Global markets roundup, 4 August

• FTSE 100 down 0.8% to 6,679
• Gold up 0.84% to $1,293.33/oz
• £/$ – 1.6821

The FTSE 100 took a beating on Friday as poor economic data from the UK, US and Europe took its toll. The index closed down 0.8% at 6,679.

United Utilities and Severn Trent were the day’s worst performers, down 3.8% and 3% respectively after being downgraded by Credit Suisse. Insurers Standard life, Aviva and Prudential were also out of favour, falling between 2.5% and 1.8%.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 fell 44 points to 4,202, and the German Xetra Dax slid 197 points to 9,210.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.4% to 16,493, the S&P 500 lost 0.3% to 1,925, and the Nasdaq Composite slipped 0.4% to 4,352.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 lost 0.3% to 15,474, and the broader Topix index fell 0.4% to 1,276. And in China, the Shanghai Composite rose 1.7% to 2,223, and the CSI 300 was 2% higher at 2,375.

Brent spot was trading at $105.05 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $98.08. Spot gold was trading at $1,295 an ounce, silver was at $20.33 and platinum was at $1,461.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6825 and against the euro at 1.2533. The dollar was trading at 0.7448 against the euro and 102.62 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, the embattled Co-operative group has sold its farms business to the Wellcome Trust for £249m. The sale includes 15 farms, almost 40,000 acres of land, and over 100 residential and 27 commercial properties. Three weeks ago, the Co-op announced the sale of its pharmacy chain to Bestway Group for £620m.

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

Hedge fund manager Hugh Hendry: 'It felt like the sun rose only to humiliate me'

In a series of three short videos, Merryn Somerset-Webb talks to Hugh Hendry, manager of the Eclectica hedge fund, about everything from China to the US, Europe, and Japan.


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.


22 December 1973: Opec more than doubles the price of oil

On this day in 1973 Opec, the oil price cartel, more than doubled the price of oil from $5.12 a barrel to $11.65.