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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open higher this morning after falling for three sessions in a row, with a rise in crude oil prices and some better-than-expected company results seen supporting the market.

World Markets

Asian stocks fell for a third day as raw-materials shares declined and Japanese equities fell before this week’s central-bank meetings in the US and Japan.

US stocks declined, with the S&P 500 Index continuing a retreat from a four-month high, before central-bank meetings this week in the US and Japan and as investors await earnings reports to gauge corporate health. Six of the S&P 500’s 10 main industries declined, with energy, raw-material and industrial companies falling more than 0.6%, trimming declines after losing at least 1%.

UK stocks fell on Monday as mining and oil producers fell after declines in metal and crude prices. Anglo American, BHP Billiton, Glencore and Rio Tinto were among the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100.

Headlines

The Saudi cabinet has approved sweeping economic reforms aimed at moving the country away from its dependence on oil profits. Just over 70% of revenues came from oil last year but it has been hit by falling prices. One part of the plan will see shares sold in state-owned oil giant Aramco to create a sovereign wealth fund. Announcing the reforms, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described his country as being addicted to oil.

Britain’s status as a trade power has become a central issue in the build-up to its European Union membership referendum on June 23. US President Barack Obama upset the ‘Out’ campaign last week when he told British voters that Britain would go to the ‘back of the queue’ in trade talks with the United States if it left the EU.

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