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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to start flat this morning. Mark Carney’s, the Bank of England Governor, ‘Super Thursday’ has come around again and today the central banker will reveal an interest rate decision, last month’s meeting minutes, a quarterly inflation report and a speech.

World Markets

Asian markets experienced mixed fortunes as Japanese shares advanced, with the Nikkei 225 closing at its highest in two months, after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the US central bank could lift interest rates as soon as next month.

US stocks retreated from a three-month high, after data on payrolls and remarks from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen lifted bets that the central bank is closer to raising interest rates. Facebook rose 1.8%, as it notched another quarter of revenue that beat estimates after stepping up its mobile-advertising efforts.

UK stocks rose, as gains in commodity producers helped extend this week’s advance after President Mario Draghi reiterated the European Central Bank will reassess its policy stance next month. Glencore Plc jumped 5.4% after saying profit from trading commodities rebounded. Marks & Spencer Group Plc gained 2.8% after increasing its profitability projection.

Headlines

A rise in US interest rates in December is ‘a live possibility’, Janet Yellen, chair of the Federal Reserve has told a Congressional committee. The US central bank holds a policy meeting in December, at which it could decide on a long-anticipated increase in interest rates. US interest rates have been near zero since December 2008.

AstraZeneca Plc, the UK’s second-largest drug maker, raised its earnings and sales forecast for the full year as demand for its Nexium antacid and Crestor heart drug beat estimates. Core earnings per share, a measure used by the company that excludes some costs, will increase by a mid- to high single-digit percentage from a year earlier.

Growth in South East Asia’s largest economy, Indonesia, picked up in the third quarter, improving upon the previous one which saw the lowest growth in six years. It grew 4.73% from July to September, after hitting 4.67% growth in the second quarter. Weak consumer spending, slumping commodity prices, along with high interest rates have impacted growth. President Joko Widodo has pledged to lift annual growth to 7% on average.

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