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 135 points at 15,326, the NASDAQ finished down four points at 3725 and the S&P 500 ended the day up five points at 1689.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up eight points at 6596.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 11 pips at $1.5805, EUR/USD is down eight pips at $1.3302 and USD/JPY is down 38 pips at ¥99.50. Brent crude is down ten cents at $110.05 and gold is trading at $1346, down $19.

Stocks: This will be a day full of corporate releases, with Next, Morrisons, Home Retail Group and Ocado all reporting figures, along with confirmation that Royal Mail will become the latest organisation to be privatised. BP has now started the mammoth task of working its way through 48,000 civil lawsuits against it.

The day ahead: The ECB monthly bulletin is due out this morning at 9am, along with EU industrial production figures. Then at 1.30pm we have US unemployment claims, and tonight at 7pm the Federal budget balance.

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

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