The Next Major Test In The American US Airways Merger Comes October 1

2) City grandee Simon Dingemans quits as chairman of audit watchdog over conflict: Mr Dingemans joined the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) in October to lead an overhaul of the regulator after year of claims it was failing to crack down on malpractice. 

3) Up to 1,000 care homes could go bust in wake of Covid crisis: At least two homes have already shut their doors temporarily. The closures are expected to trigger a domino effect across the long-term care sector, which employs more people than the NHS and is estimated to be worth about £31bn. 

4) The Chancellor is mulling plans to extend mortgage holidays for another three months for those still struggling financially due to the coronavirus pandemic. Rishi Sunak is working alongside the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the banking sector to provide further relief to UK homeowners, the Financial Times has reported.

5) Insurance brokers under fire for 'shocking' conflict of interest: As much as 60pc of brokers’ income comes from insurers, with much of this linked to the size of the premium brokers generate from selling the insurers’ products to customers, according to the Broker Conflicts report published by Mactavish.

What happened overnight 

Asian shares stepped back slightly and US stock futures fell today as lingering caution about the long-term impact of the coronavirus outbreak offset some of this week's enthusiasm over re-opening of economies.

Investors were also looking ahead to a key policy gathering in China that may yield more economic stimulus, while recent data around the world underscored that a sustainable recovery is several months away.

MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was up just 0.04 per cent, having rallied around 3 per cent so far this week.

S&P 500 e-mini stock futures fell 0.66 per cent. Broad risk appetite has been checked somewhat by escalating tensions between the US and China.

Australian shares, which have been hampered by concerns about a trade row with China, pulled back slightly from a two-month high.

Japan's Nikkei stock index slid 0.05 per cent after data showed the country's exports collapsed in April.

Shares in China fluctuated between gains and losses before the start of the annual parliament meeting on Friday.

Coming up today

Interim results: AJ Bell, IntegraFin

Full-year: Assura, Hilton Food, Investec, Intertek, Pets at Home, QinetiQ, Tate & Lyle

Trading statement: Sabre Insurance, Inchcape

Economics: Flash PMIs (UK and US); jobless claims (US)

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