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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open higher this morning buoyed by rises on Wall Street and in Asia overnight.

 

World Markets

Asian stocks rose, led by the biggest gain in almost seven years for Japanese shares, while emerging market and commodity producer currencies strengthened amid optimism China will be able to stabilise its financial markets.

US stocks rose, after signs of stability in Chinese markets led global equities higher. Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Wells Fargo & Co. and General Motors Co. all posted gains of at least 2.7% amid a broad based rally as investors returned from the Labour Day holiday.

UK stocks extended an advance, tracking gains in global equities, as banks and commodity producers climbed. HSBC Holdings Plc, the stock with the biggest weighting on the FTSE 100 Index, added 2.1%, while Barclays Plc rose 2.2%. Royal Dutch Shell Plc and BP Plc advanced 1.5%, while Rio Tinto Group advanced 2.6% after giving a bullish assessment of demand for steel and copper in China.

 

Headlines

Investment in UK North Sea oil and gas projects could drop as much as 80% by 2017 as the collapse in oil prices forces the industry to cut back. Capital investment across the industry of £14.8 billion last year will probably decline by £2bn to £4bn pounds annually to 2017, Oil & Gas UK, an industry lobby group, said in its annual economic report.
Investors betting on making a quick profit on luxury apartments in south London’s Nine Elms district, Europe’s largest project for prime new homes, are facing long waits for buyers. Almost 30 percent of new properties in the district have languished on the market for more than a year, according to real estate data provider Lonres, who didn’t include sales by developers. That compares with 12% in London’s best districts.

Standard Chartered Plc is priced for a crisis according to Sanford C. Bernstein, with a stock valuation that has fallen to lower than during Asia’s meltdown in the 1990s or the global turmoil of 2007-08. That record low level may overstate the challenges faced by the London based lender; circumstances are very different than in the 1997-98 Asian crisis, with the bank able to cut costs “much harder,” analysts said.

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