Markets

What you need to know before the open

Today's top story:City of London's Council muddled over honour for Aung San Suu Kyi

Today's leader:MPs' recess shows how little dialogue goes on normally – and we're all the poorer for it

Inflation chatter will be warming up again today, as UK retail sales figures are due at the end of the week in which it was revealed that January's consumer spending was the worst in years.

This week also saw inflation refuse to budge from a relatively high three per cent. Such data has pushed the Bank of England to consider raising interest rates sooner than they might have done – although a Bank survey released earlier this week also hinted that wage rises might be on the way, which would help to battle inflationary pressures.

Ending a week that has – so far – been decidedly calmer for markets than the last, the FTSE 100 is set to open around 30 points higher this morning after gaining 20.8 points to end yesterday up 0.29 per cent. The Dax is due to open 46 points higher and the CAC up 15 points.

Asian stocks rose for a fifth consecutive session in early Friday trading, although many markets were closed for the New Year. They were supported by a weakening US dollar, which slipped to a three-year low early this morning. At the time of writing, the pound is worth around $1.414. Meanwhile after recent yo-yoing, bitcoin is back above $10,000.

Corporate news

  • Property investment company Segro is set to report full-year results. The FTSE 100 developer has benefited from the demand for warehousing space.
  • Meanwhile the FTSE 250's BGEO Group, a Georgia-focused investment company, is also set to announce full-year results.
  • Russia's largest retailer Magnit, which is dual listed in London and Moscow, today revealed that its founder and largest shareholder – billionaire Sergey Galitskiy – was due to sell up his shares to Russia's VTB Bank.
  • Shareholder group ISS yesterday recommended that Booker shareholders vote against a planned merger with Tesco, citing concerns about the financial merits of the deal.

Data​​

  • 08:20: Speech from the European Central Bank's Benoît Cœuré
  • 09:30: UK retail sales (Jan)
  • 13:30: US import and export price indices​
  • 12:00: Commodity Futures Trading Commission GBP non-commerical net positions

Original Article

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