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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks have opened higher this morning despite tough trading elsewhere for equities.

World Markets

Global equity markets fell as data for manufacturing and services in the world’s leading economies point to a subdued outlook for global growth, while falling corporate earnings in the US are doing little to revive an equities rally that’s petered out over the past two weeks. Mining companies saw some of the biggest falls as the price of metals declined. Rangold lost 11% and BHP Billiton was down 6%.

Headlines

The European Central Bank says it will no longer produce the €500 note because of concerns it could facilitate illegal activities. The decision comes in the wake of a European Commission inquiry in February into the way the notes are used.

Hong Kong property stocks were downgraded by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which predicts a 20% decline in home prices as borrowing costs rise.

Britain’s latest overhaul of financial regulation and the Bank of England was signed into law on Wednesday after months of debate that included controversy over how tough the rules should be.

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