Markets: FTSE 100 edges ever higher

  • FTSE 100 up 0.2% to 7,037
  • Gold up 0.58% to $1,189.51/oz
  • £/$ – 1.4952

The FTSE 100 edged to a new closing high yesterday, adding a further 0.2% to close at 7,037.

Commodity stocks were once again among the top performers. BHP Billiton led the sector up with a 3.4% rise, while Glencore added 2.6% and Royal Dutch Shell was 2% higher. Highest climber of the day was Standard Chartered, which gained 6.5%.

In European markets, the Paris CAC 40 slipped 0.7% to 5,054, and the German Xetra Dax fell 1.2% to 11,895.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% to 18,116, the S&P 500 fell 0.2% to 2,104, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.3% lower at 5,010.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.2% to 19,713, and the broader Topix index fell 0.3% to 1,587. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.1% to 3,691, and the CSI 300 added one point to 3,973.

Brent spot was trading at $55.46 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $46.90. Spot gold was trading at $1,191 an ounce, silver was at $16.99 and platinum was at $1,143.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.4947 and against the euro at 1.3610. The dollar was trading at 0.9105 against the euro and 119.53 against the Japanese yen.

And today, Hong-Kong based Hutchison Whampoa is set to buy mobile phone firm O2  from Spain’s Telefonica in a deal worth £10.5bn deal, according to the Financial Times. Hutchison, owned by Li Ka-shing, Asia’s richest man, plans to merge O2 with its ‘Three’ mobile network.

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