What you need to know before the open

Today's top story: Turf war – Law firm bosses see Big Four as threat as they aggressively expand into legal sector

Today's leader: Raise a glass to the gin and tonic success story

Fresh sanctions set to be imposed on Russia from the US in response to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury sank the ruble yesterday.

It slid to its lowest level since 2016, with the dollar buying 65.68 rubles, a 3.3 per cent increase overnight.

Fears the UK could leave the EU without a deal continued to weigh on sterling, as it traded at $1.2886 after dropping 0.4 per cent overnight.

Asian shares made gains, as talk from the Chinese government about increasing support for homegrown tech companies saw Shanghai blue chips gain 2.3 per cent. The boost to Chinese stocks lifted MSCI's index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan 0.5 per cent, wiping out earlier losses.

European markets are expected to show small losses when they open this morning. The FTSE 100 will start the day 0.24 per cent down at 7,758, while the German Dax will lose 0.03 per cent to open at 12,630 and France's Cac will shed 0.03 per cent to open at 5,500, according to IG Squawk.

​Corporate news

  • Coca-Cola – said net profit rose 13.2 per cent in the first half
  • Cineworld – reported a before-tax profit jump of 164.8 per cent following its acquisition of cinema chain Regal


  • 9.00 – EU Economic Bulletin
  • 13.30 – US Producer Price Index (July)

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