Global market report, 18 March

• FTSE 100 down 0.4% to 6, 568
• Gold down 1.15% to $1,367.10/oz
• £/$ – 1.6637

The FTSE 100 started the week in a positive mood yesterday. The index climbed 0.6% to close at 6,568.

Retailer Sports Direct was the day’s best performer, up 4.1%. Housebuilder Persimmon was also in demand with a 3.7% rise. But it was another bad day for supermarkets, with Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrisons down between 1.3% and 0.3%

In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 55 points to 4,271 and the German Xetra Dax rose 124 points to 9,180.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.1% to 16,247, the S&P 500 added 1% to 1,858, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8% to 4,279.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.9% to 14,411 and the broader Topix gained 1% to 1,165. And in China, the Shanghai Composite was 0.1% higher at 2,025, but the CSI 300 slipped 0.2% to 2,138.

Brent spot was trading at $106.69 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $98.16. Spot gold was trading at $1,360 an ounce, silver was at $20.94 and platinum was at $1,451.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6601 and against the euro at 1.1932. The dollar was trading at 0.7187 against the euro and 101.43 against the Japanese yen.

And today, Sainsbury’s became the latest supermarket to worry investors after it announced a fall in sales for the first time in nine years. Like for like sales excluding fuel fell by 3.1% in the ten weeks to 15 March. Total sales fell by 1%. Market share was unchanged at 17%.

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