There’s encouraging data out this morning showing the economy recovered to above pre-pandemic levels in November.
GDP grew 0.9pc over the month, meaning it’s now 0.7pc above its pre-Covid peak. The growth was driven largely by service sector activity.
However, the ONS figures cover the period before the omicron variant ran riot through the country, meaning growth may well have slowed before the end of the year.
5 things to start your day
1)A previous attempt to buy the building fell through during the pandemic
2)Agency calls for ‘structural change’ to meet growing demand for power
3)Investors have been offloading shares most sensitive to higher interest rates, such as loss-making growth companies
4)Online fashion retailer’s proposed LSE move will make it eligible to enter the FTSE 250
5)Mergers still weighed down by EU regulations despite Brexit, say corporate titans
What happened overnight
Asian shares took a beating on Friday after a fresh salvo of hawkish remarks from Federal Reserve officials solidified expectations that U.S. interest rates could rise as soon as March, leaving markets braced for tighter monetary conditions.
Equity markets turned deeply red, with MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan shedding 0.9pc in mid-afternoon trade, while Australia lost 1.1pc and Japan’s Nikkei gave up 1.3pc.
South Korean shares dropped 1.4pc after the country’s central bank raised its benchmark rate 25 basis points to 1.25pc on Friday, as expected, taking it back to where it was before the pandemic as it seeks to restrain consumer price rises.
China’s blue-chip index declined 0.5pc and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index was off 0.9pc.
Coming up today
- Corporate: Currys, Experian (trading update)
- Economics: GDP, manufacturing, production (UK); industrial production (UK, US); retail sales, Michigan consumer sentiment index (US)