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


Today's top story: Carillion's collapse – ministers hold emergency Cobra meeting


Today's leader:  Carillion was on life support for months


Yesterday the headlines were dominated by the collapse of Britain's second-largest contractor, Carillion

The liquidation of the firm put thousands of jobs at risk, sent shockwaves through the wider supply chain and raised questions over a string of contracts awarded by the government in recent months. Ministers yesterday held an emerrgency Cobra meeting to discuss the most immediate issues arising from the collapse.

Today, European markets are set for a mixed open.

In the UK, the blue-chip index is expected to open 12 points higher at 7,779 while Germany's Dax is set to start up 11 points at 13,220 and the French Cac is seen down four points at 5,514, according to IG.

The euro hovered near its highest level in three years this morning on expectations the European Central Bank could pare its monetary stimulus. 

Elsewhere, Asian markets were mostly higher, paring earlier losses. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan rose 0.4 per cent. 

Australian shares dipped 0.3 per cent as miners came under pressure by weaker Chinese iron ore prices with BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto falling more than one per cent each.

US markets were closed yesterday for a public holiday.

Corporate news


  • 07:00  – German consumer price index (December)
  • 09:30 – UK consumer price index (December)
  • 17:00 – Speech by Swiss National Bank's Thomas Jordan

Tags: FTSE 100