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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 up 72 points at 15,445, the NASDAQ finished up 34 points at 4031 and the S&P 500 ended the day up 13 points at 1755.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently down seven points at 6441.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 11 pips at $1.6311, EUR/USD is down seven pips at $1.3510 and USD/JPY is down 45 pips at ¥101.16. Brent crude is up 24 cents at $106.02 and gold is trading at $1256, up $2.15

Stocks: Stephen Hester has been appointed the new CEO of Royal & Sun Alliance. Hargreaves Lansdown has seen a big jump in new accounts, mainly due to investors seeking to buy shares in the government’s Royal Mail IPO. ICAP has fared less well, as accounts in the third quarter have fallen by 6%. Media group Daily Mail & General Trust has reported a 6% rise in revenue on a like-for-like basis.

The day ahead: Chinese new year celebrations continue today. We will hear the latest service PMI figures for Spain, Italy, EU, UK and US. Later on in the day, FOMC representatives Tarullo and Plosser will both be speaking, but at two separate events, and we will also get the latest US oil inventories.

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

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