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 down 41 points at 16,373, the NASDAQ finished up 17 points at 4243 and the S&P 500 ended the day up one point at 1844.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently down four points at 6823.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is up eight pips at $1.6581, EUR/USD is up 43 pips at $1.3589 and USD/JPY is down 16 pips at ¥104.34. Brent crude is down 27 cents at $108.05 and gold is trading at $1236, down $1.

Stocks: Falling into line with other energy providers, Scottish & Southern Energy has confirmed it will cap prices until 2015. The London Stock Exchange has continued to see good growth, with third-quarter earnings up 48%. Lonmin is preparing for further disruption to productivity, with strikes set for its platinum mines over pay disputes.

The day ahead: Overnight, HSBC issued figures showing that Chinese manufacturing was in contraction. Today we will also see both manufacturing and service PMI figures released for France, Germany, Spain and the EU. In the afternoon we will have US unemployment claims and existing home sales.

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

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