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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK equities have opened higher this morning with investors awaiting the announcement of quarterly GDP figures today.

World Markets

Asian stocks were down as concerns regarding China continue to dampen investor demand.

US stocks were lower yesterday, with Energy shares dropping as the price of oil continues to fall. However, Utility companies in the S&P 500 added 1.3%, as the drop in Treasury yields makes the group’s dividend pay-out look more attractive

UK stocks fell yesterday amid concern over a slowdown in China. Merlin Entertainments Plc lost 4.3% after cutting projections following the Alton Towers roller coaster accident. Mining shares had a better day after the gold price, which saw sharp falls last week, edged higher. Shares in Randgold Resources rose 1.3%.

Headlines

BP Plc said second-quarter profits fell 64% as crude prices continue to fall. Profit adjusted for one-time items and inventory changes dropped to $1.3 billion from $3.6 billion a year earlier. Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley is bracing Europe’s third-biggest oil producer for a longer period of low prices by reducing spending, reviewing projects and selling assets.

Chinese stocks fell, extending the biggest one-day loss since 2007, as concern grew unprecedented government intervention will fail to shore up equities. Chinese traders reduced leveraged stock bets on Monday by the most in two weeks as the fall erased $613 billion in value.

Oil extended declines amid signs producers from the Middle East to the US will continue adding supplies. Oil’s rebound from a six-year low has faltered on signs the global surplus will persist as the US produces near the fastest rate in three decades and leading OPEC members produce at a record rate.

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