• 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.
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.