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 eight points at 15,291, the NASDAQ finished up 16 points at 3520 and the S&P 500 ended the day flat at 1652.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is up 70 points at 6575.

FX and commoditiesGBP/USD is up 81 pips at $1.5090, EUR/USD is up 78 pips at $1.3055 and USD/JPY is down 70 pips at ¥98.98. Oil - Brent Crude is up 20 cents at $108.74 and Gold is up $39 at $1286.

Latest news: Last night’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) minutes or an astonishing 14 wickets on the first day of the Ashes Test match; traders will be as undecided over which topic to discuss first as the 19 members of the FOMC seem to be over the starting date for cutting the current quantitative easing process.

Once again we will see a raft of US and European equities reporting quarterly figures, and with the background of some very impressive indices levels, equities should do well.

Stocks: Balfour Beatty has confirmed that the government’s home buying scheme and the Bank of England’s desire to keep the base rate unchanged for an extended period have conspired to create a better-looking second half of 2013. Clothes retailer SuperGroup has beaten its full-year targets with a pre-tax profit of £52.2 million, up 22%. Moneysupermarket.com’s first-half profit was in line with expectations.

The day ahead: The ECB monthly bulletin is due at 9am, with US unemployment claims at 1.30pm followed by the Federal budget balance at 7pm (all London times). All figures as at 8.30am (London time).

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