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What you need to know before the open

Today's top story: Heathrow expansion gets green light ..

Today's top story: Heathrow expansion gets green light – but take off could still be bumpy

Today's leader: Dont expect an airport boom any time soon

With Mexico slapping new tariffs on US products, the financial world will once again be gearing up fo a possible trade war.

Meanwhile in the UK, Prime Minister's Question Time is scheduled for today. With Heathrow expansion, approval of the Sky-Fox deal (with remedies), and rail chaos all hitting the headlines yesterday, there should be plenty to tussle over.

New data today showed that confidence among London's businesses has jumped.

Spread-betters at Core Spreads expect European markets to make gains at the open with the FTSE up six points to 7692. The German Dax is forecast to be up 28 points while the French Cac is set to climb nine points.

Asian stocks rose after tech sector strength lifted Wall Street shares for a second day. MSCIs broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 per cent. Japan's Nikkei gained 0.5 per cent.

Corporate news

  • WH Smith – The retailer grew sales in the first quarter thanks to strong performance in travel hubs.
  • Serco – The services firm has picked up a US health insurance support contract worth around $900m.
  • Workspace Group – Annual results showed that the office space provider almost doubled pre-tax profits to £170m.

Data

  • 11.40 – MPC member Tenreyro speech
  • 13.30 – Trade balance (April)
  • 17.00 – MPC member McCafferty speech

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