Vaccine rollout boosts business optimism – live updates –

Good morning. The FTSE 100 is set to rise as the Reddit frenzy fizzles out. 

After falling 60pc on Tuesday, GameStop continued to slide in after hours trading. Meanwhile former ECB governor Mario Draghi will be asked today to form a new government in Italy. 

5 things to start your day 

1) Jeff Bezos steps down as Amazon chief executive: Andy Jassy, head of the company’s cloud computing division, will replace Mr Bezos who is to transition to executive chairman after 26 years.

2) Kwarteng hails ‘dynamic’ state aid system to replace EU rules: Officials says there will be no return to 1970s approach of ministers trying to run the economy or bailing out unsustainable companies.

3) No black directors at top of FTSE 100 firms: Black directors do not hold any of the top boardroom jobs at Britain’s blue chip companies for the first time since 2014.

4) China leads £46bn race for London property: Buyers in China and Hong Kong are the biggest potential investors in London’s commercial market with £12.8bn earmarked to spend this year.

5) Economic hit from independence three 3x than Brexit: The hit to trade alone would slash Scottish income per capita by between 6.3pc and 8.7pc, equal to up to £2,800 per person, economists warn.

What happened overnight 

Asian shares and US stock futures rose on Wednesday as governments around the world looked poised to boost spending to help economies recover from the coronavirus and vaccine roll-out programmes accelerated.

MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.58pc. Australian stocks gained 0.92pc. Shares in China fell 0.03pc.

Japan’s Nikkei added 0.9%. Shares in Seoul rose by 0.79pc. 

Coming up today

Corporate: Glaxosmithkline (Interim results); Glencore, Vodafone (Trading statements)

Economics: Final composite and services PMIs (UK, Japan, China, eurozone, US); ADP employment change (US)