Global markets roundup, 21 March

• FTSE 100 down 0.5% to 6, 542

• Gold down 1.92% to $1,329.63/oz

• £/$ – 1.6541

The FTSE 100 fell back again yesterday, closing down 0.5% at 6,542.

Insurance group Resolution was the day’s biggest faller, down 5% after the Budget announcement on annuities.  Other big fallers included property groups Hammerson, British Land, and Land Securities, down between 3.6% and 2.1%.

In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 slipped five points to 4,313 and the German Xetra Dax gained 35 points to 9,277.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7% to 16,331, the S&P 500 added 0.6% to 1,872, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.3% to 4,319.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 slid 1.7% to 14,224, and the broader Topix lost 1.6% to 1,145. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 2.7% to 2,047, and the CSI 300 added 3.4% to 2,158.

Brent spot was trading at $106.66 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $98.88. Spot gold was trading at $1,340 an ounce, silver was at $20.44 and platinum was at $1,435.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6485 and against the euro at 1.1958. The dollar was trading at 0.7253 against the euro and 102.12 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, the rate of shop closures eased last year, according to the latest figures. From PWC and the Local Data Company. 6,033 shops closed last year, compared with 5,662 openings.

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