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Investment market update

Early Trading

UK stocks are expected to open broadly flat this morning, after discouraging trade data from China which showed that exports were lower than predicted.

World Markets

Asian stocks fell with emerging-market currencies after China’s exports fell for a fifth consecutive month. The yuan was poised for its weakest close in four years and oil held near the lowest since 2009. Chinese stocks decreased by more than 1% as concern continued over the slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.

US stocks declined as reducing oil prices weighed on energy and raw-material companies, pushing the market downwards the day after equities posted their biggest one-day gain in three months.

UK stocks reversed an earlier rally, ending the day lower as energy and commodity producers fell with oil and metals. Royal Dutch Shell Plc lost 4.6%, BG Group Plc decreased 4.1% and BHP Billiton Ltd. declined 2.9%. Airlines advanced amid a lower oil price, with EasyJet Plc, IAG SA and Ryanair Holdings Plc up more than 1.7%.

Headlines

In the US, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Wednesday will unveil proposals to deter US companies from shifting profits overseas, including an “exit tax” to penalise companies that perform so-called tax inversions, a campaign official said. The exit tax would apply to companies like Pfizer that move abroad for tax advantages, said the official. Another major part of Clinton’s plan will be announced Wednesday, when Clinton is due to appear in the first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, the official said.

British retail sales grew at the weakest pace for any November since 2011 as hopes of a surge from Black Friday discounts fell flat, according to a survey from the British Retail Consortium on Tuesday. The BRC said the total value of retail sales between 1 November and 28 November was 0.7% higher than in the November period of 2014, slowing from 0.9% the month before.

Crude prices remained near 7-year lows on Tuesday as OPEC continues to pump near record oil to defend market share, compounding a glut that has seen hundreds of thousands of barrels produced every day in excess of demand. Benchmark Brent and WTI futures both fell over 6% the previous session to reach 2015 lows, and they are closing in on levels last seen during the credit crunch of 2008/2009. Should they break through 2008/2009 lows, the next downward target would be levels not seen since the early 2000s.

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