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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open lower this morning following moves on Wall Street and in Asia, as good economic news from the US highlighted the possibility of a June interest rate rise.

World Markets

Asian stocks fell for the first time this week as investors weighed data showing Japan’s economy grew more than expected while US reports bolstered the case for higher interest rates.

US stocks slid, after losses deepened in afternoon trading, as reports on inflation and housing bolstered speculation the Federal Reserve will lift interest rates.

UK stocks rose for a third day as commodity producers extended their gains. Anglo American Plc and BHP Billiton Ltd. advanced more than 2.5%. Vodafone Group Plc gained 1.5% after reporting quarterly sales growth on its network that beat estimates.

Headlines

The US raised its import duties on Chinese steelmakers by more than five-fold after accusing them of selling their products below market prices. The taxes specifically apply to Chinese-made cold-rolled flat steel, which is used in car manufacturing, shipping containers and construction.

Japanese stocks are rising after data showed the country’s economy avoided a recession and grew by 1.7% in the first three months of the year. The better-than-expected growth rate came after higher government spending helped offset weakness in business investment and exports.

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