Retail report euphoria short-lived

After a strong morning hitting 6840 following a better-than-expected UK retail sales report, the FTSE has closed just over 6829.

Mining sector provides support

The mining sector has been the backbone of the gains made by the FTSE this week. After losing so much ground over the past 12 months, it is proving every cloud has a silver lining.

Royal Dutch Shell is still suffering from the profit-warning it issued this morning. The oil titan is managing expectations ahead of full-year results at the end of the month. 

US markets in black

In the US the Dow Jones is up 20 points at 16,438, as mixed economic announcements keep the US equity market in positive territory. The decline in building permits was offset by a jump in housing starts, but the drop in Michigan consumer confidence took the market by surprise. 

The world’s largest chipmaker Intel has recovered some it of its early losses after stating after the close last night that it does not foresee any revenue growth in 2014. 

Copper unchanged

Copper is broadly unchanged as traders are squaring up their positions ahead of the Chinese GDP figures over the weekend. 

Pound strong against doller

The pound has had a sterling performance versus the US dollar today, on the back of the retail sales report. 

The euro is under pressure as an unsubstantiated rumour about Germany being downgraded is circulating. 

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