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

Courtney Goldsmith
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Today's top story: Wellcome Trust set for $100m windfall from Snap IPO as tech firm woos City investors

Today's leader: The EU mustn't shoot itself in the foot - euro clearing thrives in London

This morning, HSBC revealed its profits have dropped 62 per cent after a series of one-off hits eroded the bank's bottom line, while BHP Billiton swung back to profit for the first half of 2017 and rewarded shareholders with a dividend boost.

European stocks are expected to open slightly lower today while investors keep an eye out for fresh economic data and company earnings. Analysts see the FTSE 100 opening five points lower at 7,297, while France's Cac is set to open four points down at 4,865 and the German Dax is seen down nine points at 11,823.

Elsewhere in the world, Asian markets traded mostly higher. Japan's Nikkei rose 0.7 per cent to 19,381.44 as the weaker yen helped overall sentiment, while the broader Topix rose 0.6 per cent to 1,555.60, according to Reuters. Toshiba's shares were down 1.29 per cent paring some gains as sources told Reuters the firm is planning to raise 1 trillion yen (£7.1bn) on the sale of its memory chip business.

Corporate news​

  • HSBC revealed its full-year profits plunged 62 per cent, and repeated its warning that the bank is considering moving 1,000 jobs to Paris because of Brexit
  • BHP Billiton reported it is back in profit for the first half of the year and announced a dividend hike
  • Anglo American will report its preliminary results for the year ended 31 December 2016
  • InterContinental Hotels will announce its full-year preliminary results
  • Wal-Mart the US supermarket giant will report earnings today

Data​

  • 07:45 – French Consumer Price Index (January)
  • 08:00 – French Markit Services and Manufacturing PMI (February)
  • 08:30 – German Markit Services and Manufacturing PMI (February)
  • 09:00 – Eurozone Markit Services and Manufacturing PMI (February)
  • 09:30 – UK Public Sector Net Borrowing (January)
  • 10:00 – Bank of England's Mark Carney Speech
  • 13:50 – US Federal Open Market Committee Speech

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