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

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Markets are expected to edge lower this morning this morning as they await more news from the European Central Bank which could hint at policy moves.

Eyes will be on inflation, unemployment and economic sentiment data coming out of the Eurozone as an indicator of the health of the region as worries grow over deflation.

The ECB signalled efforts to revive markets yesterday with the hiring of  Blackrock to advise on plans for an asset-backed securities purchase programme. 

In the UK, David Cameron will address business leaders later today at the CBI conference.

He's expected to tell leaders that the UK is one of the most successful single markets in the world ahead of the Scottish referendum on independence, and will take the opportunity to reiterate his stance that there is no prospect of a currency union if Scots vote yes.

And, in the ongoing struggle between Europe and Russia, the Swiss government has outlined further measures to prevent the country being used by Russia to avoid sanctions imposed by the EU.

Corporate news

Paddy Power added a record number of customers in the first half of the year, with a little help from the World Cup, but pre-tax profits fell by 13 per cent.

Recruitment firm Hays reported positive full year results with  pre-tax profits up 12 per cent.

Overnight, Australian airline Quantas reported losses of AUS$2.8bn (£1.57bn), its biggest loss in history and worse than analysts expected.

Data in focus

  • 7:00am Nationwide house price index
  • 9:30am UK national construction data
  • 10:00am European unemployment figures
  • 10:00am European consumer confidence
  • 11:00am CBI quarterly distributive trades survey
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