The FTSE 100 rose slightly yesterday, despite the economy entering deflation for the first time in 50 years. The index rose 0.4% to close at 6,995.
Property stocks were among the top performers. Land Securities topped the sector with a 4% rise, while Intu Properties gained 2.1% and Hammerson added 2.2%. The day's highest climber was drinks bottler Coca-Cola HBS, which rose 4.3%.
In Europe's markets yesterday, the Paris CAC 40 rose 2.1% to 5,117, and the German Xetra Dax each gained 2.2% to 11,853.
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In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 18,312, the S&P 500 slipped 0.1% to 2,127, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.2% lower at 5,070.
Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.8% to 19,890, and the broader Topix index added 1.2% to 1,626. And in China, the Shanghai Composite fell 0.6% to 4,293, and the CSI 300 lost 0.9% to 4,575.
In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.5483 and against the euro at 1.3958. The dollar was trading at 0.9014 against the euro and 120.97 against the Japanese yen.
And in the UK, Marks & Spencer reported its first rise in profits since 2011. Underlying profits before tax rose by 6.1% to £661.2m in the year to 28 March. Total sales rose by 0.4%, with food up by 3.4%, but clothing and homeware down by 2.5%.
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