Global markets roundup, 20 February

• FTSE 100 flat at 6,796

• Gold down 0.8% to $1,311.60/oz

• £/$ – 1.6680

The FTSE 100 didn’t budge on Wednesday, closing flat at 6,796.

However, sports retailer Sports Direct was 7.1% higher following the announcement of higher gross profits. And supermarket Morrisons also enjoyed a good day, gaining 4.9%.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca was the day’s biggest faller, down 2.6%.

In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 11 points to 4,341, and the German Xetra Dax was just one point higher at 9,660.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.6% to 16,040, and the S&P 500 was 0.7% down at 1,828. The Nasdaq Composite fell 0.8% to 4,237.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropped 2.2% to 14,449, and the broader Topix index fell 2.0% to 1,194. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2% to 2,138, and the CSI 300 slid 0.9% to 2,287.

Brent spot was trading at $110.11 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $103.29. Spot gold was trading at $1,314 an ounce, silver was at $21.52 and platinum was at $1,408.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6652 and against the euro at 1.2154. The dollar was trading at 0.7298 against the euro and 101.77 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, profits at British Gas have fallen 6% for the year. Adjusted operating profit came in at £571m, compared to £606m the previous year. The energy supplier blamed higher fuel costs and said customer numbers were down 2% in 2013.

• This article is taken from our free daily investment email, Money Morning. Sign up to Money Morning here.

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