Oil hits $80 after Opec agrees to boost production

Happy New Year!

There’s no sign of the January blues on the markets this morning, with the FTSE 100 poised to make strong gains in its first day of trading in 2022.

Futures tracking the blue-chip index have risen just under 1pc as traders take a bullish view of recovery hopes despite the continued spread of the omicron variant.

It follows record highs reached on Wall Street on Monday, while Asian stocks have also made a positive start to the year.

5 things to start your day 

1) Ballooning £40.5bn trade deficit with China raises fears of British dependency Lockdown surge in demand for electronics helps drive imbalance higher

2) ‘Unconscious bias training is a fad that doesn’t work’ Meet the Old Etonian helping companies navigate the chaos of post-Covid life

3) Lenders take heed – this is the year of the big squeeze Debt is to define 2022 and will test not only struggling families hit by high prices, but the lofty promises of the buy now, pay later firms

4) Firms ‘hang on by their fingernails’ as Covid loans fall due Battered by omicron and Plan B restrictions, companies now face the challenge of paying back what they borrowed to get through the crisis

5) Traders bet £3.5bn against pound after omicron surge Fears are growing that Covid variant will hold back economy amid rising inflation

What happened overnight 

Asian stocks were largely on the front foot on Tuesday following Wall Street’s record highs on its first trading day of 2022, despite worries that the widespread omicron Covid-19 variant could put the brakes on global economic recovery.

Europe and US also look poised to open up yet again with FTSE futures gaining 0.98pc and futures for the S&P 500 index 0.2pc higher.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 closed 2pc higher with its metals and mining stocks hitting a four-month peak. Japan’s Nikkei 225 also widened morning gains to rise 1.8pc. MSCI’s gauge of Asia Pacific stocks outside Japan advanced 0.4pc.

Coming up today

  • Corporate: No scheduled updates
  • Economics: BRC shop price index, final manufacturing PMI, mortgage approvals and consumer credit (UK); manufacturing PMI (China); unemployment (Germany); job openings (US)

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