Good morning. The FTSE 100 is set to fall for a second day as Monday’s vaccine rally continues to fade. Investors are increasingly focusing on the near-term virus risk as opposed to the longer-term implications of a vaccine.
The pound continued to rise on Brexit deal optimism.
5 things to start your day
1) Festive ads are an early Christmas present for media sector: John Lewis’ Christmas advert is a welcome reprieve for broadcasters, after facing a £500m plunge in TV ad spending from March to June.
2) Tech billionaires fuel boom in private jet sales: Cash-rich but time-poor tech execs are increasingly splashing out on larger aircraft for transcontinental travel without the need for fuel stops.
3) Shop early this Christmas, Amazon warns: Online retail giant fears even hiring an extra 250,000 workers this year may not be enough to avoid shipping delays this festive season.
4) Officials spent £6m on body bags from Slovakia at the height of the first wave: Ministers paid £6m in April to a Slovakian medical goods firm as the UK’s Covid death rate spiralled and stocks ran low, according to official filings
5) Elon Musk is world’s third-richest person as Tesla enters S&P 500: Elon Musk has overtaken Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to become the world’s third-richest person, after his fortune soared by $7.6bn (£5.7bn).
What happened overnight
Asian stock markets were mixed on Wednesday after Wall Street declined as worries about the long-term impact of the coronavirus pandemic tempered enthusiasm about possible vaccine development.
Benchmarks in Tokyo and Hong Kong declined while Shanghai and Seoul advanced.
Also on Wednesday, Japan reported its export decline narrowed to 0.2pc over a year earlier in October.
The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo lost 0.7pc to 25,827.23 while the Shanghai Composite Index gained 0.4pc to 3,355.06. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong retreated less than 0.1pc to 26,383.95.
The Kospi in Seoul was up less than 0.1pc at 2,539.20 and Sydney’s S&P-ASX 200 added 0.3pc to 6,515.50.
Coming up today
Corporate: British Land, Halfords, SSE (Interim results); Avon Rubber (Full year); Tbc Bank Group, Safestore, Spirax-Sarco Engineering, Equiniti, Nvidia (Trading Statements)
Economics: Inflation (UK, eurozone), car registrations, house price index (UK); building permits, housing starts (US)