Good morning, and welcome to our rolling coverage of the world economy, the financial markets, the eurozone and business.
Stock markets in Europe and America are set to rally today, after Donald Trump took a massive step towards shaking up the US tax system.
In Trump’s first legislative triumph, the Senate finally passed the president’s long-awaited tax reform bill. The move means the president can look forward to signing off a final bill on tax reform soon.
The reforms include a hefty cut to US corporation tax, down from 35% to 20%, bringing America into line with other advanced economies. There are also sweeping changes to individual tax rates – which Trump claims will make people “very, very happy’.
But…the “once-in-a-lifetime” plan to cut taxes for “average Americans” has been criticised by experts who say it’s a shameless giveaway of wealth to the richest 1%.
Republicans claim that the $1.4tn package of cuts can be funded through growth; but an independent committee found it could add $1 trillion to the national debt.
Democrats, though, slammed the changes as a giveaway to corporate America and the wealthy.
Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, declared:
But the financial world is welcoming the Senate vote, despite the pressure building on the White House over links with Russia.
Today, Wall Street is tipped to open strongly, possibly driving the Dow Jones to a new all-time high.
The FTSE 100 has already reacted, jumping by 60 points to 7360 at the start of trading in London.
But sterling is under pressure this morning as Theresa May heads to Brussels for crunch talks with the EU.
The pound has shed almost half a cent at $1.343, amid reports that London and Dublin haven’t (yet) reached an agreement on the Irish border.
As my colleague Lisa O’Carroll reported last night:
Theresa May and the Irish government have failed to reach a deal on the crucial Brexit issue of the Northern Ireland border ahead of a crunch meeting on Monday lunchtime with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker.
Despite intense efforts over the weekend to agree a proposal on how to avoid a hard border in Ireland, Irish officials revealed at midnight on Sunday that “there is still a way to go” to achieve a meeting of minds on the issue.
But there could be plenty of drama in Brussels, as Britain pushes for a breakthrough that would pave the way for trade talks.
Also coming up today, we get a new health check on Britain’s builders (who have been struggling in recent months) plus the latest eurozone investor confidence index and US factory orders figures.
Here’s the agenda
9.30am GMT: UK construction PMI for October
9.30am GMT: Eurozone Sentix investor confidence report
3pm GMT: US factory orders for October