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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open little changed this morning, following a further fall in oil prices as sanctions were lifted on Iran.

World Markets

Asian stocks fell overnight as the price of crude oil fell to a new 12 year low. However, Chinese stocks rose after a home-price recovery spread to more cities and speculation grew equities have been oversold.

US stocks dropped, as data showing falling retail sales rekindled concern about the health of the economy. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. dropped 1.8% after saying it plans to close 269 stores.

UK stocks were lower on Friday on the back of concerns regarding global growth. Merlin Entertainments Plc and TUI AG slipped at least 4.9% after JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its rating on the stocks. Tesco Plc climbed 6.1% after reporting its first sales growth in more than four years.

Headlines

Iran is beginning efforts to boost oil production and exports amid a global supply surplus after the removal of sanctions that shackled its economy and capped crude sales. Buyers of Iranian crude are now free to import as much of its oil as they want after the International Atomic Energy Agency determined that the country had curbed its ability to develop a nuclear weapon.

Prime Minister David Cameron is raising “some right questions” in seeking to limit welfare-state benefits for immigrants from other European Union countries, though Germany can only go so far to accommodate British demands, Deputy Finance Minister Jens Spahn said in an interview.

The European Union’s top antitrust official vowed to push ahead with tax probes involving some of the world’s biggest companies, saying businesses that are ‘organised to pay very little taxes’ are a competition concern.

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