Shares, stocks and corporate news: What you need to know before the open

Oliver Gill
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Today's top story: Business groups in fresh bid to thwart rates row

Today's leader: Here's some food for thought: The courgette crisis is no joke

Donald Trump's rather bizarre solo performance with the press yesterday evening pared back Wall Street's charge and led to Asian stocks edging down overnight.

But European markets are set to open up a tad, with analysts expecting the FTSE 100 up two points at 7,280, France's Cac up the same at 4,901 and over in Frankfurt, the Dax is seen up 12 points at 11,769.

The MSCI Asia-Pacific excluding Japan fell 0.2 per cent but still has gained 1.2 per cent this week – its fourth straight weekly gain.

Japan's Nikkei, somewhat hamstrung by Toshiba's shares falling a further nine per cent, closed down 0.6 per cent meaning it ended the week 0.7 per cent lower.

Read more: Samsung boss arrested as police fire up corruption probe

"Trump’s erratic performance in the press conference has had a destabilising influence on investor confidence," Angus Gluskie, managing director of Australian firm White Funds Management, told Reuters.

Oil traders decided on a half-glass-full approach as a week of pessimism was replaced with optimism. Brent crude nudged up 0.1 per cent to $53.42 a barrel. Nevertheless, prices are down 1.7 per cent on the week on worries about US production and stockpiling.

Corporate news​

  • Samsung boss Lee Jae-yong formally arrested by South Korean police over corruption allegations
  • Apple is to start India manufacturing of the iPhone SE in the coming months
  • Toshiba's shares fell by nine per cent as S&P warns of a downgrade risk
  • Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg warned against the reversal of global thinking
  • Virgin Australia has deferred deliveries of Boeing aircraft for at least a year as it struggles with weakening domestic demand


  • 09:30 – UK retail sales (January)
  • 10:00 – Eurozone construction output (December)
  • 13:30 – Canadian portfolio investment (December)
  • 15:00 – US CB leading indicator (January)

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