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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK shares are expected to open higher today, as investors await comment from the head of the European Central Bank and a raft of economic data from the UK and China.

World Markets

Asian equities climbed from a four-week low after mixed Chinese data showed some parts of the region’s largest economy strengthening. Gains in Australian and Japanese stocks drove the advance among Asian shares.

US stocks were little changed, with the S&P 500 ending a four-day losing streak, as investors weighed the extent of the autumn rally in equities and the odds of higher interest rates in December. Apple dropped 3.2% following a report by Credit Suisse that indicates Apple seems to have lowered component orders by as much as 10%, driven by weak demand for iPhone 6s.

UK stocks retreated as Wolseley Plc and Anglo American Plc weighed on the FTSE 100 Index. Wolseley fell 4.7% after announcing trading profits fell 21% in the three months to October. Anglo American slid 4.3%, tracking shares of European commodity stocks lower. Vodafone Group Plc rose 3.9% after reporting service revenue that rose more than analysts projected.

Headlines

China’s industrial output matched the weakest gain since the global credit crisis last month, while retail sales accelerated, underscoring a shift in the economy toward greater reliance on consumer spending as old growth engines falter. China’s leaders are seeking to transition from an investment-driven, manufacturing-dominated economy to a more consumption and services-led one in the next five years while maintaining growth of at least 6.5% a year.

Tullett Prebon Plc agreed to buy ICAP Plc’s voice broking business, creating the world’s biggest inter-dealer broker with revenue of £1.5 billion. Tullett Prebon will issue about 309.9 million new shares to ICAP shareholders and the company to fund the deal. The combined company will save at least £60 million of costs by eliminating duplicated management and support costs and will have about 5,500 employees.

Russia is exploring strategies to try to block the International Monetary Fund’s next loan payment to Ukraine as a dispute between the two countries over a $3 billion bond comes to a head.

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