Markets: FTSE 100 rises ahead of the Budget

  • FTSE 100 up 0.5% to 6,837
  • Gold down 0.46% to $1,149.55/oz
  • £/$ – 1.4749

The FTSE 100 continued its rise ahead of today’s Budget. The index closed up 0.5% at 6,837.

Energy stocks were among the top performers despite the price of oil falling. Tullow Oil added 6.1% in anticipation of tax breaks on North Sea Oil. BG Group added 2.2% and Royal Dutch Shell gained 2.1%.

In European markets, the Paris CAC 40 fell 0.6% to 5,028, and the German Xetra Dax lost 1.5% to 11,980.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.7% to 17,849, the S&P 500 slipped 0.3% to 2,074, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.1% higher at 4,937.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.6% to 19,544, and the broader Topix index rose 0.8% to 1,582. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 2.1% to 3,577, and the CSI 300 added 2.4% to 3,846.

Brent spot was trading at $53.44 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $42.59. Spot gold was trading at $1,147 an ounce, silver was at $15.50 and platinum was at $1,088.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.4742 and against the euro at 1.3898. The dollar was trading at 0.9427 against the euro and 121.25 against the Japanese yen.

And today, Smiths Group reported a fall in profits for the first half of the year. The engineering group made a pre-tax profit of £131m in the six months to 31 January, down from £132m for the same period last year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *