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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open higher this morning after Brent crude staged a rally and gained more than 7% to move above $35 per barrel.

World Markets

Asian stocks climbed with the region’s currencies as a sell-off in the dollar underpinned a resurgence in crude oil.

US stocks rose for the first time in three days as commodity producers rallied with crude oil, overshadowing concerns that weakness in global growth is spreading. Oreo cookie maker Mondelez International Inc. fell 6.5%, as its profit missed estimates.

UK stocks closed the session lower as banks fell sharply. Barclays retreated 4.7%, Royal Bank of Scotland fell 3.6%, and Lloyds Banking Group was down just over 2%.

Headlines

The UK’s dominant services sector maintained its growth in January, according to the latest PMI survey. The index put the sector at 55.6 last month, barely changed from December’s reading on 55.5. Any figure above 50 suggests that output in the sector is expanding. The service sector accounts for more than three quarters of the UK economy.

The governor of the Bank of England has been ‘too aggressive’ in suggesting interest rates may rise, one of world’s leading authorities on the turmoil in global markets has told the BBC. Dominic Rossi, the head of global equities at Fidelity, the world’s second largest fund manager, said Mark Carney had confused the markets.

Royal Dutch Shell has confirmed it is cutting 10,000 jobs amid a sharp drop in profits. It made $1.8bn for the fourth quarter of the year, compared with a $4.2bn profit for the same period the year before. Full-year 2015 earnings, excluding identified items, were $10.7bn, compared with $22.6 billion in 2014.

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