Sunak halves its commercial rates for retail and hospitality on Main Street – .

Sunak halves its commercial rates for retail and hospitality on Main Street – .

The big day has arrived – Rishi Sunak will deliver his budget speech this afternoon, outlining the next steps in the country’s stimulus package.

While much of the spending plan has already been announced, we’ll be looking for more details behind the headlines. We’ll also see if the Chancellor pulls rabbits out of the hat.

Track all coverage and analysis before, during and after the speech.

5 things to start your day

1) Raw gas storage site could be reopened to overcome energy crisis – According to the owner of British Gas, Centrica, higher energy bills could be used to pay for the reopening.

2) Ladbrokes owner down as DraftKings cancels £ 18bn deal – More than £ 800million has been wiped off Entain’s stock market value after a US company decided not to make a firm offer.

3) Worker-controlled council resumed after property betting leaves £ 100million black hole – Slough is now trying to sell commercial real estate assets worth £ 600million as part of a bailout imposed by ministers.

4) Google and Microsoft unveil record profits – A post-pandemic resurgence in ad demand has brought in billions of additional dollars for the search giant.

5) Covid costs force Sunak to cut further £ 5bn, economists warn – Universities and local council budgets are shrinking as resources are reallocated, says Deutsche Bank.

What happened during the night

Hong Kong led most Asian markets down on Wednesday with tech companies in the sights after China Telecom was banned in the United States. The Hang Seng index was more than 1pc lower and the Hang Seng technology index lost more than 3pc, Tencent, Alibaba, and XD Inc taking a hit. Tokyo, Shanghai, Sydney, Seoul, Wellington, Taipei, Manila and Jakarta all fell, although Singapore rose.

Coming today

Business: GlaxoSmithKline (temporary workers); Had, Network International Holdings, Fresnillo, Centamin, ContourGlobal (commercial update)

Economy: Budget (UK), Durable goods orders (we), orders for capital goods other than defense (we)


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