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 72 points at 16,576, the NASDAQ finished up 22 points at 4176 and the S&P 500 ended the day up seven points at 1848.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently down two points at 6746.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is up seven pips at $1.6573, EUR/USD is down 34 pips at $1.3728 and USD/JPY is up 12 pips at ¥105.36. Brent crude is up 39 cents at $111.27 and gold is trading at $1222, up $17.45

Stocks: The annual retail figures from the high-street chains have already started to emerge, with Debenhams posting a profit warning and its finance director stepping down as a consequence. John Lewis, on the other hand, has seen its sales rise 7.2% over the festive period. House of Fraser also saw its improving online sales pump up its figures over the same time period.

The day ahead: Manufacturing PMI figures for China are already out, but today also sees the release of Spanish, Italian, UK and US reports. We will also get the first glimpse of the US unemployment claims for 2014.

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

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