Global markets roundup, 19 December

• FTSE 100 up 0.1% to 6,492
• Gold down 1.02% to $1,218.50/oz
• £/$ – 1.6391

The FTSE 100 inched higher yesterday ahead of the US Federal Reserve’s tapering announcement. The index closed up 0.1% at 6,492.

Chipmaker ARM Holdings was the day’s highest climber, with a 3.4% gain. Supermarkets were once again out of favour. Sainsbury’s was the day’s worst performer, down 3.6%, Marks & Spencer lost 2.4%., Tesco fell 1.7%, and Wm Morrison was 1.4% lower.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 rose 41 points to 4,109, and the German Xetra Dax added 96 points to 9,181.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.8% to 16,167, the S&P 500 gained 1.7% to 1,810, and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.2% higher at 4,070.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1.7% to 15,859, and the broader Topix added 1% to 1,263. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 1% to 2,127, and the CSI 300 was 1.1% lower at 2,332.

Brent spot was trading at $109.45 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $97.79. Spot gold was trading at $1,225 an ounce, silver was at $19.33 and platinum was at $1,326.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6379 and against the euro at 1.1980. The dollar was trading at 0.7314 against the euro and 103.98 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, house prices will rise by 8% in the country as a whole next year, and by 11% in London, according to the latest forecast from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). The rise is “largely down to the fact that buyer numbers considerably outweigh the amount of homes on the market” said the director of Rics, Peter Bolton King.

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