• FTSE 100 down 0.8% to 6,773
• Gold up 2.2% to $1,264.14/oz
• £/$ – 1.6637
Mixed global economic data weighed on the FTSE 100, which yesterday closed 53 points lower.
Weaker than expected performance from Pearson in 2013 caused the publisher and education company to fall 8.2%. Budget airline easyJet followed with a loss of 4.1%, and oil and gas stock Petrofac was down 3.1%.
At the other end of the index, mining giant Fresnillo led the climbers with a gain of 3.4%.
In Europe on Thursday, the Paris CAC 40 fell 44 points to 4,280, and the German Xetra Dax lost 89 points to 8,631.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 1.1% to 16,197, the S&P 500 fell 0.9% to 1,828, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.6% lower at 4,218.
Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 fell 1.9% to 15,391, and the broader Topix index lost 1.8% to 1,264. And in China, the Shanghai Composite and the CSI 300 were both 0.6% higher at 2,054 and 2,245.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6638 and against the euro at 1.2168. The dollar was trading at 0.7314 against the euro and 103.01 against the Japanese yen.
And in the UK, higher prices for posting parcels saw Royal Mail’s underlying group sales rise 2% for the nine months to 29 December. Revenue from parcels was up 8%, with more people doing their Christmas shopping online last year.