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 292 points at 16,167, the NASDAQ finished up 46 points at 4070 and the S&P 500 ended the day up 29 points at 1810.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently up 70 points at 6562.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 14 pips at $1.6375, EUR/USD is down six pips at $1.3677 and USD/JPY is down 32 pips at ¥103.96. Brent crude is down 11 cents at $109.19 and gold is trading at $1215, down $3.20.

Stocks: AstraZeneca is close to completing the control of its diabetes joint venture with Bristol-Myers Squibb, expected to cost in the region of $3 billion. Keller Group has posted a trading update stating it envisages full-year figures will be in line with market expectations. Both G4S and Serco will find out their fate after a government-wide probe of their contracts. It is likely that the remunerations to be re-paid could total £50 million.

The day ahead: US FOMC members yesterday voted to start tapering, so the long wait is finally over. A reduction of the monthly $85 billion debt-purchasing scheme down to $75 billion is set to begin. However, there will need to be further improvements in US economic data before any additional cuts can be considered. .

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

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This information has been prepared by IG, a trading name of IG Markets Limited and IG Markets South Africa Limited. In addition to the disclaimer below, the material on this page does not contain a record of our trading prices, or an offer of, or solicitation for, a transaction in any financial instrument. IG accepts no responsibility for any use that may be made of these comments and for any consequences that result. No representation or warranty is given as to the accuracy or completeness of this information. Consequently any person acting on it does so entirely at their own risk. Any research provided does not have regard to the specific investment objectives, financial situation and needs of any specific person who may receive it. It has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such is considered to be a marketing communication. Although we are not specifically constrained from dealing ahead of our recommendations we do not seek to take advantage of them before they are provided to our clients. International accounts are offered by IG Markets Limited in the UK (FCA Number 195355), a juristic representative of IG Markets South Africa Limited (FSP No 41393). South African residents are required to obtain the necessary tax clearance certificates in line with their foreign investment allowance and may not use credit or debit cards to fund their international account.