Before the open - 14/08

Chinese shares were given a boost by carmakers early last night as SAIC Motor’s auto parts business said it would increase its stake in a joint venture with Visteon and rumours that an industry body is helping with a government investigation into foreign carmakers setting minimum prices.

The Hang Seng was shut in the morning and remained closed all day as Typhoon Utor passed through Hong Kong.

The Nikkei index benefited from early gains on positive data from the US and Europe and a weaker yen, edging down briefly before rising to a three-day high as the yen continued to weaken on news of corporate tax cuts.

The FTSE is expected to open up after better-than-expected second quarter GDP results from France and Germany reported this morning.

Lots of important macroeconomic data out today, including Bank of England minutes, UK unemployment, Eurozone GDP and US PPI.

Key events today:

UK Bank of England minutes at 09:30.

UK claimant count for July at 09:30. Expected to decrease from a fall of 21,200 to a fall of 15,000.

UK average earnings for three months to June at 09:30. Expected to accelerate from a 1.0 per cent rise to a 1.1 per cent rise excluding bonuses, and to accelerate from a 1.7 per cent rise to a 2.1 per cent rise including bonuses.

UK ILO unemployment rate for three months to June at 09:30. Expected to hold at 7.8 per cent.

Eurozone gross domestic product for the second quarter at 10:00. Expected to fall 0.8 per cent year-on-year and 0.2 per cent quarter-on-quarter.

US producer price index (PPI) for July at 13:30. Expected to fall from 2.5 per cent to 2.4 per cent year-on-year and from 0.8 per cent to 0.3 per cent month-on-month.