Investment market update
UK stocks are expected to open lower this morning, ahead of today’s UK economic growth figures and tomorrow’s Federal Reserve meeting.
Asian stocks fell on Tuesday after a four-week rally as investors await central bank meetings in the United States and Japan later in the week. Chinese stocks lost more than 2% at one point, pressured by concerns about weak bank profits and growing bad loans, but pared losses by early afternoon.
A rally in US stocks stalled Monday, as investors assessed recent gains before the latest batch of earnings and a Federal Reserve meeting. Technology and energy shares were the main detractors. Apple Inc. lost 3.2% as supplier Dialog Semiconductor Plc’s sales and outlook missed analysts’ estimates. Chevron Corp. fell 2.7% with crude oil sinking to a two-month low.
UK stocks fell, weighed down by commodity producers. Anglo American Plc and Glencore Plc slid at least 2.7%. WPP Plc lost 2.2% after the world’s largest advertising agency posted a 3.3% increase in quarterly comparable sales growth, missing some analysts’ estimates.
BP Plc reported third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates after oil’s crash helped the UK energy company earn more from processing crude into fuels. Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes totalled $1.82 billion, 40% lower than a year earlier. The sliding earnings underscore Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley’s efforts to reduce spending to maintain dividends.The unelected House of Lords voted to block Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s cuts to payments for low-wage families, provoking a constitutional row with Prime Minister David Cameron’s government. Parliament’s upper house voted 289 to 272 to effectively delay by three years reductions in tax credits paid to working people that would have cost affected families an average of £1,300 a year.
Gold held a four-day drop as investors await this week’s Federal Reserve decision and assess the effect of a slowing global economy amid easing monetary policy in China and Europe.