Sterling hits $1.40 for first time since April 2018 – live updates –

Good morning. At 7am, the UK retail sales report will be posted with economists expecting a decline of around 2.5pc in January

UK public sector net borrowing for January will also be announced and the reading is tipped to be £24.5 billion, down from £34.1 billion in December.

5 things to start your day 

1) Airlines paid £200,000 per flight to carry PPE at height of crisisExclusive: BA was paid around £240,000 per flight by the Government, data shows, and Virgin Atlantic were paid around £190,000 per journey.

2) Sunak to extend rates relief and furlough: The Chancellor is expected to announce plans to further tax boost for hospitality, retail and leisure, alongside more help for workers.

3) Robinhood boss apologises over ‘black swan’ GameStop frenzy: “I’m sorry for what happened,” Robinhood chief executive Vlad Tenev told the US House Committee On Financial Services.

4) UK’s secretive £800m tech research agency to launch 2022: Britain’s government-funded answer to America’s Darpa will have a “high tolerance for failure” as it prepares to back moonshot projects.

5) MPs tell watchdog to set out timeframe for Woodford investigation: Members of the Treasury Select Committee urged the FCA to set out a timetable as questions rise over Mr Woodford’s audacious comeback bid.

What happened overnight 

Asian stock markets followed Wall Street lower on Friday after disappointing US jobs and economic data.

Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Australia all declined.

The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.3pc to 3,663.74 and the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo sank 0.9pc to 29,974.07. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.9pc to 30,335.51.

The Kospi in South Korea was little-changed at 3,087.70 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 tumbled 1.2pc to 6,801.50.

India’s Sensex opened up 0.1pc at 51,387.35. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets also retreated.

Coming up today

Corporate: NatWest Group, Segro (Full year)

Economics: GFK consumer confidence (UK); retail sales (UK); current account (EU); consumer price index (EU)