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 up 72 points at 15,445, the NASDAQ finished up 34 points at 4031 and the S&P 500 ended the day up 13 points at 1755.

This morning in London: The FTSE 100 is currently down seven points at 6441.

FX and commodities: GBP/USD is down 11 pips at $1.6311, EUR/USD is down seven pips at $1.3510 and USD/JPY is down 45 pips at ¥101.16. Brent crude is up 24 cents at $106.02 and gold is trading at $1256, up $2.15

Stocks: Stephen Hester has been appointed the new CEO of Royal & Sun Alliance. Hargreaves Lansdown has seen a big jump in new accounts, mainly due to investors seeking to buy shares in the government’s Royal Mail IPO. ICAP has fared less well, as accounts in the third quarter have fallen by 6%. Media group Daily Mail & General Trust has reported a 6% rise in revenue on a like-for-like basis.

The day ahead: Chinese new year celebrations continue today. We will hear the latest service PMI figures for Spain, Italy, EU, UK and US. Later on in the day, FOMC representatives Tarullo and Plosser will both be speaking, but at two separate events, and we will also get the latest US oil inventories.

All figures correct at 8.15am. 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.