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

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European markets are expected to open stronger after a rebound in Asian equities. Yesterday the Federal Reserve reaffirmed its confidence in the US economy. Fed chair Janet Yellen said rate hikes were not likely for "at least the next couple of meetings". 

In a move that surprised analysts the US central bank also kept the phrased "considerable time" in its statement, referring to the amount of time it will take for rates to rise.

No one knows for sure when rates will start to rise but the consensus remains focused around the middle of next year. After a devastating week for the Russian economy President Vladimir Putin will give his annual address at 9.00am. 

The US and Cuba have a reached a historic agreement to end decades of trade sanctions paving the way to "open economic and travel ties". The US trade embargo was put in place in 1960 and been a constant source of tension between the two countries.

Corporate news

The London Stock Exchange Group saw £41bn of equity capital raised on the Group's markets for the eleven months to 30 November.

Data in Focus

  • 9.00am, Germany, December, ifo business climate survey
  • 9.30am,UK, BoE credit conditions survey 
  • 9.30am, UK, November, retail sales
  • 9.30am, Eurozone, October, construction output
  • 1.30pm, US, December, initial jobless claims

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