Thursday morning snapshot

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

Last night in the US: The Dow Jones closed up 48 points at 14,824; the NASDAQ finished up 14 points at 3593; and the S&P 500 ended the day up four points at 1634.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is up 38 at 6468.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 18 pips at $1.5506, EUR/USD is down 70 pips at $1.3268 and USD/JPY is up 54 pips at ¥98.17. Oil - Brent Crude is down 127 cents at $115.34 and gold is down $9 at $1408.

Latest news: As the market digests the morning’s news, it is a little less likely that the UK will embark on immediate military action, but will first await the UN’s findings. This has cooled fears of an immediate Syrian issue, which had rather taken the light away from a number of other important economic problems. The US is once again heading towards a mid-October deadline to do something about its debt ceiling, and we still have the question mark over tapering of QE.

Stocks: Recruitment firm Hays has posted a 3% fall in profit. Even improvements in Europe, North America and Latin America have failed to offset the fall in the Asian market. Admiral has highlighted the improving insurance market, with first-half pre-tax profit up 6%. Rumours are strong that Vodafone and Verizon Wireless are about to go their separate ways, with Verizon willing to offer $160 billion for Vodafone’s 45% stake.

The day ahead: We have plenty of data out in Europe and the US today, starting with the change in German unemployment claims, followed by eurozone retail PMI figures, US preliminary quarterly GDP figures, US unemployment claims and finally FOMC member James Bullard speaking. All figures as at 8.30am (London time).

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