• FTSE 100 down 0.5% to 6,573
• Gold down 1.9% to $1,329.63/oz
• £/$ – 1.6541
The FTSE 100 fell half a percent on Budget day to 6,573.
Hargreaves Lansdown appeared to have been the main beneficiary of the chancellor’s statement. The investing platform gained 14.5% to top the index. Meanwhile, retail investment trust (Reit) Hammerson was a distant second, adding 2.5%.
The biggest faller of the day was Legal & General. The insurer and annuities provider fell 8.4%.
In Europe on Wednesday, the Paris CAC 40 fell five points to 4,308, while the German Xetra Dax gained 34 points to 9,277.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.7% to 16,222, the S&P 500 was down 0.6% to 1,861, as was the Nasdaq Composite at 4,308.
Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.7% to 14,224, and the broader Topix index lost 1.6% to 1,146. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 1.4% to 1,993, and the CSI 300 slid 1.6% to 2,087.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6559 and against the euro at 1.1978. The dollar was trading at 0.7234 against the euro and 102.40 against the Japanese yen.
And in the UK, profits at clothing retailer Next are expected to overtake Marks & Spencer for the first time. Buoyant Christmas sales pushed under-lying tax profits up 12% to £695m in the 12 months to the end of January.