Global markets roundup, 25 April

• FTSE 100 up 0.4% to 6,703

• Gold up 0.7% to $1,293.36/oz

• £/$ – 1.6802

The FTSE 100 rose further yesterday, climbing 0.4% to close at 6,703.

Pharmaceutical stocks were among the best performers. Smith & Nephew was the day’s highest climber, up 3.4%, AstraZeneca added 3.3% and Shire was 1.9% higher.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 rose 28 points to 4,479, and the German Xetra Dax gained four points to 9,548.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was unchanged at 16,503, the S&P 500 gained 0.2% to 878, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.5% higher at 4,148.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 added 0.2% to 14,492, and the broader Topix index rose 0.4% to 1,169. And in China, the Shanghai Composite and the CSI 300 each fell 1% to 2,036 and 2,167 respectively.

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Brent spot was trading at $110.18 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $101.65. Spot gold was trading at $1,292 an ounce, silver was at $19.53 and platinum was at $1,410.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6807 and against the euro at 1.2149. The dollar was trading at 0.7228 against the euro and 102.30 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, the number of first-time house-buyers in the market is at its highest level since 2007, boosted by the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme, according to estate agent LSL. 31,400 properties were sold to first-time-buyers in March, and the average loan to value rose from 80.6% to 83.5%.

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