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 117 points at 16,518, the NASDAQ finished down 13 points at 4067 and the S&P 500 ended the day up ten points at 1878.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up 12 points at 6779.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is up 14 pips at $1.6966, EUR/USD is up 12 pips at $1.3922 and USD/JPY is down 12 pips at ¥101.76. Brent crude is down 23 cents at $107.90 and gold is trading at $1291, up $1.50.

Stocks: Standard Chartered has found Asian market conditions difficult and saw its profits drop as a consequence. Barclays has announced even further cost-cutting by chopping as much as 19,000 from its head count. Morrisons lack of online exposure continues to hurt it, and the aggressive cost-cutting policy, in order to boost market share, is yet to show dividends. It looks like BT’s audacious sports channel strategy is beginning to work its way through, as the company has been able to post its first increase in consumer revenues in ten years. Randgold Resources has benefited from an increase in mined gold along with a more resilient price in the precious metal.

The day ahead: Overnight, Chinese trade balance figures jumped higher to $18.5 billion. All eyes are now firmly fixed on the Bank of England and European Central Bank interest rate decisions expected just after mid-day. It still looks unlikely we will see change yet. Later this afternoon we will see the latest US unemployment claims figures and Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen is once again in for a grilling, this time with the Senate Budget Committee.

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

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