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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open slightly higher this morning ahead of trading statements from Sainsbury’s and Compass Group.

World Markets

Japanese stocks advanced more than 2%, with the Topix index climbing from an eight-month low, as global equity concerns eased. Exporters and banks provided the biggest support to the benchmark gauge. Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s biggest carmaker by market value, added 3.9%. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc., Japan’s biggest bank, gained 3%.

US stocks fluctuated, with declines in Apple Inc. and Nike Inc. offsetting a rebound in health-care companies, as investors struggle to reconcile the prospects for higher interest rates with lingering concerns about slowing global growth.
UK stocks declined for a second day as construction-related companies tumbled amid persistent concern over global growth prospects. Wolseley Plc led the drop, falling 13%, the most in more than six years, after it forecast North American industrial markets will be challenging, and the UK heating industry will remain competitive. Glencore Plc rallied 17% after the commodities group that’s lost 73% of its market value this year said it can withstand current market conditions.

Headlines

UK consumer confidence dropped in September as Britons became the gloomiest this year on the outlook for the economy, according to GfK. The company’s sentiment index fell to 3 from 7 in August, which was a 15-year high. The decline was largely due to a more pessimistic view of the economy, with an expectations gauge dropping to minus 2 from 3. The dip may be a temporary setback in light of recent data that should buoy sentiment, including a pickup in wages and a strengthening property market. Data on Wednesday will confirm the economy has expanded for 10 straight quarters and economists surveyed by Bloomberg forecast growth of 2.6% this year.

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-biggest mining company, agreed to sell its 40% stake in the Bengalla coal venture in Australia to New Hope Corp. for $606 million. Bengalla is the smallest of three coal mines in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales in which Rio holds stakes, producing 8.6 million metric tons in 2014, the London-based company said in a statement Wednesday. That brings Rio’s asset sales to $4.5 billion since January 2013, according to the company.

Oil is set for the lowest quarterly average price since the start of 2009 amid signs a glut of supplies is expanding in the world’s biggest consumer and OPEC producers are boosting output. Futures lost as much as 1.2% in New York after adding 1.8% on Tuesday. US inventories rose by 4.6 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to have reported. Government data due Wednesday will show supplies are unchanged at 454 million barrels, according to Bloomberg. Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest producer, boosted crude output by 17% this month from a year earlier, Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said.

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