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Whoever comes out on top in Vodafone’s new deal with Indian rival Idea Cellular, getting it through the gate is going to be a proper tamasha.

The UK-based mobile phone operator, has struck a deal to merge its Indian operations with rival Idea in a deal that will create one of the largest telecoms companies in the world. The merged group would have around 380m users.

On the home front, Prime Minister Theresa May will embark on a tour of the UK in an attempt to unite the country before she starts formal Brexit negotiations at the end of the month. But Mrs May is also trying to reinforce claims that she is not turning her back on Europe. Britain and Germany are set to sign a new defence co-operation deal after Brexit, a move she hopes will win goodwill among her 27 EU partners.

In Asia Pacific trading, the US dollar continued its slide in the wake of last week’s widely expected decision by the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates, while Asian stocks were mixed. Both Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 and Tokyo’s Topix were down 0.4 per cent, but in Hong Kong the benchmark Hang Seng was up 0.56 per cent and on track to close at its highest level since 2015.

Futures tip the FTSE 100 to rise 0.1 per cent at market open in London, while the S&P 500 is expected to dip 0.2 per cent when trading begins in New York.

Corporate earnings reports out today include JKX, Phoenix and Talanx.

The economic calendar for Monday is mercifully light:

  • 07.00: Germany producer price inflation
  • 10.00: eurozone Q4 labour costs

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