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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open flat this morning with investors staying cautious ahead of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting.

World Markets

Asian stocks were mixed, as Japanese stocks swung between gains and losses as a report showed machine orders unexpectedly fell 3.5% in August. Chinese markets rose after the country’s week-long holiday.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index reached its highest level since the end of the August selloff, rising as biotechnology companies rebounded and energy shares extended their longest rally since December 2013. Commodity stocks rose for a seventh consecutive session. Transocean Ltd. and Murphy Oil Corp. rose more than 2.8%, paring earlier gains of at least 4% after the crude inventories data undercut the morning rally.

UK stocks advanced for a sixth straight session, after the FTSE 100 Index yesterday capped its biggest five-day rally in almost four years. Anglo American Plc, Rio Tinto Group and BHP Billiton Ltd. rose at least 3.2% after Morgan Stanley upgraded the shares. SABMiller Plc added 3.4% after Anheuser-Busch InBev NV offered to buy the brewer for about £68.2 billion.

Headlines

UK housing market activity picked up in September as improving access to mortgage finance fuelled demand, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. A measure of agreed sales rose to 14, the highest since May 2014, from 2 in August, RICS said. Its house price index fell to 44 in September from 53 in August, back to the same level it was in July. The broader picture is dominated by a lack of property for sale and persistent demand, which continues to fuel price gains.

Deutsche Bank AG co-Chief Executive Officer John Cryan unveiled the firm’s biggest quarterly loss in at least a decade and may eliminate a dividend that’s stood since Germany’s post-war reconstruction as he tries to overhaul the firm without asking shareholders for more capital. Europe’s biggest investment bank expects a third-quarter loss of 6.2 billion euros after writing down the value of its two largest divisions and boosting reserves for legal costs.

German exports fell the most since the height of the 2009 recession in a sign that Europe’s largest economy is vulnerable to risks from weakening global trade. Foreign sales declined 5.2% in August from the previous month, the Federal Statistics Office in Wiesbaden said on Thursday. This is the steepest decline since January 2009, with economists having predicted a drop of 0.9%.

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