Global markets roundup, 19 March

• FTSE 100 up 0.5% to 6, 601

• Gold down 0.83% to $1,355.72/oz

• £/$ – 1.6593

The FTSE 100 rose further yesterday, climbing 0.5% to close at 6,601.

BAE Systems was the day’s highest climber, up 2.7%. Other top performers included ITV, which added 2.6%, and Barclays, which was 2.2% higher.

In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 42 points to 4,313 and the German Xetra Dax gained 62 points to 9,242.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% to 16,336, the S&P 500 added 0.7% to 1,872, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.3% to 4,333.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.4% to 14,462, and the broader Topix slipped 0.1% to 1,164. And in China, the Shanghai Composite lost 0.2% to 2,021, and the CSI 300 fell 0.8% to 2,120.

Brent spot was trading at $106.57 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $99.62. Spot gold was trading at $1,353 an ounce, silver was at $20.75 and platinum was at $1,462.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6613 and against the euro at 1.1940. The dollar was trading at 0.7186 against the euro and 101.59 against the Japanese yen.

And today, engineering group Smiths reported fall in profits for the first half of the year. Pre-tax profit for the six months to the end of January fell 20% to £131.5m, down from £165.7m the year before. Revenue fell 2% to £1.44bn.

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