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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open slightly lower this morning after two days of strong gains and as oil increased to over $50 a barrel for the first time this year.

World Markets

Asian stocks were mixed overnight amid worries about a US interest rate increase and that a rally in oil prices may not be sustainable.

US stocks posted the strongest two-day rally in nearly three months, as signs of a stronger economy spurred speculation it can withstand higher interest rates. Banks in the S&P 500 led Wednesday’s move, reaching their highest level since January amid bets that rising rates will boost profits. Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. rose more than 1.6%.

UK stocks climbed on Wednesday to touch their highest level in a month, lifted by gains at major banks and oil companies, while retailer Marks & Spencer fell after a disappointing trading update.

Headlines

Oil prices have pushed above $50 a barrel for the first time this year, as demand strengthens for motor fuels and traders weigh the threat of further supply outages.
Greece may have passed a milestone and its bond market has been lucrative for some investors, but the road to recovery doesn’t look much shorter. The yield on Greek 10-year bonds fell below 7% for the first time since November after creditors agreed to release €10.3 billion euros and pledged to reduce the debt burden down the line.

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