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

Oliver Gill
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Today's top story: Trump confirms $50bn tariffs aimed at China

Today's leader: UK passport protests get to the heart of post-Brexit trade debate

A trade row between the US and China set shockwaves thorugh Asian stock markets this morning – ones that are set to reverberate into European bourses and see the FTSE 100 hover above a 15-month low.

Analysts are calling the FTSE 100 74 points lower at 6,878 when trading starts. The German Dax is set to shed 220 points at 11,880 and France's Cac is facing a 91 point dump to open at 5,076.

China responded to US President Donald Trump's plans to slap $60bn of tariffs on Chinese goods. While it urged Trump to "step back from the brink", the world's second-biggest economy has not afraid of a trade war.

Chinese shares fell over four per cent, similar to those in Japan. The Hang Seng was 3.5 per cent down.

Read more: China "not afraid" of US trade war as it plots $3bn tariff retaliation

"Despite Trump claiming that the tariffs would make the US “a much stronger nation” the markets are keenly aware that there will be no winners to a trade war," said LCG analyst Jasper Lawler.

"Worse still, the tit for tat responses that we are now seeing, and can expect to see more of, between the world’s two largest economies, is damaging for their economies and the broader global economy."

Lawler continued: "Traders are bracing themselves for a sea of red on the open, as bourses across Europe are expected to extend their heavy losses into a second session. After shedding 1.2 per cent in the previous session, the FTSE is hovering at 15-month lows, with falls back towards 6,850 in the near term looking increasingly likely. The Dax is also being hit particularly hard as there are still no clear answers as to whether Germany will be exempt from the steel and aluminium tariffs."

Corporate news

  • Nissan – reveals plans to sell 1m electric cars a year by 2022
  • Tencent – sheds $24bn of its market cap
  • Facebook – has been dropped from an Australian ethical index
  • Boeing – will not appeal the Bombardier case


  • 12:00 – Bank of England quarterly bulletin
  • 12:30 – Bank of England member Gertjan Vlieghe speech
  • 14:00 – US new homes (February)

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