Good morning. The FTSE 100 is set to open flat after Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned that the European Union is poised to lock Britain out of its vast banking market.
Mr Bailey said that Brussels would be making a mistake if it refuses to grant access for the City.
5 things to start your day
1) Retail and hospitality battered by successive lockdowns: Devastated non-essential retailers that were forced to shut are unlikely to ever recover lost sales, the British Retail Consortium lobby group said.
2) Half of exporters suffer Brexit border ‘nightmare’: Half of British exporters are struggling to adapt to new post-Brexit rules as delays, increased costs and confusion hit trade with the EU.
3) KPMG boss Bill Michael steps aside after telling staff to ‘stop moaning’: Mr Michael has stepped down while KPMG launches an independent investigation into an outburst when he told staff to “stop moaning”.
4) Wave of Silicon Valley money could flow into Bitcoin: Silicon Valley’s love affair with Bitcoin stepped up a gear after Twitter said it may follow Tesla’s lead with a major investment in Bitcoin.
5) Top 15 hedge fund chiefs earned $23bn in 2020: Leading the pack as the best-performing hedge fund manager was Chase Coleman, 45, who added $3bn to his personal wealth in 2020.
What happened overnight
Asian shares rested at record highs on Thursday as investors digested recent meaty gains, while bulls were sustained by the promise of endless free money after a benign reading on US inflation and a dovish Federal Reserve outlook.
Adding to the torpor was a lack of liquidity as markets in China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were all on holiday.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan added 0.1%, having already climbed for four sessions to be up over 10% so far this year.
Japan’s Nikkei was shut after ending at a 30-year peak on Wednesday, while Australia’s main index held near an 11-month top.
Futures for the S&P 500 and NASDAQ were both steady, having hit historic highs on Wednesday. EUROSTOXX 50 futures and FTSE futures barely budged.
Coming up today
Interim results: Coca-Cola European Partners, MJ Gleeson
Full-year: AstraZeneca, Relx
Trading statement: Royal Mail, Ted Baker
Economics: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors housing survey (UK); jobless claims (US)