Fast Europe Open: France industrial production, Greece inflation

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So: Donald Trump fired the director of the FBI.

Yes, really.

The White House said Mr Trump had “terminated” James Comey as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation with immediate effect following advice from Jeff Sessions, the attorney-general, and his deputy Rod Rosenstein.

The dismissal marks the latest in a series of sensational episodes that raise questions about the relationships Mr Trump and his campaign aides may have had with Russia. It comes on the eve of a visit to Washington by Vladimir Putin’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who is due to meet Mr Trump on Wednesday.

The dollar weakened against a wide swathe of currencies in the Asia trading day that followed Mr Comey’s firing, with the dollar index falling 0.2 per cent. The pound is up 0.1 per cent at $1.2948, while the euro has gained 0.2 per cent to $1.0891.

The day was broadly positive for Asia Pacific equities, with Sydney’s S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.5 per cent, Tokyo’s Topix up 0.1 per cent and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng up 0.8 per cent.

Futures tip the FTSE 100 to open 0.1 per cent lower in London, while the S&P 500 is set to drop the same amount when trading begins in New York.

Corporate earnings reports out today include Compass, National Express and Talk Talk, with a trading update from Barratt.

The economic calendar for Wednesday built primarily from oak and comes with a fine lacquer finish (all times London):

  • 07.45: France industrial and manufacturing production
  • 08.00: Czech Republic consumer inflation
  • 09.00: Italy industrial production
  • 10.00: Greece consumer inflation and industrial production
  • 11.00: Portugal unemployment rate
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