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 105 points at 14,897; the NASDAQ finished down 13 points at 3599; and the S&P 500 ended the day down nine points at 1642.

FX and commodities update: GBP/USD is down 66 pips at $1.5592; EUR/USD is down 25 pips at $1.3329; USD/JPY is up 55 pips at Y98.22. Brent crude oil is down 19 cents at $109.62; gold is down $6.70 at $1363.

London: The FTSE 100 is up 36 points at 6427.

Latest news: Last night’s FOMC minutes were arguably as confusing as ever, with several votes for tapering, several against and several still undecided. The general consensus appeared to be for a cut before the end of the year, so now it’s a case of agreeing just how much and when. With most of the major fiscal decision-makers absent from this latest Jackson Hole meeting, its relevance is somewhat diluted. However, it will be interesting to see what statements are released in due course.

Stocks: This is a very thin day for corporate news, and of the major FTSE companies only Kazakhmys has posted figures. The first half of the year has not been kind to it, as profits have dropped by 35%. The firm is battling double issues of rising production costs and falling copper prices.

The day ahead: French, German and EU service and manufacturing PMI figures are due out this morning, with the US figures following in the afternoon. It’s the first day of the Jackson Hole meeting.

All figures as at 8.30am (London time).

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