Thanks for joining me. Retail sales suffered an unexpected decline in sales in October, official figures showed, in a sign that the economy is slowing down.
Sales volumes were down 0.3pc last month and the Office for National Statistics said September was worse than previously thought, down 1.1pc from an initial estimate of 0.9pc.
5 things to start your day
1) Hunt’s room for tax cuts squeezed by £15bn-a-year losses on Bank of England bond sales | Taxpayers face heavier losses in the short term as the Bank pursues quantitative tightening
2) Cracks in Google’s dominance on show in tech’s trial of the century | Search giant could be forced to face competition it has not dealt with in decades
3) Mini-nukes must be built using British factories, say MPs | Foreign companies should be forced to use domestic suppliers, Government urged
4) It is time to ditch the Royal Mail’s outdated letters pledge | Britain risks becoming an aberration as postal services are scaled back across Europe
5) Elon Musk plans second test of SpaceX’s Starship rocket after April crash | The Telegraph brings you all the details ahead of today’s launch
What happened overnight
Asian stocks were mostly lower after Wall Street drifted to a mixed finish as momentum slowed following a strong rally in the first half of November.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng sank 2.2pc, to 17,445.56, dragged lower by a 10pc slump in shares of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba following its cancellation of a plan to spin off its cloud computing unit.
The company blamed uncertainties due to US chip restrictions. Alibaba shares dropped as much as 10pc in New York on Thursday.
The Shanghai Composite index edged 0.2pc lower to 3,046.15.
Tokyo stocks shrugged off earlier losses to close higher after Bank of Japan Governor Kazuo Ueda indicated in his annual report to the parliament that the central bank has no immediate plans to change its ultra-lax monetary policy, which has kept interest rates at minus 0.1pc for years.
The benchmark Nikkei 225 index up 0.5pc, or 160.79 points, to end at 33,585.20, while the broader Topix index gained 1pc, or 22.43 points, to 2,391.05.
US stock markets did not move much yesterday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 0.1pc at 34,945.47, while the S&P 500 rose slightly by 0.1pc to 4,508.24.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite rose 0.1pc to 14,113.67.
US Treasury yields fell after data for the States showed unemployment claims had risen more than expected, reinforcing the view that the US Federal Reserve will look to cut interest rates next year. The yield on 10-year US Treasury notes fell 8.4 basis points at 4.453pc.