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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open lower this morning as investors consider the US interest rate decision this week and against a backdrop of continuing weakness in oil prices.

World Markets

Most major stock markets fell as the price of oil continued to slide and investors are worried about a widely expected US interest rate rise this week.

Headlines

The UK’s recent growth, employment progress and deficit reduction have been ‘strong’, the International Monetary Fund has said. Underlying economic vulnerabilities have been addressed, and steady growth looks set to continue but high household debt, a ‘strikingly large’ trade deficit and high government debt are still risks to the economy. It also warned about uncertainty over whether the UK would stay in the EU.

South African President Jacob Zuma has replaced newly appointed Finance Minister David van Rooyen with the more experienced Pravin Gordhan in a surprise Sunday night announcement. On Wednesday, the President sacked Nhlanhla Nene in a move that sent the rand to record lows and sparked a sell-off in bank shares.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) says it will reimburse some 4,500 customers, after it wrongly told them that they did not hold a dormant RBS account. Those affected had applied via a British Bankers’ Association (BBA) headed scheme which connects bank customers with dormant cash. RBS apologised for its error, and said that after spotting its mistake it took quick steps to rectify the situation.

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