Wednesday 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 ten points at 16,256, the NASDAQ finished up 33 points at 4112 and the S&P 500 ended the day up seven points at 1851.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up 28 points at 6618.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down nine pips at $1.6736, EUR/USD is down eight pips at $1.3787 and USD/JPY is up 31 pips at ¥102.12. Brent crude is down 29 cents at $107.33 and gold is trading at $1311, up $3.50.

Stocks: Good news for Rolls Royce as the company tied up a $100 million contract with the US Navy. Market rumours are circulating regarding further management shake-ups at Tesco, with a new chief marketing officer set to be announced. An extensive list of UK equities have gone ex-dividend this morning, amongst them John Wood Group, IMI, Rentokill, BBA Aviation and Greggs.

The day ahead: Before the market opened, the German trade balance figures were released and had drifted lower to €15.7 billion. The UK will announce its trade balance at 9.30am, and this figure is expected to be £9.3 billion. Although last night’s comments from Federal Open Market Committee voting member Charles Plosser might have given us hints, the markets will be waiting to hear the latest FOMC minutes at 7pm tonight.

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

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