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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open lower this morning, as investors prepare for the US nonfarm payrolls report later today.

World Markets

Asian stocks closed mostly lower, as investors awaited the US nonfarm payrolls report for August that may play a crucial role in the Federal Reserve’s decision about when to lift interest rates.

US shares closed little changed ahead of today’s jobs report. Shares had made bigger gains earlier in the day after European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi hinted there might be more stimulus measures to come for the eurozone. The chipmaker Intel was the biggest gainer, rising 1.7% the day after it unveiled its new range of processors at a technology show in Berlin.

UK shares advanced for a second day as a Chinese holiday brought calm to markets, and investors cheered Mario Draghi’s indication on a possible expansion of the European Central Bank’s bond-purchase program. EasyJet Plc advanced 5.4 % as it raised its full-year earnings guidance after strong summer sales lifted passenger numbers and seat occupancy to record levels. Glencore Plc climbed 6.6%, leading a rebound in commodity producers as metals prices advanced.

Headlines

The European Central Bank president sent markets higher and the euro to a two-week low on Thursday, after he revamped his quantitative-easing plan and signalled officials might expand stimulus if the global market rout continues to weigh on growth and inflation.

German factory orders fell more than expected in July, signalling that growth in Europe’s largest economy may yet be bumpy. Orders, adjusted for seasonal swings and inflation, dropped 1.4% after increasing a revised 1.8% in June.

US regulators approved the long-term use of AstraZeneca Plc’s post-heart attack medicine Brilinta, giving the drug maker a broader indication for a pill that has so far fallen short of its blockbuster expectations. The Food and Drug Administration said Brilinta, which has been approved for use in the first year after a heart attack, could be used long-term at a lower dose.

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