McDonald’s sales hit record high but inflation bites

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The Sizewell C nuclear power station project received a boost today after the government pledged £100m to help get things done.

French energy giant EDF is trying to attract investors to the £20bn project. Ministers therefore hope that the increase in cash will generate additional support.

The planned power station is a key part of the UK’s push towards green energy sources.

However, some investors are worried about nuclear power, while there is controversy over the role of the Chinese group CGN in the project.

5 things to start your day

1) Chip crisis drives car production to lowest level since 1956 UK manufacturing will not return to pre-pandemic levels unless Honda is replaced, warns SMMT

2) Free bacon sandwiches and coffee to lure commuters onto railroads Commuter rewards website also offering free audiobooks and discounted theater tickets as part of the government’s charm offensive

3) Why German automakers may not have cleaned up yet Volkswagen’s firing of whistleblower raises specter of cover-up with echoes of ‘dieselgate’ scandal

4) Federal Reserve signals interest rate hike in March to tackle soaring inflation US central bank plans rise for first time since 2018 as consumer prices rise at fastest pace in 40 years

5) Rishi Sunak defends record fighting Covid loan fraud as Tories jockey for job Chancellor insists he is ‘not reversing’ losses after ex-minister blasted Treasury for ‘dismal’ handling of Covid support money

What happened overnight

Asian stock markets fell by unusually wide margins on Thursday after the Federal Reserve signaled it plans to start raising interest rates soon to calm inflation. Market benchmarks in Tokyo and Hong Kong fell more than 2%, while Seoul and Sydney fell nearly 3%.

Wall Street’s benchmark S&P 500 lost 0.1pc on Wednesday after a Fed statement said the US central bank “expects it to be appropriate soon” to raise rates.

The Nikkei 225 in Tokyo fell 2.5% to 216,339.53 and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 2.2% to 23,753.94. The Shanghai Composite Index fell 0.9% to 3,423.60.

The Kospi in Seoul fell 2.9% to 2,630.65 and Sydney’s S&P 500 lost 2.6% to 6,782.50.

New Zealand and Singapore fell while Jakarta and Bangkok advanced.

coming today

  • Business : Diageo, IG, Rank Group, NCC Group (Intermediate results); 3i Group, Anglo American, Dr Martens, Euromoney Institutional Investor, Greencore, Intermediate Capital Group, Saga, St James’s Place, Mitie, Britvic, easyJet, Polymetal International (Business Update)
  • Economy: GDP (WE), Initial Unemployed Claims (WE), durable goods orders (WE), price of personal consumption expenditure (WE), GfK consumer confidence (All)
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