Global markets roundup, 18 December

• FTSE 100 down 0.6% to 6,485
• Gold down 0.83% to $1,231.05/oz
• £/$ – 1.6264

The FTSE 100 fell back yesterday after Monday’s big gains. The index fell 0.6% to close at 6,485.

Supermarkets saw some of the biggest falls. Sainsbury’s was the day’s worst performer with a 4.3% drop, while Wm Morrison lost 2.9% and Tesco was 2% lower.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 rose 51 points to 4,119, and the German Xetra Dax lost 78 points to 9,085.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.1% to 15,875, the S&P 500 lost 0.3% to 1,781, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.1% lower at 4,023.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 2% to 15,587, and the broader Topix added 1.5% to 1,250. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.1% to 2,148, and the CSI 300 was one point higher at 2,357.

Brent spot was trading at $108.54 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $97.40. Spot gold was trading at $1,236 an ounce, silver was at $19.99 and platinum was at $1,355.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6285 and against the euro at 1.1827. The dollar was trading at 0.7262 against the euro and 102.93 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, the taxpayer made a loss of £230m on September’s sale of a 6% stake in Lloyds Banking Group, according to the National Audit Office. The sale raised £3.2bn, which the government claimed as a profit of £586m. But it didn’t take into account the cost of financing the original bail-out of the bank.

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