Wednesday morning snapshot

A snapshot of the early morning's equity news and key market movements.

Last night in the US: The Dow Jones closed 75 points up at 15,300, the NASDAQ finished 19 points ahead at 3504 and the S&P 500 ended 11 points stronger at 1652.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up 16 points at 6528.

FX and commoditiesGBP/USD is up eight pips at $1.4874, EUR/USD is six pips higher at $1.2788 and USD/JPY is down 57 pips at ¥100.35. Brent crude is up ten cents at $107.92 and Gold is $1.80 higher at $1247.

Latest news: Trading floors are readying themselves for a busy day, no doubt enhanced for many with the start of the Ashes series between England and Australia which gets underway a couple of hours after UK markets open. The other important issue today take place after the European close, with the minutes of the latest Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting, after which Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is due to talk.

Stocks: Burberry has announced an 18% increase in first-quarter sales, boosted by its spring and summer range. The retailer’s Asian diversification has been the major stabilising factor. Halfords are still benefiting from last summer’s London Olympics and the changing sentiment towards bicycle riders, after revealing a first-quarter sales rise of 7.5%, driven by a 15.5% increase in like-for-like cycle sales.

The day ahead: All eyes will be on tonight’s FOMC minutes from its last meeting and the possible implications for the Fed’s quantitative easing policy, at 7pm, followed by Ben Bernanke’s speech at 9pm (all London times). All figures as at 8.30am (London time).

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