Markets: FTSE 100 ends the week on a high

• FTSE 100 up 1.1% to 6,750

• Gold up 0.64% to $1,201.55/oz

• £/$ – 1.5656

The FTSE 100 ended the week on a high after a cut in Chinese interest rates and hopes of quantitative easing in Europe. The index climbed 1.1% to close at 6,750.

Commodity stocks were the best performers. Anglo American jumped 6.7%, while Rio Tinto added 6.2%, Tullow Oil rose 5.8% and Fresnillo was 5.3% higher.

In European markets, the Paris CAC 40 rose 113 points to 4,347, and the German Xetra Dax added 249 points to 9,732.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 each rose 0.5% to 17,810  2,063 respectively, and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.2% to 4,712.

Japan’s markets were closed for a public holiday. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 1.9% to 2,652, and the CSI 300 was 2.6% higher at 2,649..

Brent spot was trading at $80.22 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $76.46. Spot gold was trading at $1,196 an ounce, silver was at $16.22 and platinum was at $1,213.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.5640 and against the euro at 1.2634. The dollar was trading at 0.8078 against the euro and 118.25 against the Japanese yen.

And today, in the UK, Friends Life and Aviva have said they have agreed terms on a possible £5.6bn merger. The deal would create  business worth over £21bn with £340bn of assets under management. Aviva’s share price fell by over 3% in early trading today, while Friends Life rose by over 5%.

  • David Stevenson, former MoneyWeek writer and director of The Fleet Street Letter, believes silver could be about to start a record climb.  Click here (capital at risk) to read about the three irresistible forces David believes could push the price of silver through the roof.

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