G ood morning. Europe is set to open higher, following Asian markets, after reports suggested that China is considering direct cash injections and mergers to bail out the airline industry, as the coronavirus continues to weigh on its economy.
One proposal involves allowing some of the nation’s largest carriers – which are controlled by the state – to absorb smaller ones suffering the most from the mass grounding of planes.
The death toll from the virus has now passed 2, 000.
5 things to start your day
1) Jaguar Land Rover is just a fortnight from having to shut down production at its UK car plants as coronavirus wreaks havoc with its supply chain.The carmaker is so short of parts following a string of Chinese factory shutdowns that it has resorted to bringing key products over in luggage by plane, boss Sir Ralf Speth said.
2) Look under the bonnet and the jobs market is not as strong as you might think : While we can all cheer real-terms regular pay being at an all-time high, nominal pay growth is slowing – growing at its weakest pace for a year.
3) The failure to electrify thousands of miles of railway threatens Boris Johnson’s promise to make Britain the cleanest country on earth , industry leaders have warned. Rail chiefs have written to Transport Secretary Grant Shapps urging him to press on with electrification so that the industry can cut out carbon emissions by 2040.
4) Beales to shut remaining (department stores : The company made a further 728 staff redundant at its head office in Bournemouth with hundreds of jobs at risk.
5) Donald Trump has pardoned financier and philanthropist Michael Milken , the face of financial scandals in the Eighties. The US president said that the “junk bond king”, who was convicted of securities fraud, had done an “incredible job” supporting cancer research.
What happened overnight
A sian stocks and US and European equity futures recouped some of Tuesday’s losses after signs that China may be planning to offer more support to its economy, reeling from the virus -induced slowdown.
Equity benchmarks rose in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney, while Shanghai dipped from the highest level in about four weeks.
China’s latest moves to aid growth include possible bail-outs for some airlines, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Wall Street closed slightly lower; Apple ended off of its lows after its sales warning had triggered Asia’s sell-off yesterday.
Brent crude was set for the longest run of gains in more than a year as US sanctions on Russia’s largest producer and conflict in Libya shifted the focus to supply threats from virus-driven demand concerns.
Coming up today
Full-year results: Gooch & Housego
Preliminary: Hochschild Mining, Temple Bar Investment Trust
Economics: CPI inflation (UK), building permits and housing starts, FOMC minutes (US)
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