Thanks for joining me. House prices declined at their lowest rate in a year in the 12-months to January amid hopes that the Bank of England will start cutting interest rates soon.
The Nationwide house price index showed that property values declined 0.2pc annually last month, having declined by 1.8pc across 2023.
5 things to start your day
1) Audit watchdog accuses HMRC of getting its sums wrong | Incorrect forecasting leaves the Treasury facing billion-pound shortfalls
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3) How HSBC became the world’s most accident-prone bank | Battered lender scrambles to draw a line under a litany of recent regulatory run-ins
4) Jeremy Warner: Markets are fatally complacent about the risks of World War Three | The ‘great illusion’ that trade has made war less likely threatens to leave us perilously exposed
5) Ben Wright: Britain is in danger of throttling the university golden goose | Viewing third level admissions through the lens of immigration carries risks
What happened overnight
Asian stocks mostly declined as markets awaited a decision on interest rates by the Federal Reserve, while China reported manufacturing contracted in January for a fourth straight month.
Official data showed China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index, or PMI, rose to 49.2 in January, up from 49.0 in December, but still below the critical 50 mark that indicates expansion rather than contraction. Weak demand in the world’s second largest economy is dragging on growth.
South Korea’s Kospi shed 0.2pc to 2,494.30 after Samsung Electronics reported reported an annual 34pc decline in operating profit for the last quarter.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng dipped 1.1pc to 15,536.00, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.4pc to 2,819.91.
Tokyo stocks closed higher, with the benchmark Nikkei 225 index gaining 0.6pc, or 220.85 points, to 36,286.71, while the broader Topix index rose nearly 1pc, or 24.17 points, to 2,551.10.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 added 0.8pc to 7,657.20 after a survey showed Australia’s inflation rate fell to a two-year low in the December quarter, with the consumer price index at 4.1pc, leading to bets that the Reserve Bank may consider an interest rate cut in the next move.
American indexes saw little change on Tuesday, at least outside the technology heavy Nasdaq.
The S&P 500 dropped 0.1pc, from its record to 4,924.97. The Dow Jones Industrial Average of 30 leading US companies gained 0.3pc, reaching 38,467.31, while the Nasdaq Composite index fell 0.8pc to 15,509.90.
The yield on 10-year US Treasury bonds, the centerpiece of the bond market, fell to 4.04pc from 4.09pc late on Monday.