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 18 points at 16,198, the NASDAQ finished up four points at 4292 and the S&P 500 ended the day flat at 1845.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up five points at 6804.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 42 pips at $1.6396, EUR/USD is down 43 pips at $1.3637 and USD/JPY is up eight pips at ¥104.28. Brent crude is down three cents at $106.20 and gold is trading at $1240, down $5.

Stocks: RSA has confirmed plans to raise £775 million through a rights issue. British advertising and public relations company WPP reported record profits in 2013 and has stepped up its share-buyback programme. Property developer Barratt Developments has seen an increase in its full-year profits of 162% (no, not a typo). RBS has posted a full-year loss of £8.2 billion, struggling under restructuring costs and a plethora of fines from numerous financial regulators for a range of historical indiscretions. BAT has also seen its full-year profits increase by 6%.

The day ahead: We have a packed day of economic data today, with German unemployment change, EU money supply and private loans to be reported in the morning. In the US, unemployment claims, durable goods and natural gas figures are expected, and Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen will be testifying in front of the Senate Banking Committee.

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

This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. See full non-independent research disclaimer and quarterly summary.

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