• FTSE 100 up 0.6% to 6,625
• Gold down 0.35% to $1,289.80/oz
• £/$ – 1.6792
The FTSE 100 went into the Easter weekend on a positive note on Thursday, climbing 0.6% to close at 6,625.
Chipmaker ARM Holdings was the day’s highest climber, up 4.8%. Other top performers included fund manager Schroders, which added 4.2%; and Whitbread, which rose 4%.
In Europe on Thursday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 26 points to 4,431 and the German Xetra Dax gained 92 points to 9,409.
In the US yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.3% to 16,449, the S&P 500 added 0.4% to 1,871, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.6% higher at 4,121.
Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 slid 0.9% to 14,388, and the broader Topix index lost 0.8% to 1,162. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3% to 2,072, and the CSI 300 added 0.4% to 2,196.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6809 and against the euro at 1.2179. The dollar was trading at 0.7245 against the euro and 102.49 against the Japanese yen.
And today, Swiss drugmaker Novartis announced it is to buy GSK’s cancer drugs business in a deal worth up to $16bn. In return, GSK will buy Novartis’ vaccines business for $7.1bn Novartis will also sell its animal health business to US pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly for $5.4bn.