What you need to know before the open

Today's top story: Oil gushes to four-year high as Boris Johnson calls on Trump to re-certify Iran nuclear deal

Today's leader: Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley keeps faith in the UK high street

The FTSE is expected to open 13 points higher after the bank holiday, following a solid start to the week from the rest of Europe's main markets, according to financial bookmakers. France's CAC 40 is expected to open the day largely flat, with Germany's Dax down five points.

In a week which will see the Bank of England make its latest decision on interest rates, there will be a slew of other news to keep investors on their toes.

This evening, US President Trump is expected to announce his decision on the Iran nuclear deal.

After oil prices rocketed yesterday over US-Iran tensions, they eased during the US session after Trump revealed he would make an announcement today. The President has previously threatened to withdraw the US from the international agreement, which lifts sanctions on Iran in return for it giving up its nuclear programme.

The dollar remained steady yesterday, ahead of a speech from the US Federal Reserve's Jerome Powell in Zurich this morning.

Asian markets also generally traced higher, helped by strength in the US technology sector. Japan's Nikkei, Hong Kong's HSI and China's Shanghai index were all up at the time of writing.

Corporate news

  • William Hill – in a trading update this morning, the betting firm will likely comment on its hopes for the US market and an update on whether its online offering will continue to make up lost ground.
  • Hiscox – the insurance firm will be providing a trading update, as it revealed last year was a "historic year for catastrophes".
  • Treatt – the fragrance and flavour should report strong results in interims today, after an April trading update revealed it was performing well.
  • Rosenblatt – the City law firm floated on Aim this morning, at a market cap of £76m.


  • 08.15 – US Fed's Powell speech on monetary policy in Zurich
  • 08.30 – UK Halifax House Prices (April)
  • 18.00 – US President Trump to give speech on Iran

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