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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open lower this morning following a relatively mixed session in Asia overnight, as investors await a raft of data from Europe and the US throughout the day.

World Markets

Most global equity markets closed in positive territory as investors continue to find solace in recent comments from the Fed about US interest rates.

Headlines

Fears that Britain might vote to leave the European Union helped keep consumer confidence at the lowest level in more than a year, according to a survey published today. GfK’s consumer confidence index stayed at zero in March. A gauge of expectations for the economic situation over the next 12 months was minus 12, unchanged on the month and down 18 points from a year earlier.

Prime Minister David Cameron is to host crisis talks on the UK steel industry amid mounting pressure on ministers to guarantee the future of the Port Talbot steelworks and its 5,500 staff. He will meet ministers in Downing Street to co-ordinate their response to Tata Steel’s plan to sell the plant.

BlackRock Inc. plans to cut about 400 jobs in what may be the biggest round of layoffs to date at the world’s largest money manager, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The reductions, equal to about 3% of the firm’s 13,000 employees, will be announced in the coming weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they weren’t authorised to speak.

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