What you need to know before the open

Today's top story: UK agrees to join US and France in action over Syria

Today's leader: Taking the Mickey: Have regulators just forced Disney to underwrite Sky?

Geopolitical concerns eased somewhat yesterday, with Donald Trump tweeting that US air strikes on Syria could "be very soon or not soon at all".

​Last night, the UK government agreed to back the US and France and “keep working closely together on the international response” to the deadly chemical attack last weekend.

European markets were on track for a mixed start this morning as investors prepare for earnings reports from US banking stalwarts.

The FTSE is expected to start the day two points lower at 7,251, while Germany's Dax is set to open four points higher at 12,420 and the French Cac is seen up by three points at 5,307, according to IG.

Meanwhile, equities in Asia were mixed. MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose by just 0.07 per cent, down from a 0.5 per cent rise earlier in the day. Chinese shares dipped while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 0.1 per cent. Japan's Nikkei climbed 0.5 per cent.

Corporate news

  • Fast Retailing – the owner of retailer Uniqlo rose to a 10-week high in Japan today after it raised full-year profit forecasts
  • US banks – JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and Citigroup will post first-quarter results in the US today
  • Uber – A US judge has ruled Uber drivers are not employees of the company but independent contractors


  • 08:00 – Spanish consumer price index (March)
  • 11:00 – Eurozone trade balance (February)
  • 18:00 – US Baker Hughes oil rig count

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