Global markets roundup, 21 August

• FTSE 100 down 0.4% to 6,755
• Gold down 0.3% to $1,291.92/oz
• £/$ – 1.6595

The FTSE 100 fell 24 points to 6,755, following yesterday’s reports that the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee had failed to reach a consensus on interest rates.

Blue-chip stocks performed well. United Utilities and Royal Mail topping the index with gains of 1.6%. Mining giant Rio Tinto followed with a 1.3% rise.

However, building materials maker CRH fell hardest, wiping 3.9% off its shares and investment firm 3i fell 2.7%.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 fell 13 points to 4,241, and the German Xetra Dax was down 19 points to 9,315.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% to 16,979, the S&P 500 gained 0.3% to 1,987, and the Nasdaq Composite edged lower to 4,526.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.9% to 15,586, as did the broader Topix index to 1,291. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.4% to 2,230, and the CSI 300 slid 0.5% to 2,354.

Brent spot was trading at $101.74 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $96.07. Spot gold was trading at $1,281 an ounce, silver was at $19.33 and platinum was at $1,418.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6589 and against the euro at 1.2498. The dollar was trading at 0.7533 against the euro and 103.82 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, Quindell has reported a 292% increase in pre-tax profits, with gross sales rising 118% to £364.2m. The insurance claims processor has previously drawn criticism from researchers Gotham City for the way it accounts for sales on its balance sheet.

Merryn

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