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.

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