Today's top story: Davis tells Berlin: Do not put politics above prosperity on Brexit
Today's leader: Royal Mail is held back by out-of-date red tape
UK stocks are expected to edge down this morning despite Asian shares making gains in the wake of progress in the passing of US tax reforms.
Britain's blue chip index, the FTSE 100, is expected to start the day 0.2 per cent down at 7,372 points, according to analysts from IG.
However, the German Dax is projected to edge the other way, opening 0.16 per cent up at 13,068. France's Cac is seen flat at 5,337.
The MSCI Asia-Pacific excluding Japan rose 0.8 per cent overnight, with Japan's Nikkei some 0.4 per cent higher. Traders were buoyed by strong corporate earnings from US heavyweights Wal-Mart and Cisco.
Also, the US House of Representatives passed Donald Trump's package of tax cuts. While this represents the smallest hurdle the changes have faced, it is a first-step victory for the president. The plans will be debated by the Senate, where some Republicans have already denounced the cuts and greater resistance is expected.
Brent crude futures dipped to $61.31. Trading in the black stuff is set for its first weekly fall in six weeks, dragged down by concerns on US oversupply. Oil is on track to end the week more than three per cent lower.