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What you need to know before the open

Today's top story: The government is selling off 7.7 pe..

Today's top story: The government is selling off 7.7 per cent of its stake in RBS overnight

Today's leader: The present chaos is not an excuse for nationalising rail

Yesterday's tech-fuelled Wall Street rally is still ringing in investors' ears this morning. All eyes will be on Apple today after its market cap came within a whisker of $1tn.

On the agenda in the UK today, senior ministers are set to give final sign-off for Heathrow expansion plans. This will trigger a vote in parliament in the next few weeks.

New data this morning showed that new car sales slumped last month, but retail sales recovered as the sunny weather prompted shoppers to buy summer clothes and garden furniture.

Petrol prices soared by 6p per litre, the biggest monthly rise in 18 years.

Spread-betters at IG expect European markets to mostly open lower, with the FTSE falling 0.19 per cent. The German Dax is forecast to slip 0.04 per cent while the French Cac is seen down 0.27 per cent.

Asian stocks steadied as tech-inspired Wall Street gains supported broader sentiment as focus shifted to bullish economic fundamentals, away from trade concerns.

MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was effectively flat after surging 1.4 per cent the previous day. Japan's Nikkei gained 0.2 per cent and South Korea's KOSPI shed 0.1 per cent.

Corporate news

  • RHI Magnesita– CFO Octavio Pereira Lopes will step down at the end of this year.
  • Quiz – The fast fashion retailer reported 30 per cent revenue growth in its annual results.
  • The Renewables Infrastructure Group – The energy firm has acquired two onshore wind farms in France.


  • 09.30 – UK Markit services PMI (May)
  • 10.00 – EU retail sales (April)
  • 14.45 – US Markit services PMI (May)

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