What you need to know before the open

Today's top story:John McDonnell is going to Davos with "a warning for the global elite"

Today's leader: Asos is in for a fashion face-off with Amazon's wardrobe service

There has still been plenty going on in Davos, but among the most eye-catching had been Philip Hammond's comments calling for "very modest" changes to Britain's relationship with the EU. That did not go down well with Tory backbenchers, and led to a rebuke from the PM.

Hammond later tweeted he was clear that the UK will cease to be a member of the EU at the end of March 2019, and will be outside the customs union and Single Market. So there you go.

Elsewhere, Asian stocks dropped back from record highs today though they have still secured strong gains over the week.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was effectively flat today, while the dollar's lift against the yen boosted Japanese stocks. Australian markets were shut for a public holiday.

Now in the UK, the Office for National Statistics will have its first estimate of GDP growth for the fourth quarter at 9.30am this morning, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

The FTSE is expected to open up 27 points at 7,637 this morning, while the German Dax and French Cac are also set to open up 33 and 29 points respectively, according to IG.

Corporate news

  • Haynes Publishing – is hoping its results will make for good reading this morning
  • BBC – four male presenters, including Jeremy Vine and John Humphrys, at the corporation have agreed to reduce their salaries over equal pay rows
  • Facebookbillionaire investor George Soros has criticised tech giants like Facebook and Google saying such "monopolies" are obstacles to innovation
  • Walmart – the US retail behemoth has announced a tie-up with Japan's Rakuten for a new online grocery delivery service


  • 09:30 – UK GDP (fourth quarter)
  • 13:30 – US GDP (fourth quarter)
  • 13:30 – Canadian consumer price index

Original Article

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