Investment market update
UK stocks are expected to open lower this morning as Asian markets fell overnight.
Major Asian stocks fell, as the yen strengthened and investors in China were disappointed by a lack of specific measures to boost growth.
US stocks were mixed, after growth estimates for the fourth quarter of 2015 was revised up to 1% from 0.7%. Shares in Caterpillar, the world’s largest construction and mining equipment maker, were up 0.6%.
UK stocks continue to advance, rising 1.4%, supported by Mining shares as commodity prices rallied. Anglo American rose 7% and Glencore was 7.5% higher.
Finance ministers from the world’s leading economies have warned of a ‘shock’ to the global economy if the UK leaves the EU. The ministers gave their opinion in a statement released at the end of a two-day meeting of G20 nations in China. Chancellor George Osborne, who was at the event, said the referendum issue was ‘deadly serious’.
One of the UK’s largest employers, the retail sector, is facing the loss of up to 900,000 jobs and the closure of thousands of shops in the next decade. A British Retail Consortium report says rising costs due to the National Living Wage and the new apprenticeship levy could speed up job cuts.
India’s government is unveiling a budget aimed at boosting farm growth and appealing to the rural poor. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said he planned to double the income of struggling farmers in the next five years. Having overtaken China as the world’s fastest-growing economy, India is seen as a bright spot in the global economy.