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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are set to open higher this morning, carrying on Friday’s momentum.

World Markets

Despite falls in China, most Asian stocks rose on Monday, led by Japan which increased by 7% on the back of raised hopes of more economic stimulus.

US stocks advanced on Friday, with the longest losing streak for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since September coming to an end, as crude oil prices rebounded and data showed retail sales increased for a third month in January.

UK stocks were up on Friday, recovering some of the week’s losses, with Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc shares jumping 14% as investors shrugged off a 41% cut in the annual dividend and instead cheered restructuring efforts that ended a run of profit warnings.

Headlines

Japan’s economy contracted in the final three months of 2015 as the nation struggles to break free of a cycle of expansion and contraction despite more than three years of the Abenomics program. Gross domestic product shrank an annualised 1.4% in the three months ended 31 December, following a revised 1.3% gain in the third quarter.

Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, the maker of Durex condoms and Nurofen painkillers, reported fourth-quarter sales growth that beat analyst estimates as retailers stocked up on cold and flu remedies. Revenue advanced 7% on a so-called like-for-like basis, beating the 4.4% median estimate of analysts.

A big rise in China’s imports from Hong Kong has raised fresh concern trade invoices are being manipulated to get capital out of the country. January data released Monday show imports from the territory leaped 108% from a year earlier even as total imports dropped by 18.8% and inbound shipments from other major trading partners fell.

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