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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open lower this morning, following movements in Asian and US markets overnight, with investors keeping a close eye on company earnings after disappointing results from some US firms including Alphabet and Microsoft.

World Markets

Asian stocks retreated from a four-month high as companies including Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. reported earnings that missed estimates. Japanese stocks rose and the yen weakened on news the Bank of Japan may consider offering negative-rate loans to banks.

US stocks fell overnight, following mixed earnings results and a warning from Verizon that an ongoing strike would hurt its profits. The Dow Jones fell 113.75 points to 17982.52, and the S&P 500 dipped 10.92 points to 2091.48. The Nasdaq edged downward 2.24 points to 4945.89.

UK stocks fell for the first time in four days, with the FTSE 100 Index dropping from its highest level in four months, as Sky Plc and miners declined. Sky dropped 4.2% as the broadcaster reported rising customer attrition rates across Europe after curtailing discounts in the UK and Ireland, and losing viewers in Italy after failing to secure rights to Champions League football matches.

Headlines

Representatives of more than 150 nations are due to gather in New York later today, to sign the Paris climate accord, setting in motion an unprecedented global effort to reduce pollution and slow rising temperatures linked to floods, heat waves and droughts. The effort will require great shifts in the way societies generate electricity, fuel vehicles and run factories, in large part by forsaking coal, oil and natural gas for renewable energy.

Microsoft’s quarterly profit has missed analysts’ estimates as a continued slump in personal computer sales hurt the company’s core Windows business. The firm’s net income fell to £2.6bn in the third quarter from £3.47bn a year earlier. Its shares were down more than 4% in after-hours trading.

PSA Group premises in France were searched by government fraud investigators as part of a probe into vehicle emissions. Automakers have been under increased scrutiny since September, when US regulators said Volkswagen AG cheated for years to make its diesel cars appear cleaner than they are, sparking lawsuits by the US Department of Justice as well as investigations in at least seven countries.

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