Opening Bell: Irish online shopping lags behind UK, May's awkward advice, markets rally

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Figures from EuroStat confirm that Irish shoppers are spending more and more online.

59% of us bought goods online last year according to the data.

That’s above the EU average of 55% - but still well below top spenders - such as a the UK were 87% of people shopped online.

'Clothes and sporting goods' are the most popular category online - accounting for 61% of all online sales across the EU.

They are followed by 'travel and holiday' spending - and purchases of household goods.

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The Financial Times reports that Theresa May’s government is running the risk of weakening its Brexit bargaining position by ignoring news and internal advice that it does not want to hear.

This comes after Britain’s EU ambassador Sir Ivan Rogers resigned yesterday.

A number of high-ranking former civil servants told the newspaper that Britain is losing top negotiators and missing important insights as it refuses to listen to any "awkward advice."

Ms May is expected to make a speech in the coming days outlining the UK’s priorities as it prepares to enter formal Brexit negotiations.

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Markets have had a strong start to 2017 - the FTSE 100 closed at a record high yesterday.

London’s rally was led by banks and other financial companies.

There was more good news for British investors as stronger than expected UK manufacturing PMI data suggested that manufacturing activity is at a two-and-a-half-year high.

Meanwhile, Dublin’s ISEQ gained 0.41% closing at 6,543 after its first day of 2017 trading.

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As electronic car brand Tesla has reported that it delivered 76,230 vehicles in 2016.

That’s shy of the 80,000 units that the company had forecast.

Tesla shares dropped by 2% in after hours trading after this news was announced.

The company said that production upgrades during the final months of the year delayed the delivery of some units.

2017 could be a make or break year for Tesla as it expands into new regions and releases the Model 3 - its first mass-market vehicle.

The company is currently preparing to open its first Irish showroom.