Global markets roundup, 26 March

• FTSE 100 up 1.3% to 6,605
• Gold up 0.2% to $1,311.20/oz
• £/$ – 1.6529

A raft of positive economic data helped push the FTSE 100 1.3% higher to 6,605 on Tuesday.

Kingfisher was the day’s highest climber. The DIY retail giant announced it would return £200m to shareholders, sending the shares 6.0% higher. And the world’s second largest brewer, SABMiller followed with a gain of 5.0%.

At the other end of the index, cruise line operator Carnival fell 4.6% after reporting disappointing earnings results.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 rose 46 points to 4,344, and the German Xetra Dax was 149 points higher at 9,338.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6% to 16,368, the S&P 500 was 0.4% higher at 1,866, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 0.2% to 4,234.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 0.4% to 14,477, and the broader Topix index gained 0.7% to 1,172. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.2% to 2,064, as did the CSI 300 to 2,171.

Brent spot was trading at $107.21 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $99.28. Spot gold was trading at $1,315 an ounce, silver was at $20.13 and platinum was at $1,417.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6535 and against the euro at 1.1987. The dollar was trading at 0.7249 against the euro and 102.28 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, the government has sold 5.6 billion shares at 75.5p in troubled high-street bank Lloyds. The sale raised £4.2bn and reduces the government’s stake in the bank to 24.9%. The bank’s shares fell 5% in the aftermath.

Merryn

Claim 12 issues of MoneyWeek (plus much more) for just £12!

Let MoneyWeek show you how to profit, whatever the outcome of the upcoming general election.

Start your no-obligation trial today and get up to speed on:

  • The latest shifts in the economy…
  • The ongoing Brexit negotiations…
  • The new tax rules…
  • Trump’s protectionist policies…

Plus lots more.

We’ll show you what it all means for your money.

Plus, the moment you begin your trial, we’ll rush you over THREE free investment reports:

‘How to escape the most hated tax in Britain’: Inheritance tax hits many unsuspecting families. Our report tells how to pass on up to £2m of your money to your family without the taxman getting a look in.

‘How to profit from a Trump presidency’: The election of Donald Trump was a watershed moment for the US economy. This report details the sectors our analysts think will boom from Trump’s premiership, and gives specific investments you can buy to profit.

‘Best shares to watch in 2017’: Includes the transcript from our roundtable panel of investment professionals – and 12 tips they’re currently tipping. The report also analyses key assets, including property, oil and the countries whose stock markets currently offer the most value.