Good morning. The FTSE is set to open flat ahead of the Bank of England’s latest decision on interest rates.
The cautious start for the blue-chip index follows the tech-focused Nasdaq hitting another record high overnight.
5 things to start your day
1) Emma Walmsley slashes dividend in radical shake-up to save her job: The chief executive defended her leadership of £71bn pharmaceuticals titan GSK as she prepares to spin off its consumer healthcare arm.
2) Small businesses to be exempt from ban on junk food advertising: It follows concerns that small high street restaurants, cafes and bakeries could be caught up in the new online restrictions.
3) Value of Queen’s property holdings soars as wind farms take off: The total value of the Crown Estate portfolio jumped by 7.5pc to £14.4bn in the year to March 31, boosted by offshore wind projects.
4) MoD under fire for 20 years of delays to military projects: Damning review by spending watchdog reveals massive delays to arms programmes leaving UK undefended and resulting in spiralling costs.
5) City watchdog criticised for buck-passing under Andrew Bailey: MPs on Treasury Select Committee find the FCA failed to learn lessons from past mistakes and had lax boardroom standards.
What happened overnight
Shares were mostly higher in Asia on Thursday after a listless day of trading on Wall Street as the recent bout of nerves over Federal Reserve policy fades.
Markets advanced in Tokyo, Seoul and Hong Kong while Sydney and Shanghai declined.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 index edged less than 0.1pc higher to 28,888.52 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng also was less than 0.1pc higher. In Seoul, the Kospi added 0.3pc to 3,286.00.
The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.2pc to 3,561.01, while Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 edged 0.1pc lower.
Shares rose in India and Taiwan but fell in Southeast Asia.
Coming up today
- Corporate: Latham, XPS Pensions (Full year); Crest Nicholson, Wood Group (Interim)
- Economics: Bank of England interest rate decision (UK)
Read More: FTSE steady ahead of Bank of England decision – live updates