Global markets roundup, 25 February

• FTSE 100 up 0.4% to 6,865

• Gold up 0. 96% to $1,336.98/oz

• £/$ – 1.6656

The FTSE 100 built on Friday’s gains yesterday, rising further 0.4%. The index ended the day at 6,865, its highest close in 14 years.

Distribution and outsourcing company Bunzl was the day’s best performer, rising 6.9% after reporting an 18% rise in profits. Vodafone was also in demand, climbing 6.7%.

In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 38 points to 4,419, and the German Xetra Dax added 52 points to 9,708.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 each rose 0.6% to 16,207 and 1,847 respectively, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.7% higher at 4,292.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 1.4% to 15,051 and the broader Topix index added 1.2% to 1,233. And in China, the Shanghai Composite slid 2% to 2,034, and the CSI 300 lost 2.6% to 2,157.

Brent spot was trading at $110.17 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $102.13. Spot gold was trading at $1,337 an ounce, silver was at $21.76 and platinum was at $1,430.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.666 and against the euro at 1.2119. The dollar was trading at 0.7270 against the euro and 102.31 against the Japanese yen.

And today, housebuilder Persimmon reported a big rise in annual profits, lifted by the government’s ‘Help to Buy’ scheme. Pre-tax profits for the year rose by 54% to £337.1m, compared with £218.2m in 2012.

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