Meanwhile, back in London Theresa May has just finished her final speech as prime minister. Off to the Palace now to resign properly.
Wall Street has fallen at the open, but only slightly.
The Nasdaq composite lost 0.25%, the S&P 500 fell by 0.23%, and the Dow Jones industrial average fell by 0.45% at the market open – leaving it further short of a fresh record high.
US markets are just about to open (and are expected to fall) but Americans of all stripes could be forgiven for having their eyes elsewhere.
Robert Mueller, who investigated Russian interference in the last US presidential election, is currently testifying in Congress, and it is delivering on the drama.
Mueller has said that he did not exonerate President Donald Trump – contrary to the repeated claims of the president.
“Did you actually totally exonerate the president?” asked Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House judiciary committee.
“No,” Mueller replied.
You can follow the whole hearing with the Guardian’s Joan E Greve here:
Another resignation confirmed: David Gauke is pegged to be one of the trickiest rebels for Boris Johnson.
Fleet Street has, with predictable inelegance, described him as leader of the “Gaukeward” squad committed to avoiding a no-deal Brexit.
It’s perhaps worth pointing out at this juncture that Gauke uses a unicorn picture on his Twitter page.
As traders in London return from their lunches, the FTSE 100 has recovered slightly, hovering at a loss of 0.8%.
The FTSE 250 is up by 0.3%, thanks in part to Sports Direct, which has gained almost 12% today after it said that its results on Friday will be within its previous guidance. The retailer had earlier delayed the publication of the results, to the chagrin of analysts.
On the European bourses it’s a mixed picture, with the Euro Stoxx 600 (which includes FTSE 100 companies) down by 0.1%. Germany and Italian benchmark indices both gained 0.3%, however.
GlaxoSmithKline has increased its 2019 earnings outlook after sales of its shingles vaccines, Shingrix, helped it to beat expectations for the second quarter.
The London-listed drug company sold £20m more of the vaccine than the analyst consensus reported by Reuters.
Revenues rose by 7% compared with the same quarter last year to £7.8bn, while GSK said its expectations of profit decline for 2019 compared to 2018 had improved to a fall of between 3% and 5%, an improvement from an expectedfall of 5% to 9%.
Emma Walmsley, GSK’s chief executive, said:
GSK delivered continued good operating performance in Q2 despite the loss of exclusivity of Advair. We are increasing our expectations for the year and have updated our guidance for 2019.
We remain focused on strengthening our R&D pipeline and the execution of new product launches. Positive clinical data received so far this year offer significant new opportunities for products in oncology, HIV and respiratory and we expect more important readouts in the second half of the year.
Deutsche Bank’s chief financial officer today said he expects the lender to make a loss for 2019, but to return to profit next year.
It has been a torrid time for Deutsche, with a failed merger and struggles across multiple divisions.
Even without the extra redundancy charges, Deutsche’s net income would have dropped by more than 40% to €231m in the second quarter, compared with the same period a year earlier. Further restructuring charges are expected to plague the bank’s earnings in the second half of the year and the lender is expected to report a full-year loss for 2019.
Here’s the full story from the Guardian’s Kalyeena Makortoff:
An update on the politics side: chancellor Philip Hammond has finally resigned from the government.
It was already well known that he would jump before he was pushed. More important, however, will be the tone of his comments in the next few days, after he rebelled against the government whip on an amendment to make it much harder for Boris Johnson to suspend parliament and stop MPs from blocking no deal.
He has so far said that his successor should choose wisely on spending pledges and cutting taxes, suggesting that Johnson could struggle with his domestic agenda as well.
US aircraft maker Boeing has reported a $2.9bn (£2.4bn) quarterly loss as it absorbed the cost of grounding its 737-Max planes following two deadly crashes.
Boeing had previously announced a $5bn charge related to the grounding, which was prompted by crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that together killed 346 people in five months.
The net loss for the quarter ended 30 June was $2.9bn, compared with a profit of $2.2bn, a year earlier.
US stock market futures suggest shares will fall at the open, after the US justice department said it will investigate major technology firms for potential competition breaches.
The price of futures for the S&P 500 has fallen by 0.24%, while futures for the Nasdaq, which counts more tech firms among its members, lost 0.37% at the time of writing.
You can read the full report on the US investigation here:
Theresa May is currently carrying out/suffering through her final prime minister’s questions – after all, Johnson is still technically just a Conservative backbencher.
She will head to Downing Street after she has finished to deliver a final speech as prime minister, before going to Buckingham Palace to tender her resignation to the Queen.
Johnson will then go to Buckingham Palace to have an audience with the Queen, who will ask him to form a government, at about 3:30pm BST.
Separately, an earlier post said that Deutsche Bank’s quarterly loss was the largest since the financial crisis. This was incorrect, and has been changed to reflect the fact that it was only the second-biggest in that time, after the third quarter of 2015. Please refresh your page to see the updated version.
Sterling hits a one-month high against the euro
The pound has risen to its highest level in a month against the euro after weaker-than-expected European data.
Sterling traded at €1.1226, a level last hit on 21 June. Against the dollar the pound broke back above the $1.25 mark, recovering the gains of the past three days.
However, the recent bounce back comes after months of declines in sterling prompted by Brexit uncertainty, as the businesses and investors continue to prepare for Brexit on 31 October.
Then again, markets are pricing in a 50% chance of a rate cut at this meeting, meaning it would not come as a surprise if Draghi does pull the trigger.
The ECB is not the only central bank looking at the global economy and seeing a need for monetary policy support: the US Federal Reserve is expected to cut interest rates for the first time since the financial crisis next week.
It adds up to a situation of when, not if, the ECB will cut for most analysts.