Investment market update
UK stocks are expected to open higher as the week begins despite Chinese stocks losing ground overnight.
Asian stocks were mixed, as traders digested a slew of Chinese data released over the weekend and tread cautiously ahead of the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting this week to debate raising interest rates.
US stocks rose ahead of the Fed meeting, however, energy companies’ shares suffered from continuing falling oil prices. Exxon Mobil was among the oil companies which suffered – it close down by 0.2%, while Shell closed down by 0.1%.
UK stocks fell on Friday, paring a weekly gain, as telecommunications companies retreated. Vodafone and BT both fell, by 1.4% and 2.2% respectively, after the European Commission blocked a merger between two Scandinavian telecom operators.
Investors should brace themselves for an interest-rate increase in early 2016 as the Bank of England shrugs off recent financial-market turmoil, according to economists. They believe the weakening prospects for China’s economy aren’t enough to deter officials from removing the emergency stimulus that’s been in place since 2009.
The number of people seeking jobs in London’s financial industry more than doubled in August, suggesting greater confidence in their prospects of finding better-paying positions.
China’s industrial output missed economists’ forecasts, while investment in the first eight months increased at the slowest pace since 2000. The government also announced details about plans to make state-owned enterprises more efficient, including encouraging private investment.
Mario Draghi’s promise that the European Central Bank is willing to step up stimulus if needed is resonating with economists, who see the euro-area recovery as too shallow to be sustained.