Good morning. The FTSE 100 is set to rise despite concerns around the efficacy of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the South African variant of Covid-19.
A new study found that the jab does not protect against mild and moderate infection from the strain, with South Africa putting its roll out on hold.
5 things to start your day
1) Andrew Bailey faces grilling over LCF and his effort to avoid censure: The Bank of England Governor, faces an inquisition over his handling of the London Capital & Finance fiasco today – including “absolutely disgraceful” efforts to get his name removed from a highly critical report into the saga.
2) Oberon listing may lead to growth in managing wealth: A boutique wealth manager with £375m of client money is set for a stock market listing that its board of City veterans hopes will start a deal-fuelled growth spurt.
3) Make stamp duty holiday permanent or scrap tax, says former adviser: Chancellor Rishi Sunak should extend the stamp duty holiday permanently or even scrap the tax altogether, Boris Johnson’s former economics adviser has said.
4) Travel curbs bad news for ‘Club Med’ economies: Tough travel restrictions to contain new Covid variants could cause permanent damage to the so-called Club Med economies as holidaymakers brace for another summer of staycations.
5) ‘Super Mario’ will have to use all of his powers to steer Italy to stability: He may have rescued the euro, but to save a state that is facing the endgame, will be no laughing matter, writes Roger Bootle.
What happened overnight
Asian shares hovered near record highs on Monday while oil edged closer to $60 a barrel on hopes a $1.9 trillion Covid-19 aid package will be passed by U.S. lawmakers as soon as this month just as coronavirus vaccines are being rolled out globally.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was last up 0.3% at 717.2 after climbing as high as 730.16 late last month.
Japan’s Nikkei jumped 2pc while Australian shares advanced 0.8pc led by technology and mining shares. Chinese shares were mildly positive with the blue-chip CSI300 index up 0.1pc.
E-mini futures for the S&P 500 added 0.4pc in early Asian trading.
Hopes of a quicker economic revival and supply curbs by producer group OPEC and its allies pushed oil to its highest level in a year as it edged near $60 a barrel.
Coming up today
Industrial production (Germany, Spain)