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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open higher this morning, following an upbeat session in the US on the back of M&A activity.

World Markets

Asian stocks climbed amid signs of resilience in US and European manufacturing and after measures of factory activity in China stabilised, albeit at levels denoting contraction. Standard Chartered Plc fell 3.6% in Hong Kong after announcing a surprise loss.

US stocks as corporate deal activity helped boost health-care companies while manufacturing data gave mixed signals on the strength of the global economy. Dyax Corp. rose 29% after Shire Plc agreed to buy the drug maker for at least $5.9 billion. Pfizer Inc. climbed 3.8% as progress is made with talks to buy Allergan Plc.

UK stocks were little changed after gains in banks offset a decline in mining shares. Barclays Plc, Lloyds Banking Group Plc and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc all advanced 1.7% or more, tracking gains in European lenders. BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Group, the world’s biggest miners, fell 1.4% or more after Chinese factory data indicated a decrease in output.

Headlines

Standard Chartered Plc said it will cut 15,000 jobs and raise £3.3 billion in a rights offer after posting a surprise loss as loan impairments in India rose. The bank pledged savings of $2.9 billion by 2018 and will restructure or exit $100 billion of assets.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is taking his case for European Union reform to Germany, focusing his demands on Britain’s rejection of ever-closer union within the 28-nation bloc. Speaking at a conference of business leaders in Berlin on Tuesday, a day after holding talks with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble, Osborne will say the push for closer integration has caused strain between the UK and other European nations.

Angela Merkel refused to bow to pressure to shut borders even as the German leader struggles to fix a rift in her governing coalition over how to tackle the country’s biggest influx of migrants since World War II.

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