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What you need to know before the open

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Today's top story: Facebook broke law over data

Today's leader: Migration isn't the toxic issue people think

Asian markets fell heavily last night as the brewing US tit-for-tat trade war with China escalated once again, after several efforts to ease tensions ended in Washington threatening to slap a further $200bn (£150.8bn) worth of tariffs on a much wider range of Chinese goods.

MSCIs index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan fell 1.1 per cent, wiping away earlier gains this week from a temporary lull in the trade war. Unsurprisingly China took the biggest hit, dropping more than two per cent at one point.

Japans Nikkei fell more than two per cent, while S&P 500 and Dow futures were down 0.7 and 0.8 per cent respectively, pointing to a lower open for Wall Street later in the day.

The FTSE is expected to open 41 points lower at 7,651 this morning. The German Dax is set to start 86 points down at 12,523 while the French Cac is expected to begin 34 points lower at 5,400, according to London Capital Group.

​Corporate news

  • Barratt Developments – the UK's largest housebuilder has its first trading statement since saying it would draw back from the central London property market
  • BT Group – is having a shareholder vote on whether to approve KPMG as its auditor at its annual general meeting
  • Low & Bonar – has its interim results

Data

  • 08.00 – ECB president Draghi's speech
  • 16:35 Mark Carney speech

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