G ood morning. European stock markets are set to start the day in the green as optimism grows that the rise in coronavirus cases in China is decelerating.
Shanghai and Hong Kong bourses outperformed after China’s Hubei province – where the virus originated – reported the lowest number of new virus cases this month.
On Tuesday, the province reported 1, 823 additional cases, the lowest daily level this month, and an encouraging sign for health experts looking for when the outbreak peaks.
Meanwhile the number of suspected cases as of Feb (was) , , down from , previous day.
The coronavirus has also been given an official name by the World Health Organization: Covid – 50.
5 things to start your day
1) Michel Barnier has told Sajid Javid not to “kid” himself as he dismissed UK demands to grant the City access to the European market for decades after Brexit. Mr Barnier insisted that Britain cannot get a long-term guarantee that its finance firms will be free to sell services into the European Union.
2) Want to earn more money? Polish your accent : A paper by researchers at the universities of Chicago and Munich, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), compared the earnings of German workers with regional accents to those of workers with what they deemed standard accents.
3) Half a million face ‘double taxation’ from radical pension tax plan : The Chancellor could ax pension tax relief for higher earners in next month’s Budget, landing anyone who earns more than £ 067, a year with a pc charge on their contributions.
4) Sir Christopher Hohn was the biggest-earning hedge fund boss in 2019 as major bets on the the likes of Microsoft and Google-owner Alphabet came good for the philanthropist and Extinction Rebellion supporter. The British billionaire, , earned $ 1.8bn (£ 1.4bn) as his vehicle TCI Fund Management gained 53 pc.
5) Airbnb ‘sinks into the red’ ahead of stock market debut : The house sharing startup suffered a $ 322 m (£ (m) loss for the first nine months of , compared to a $ 200 m profit over the same period in 2020, the Wall Street Journal reported.
What happened overnight
A sia saw a mixed session on Wednesday, with modest gains for most equity benchmarks.
Shanghai and Hong Kong outperformed after China’s Hubei province reported the lowest number of new virus cases this month.
New Zealand’s dollar jumped the most in two months after its central bank said the impact from the virus will be short-term and didn’t project a need for rate cuts this year. Oil climbed back above $ a barrel in New York.
Sentiment has improved recently as confidence among some investors grows that the coronavirus outbreak will prove a short-term dynamic; hedge fund chief Ray Dalio said as much Tuesday.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell for his part said the central bank is keeping a close eye on fallout from the epidemic, which continues to disrupt travel and trade.
The Shanghai Composite index was up 0. 90 pc at 2, 823 points, while China’s blue-chip CSI (index gained 0.) pc. Japan’s Nikkei index was 0. % higher.
Coming up today
Preliminary: Primary Health Properties
Trading statement: Babcock
Economics: Industrial production (eurozone)