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 down 11 points at 16,340, the NASDAQ finished up 16 points at 4323 and the S&P 500 ended the day flat at 1868.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently down six points at 6615.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is up 42 pips at $1.6660, EUR/USD is down 49 pips at $1.3951 and USD/JPY is down 18 pips at ¥102.56. Brent crude is up 19 cents at $108.30 and gold is trading at $1374, up $8.75.

Stocks: Once again Argos has helped Home Retail Group figures, as the company has announced its full-year figures would be slightly better than the top end of the expected range. British newspaper and magazine publisher Trinity Mirror has managed to keep a tighter rein on its spending and subsequently seen full-year pre-tax profits rise. However, generic growth of sales was arguably an area they would have wanted to see improve.

The Association of British Insurers has put the expected bill for the flooding damage around the UK at £446 million.

The day ahead: Overnight weaker Chinese industrial production and retail sales figures have set a downbeat tempo for the markets. The EU monthly bulletin is expected at 9am this morning, and the afternoon will be dominated by US retail sales figures and unemployment claims.

All figures correct at 8.15am. All times London time.

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