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 40 points at 16,573, the NASDAQ finished up eight points at 4276 and the S&P 500 ended the day up five points at 1890.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up four points at 6663.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is up 21 pips at $1.6648, EUR/USD is up three pips at $1.3769 and USD/JPY is up six pips at ¥104.66. Brent crude is down nine cents at $104.65 and gold is trading at $1290, down $1.

Stocks: Royal Bank of Scotland is in the press again as it continues to trim its workforce with a further 44 branches expected to close. In contrast, Vodafone is looking to open a further 150 shops and add another 1400 staff to its numbers. Mike Ashley’s hopes of a share bonus scheme appear to be on the backburner as he has failed to get enough Sports Direct voter support.

The day ahead: First to kick off this economic data-heavy day is the UK service purchasing managers index figures, then EU monthly retail sales figures, followed by the EU interest rate decision. The European Central Bank press conference is at 1.30pm, followed by EU trade balances figures and unemployment claims. Later in the afternoon we will also get ISM non-manufacturing PMI.

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

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