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 down nine points at 15,875, the NASDAQ finished down six points at 4023 and the S&P 500 ended the day down five points at 1781.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up 22 points at 6507.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is up 15 pips at $1. 6278, EUR/USD is down four pips at $1.3763 and USD/JPY is up 28 pips at ¥102.95. Brent crude is up 24 cents at $108.65 and gold is trading at $1235, up $5.20.

Stocks: United Utilities goes ex-dividend today. Food retailers are struggling again, with Tesco and Sainsbury’s being the second and third biggest fallers. BP has announced that it has made a major discovery in the gulf of Mexico.

The day ahead: UK unemployment figures are out at 9:30am, along with news of how the MPC last voted. A raft of US housing figures are due for release today, but all eyes are on the US FOMC statement tonight at 7pm.

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

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