Friday 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 231 points at 16,108, the NASDAQ finished down 62 points at 4260 and the S&P 500 ended the day down 21 points at 1846.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently down 25 points at 6529.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 12 pips at $1.6610, EUR/USD is down ten pips at $1.3861 and USD/JPY is down 12 pips at ¥101.74. Brent crude is up seven cents at $107.06 and gold is trading at $1371, up $2.50.

Stocks: Thursday finally saw the US ban on BP bidding for drilling rights lifted. The oil and gas company reached an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency that will allow it to continue bidding for government contracts.

Pharmaceutical companies could be set to benefit from rule changes, with the UK government’s plan to speed up availability of new drugs under certain circumstances.

Further speculation has revolved around the reduction of Barclays’ investment arm, with inevitable job cuts set to take place.

Regardless of how disappointing the equity markets are, you can always drown your sorrows, and judging by the first-half profits jump of 8.5%, JD Wetherspoons' pubs are one of the more popular venues for this.

The day ahead: Two days later than originally expected, we will finally see the UK trade balance figures this morning. EU quarterly employment change figures are also due for release. Later in the afternoon we will see US monthly PPI figures.

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

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