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

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Today's top story: Watchdog sinks teeth into KPMG

Today's leader: Work longer to counter shifting demographics

The government's day has already got off to a shaky start, with Theresa may suffering another defeat in the House of Lords after peers decided MPs should be able to approve whatever the government decides to do next if there is no final agreement with the EU. Meanwhile, the chancellor, Philip Hammond, has warned that a £20bn boost for the NHS means other policies will get no increase in spending.

And just when the world thought the impending trade war between the the US and China couldn't get any worse, Donald Trump has announced he will impose tariffs not only on $50bn worth of Chinese goods, but a further $200bn.

Meanwhile, the FTSE is predicted to open slightly down this morning at 7,633 points, according to Reuters. The French Cac and German Dax are expected to open flat this morning.

Asian markets reacted again to the news of further tariffs on Chinese goods. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan lost more than 1 per cent to its lowest level since early February owing to a slide in Chinese shares. Japan's Nikkei lost 0.9 per cent.

Corporate news 

  • Flybe - has its final results out today, as does Footasylum and Bonmarché Holdings
  • Biffa - will release its annual report today

Data

  • 08.00 - ECB President Draghi speech
  • 08.30 - ECB Praet speech