Good morning. The FTSE 100 is set to open higher after Asian indices hit record highs over night following a stimulus boost.
5 things to start your day
1) Pub bosses demand reopening date as beer sales take £7.8bn hit: The BBPA urged the Government to give hospitality a reopening date and allow Britain’s pubs to open their doors with non-essential retailers.
2) Sadiq Khan launches £500m road tax ‘raid’: The Mayor’s proposal, intended to balance the books at TfL, was branded “taxation without representation” by Grant Shapps, Transport Secretary.
3) Up to 9m jobs at risk as clock runs on business support: More than half a million employers are running short of cash and could collapse without further help from the Chancellor, economists warn.
4) Sunak urged to avoid corporate tax hike and boost enterprise: The IoD urged the Chancellor to resist the temptation of raising the rate of corporation tax in a bid to consolidate the UK’s public finances.
5) Financial sector contributed a record £76bn in tax last year: Insurers, banks, pension funds and other finance firms form about 3pc of the workforce but contribute one in every £10 of employment taxes.
What happened overnight
Stocks and equity futures pushed higher on Wednesday as investors weighed the potential for a stimulus-fueled economic rebound against the chances of destabilizing inflation. The dollar edged lower.
Equities in Hong Kong climbed, led by Tencent Holdings amid positive sentiment toward reported changes at its gaming business. S&P 500 futures advanced after the benchmark halted a six-day winning streak when it edged back from an all-time high. Treasuries were steady with the yield on benchmark notes trading around 1.16pc. Earlier, the Nasdaq 100 Index eked out a gain, while small caps notched the longest rally since December 2019.
Elsewhere, oil edged lower after seven sessions of gains. Bitcoin pulled back from a record it reached after Tesla Inc. bought $1.5 billion of the cryptocurrency.
Coming up today
Interim results: Ashmore, Dunelm, Lancashire Holdings, Redrow
Full-year: Smurfit Kappa
Trading statement: Grainger
Economics: Inflation (China, Germany, US); industrial production (France)