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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open slightly higher after the Easter break, with traders awaiting the latest speech from Janet Yellen.

World Markets

Asian stocks fell for the second time in three sessions, as healthcare stocks led the declines and more than two thirds of Japanese stocks went ex-dividend. Chinese stocks also declined as technology shares fell.

US stocks rose slightly on Monday, after the slowest trading day of the year, as a report showed a slight increase in consumer spending in February. Today, Janet Yellen will speak before the Economic Club of New York, with investors looking for hints as to the future of interest rates in the US.

UK stocks fell on Friday as shares in Next fell 15% and led the FTSE 100 lower, with the company management warning of a challenging year ahead. The comments hit all retailers on the UK market, with Marks & Spencer falling 4.9%. Mining shares were impacted as the prices of metals and oil fell.

Headlines

More than a third of the UK’s electricity will come from renewable sources by 2021, such as wind farms, exceeding the government’s target, Energy and Climate Change Secretary Amber Rudd said. The UK is on track to deliver 35% of its electricity from renewables around 2020, compared to a 30% target, Rudd told lawmakers on Thursday. She said £52 billion has been invested in renewables since 2010.

The Kremlin accused a group of international journalists of preparing an “information attack” on President Vladimir Putin’s wealth and his ties to billionaire oligarchs in Russia. The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is seeking comment on dozens of questions concerning “Putin personally” as well as “information about his family, childhood friends,” and business allies including Yuri Kovalchuk and Arkady Rotenberg, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Monday.

The dollar rose for a seventh day against the yen, the longest winning streak since October, before US economic data this week that may add to speculation the economy is strong enough to handle higher interest rates.

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