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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks look set to open higher this morning, ahead of the announcement by the Federal Reserve regarding interest rates in the US.

World Markets

Asian stocks advanced for a second day, led by Malaysia and Japan, while the dollar weakened against emerging-market currencies as investors remained split on whether the Federal Reserve will opt to raise interest rates on Thursday.

US stocks closed at their highest level in four weeks, with equities spurred on by a rally in energy shares and deal activity among beer brewers while Federal Reserve policy makers debated whether to raise interest rates. Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. advanced more than 1.9% as oil climbed the largest amount in a month. Crude traded near $47 a barrel after a drop in American stockpiles.

The FTSE 100 Index climbed, helped by a 20% rally in shares of SABMiller Plc after Anheuser-Busch InBev NV said it intends to make an offer for the brewer in a deal that may top $100 billion. Glencore Plc, the worst performer on the UK benchmark this year, rose 5.2% after selling $2.5 billion of new shares to pay down debt to help protect its credit rating.

Headlines

Mario Draghi’s quantitative-easing program has a new set of supporters: real estate buyers. Commercial property purchases in the euro area surged 32% in the year through to June, according to London-based broker Knight Frank LLP, with investment transactions totalling 104.2 billion euros (£65.2 billion). Deals tripled in Portugal and more than doubled in Spain.

A glut of crude may keep oil prices low for the next 15 years, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Prices will most likely come under pressure when refineries shut in October or March for maintenance, Jeffrey Currie, head of commodities research at the bank, said in an interview in Lake Louise, Alberta. Goldman’s long-term forecast for crude is at $50 a barrel, he said.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $70 billion deal to buy BG Group Plc could reduce the supply of natural gas to local customers in Australia and boost prices, according to the nation’s competition regulator, which delayed a decision on the agreement until November. The transaction may decrease the incentive for Shell’s Arrow Energy venture with PetroChina Co. to feed gas to the domestic market, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wrote in a statement on Thursday.

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