Good morning. European markets are set to start the week in the red as Covid-19 cases continue to rise in certain hotspots worldwide.
In Florida on Sunday, infections rose by 6.4pc, while new cases in Arizona topped the weekly average for a fourth day – highlighting the risk of reopening economies too soon.
The total number of reported cases worldwide has now surpassed 10 million.
5 things to start your day
1) Britain is heading for Brexit ‘customs chaos’ The head of the Government’s own expert customs panel has warned of looming chaos at ports due to the “amateurish” handling of a new IT system.
2) Coronavirus has unleashed a process of “creative destruction” – but who are the winners and losers?
3) City bosses are calling on the government to slash red tape to try and boost the economy. It comes as life insurers and pensions companies are also campaigning for a cut in the level of capital they have to hold on their balance sheets, to release cash to invest infrastructure.
4) Retirement housebuilder McCarthy & Stone’s boss John Tonkiss on how criticism over poor resale values of the company’s properties is being addressed
5) ‘Biased’ code used by UK banks could be making decisions that change your life.
What happened overnight
Asian stocks fell as the accelerating spread of the coronavirus in a number of locations outweighed some signs of economic improvement.
Stocks fell more than 1pc in Japan, Australia and Hong Kong. They had a more modest drop in China, where markets reopened after a two-day holiday. South Korean shares slumped 2pc after the country’s finance minister ruled out another budget for this year.
Meanwhile, China’s central bank said it will implement new monetary tools to make sure liquidity reaches the real economy. The People’s Bank of China said it will increase the proportion of smaller company, credit and manufacturing loans, and continue to lower lending rates.
Coming up today
Draper Esprit, Wood Group
Mortgage approvals and lending, consumer credit (UK), business and consumer confidence (eurozone), pending home sales (US)