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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 slightly lower this morning as traders keep a close eye on developments in Greece.

World Markets

Asian stocks fluctuated as investors await a weekend referendum in Greece and after jobs data signalled a more moderate pace of growth in the US economy.

US stocks fell, with equities posting their biggest weekly decline since March, as investors looked toward a weekend referendum in Greece after jobs data reflected a more moderate pace of economic growth.

UK stocks advanced for a second day as investors speculated on the likely fallout of Sunday’s referendum in Greece.

Headlines

BP Plc is seeking a fresh start as a record $18.7 billion US settlement over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill ends five years of financial uncertainty for the company. Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley, who took over in the wake of the spill in April 2010, said he would now be able to spend more time running operations and less dealing with the consequences of the disaster. He will have his work cut out as the company sold about a third of its assets to pay liabilities and its production slumped by about a million barrels a day. Resolution of the major liabilities came two years earlier than expected, Brewin Dolphin Ltd. analyst Iain Armstrong said. It may benefit BP’s credit rating, Fitch Ratings said Thursday.

Gold headed for a second weekly decline as speculation the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates amid a strengthening US economy outweighed demand for a haven spurred by Greece’s debt crisis. Prices are set for a 0.7% drop this week, extending last week’s 2.1% decline. Investors’ focus shifted to when the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates before Greece’s weekend referendum on austerity measures that may help to determine whether the country remains in the euro zone. A Labor Department report on Thursday showed US companies added 223,000 jobs in June while wages stagnated and the size of the labour force receded.

Russia’s biggest lenders are scaling back their London investment banking ambitions as sanctions curb deal-making and deter clients from trading with them. OAO Sberbank, the country’s largest lender, recently cut seven bankers in its London office, reducing staff there to about 40. On Wednesday it said it will also cut management roles in response to the economic slump. VTB Group, the country’s second-biggest lender, continues to reduce personnel in London after cutting 55 jobs in Europe last year, starting off 2015 with a workforce of 425. Even some Russian lenders not sanctioned are retrenching. Alfa Bank, the firm backed by billionaire Mikhail Fridman, has cut headcount in the British capital after shuttering its New York office. Otkritie Financial Corp., Russia’s fifth-largest lender, cut staff at its London brokerage unit in April.

Stocks

BP Plc advanced 4.4% after reaching an agreement with states and the US in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill case.

Dixons Carphone Plc rose 1.2% after saying a unit has agreed to open and manage a number of Sprint Corp.-branded stores in the US.

AstraZeneca Plc added 1.7% after Berenberg Bank said the drugmaker’s product pipeline and profitability have been underestimated by the market.

Intertek Group Plc fell 3.2% after Jefferies Group cut its rating on the product-inspection company to underperform, similar to a sell.

Yelp Inc. tumbled 10% to a nearly two-year low after people with knowledge of the matter said the consumer-review website has temporarily decided not to pursue a sale.

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