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 45 points at 16,580, the NASDAQ finished up 11 points at 4114 and the S&P 500 ended the day down 17 points at 1815.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up 23 points at 6803.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is up 12 pips at $1.6885, EUR/USD is up 20 pips at $1.3887 and USD/JPY is down three pips at ¥102.20. Brent crude is down 32 cents at $107.75 and gold is trading at $1283, down $7.50.

Stocks: Lloyds has seen its first-quarter profits jump 22% and confirmed it will be looking to start paying dividends again in the later stages of 2014. BG Group has seen its first-quarter profits drop by 6% as issues in Egypt continue to hamper the company. Seemingly unaffected by BT’s new TV venture, BSkyB has reported an increase in new customer growth at better levels than 2013. Weir Group remains on course to hit its full-year targets.

The day ahead: May Day bank holidays in Italy, France and Germany along with a Chinese bank holiday could give markets a quieter feel today. The UK, however, is up and running and will see the release of the manufacturing purchasing managers index, M4 money supply and mortgage approval figures. From mid-day the US takes over with Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen speaking, then unemployment claims and ISM manufacturing figures.

All figures correct at 8.45am. All times London time.

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