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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks looks set to open lower this morning, following US and Asian markets overnight.

World Markets

Asian stocks fell, as prospects for more monetary stimulus in Japan weakened the yen and crude oil held above $46 a barrel. The yen lost ground against most of its major counterparts after Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said monetary policy can be eased further if needed.

US stocks declined following their biggest gain in two months, as disappointing results from Walt Disney Co. to Macy’s Inc. raised doubts about the strength of the American consumer. Walt Disney Co. was 4% lower on Wednesday after its results missed expectations, with both advertising and subscriptions falling at ESPN.

UK stocks closed higher on Wednesday, having traded lower for most of the session. Anglo American was the best performer, up 5.6%. Rangold Resources remained higher, up 3% to add to Tuesday’s advance, but still not a full catch up of Monday’s 14% loss. News that UK manufacturing suffered the largest fall for nearly three years was shrugged off.

Headlines

Japanese car makers Mitsubishi Motors and Nissan have confirmed talks of a capital tie-up as the former struggles with a scandal over falsifying fuel efficiency. Local media reports suggest Nissan will take a one-third stake in its rival to become the single largest shareholder. In the wake of the scandal, Mitsubishi Motors had seen its market value drop by more than 40%.

Foreign firms that own property in the UK will have to declare their assets publicly in a bid to stamp out money-laundering, the government says. The move comes as Prime Minister David Cameron attempts to lead a wider effort to crack down on global corruption. World leaders are gathering in London for a summit aimed at stepping up action to tackle the problem.

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