• FTSE 100 up 0.4% at 6,755
• Gold down 0.48% to $1,232.10/oz
• £/$ – 1.6402
The FTSE 100 bounced back to hit its highest in two months yesterday. The index closed up 0.4% at 6,755.
Financial stocks were among the best performers. Lloyds led banks up with a gain of 3%, HSBC added 2.4% and RBS was 1.8% higher. Insurers were also in demand – Aviva, Old Mutual and Standard Life rose between 2.5% and 1.6%
In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 35 points to 4,262, and the German Xetra Dax added 78 points to 9,506.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 each rose 0.6% to 16,530 and 1,837 respectively, and the Nasdaq Composite was 1% higher at 4,153.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.9& to 16,121, and the broader Topix index rose 1.8% to 1,306. And in China, the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2% to 2,044, and the CSI 300 rose 0.2% to 2,241.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6419 and against the euro at 1.2071. The dollar was trading at 0.7352 against the euro and 104.98 against the Japanese yen.
And in the UK, shop prices fell at their fastest rate for seven years in December, according to the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium. Overall prices fell by 0.8% in the last year. Non-food items fell by 2.3%, but food prices rose by 1.7%.