• FTSE 100 up 1.7% to 6,823
• Gold up 1.82% to $1,350.58/oz
• £/$ – 1.6667
Markets reacted positively after Russia moved to calm the situation in Ukraine. The FTSE 100 jumped 1.7% to close at 6,823.
Construction and industrial equipment rental group Ashtead was the day’s best performer, rising 13% after reporting a good set of results. But precious metals miners’ fortunes were reversed as the price of gold fell back. Fresnillo and Randgold were the biggest fallers of the day, losing 4.7% and 1.5% respectively.
In Europe yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 105 points to 4,395 and the German Xetra Dax gained 231 points to 9,589.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.4% to 16,395, the S&P 500 added 1.5% to 1,873, and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.8% to 4,351.
Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 1.2% to 14,897 and the broader Topix added 0.7% to 1,212. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.9% to 2,053, and the CSI 300 lost 0.9% to 2,163.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6676 and against the euro at 1.2142. The dollar was trading at 0.7281 against the euro and 102.37 against the Japanese yen.
And today, Legal & General reported a big rise in profits for 2013 as the UK’s workers were automatically enrolled in pension schemes. Pre-tax profits rose by 10% to £1.1bn.