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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open lower today ahead of a raft of UK and US economic data and with overnight falls across Asian markets likely to have an impact on investor sentiment in London.

World Markets

The FTSE 100 closed 0.7% lower, but shares in Tesco jumped after it posted a rise in sales over Christmas. Shares in Tesco ended 6% higher after it said UK sales rose 1.3% on a like-for-like basis over the six weeks to 9 January, with chief executive Dave Lewis describing its performance as ‘strong’.

Asian shares reversed earlier gains to head lower as global economic worries and oil prices continued to weigh on markets. Shares in Sharp jumped over 14% after a local media report said Taiwan’s Hon Hai Precision was set to invest $5.9bn (£4.1bn) in the struggling electronics maker.

Stocks on Wall Street finished the day higher as a rebound in oil prices helped boost energy shares.Trading volume reached its highest level in a month as investors looked to take advantage of lower prices. Top risers on the Dow were Exxon Mobil, which gained 4.6%, and Chevron, which rose 5.1%. Energy stocks have been hit hard over the past months as oil prices have fallen.

Headlines

BT Group’s takeover of mobile phone network EE has been given final clearance by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA said the £12.5bn deal was unlikely to cause significant harm to competition. The deal will create a communications giant covering fixed-line phones, broadband, mobile and TV. The takeover brings together the UK’s largest fixed-line business and the largest mobile telecoms business.

Goldman Sachs says it has reached a deal with US authorities over charges that it used fraudulent marketing material to sell mortgage bonds before the financial crisis. The bank agreed to pay $5.1bn (£3.5bn) in civil penalties and consumer relief. The tentative deal was reached with the US Department of Justice’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

Home loans advanced to UK buy-to-let investors in November leapt 35% from a year earlier, ahead of key tax changes. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said the rise took the number of buy-to-let loans to 23,300, although this was down 6% compared with October. Landlords in England and Wales will have to pay a 3% surcharge on each stamp duty band from April.

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