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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks look set to open slightly higher this morning, with the main focus on the UK Budget presentation which is scheduled for 12.30 GMT.

World Markets

UK stocks fell with shares of miners, as Anglo American Plc, BHP Billiton Plc and Glencore Plc, Monday’s lead gainers, retreated at least 5.1%. Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc rose 1.4% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc. added the shares to the bank’s “conviction buy” list.

US stocks ended mixed as investors remained cautious amid a two-day meeting of Federal Reserve officials that began yesterday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted back-to-back declines for the first time this month, as investors considered the capacity of central banks to boost global growth.

Asian stocks were also mixed after Japan’s central bank held back from releasing new stimulus measures, and as investors look ahead to the outcome of the Federal Reserve meeting.


George Osborne will set out £4bn in extra spending cuts and announce investment in the UK’s infrastructure when he presents his Budget to MPs today. The chancellor has set himself a target of achieving a surplus by 2019-20. His eighth Budget will also include a £1.5bn education package forcing all state schools to become academies and allowing some to open later in the day.

The London Stock Exchange and Germany’s Deutsche Börse AG have sewn up a merger deal that has been in discussion since last month, in a deal they hope will see off interlopers and persuade regulators to bless their plans to create a champion for European trading. London will be the location for the holding company and the German exchange’s Carsten Kengeter its chief executive. Donald Brydon, chairman of the LSE, will chair the new company. The merger will result in LSE shareholders with a 45.6% stake, while Deutsche Börse shareholders will take the remaining 54.4%.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has closed a criminal investigation into allegations of price-rigging in the £3tn-a-day foreign exchange market. It was set up in 2014 to look into allegations of ‘fraudulent conduct’. Now the investigation is being brought to an end.

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