Global markets roundup, 20 March

• 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.

Brent spot was trading at $105.71 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $100.49. Spot gold was trading at $1,331 an ounce, silver was at $20.41 and platinum was at $1,440.

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.

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

Merryn

Claim 12 issues of MoneyWeek (plus much more) for just £12!

Let MoneyWeek show you how to profit, whatever the outcome of the upcoming general election.

Start your no-obligation trial today and get up to speed on:

  • The latest shifts in the economy…
  • The ongoing Brexit negotiations…
  • The new tax rules…
  • Trump’s protectionist policies…

Plus lots more.

We’ll show you what it all means for your money.

Plus, the moment you begin your trial, we’ll rush you over THREE free investment reports:

‘How to escape the most hated tax in Britain’: Inheritance tax hits many unsuspecting families. Our report tells how to pass on up to £2m of your money to your family without the taxman getting a look in.

‘How to profit from a Trump presidency’: The election of Donald Trump was a watershed moment for the US economy. This report details the sectors our analysts think will boom from Trump’s premiership, and gives specific investments you can buy to profit.

‘Best shares to watch in 2017’: Includes the transcript from our roundtable panel of investment professionals – and 12 tips they’re currently tipping. The report also analyses key assets, including property, oil and the countries whose stock markets currently offer the most value.