippines on Monday are being read as a referendum on President Rodrigo Duterte, who hopes to consolidate power by adding allies in the country’s Senate. (NYT, FT)

Keep up with the important business, economic and political stories in the coming days with the FT’s Week Ahead. Click to subscribe here. And don’t miss our FT News Briefing podcast — a short daily rundown of the top global stories.

FT events

Is now the right time to buy property in London?
Join Nathan Brooker, the deputy editor of House & Home, for an expert panel discussion next month on Brexit and its impact on house prices. Find out more and register here. (FT)

For more, click here to receive our new House & Home Unlocked newsletter.

What we’re reading

China’s entrepreneurs left behind
After three decades of strong growth, the world’s second-largest economy has entered a slowdown. Chinese entrepreneurs complain that President Xi Jinping’s emphasis on state-owned enterprises comes at the expense of a dynamic private sector. Read more in a new FT series: China’s slowing pains. (FT)

China’s shrinking cities: ‘Most of my classmates have left’
The Chinese economy is stabilising: Martin Wolf

Christchurch call
New Zealand’s prime minister travels this week to France, where she and Emmanuel Macron will push restrictions on violent content on social media in a summit in Paris. “None of us wants to see digital platforms used for terrorism,” Jacinda Ardern writes. Here’s who’s attending. (NYT, Stuff NZ)

Advice for former CEOs
Long-serving chief executives, particularly founders, often find it difficult to step aside. But the last thing a new corporate chief needs is their predecessor’s ghost hanging around, Andrew Hill writes. (FT)

Private equity’s Brexit bewilderment
Political uncertainty about Britain’s future relationship with Europe is trying private equity’s patience, with buyout groups preparing for a worst-case, no-deal Brexit. “We could go tomorrow.” (FT)

Was Shakespeare a woman?
The authorship controversy, almost as old as the Bard’s works themselves, has yet to surface a compelling argument. Perhaps that’s because, until recently, no one was looking in the right place. The case for Emilia Bassano. (The Atlantic)

Bracken House: tradition and modernity
The FT’s new and former home, and first postwar building to be listed, stands apart from its steel and glass City neighbours with its red brick and (pointedly) pink stone walls. Look inside here. Across the Channel, a range of designs are emerging to rebuild the Notre-Dame’s spire felled by last month’s fire, from the madcap to the modern. (FT, NYT)

‘One of the last liberal Republicans’
“We’re not winning” the battle to save society from climate change, warns GMO co-founder Jeremy Grantham, who has pledged 98 per cent of his billion-dollar wealth to an environmental foundation. (FT)

The investor who passed on Uber
His name is Mark Suster, and at the time, the app was known as Ubercab. “It’s even worse because they kept inviting me to events over the course of the next few months and I kept ignoring them,” he told the FT. “Aaaargh”. (FT)


Thanks to the hundreds of readers who voted in our Uber poll on Friday.

We asked you to guess the valuation of the ride-hailing business at the end of the first day’s trading. A market capitalisation of $51bn-$75bn got the biggest number of votes and was also the correct answer: Uber’s valuation at the end of its first day of trading as a public company was $69.71bn, after the shares closed 7.6 per lower at $41.57.

Video of the day

Could China save the planet?
The solar power, wind power and electric vehicle industries are reaching an inflection point in China, poised to become cheaper than their fossil fuel alternatives. The FT’s James Kynge looks at the potential impact. (FT)

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