Global markets roundup, 4 March

• FTSE 100 down 1.5% to 6,708

• Gold up 1.82% to $1,350.58/oz

• £/$ – 1.6667

Markets took a beating yesterday in reaction to the crisis in Ukraine. The FTSE 100 slid 1.5% to close at 6,708.

Bookmaker William Hill was the day’s worst performer, falling 4.8% as investors took profits from Friday’s big gains. Gold miners were in demand however, with Randgold up 4.3% and Fresnillo 1.9% higher.

In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 fell 118 points to 4,290, and the German Xetra Dax lost 334 points to 9,358.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.9% to 16,168, and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite each lost 0.7% to 1,845 and 4,277 respectively.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 14,721 and the broader Topix added 0.6% to 1,204. And in China, the Shanghai Composite slipped 0.2% to 2,071, and the CSI 300 lost 0.3% to 2,184.

Brent spot was trading at $110.32 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $104.17. Spot gold was trading at $1,341 an ounce, silver was at $21.26 and platinum was at $1,447.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6709 and against the euro at 1.2142. The dollar was trading at 0.7266 against the euro and 101.81 against the Japanese yen.

And in the UK, outsourcing firm Serco reported a big fall in profits. Pre-tax profit for 2013 fell by 62% from £281.1m to £106.6m. Revenues rose by 5.6%, but the company faced costs of £111.5m in relation to the scandal over its criminal tagging contract, when it was accused of charging the government for people who were either dead or in jail.

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