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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open marginally lower, as Chinese manufacturing data overnight failed to show signs of improvement.

World Markets

Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as investors analysed a heavy dose of economic data amid the prospect of higher US interest rates in the next two months.

US stocks fell, with the S&P 500 paring a third straight monthly gain, as stronger spending data supported the case for higher interest rates as early as this summer.

UK stocks declined as trading resumed following Monday’s holiday, with the FTSE 100 Index posting its first monthly decline in four. Tullow Oil Plc fell 3.2%, weighing most on a gauge of energy companies as investors await Thursday’s OPEC meeting on production.

Headlines

India’s Tata Steel has completed the sale of part of its European steel business, mostly consisting of UK operations including a steelworks in Scunthorpe and two mills on Teesside, as well as a mill in France to Greybull Capital, an investment company that specialises in turning round struggling companies.

US consumer spending, which makes up two-thirds of US economic activity, jumped by 1% in April, the largest month-on-month gain since August 2009. The rise in spending has solidified many investors’ belief that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates when it meets in June.

The annual rate of UK house price growth was 4.7% in May, down from 4.9% in April according to the Nationwide building society. Nationwide said one factor was that many people had rushed to buy houses in March because of stamp duty changes that took effect on 1 April.

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