Markets

What you need to know before the open

Today's top story: Read more: Carillion crisis talks as £600m pension black hole triggers summit

Today's leader: Marks and Spencer's troubles reflect high street struggles

European equity markets are expected to nose up this morning as investors process the last of this week's earnings announcements.

The FTSE 100 is called three points higher at 7,764 by analysts. German's Dax is seen 54 points up at 13,250 and France's Cac is projected to start the day 17 points higher at 5,506.

Overnight, the MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.5 per cent, following two straight sessions of decline. Japan’s Nikkei dipped 0.1 per cent.

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Further gains in Germany follow the country's debt hitting five-month highs yesterday. This followed the publication of European Central Bank (ECB) accounts showing changes could be afoot in 2018.

With the Eurozone seeing its best growth in a decade, the ECB should gradually shift its stance to avoid a more disruptive move later and look at a broader revision of its policy guidance to reduce the focus on bond purchases and raise the emphasis on interest rates, the accounts showed.

Brent crude futures were broadly flat at $69.28 a barrel after hitting $70.05 yesterday, the highest level since November 2014.

Corporate news

  • Facebook – says it will emphasise friends not news in its updates
  • Intel – chip patches can cause reboot problems
  • Fiat Chrysler – to invest $1bn in Michigan plant and create 2,500 jobs

Data

  • 07:30 – French consumer price index (December)
  • 13:30 – US retail sales (December)
  • 13:30 – US consumer price index (December)
  • 18:00 – Baker Hughes US oil rig count

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