Global markets roundup, 1 April

• FTSE 100 down 0.3% to 6,598

• Gold down 0.87% to $1,284.01/oz

• £/$ – 1.6662

The FTSE 100 slipped back again yesterday, falling 0.3% to close at 6,598.

Babcock International was the day’s best performer, up 4.3% after being named the ‘preferred bidder’ for a £7bn, 14-year government contract to decommission nuclear sites.

In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 fell 20 points to 4,391 and the German Xetra Dax lost 32 points to 9,555.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 each rose 0.8% to 16,457 and 1,872 respectively, and the Nasdaq Composite was 1% higher at 4,198.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 fell 0.2% to 14,791, and the broader Topix gained 0.1% to 1,204. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.7% to 2,047, and the CSI 300 added 0.8% to 2,163.

Brent spot was trading at $107.52 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $101.12. Spot gold was trading at $1,287 an ounce, silver was at $19.77 and platinum was at $1,417.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6665 and against the euro at 1.2082. The dollar was trading at 0.7250 against the euro and 103.23 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, a report from the National Audit Office claims the government cost the taxpayer £750m in one day after undervaluing Royal Mail at its IPO. Shares closed at 455p on the first day of trading, 38% up on the offer price of 330p. They have since risen as high as 615p.

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