Monday 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 41 points at 16,458, the NASDAQ finished down 21 points at 4197 and the S&P 500 ended the day down seven points at 1838.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up two points at 6822.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down two pips at $1.6427, EUR/USD is down two pips at $1.3544 and USD/JPY is down eight pips at ¥104.17. Brent crude is down 14 cents at $106.38 and gold is trading at $1254, up $2.

Stocks: The weekend press has once again speculated that Tesco will assess making a bid for Mothercare, especially as its price has performed so badly in the last quarter. Laura Ashley has been sufficiently bullish to issue a bonus 1p dividend. 

The day ahead:  With the US shut for Martin Luther King Day, markets will be quieter than usual. Overnight, Chinese industrial production has continued to cool to 9.7%, which is still a rate many western countries would love to achieve.

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

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