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 292 points at 16,167, the NASDAQ finished up 46 points at 4070 and the S&P 500 ended the day up 29 points at 1810.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up 70 points at 6562.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 14 pips at $1.6375, EUR/USD is down six pips at $1.3677 and USD/JPY is down 32 pips at ¥103.96. Brent crude is down 11 cents at $109.19 and gold is trading at $1215, down $3.20.

Stocks: AstraZeneca is close to completing the control of its diabetes joint venture with Bristol-Myers Squibb, expected to cost in the region of $3 billion. Keller Group has posted a trading update stating it envisages full-year figures will be in line with market expectations. Both G4S and Serco will find out their fate after a government-wide probe of their contracts. It is likely that the remunerations to be re-paid could total £50 million.

The day ahead: US FOMC members yesterday voted to start tapering, so the long wait is finally over. A reduction of the monthly $85 billion debt-purchasing scheme down to $75 billion is set to begin. However, there will need to be further improvements in US economic data before any additional cuts can be considered. .

All figures correct at 8.30am. All times London time.

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