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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 marginally down this morning, as investors were again left disappointed with the failure of Greece and their creditors to reach a deal.

World Markets

Asian stocks fell as talks stalled over the terms for a bailout of Greece, although China’s market edged up after Beijing announced new measures to stimulate lending.

US stocks fell amid declines in raw material and railroad shares.

UK stocks rose, fuelled by gains in grocers and commodity shares.

Headlines

European officials resumed talks on Greece’s bailout on Thursday after a day of negotiations broke up in the early hours without ending the standoff that has brought the country on the cusp of a default. With the Greek government saying it held firm in the flurry of meetings in Brussels on Wednesday, European Union officials said the talks yielded little progress and no breakthrough was in sight. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the heads of the three creditor institutions agreed to reconvene first thing on Thursday after a few hours’ sleep.

China took one of its biggest steps in banking reform, moving to end a two-decade-old rule that has capped lending relative to deposits as Premier Li Keqiang seeks to usher in market-based economics. An amendment to the banking law will remove the 75% limit, the State Council said on its website Wednesday. The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress needs to give approval at its meeting in March. While the change has the potential to boost credit growth, a bigger constraint may be limited demand for funds in a faltering economy. Looming now is what the central bank has called one of the “riskiest” parts of financial reform: ditching a ceiling on the interest rates that lenders pay on deposits, a move that may come in the second half of this year.

David Cameron will travel to Brussels on Thursday as he seeks to advance his renegotiation of Britain’s membership in the European Union. The prime minister, who will arrive for the June meeting of the European Council fresh from talks in Berlin with German Chancellor Angela Merkel the day before, will outline his proposals to other European leaders over a working dinner, his office said. “This is my first European Council since the election and it’s the first EU summit where renegotiation of the UK’s relationship with the EU is formally on the agenda,” Cameron said in an e-mailed statement. “This presents an opportunity to get the negotiation under way and to kick off a process to work through the substance and to find solutions.”

Stocks

Netflix Inc. erased a rally of as much as 3.7% to end down 0.4% after Carl Icahn said he had exited his stake.

General Motors Co. fell 3.1%, while Ford Motor Co. gained 1.4% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. flipped its preference on the two.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc advanced 2.3% after Deutsche Bank AG recommended buying the shares

J Sainsbury Plc and Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc added more than 2% after Societe Generale SA suggested that a purchasing pact may improve margins at both chains.

Anglo American Plc and Rio Tinto Group advanced 1.1% and 0.8% respectively, helping commodity stocks post the second-biggest increase among industry groups in Europe.

Sage Group Plc fell 6% after saying the next two to three years are a transitional period.

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