Good morning. The FTSE 100 is due to start the week 0.45pc lower following a fall in Asian stocks overnight amid China’s continued crackdown on technology companies. The Hang Seng sank 3.2pc and the Shanghai Composite followed it down 2.4pc following strict new restrictions on education tech firms, and Tencent being forced to relinquish certain online music streaming rights.
That left London’s main index set to open below 7,000 points, though Britain’s easing Covid infection rates is a cause for optimism, according to some analysts. Michael Hewson, chief analyst at CMC Markets, said: “While none of these worries have gone away, as investors balance up the pincer like concerns of rising inflation and slowing growth, the benefit of the doubt appears to be leaning towards a recovery slowed, rather than one stopped in its tracks, largely as a result of companies beating expectations as they report on how business is going.”
5 things to start your day
1) Wine-lovers to save £130m as Brexit slashes red tape: Bottles will become cheaper after UK moves to scrap paperwork imposed on winemakers by EU.
2) China’s role in UK nuclear power under scrutiny: The Government is said to be exploring ways to stop China General Nuclear’s involvement in the planned Sizewell C nuclear plant
3) Taxpayers face near £900m bill for Heathrow rail link: Airport was set to bankroll the majority of the West Country transport link before withdrawing funding pledge in pandemic.
4) UK growing at fastest rate since Second World War: GDP will rebound at a much faster pace than previously anticipated as consumers defy ‘pingdemic’.
5) Builders fear cement shortage will persist until 2022: Experts warn lack of raw materials leaves households at risk from dishonest tradespeople as sector struggles to deliver on projects.
What happened overnight
Asian shares struggled to rally on Monday as super-strong US corporate earnings sucked funds out of emerging markets and into Wall Street, where records were falling almost daily.
More than one third of S&P 500 is set to report quarterly results this week, headlined by Facebook, Tesla, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com.
With just over a fifth of the S&P 500 having reported, 88pc of firms have beaten the consensus of analysts’ expectations. That is a major reason global money managers have poured more than $900 billion into US funds in the first half of 2021.
Nasdaq futures were up 0.1pc in early trade, while S&P 500 futures held steady.
As funds flock to Wall Street, Asian markets have been largely snubbed. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan has been trending sideways since March and was up just a fraction on Monday.
Japan’s Nikkei bounced 1.6pc in early trade, but that was off a seven-month low.
Coming up today
- Corporate: Corporate: Ryanair, Cranswick (Trading update)
- Economics: Business confidence (Germany)
Read More: Miners rise in anticipation of mammoth earnings week