Good morning. The FTSE 100 is set to start the week in the green despite the Government preparing to announce stringent local lockdowns in Northern England.
But keep an eye on stocks in the hospitality and leisure sectors today, as the new restrictions in some areas will shutter pubs, gyms, casinos, bookmakers and social clubs.
Brexit will also be back in focus this week as Boris Johnson’s October 15 deadline for the outline of a trade deal looms.
5 things to start your day
1) Arm is racing to double its UK staff headcount: The British microchip company has to hire 490 staff by September 2021 to meet legally binding pledges it made when it was bought by SoftBank.
2) Ocado boss says tougher lockdown rules are ‘counterproductive’: The chairman of Ocado Stuart Rose describes the 10pm curfew imposed on pubs and restaurants as “bungled”, demonstrating a “lack of foresight and strategic thinking” from ministers and risking millions of jobs.
3) CBI chief calls for a free ports watchdog: The head of Britain’s biggest business group warns that free ports risk becoming “a magnet for trade operating on the borders of the law”.
4) Firms move €150bn of UK assets to France ahead of Brexit: The Banque de France governor says that since September, 31 entities – mainly investment firms – have also applied for a licence in France.
5) Levelling up the North ‘must have a more surgical approach’: The first report of the new Covid Recovery Commission, led by Tesco and Barratt chairman John Allan, sets out a damning picture of the impact of the pandemic on the poorest regions of the UK.
What happened overnight
Chinese stocks led Asian markets higher on Monday as investors bet on a steady recovery for the world’s no. 2 economy, though caution about the fate of US stimulus kept the dollar firm and a central bank policy tweak unwound some of the yuan’s gains.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 0.8pc to 2.5-year highs, buoyed by a 2pc gain in Chinese blue chips and a 1.5pc rise by Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index. Japan’s Nikkei slipped 0.3pc as investors fretted about corporate earnings.
China has returned from an eight day mid-autumn festival with investors encouraged by a robust rebound in tourism and ebbing coronavirus cases.
Chinese blue chips have gained nearly 17pc this year, compared with an almost 8pc gain by the S&P 500. Foreigners’ purchase of Chinese government bonds hit its fastest pace in more than two years last month.
Coming up today
No FTSE 350 companies are set to report.
Economics BoE’s Bailey and Haskel both due to speak (UK)