Good morning. FTSE 100 futures are pointing 0.3pc lower this morning, after Asian markets mostly sank again as fears over China’s regulatory crackdown continued to reverberate through the region.
Barclays is the first in a series of blue-chip banks reporting half-year results this week. The bank said pre-tax profits soared to £5bn, compared with the £4.1bn that analysts had forecast.
The nearly four-fold increase from the same period last year came as Barclays released impairment cash – money it had reserved during last year’s uncertainty to cover the costs of loans that might turn bad.
5 things to start your day
1) Morrisons’ biggest investor will not support takeover deal: Silchester says there is ‘little in the recommended offer that could not be achieved by Morrisons as a listed company’.
2) Apple, Google and Microsoft post another quarter of record profits: Apple’s net income came in at $21.7bn for the three months to the end of June, almost double the figure from the same quarter a year earlier.
3) Cobham offers separate US-UK boards to win control of Ultra Electronics: Creating two management structures expected to ease national security concerns about £2.6bn deal masterminded by US private equity firm.
4) Guardian owner to pump more money into private equity: Scott Trust says the overall value of its assets increased by almost a fifth to £1.1bn for the year to March.
5) Black British Business Awards announce 2021 finalists: The annual event, in its eighth year, celebrates the achievements of some of the UK’s top corporate bosses and entrepreneurs.
What happened overnight
Asian stock markets declined on Wednesday after Wall Street pulled back from a record as investors awaited a Federal Reserve report for signs of when US stimulus might be withdrawn.
Investors also were uncertain how much farther China will go with a regulatory crackdown that set off a slide in its internet share prices.
Shanghai, Tokyo and Sydney retreated while Hong Kong advanced.
The Shanghai Composite Index lost 0.6pc to 3,363.00, declining for a third day, while the Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 1.5pc to 27,561.50. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong shed 0.2pc to 25,027.16.
The Kospi in Seoul lost 0.4pc to 3,220.17, while Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 gave up 0.8pc to 7,369.70. New Zealand and Southeast Asian markets declined.
Coming up today
- Corporate: Aston Martin Lagonda, Barclays, British American Tobacco, Dignity, Foxtons, GlaxoSmithKline, ITV, Man Group, Metro Bank, Rio Tinto, St James’s Place, Smurfit Kappa, Rathbone Brothers, Primary Health Properties, FDM Group (Interim)
- Economics: Consumer confidence (Germany), trade balance (US)
Read More: FTSE edges higher as Barclays profits soar to £5bn