Global markets roundup, 21 February

• FTSE 100 up 0.2% to 6,813

• Gold up 0.9% to $1,322.94/oz

• £/$ – 1.6651

The FTSE 100 clawed back losses made earlier in the day to finish 0.2% higher at 6,813.

William Hill finished in the top slot yesterday following analyst upgrades. The bookies was up 3.0%. And Vodafone followed with a gain of 2.8%.

BAE Systems suffered the worst sell-off of the day. The defence firm slipped 8.3% after it issued a profit warning for next year.

In Europe on Thursday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 14 points to 4,355, but the German Xetra Dax fell 42 points to 9,618.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6% to 16,133, as did the S&P 500 to 1,839. The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.7% higher at 4,267.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 2.9% to 14,865, and the broader Topix index gained 2.3% to 1,222. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 1.2% to 2113, and the CSI 300 slid 1% to 2,264.

Brent spot was trading at $110.25 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $102.64. Spot gold was trading at $1,320 an ounce, silver was at $21.70 and platinum was at $1,413.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6666 and against the euro at 1.2155. The dollar was trading at 0.7293 against the euro and 102.36 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, Asda has reported a 0.1% fall in like-for-like sales. The supermarket, owned by US giant Wal-mart, has struggled to compete with Tesco and Sainsbury’s. It blamed the fall in sales on the aggressive system of voucher discounting waged by its two biggest rivals.

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