Good morning. The FTSE 100 is set to open higher after posting its best week since April last week.
The pound was slightly lower against the dollar as Brexit trade talks head for another crunch week, with fishing, the level playing field and governance remaining the key sticking points.
Meanwhile, China, Japan and South Korea were among 15 countries to sign a new trade agreement overnight, known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, or “RCEP”, sending Asian stocks higher.
5 things to start your day
1) Betting tycoon Fred Done is backing the £9bn takeover bid for William Hill by Las Vegas casino operators Ceasars Entertainment
2) Sir Philip Green’s Arcadia Group has denied claims it is on the brink of administration. The Topshop owner is in talks with lenders to secure new loans.
3) Paying for the pandemic does not mean an impoverished future, argues Roger Bootle
4) Sunak’s listing regime reform is unlikely to convince British start-ups to choose London, Nasdaq chief says
5) John Lewis’ new strategy makes sense - but Covid could derail its plans, argues John Timpson
What happened overnight
Asian stocks hit a record high on Monday as vaccine optimism and strong economic data from China and Japan outshone worries about rising coronavirus cases, lifting just about every sector.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan gained 1pc to hit its highest since its launch in 1987 with markets across the region making milestone peaks.
Japan’s Nikkei traded at 29-year highs, South Korea’s Kospi at its highest since early 2018 and Australia’s ASX 200 hit an eight-month peak in the morning, before a glitch halted trade.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.6pc following the index’s record close on Friday, Nasdaq 100 futures leapt one per cent and European futures were up strongly with EuroSTOXX 50 futures up 0.8pc and FTSE futures up half a per cent.
Currencies and commodity markets were a little more circumspect.
Coming up today
Interim results: Kainos, Smiths, Vodafone
Trading statement: Kingspan
Economics: Industrial production (China, Japan); retail sales (China); Empire State manufacturing (US)