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

Rebecca Smith

Today's top story: Southern rail commuters offered a Christmas windfall

Today's leader: Faith alone won't keep the euro alive indefinitely

Zac Goldsmith gave up his Conservative seat over Heathrow expansion and now he's just lost out in the Richmond Park by-election - to Liberal Democrat candidate Sarah Olney. She won the seat by 1,872 votes - overturning Goldsmith's 23,000 majority. Ouch.

European markets look set to open lower as political uncertainty in both France and Italy causes jitters. French President François Hollande has announced he won't be seeking re-election next year (the first sitting president in modern French history not to do so). Investors also have an eye on Sunday's referendum in Italy.

IG is forecasting a drop of 66 points for the FTSE, the Dax to slump 58 points and the Cac down 54.

Elsewhere in the world, Asian shares lost some of their recent gains after pretty lukewarm sessions in Europe and Wall Street. Japan's Nikkei dropped 0.6 per cent - might have got a nosebleed, it had just jumped to an 11-month high after all. Still, that's set for a weekly gain of 0.1 per cent.

And investors will have an eye on the US non-farm payrolls news out today for more evidence of the economy picking up steam (we saw factory activity on the up for last month and construction spending at a seven-month high in October).

Corporate news​

  • Starbucks – Howard Schultz is stepping down from his position as chief executive to become executive chairman
  • Berkeley Group – the property developer has earnings out today
  • Chanel – is planning to up sticks and leave a historic perfume site in France should plans for a high speed train affecting its jasmine fields go ahead
  • Asos – has been accused of underpaying new warehouse staff, in contract documents seen by the Guardian
  • Rolls-Royce – is set to chop 800 jobs from its marine business as part of cost-cutting plans

Data

  • 09:30 – UK construction PMI (November)

  • 10:00 – Eurozone producer price index (October)

  • 13:30 – US unemployment rate (November)

  • 13:30 – US non-farm payrolls (November)

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