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Investment market update

This bulletin provides you with an overview of the latest market news from around the world – world markets, key headlines, stocks and market data.

Early Trading

UK equities are expected to open lower this morning, following Wall Street’s negative close and weak trading in Asia, with UK investors focusing on minutes from the last Bank of England monetary policy meeting released today.

World Markets

Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark index retreating from a two-week high, as technology-related shares declined after companies including Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. reported disappointing results.

US stocks declined, as quarterly results from IBM Corp. and United Technologies Corp. disappointed investors. Apple Inc. fell 1% as quarterly iPhone shipments and the company’s revenue forecast for the current period missed analysts’ projections, raising questions over whether demand for the device has peaked.

UK stocks fell after fluctuating between gains and losses, with EasyJet Plc falling 3.2% after Commerzbank AG reiterated its sell recommendation on the stock while downgrading shares of some European peers.

Headlines

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will return to the Greek parliament today seeking support from the opposition to help him overcome his own party’s rebellion against the terms of a third bailout. Greek lawmakers are voting on a second package of measures the country’s creditors demanded as a condition for starting discussions on an aid program worth up to €86 billion.

The European Central Bank is showing its targets are movable when it comes to buying bonds. When the ECB announced it would ramp up purchases in May and June, many investors were caught off guard, having taken the €60 billion monthly target as set in stone. In reality, the quantitative-easing program is proving more flexible than many anticipated as the ECB tailors it to seasonal demand.

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said investors should keep the headwinds facing the UK economy in mind as the bank approaches raising interest rates from a record low.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy is finding it hard to sell economic success to voters. While the economy is at the frontline of growth in the 19-nation euro area this year, an unemployment rate stuck above 20% is proving an obstacle to building support in polls with an election just months away.

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