Global markets roundup, 29 April

• FTSE 100 up 0.2% to 6,700

• Gold down 0.5% to $1,296.68/oz

• £/$ – 1.6807

The FTSE 100 rose slightly yesterday, adding 0.2% to close at 6,700.

AstraZeneca was by far the highest climber, leaping 14.4% after Pfizer confirmed its interest in a merger. Other top performers included Sainsbury’s, which gained 2.6%, and William Hill, which added 2.4%.

In Europe on Thursday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 17 points to 4,460, and the German Xetra Dax gained 45 points to 9,446.

In the US yesterday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.5% to 16,448, the S&P 500 added 0.3% to 1,869, but the Nasdaq Composite slid 1.3% to 3,999.

Japan’s markets were closed for a public holiday. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 0.8% to 2,020, and the CSI 300 was 1.1% higher at 2,158.

Brent spot was trading at $108.40 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $101.13. Spot gold was trading at $1,290 an ounce, silver was at $19.30 and platinum was at $1,408.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6839 and against the euro at 1.2139. The dollar was trading at 0.7209 against the euro and 102.63 against the Japanese yen.

And today, BP reported a big fall in profits in the last quarter. In the first three months of the year, the oil giant made £1.92bn, down 23% on the same period in 2013.

• Stay up to date with MoneyWeek: Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Google+

MoneyWeek magazine

Latest issue:

Magazine cover
China's cash problem

How to profit from it

The UK's best-selling financial magazine. Take a FREE trial today.
Claim 4 FREE Issues

Bill Bonner: hold on to your cash, the real financial crisis is yet to come

Merryn Somerset Webb talks to Bill Bonner about economic cycles, and the 'catastrophic credit crisis' that will make 2008 look like a picnic.


Which investment platform?

When it comes to buying shares and funds, there are several investment platforms and brokers to choose from. They all offer various fee structures to suit individual investing habits.
Find out which one is best for you.


6 March 1899: Bayer trademarks Aspirin

Chemical company Bayer was awarded a patent for its pain-relieving acetylsalicylic acid powder, or 'Aspirin', on this day in 1899. It would soon be released in tablet form.