Thanks for joining me. There are hopes that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will announce tax cuts in his Autumn Statement after official figures showed borrowing came in below estimates in the first seven months of the financial year.
Public sector net borrowing excluding banks was £98.3bn during the period, which was £16.9bn less than the £115.2bn forecast by the Office for Budget Responsibility in March.
5 things to start your day
1) The UK tax system is a hot mess | Compulsive tinkering and inveterate dithering have created a confusing patchwork of rules
2) Javier Milei isn’t ‘hard Right’. He could be Argentina’s free market saviour | The unconventional president-elect’s proposals are eminently sensible
3) Hunt urged to tackle ‘unacceptably poor service’ at HMRC | Tax office accused of creating huge problems for accountants in letter to Chancellor
4) How Britain’s plague of potholes became a budget black hole | £8bn pledge to fix crumbling roads will just scratch the surface after years of neglect
5) Guinness maker blames alcohol tax for rise in weaker beers | Diageo GB boss says high duties are encouraging ‘wrong behaviours’ among companies
What happened overnight
Asian shares climbed to fresh two-month highs following a rally on Wall Street while the dollar languished near its lowest in two-and-a-half months on expectations the US Federal Reserve has likely finished raising interest rates.
MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was 1pc higher at 510.11 having touched 511.05, the highest since September 18.
The index is up 7pc for the month and on course for its biggest monthly gain since January.
Tokyo stocks ended lower as investors adjusted positions and locked in profits following recent gains and ahead of the US Thanksgiving holiday.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index fell 0.1pc, or 33.89 points, to 33,354.14, while the broader Topix index slipped 0.2pc, or 4.81 points, to 2,367.79.
China’s blue-chip CSI300 Index was 0.6pc higher, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index gained 0.8pc as reports of Beijing’s latest stimulus rollout for the property sector lifted risk appetite.
On Wall Street, the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite reached its highest level since April 2022 on Monday, rising 1.1pc, fueled by increases in the stock prices of Microsoft and Nvidia.
Meanwhile the S&P 500, a bellwether of corporate America, gained 0.74pc, reaching 4,547.38, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 leading American companies added 0.58pc, reaching 33,151.04.
The yield on the globally influential 10-year US Treasury yields dropped 0.43pc.