5) Britain is set to dodge recession as enthusiastic shoppers boost growth: Retail sales volumes rose 0.2pc in June compared with June, defying expectations of a slump in purchases. Sales rose 3.3pc compared with July 2018, well ahead of the predicted 2.5pc increase.

What happened overnight

Asian markets were jittery on Friday as a modest rebound in US equities failed to ease over the US-China trade was and its impact on the world economy.

Fears of a global recession and a drawn-out trade between the world's top two economies saw the Dow its worst one-day fall of 2019 on Wednesday.

Although US stocks recovered slightly on Thursday, Reassured by strong US retail sales and Walmart earnings, investors remain anxious, seeking out safe havens in the form of treasury assets and gold, which continued to hover above the $ 1,500 on ounce level.

In Asia, markets. Hong Kong rose 0.4pc while Shanghai was up 0.5pc. Tokyo edged up 0.1pc, Singapore and Seoul shed 0.8 percent.

Coming up today

No major UK business or economic announcements scheduled.

10:00 am: Balance of trade (EU)

13:30 pm: Housing starts (US), building permits (US)