What you need to know before the open
Today's top story: Oh, balls: Richard Branson reignites painful bet with Willie Walsh
Today's leader: Cities are still at the heart of Britain's prosperity
The Prime Minister has insisted that a transition period for Brexit will be agreed early next year, as she prepares to face off challenges in a debate on the EU withdrawal bill today.
The US ambassador has told the BBC this morning that he expects Donald Trump to visit the UK in the new year, despite a recent disagreement with Theresa May over his retweets.
European stocks are likely to continue ticking up today.
Spreadbetters say the FTSE will open up 0.23 per cent at 7,471. The German Dax is set to be up 0.27 per cent at 13,160 and the French Cac is expected to be up 0.33 per cent at 5,404.
Asian stocks continued to rise following unexpectedly positive data from China last week. The MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan slipped 0.3 per cent and China's blue-chip CSI 300 index was down 0.5 per cent.
- Ashtead chairman Chris Cole will retire next year.
- In a trading update, Balfour Beatty said performance was in line with expectations.
- Chemicals company Elementis has agreed to sell its Surfactants business to a Swiss firm for €39m.
- 09:30 – UK retail price index (November)
- 09:30 – UK house price index (November)
- 09:30 – UK consumer price index (November)