• FTSE 100 down 0.7% to 6,636
• Gold up 1.32% to $1,305.85/oz
• £/$ – 1.6853
The FTSE 100 fell back yesterday as several stocks went ex-dividend, and the situation in Ukraine worsened. The index fell 0.7% to close at 6,636.
Medical equipment company Smith & Nephew was the worst performer of the day, down 4.1%. Pharmaceuticals also had a bad day, with Shire, AstraZeneca and Glaxo all among the biggest fallers. Topping the index were precious metals miners Fresnillo and Randgold, which added 6.3% and 3% respectively.
In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 fell 25 points to 4,207, and the German Xetra Dax lost 59 points to 9,130.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 16,443, the S&P 500 was unchanged at 1,920, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.1% higher at 4,355.
Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to 15,232, and the broader Topix index was 0.6% higher at 1,258. And in China, the Shanghai Composite lost 1.3% to 2,187, and the CSI 300 fell 1.5% to 2,327.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.6840 and against the euro at 1.2593. The dollar was trading at 0.7478 against the euro and 102.27 against the Japanese yen.
And today, Rio Tinto, the world’s second-largest mining company, reported a big rise in first-half profits. Underlying profit in the six months to 30 June rose by 21% to $5.1bn, up from £4.2bn in the same period a year earlier. Analysts had expected a figure of around $4.5bn.