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 135 points at 15,326, the NASDAQ finished down four points at 3725 and the S&P 500 ended the day up five points at 1689.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up eight points at 6596.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 11 pips at $1.5805, EUR/USD is down eight pips at $1.3302 and USD/JPY is down 38 pips at ¥99.50. Brent crude is down ten cents at $110.05 and gold is trading at $1346, down $19.

Stocks: This will be a day full of corporate releases, with Next, Morrisons, Home Retail Group and Ocado all reporting figures, along with confirmation that Royal Mail will become the latest organisation to be privatised. BP has now started the mammoth task of working its way through 48,000 civil lawsuits against it.

The day ahead: The ECB monthly bulletin is due out this morning at 9am, along with EU industrial production figures. Then at 1.30pm we have US unemployment claims, and tonight at 7pm the Federal budget balance.

All figures correct at 8.30am. All times London time.

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients.