Investment market update
UK stocks are expected to open higher this morning following a rise on Wall Street overnight as well as support from higher oil prices.
Asian stocks closed the session mixed despite the rise in oil prices.
US stocks rose, with indexes recovering from drops of more than 1% as crude oil prices steadied around $32 a barrel, while Treasuries reversed gains as demand for some haven assets abated.
UK stocks fell amid uncertainty over the global economy and the UK’s position in Europe. House builders were among the top gainers, with Persimmon up 2.27%. Barratt was up 1.69% after it reported a 40% gain in half year profits. Miners continued their losing run for a second day with Anglo American, Glencore, Antofagasta and BHP Billiton all falling between 5 – 10%.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the global economy has weakened further and warned it was ‘highly vulnerable to adverse shocks’. It said the weakening had come ‘amid increasing financial turbulence and falling asset prices’. The IMF’s report comes before the meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Shanghai later this week.
Communications regulator, Ofcom has told BT to open up its cable network, so competitors can better connect the internet to homes and offices. It says that BT’s Openreach operation needs to change, take its own decisions on budget, and investment and strategy.
Lloyds Banking Group has reported a 7% fall in annual pre-tax profits to £1.6bn compared with £1.8bn a year earlier. It comes as the bank increased provisions for payment protection insurance (PPI) compensation. The bank set aside £4bn to compensate customers who were mis-sold PPI.