Markets: FTSE 100 edges higher

The FTSE 100 edged higher on Friday, adding 0.2% to close at 6,669.

  • FTSE 100 up 0.2% to 6,669
  • Gold up 0.17% to $1,337.45/oz
  • £/$ 1.3192

Equipment rental supplier Ashtead was the day's top performer, adding 1.8%. Industrial testing group Intertek gained 1.6%, and housebuilder Persimmon was 1.4% higher.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 fell 0.3% to 4,372 and the German Xetra Dax slipped two points to 10,066.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.1% to 18,516, the S&P 500 slipped 0.1% to 2,161, and the Nasdaq Composite was 0.1% lower at 5,029.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 gained 0.7% to 16,497 and the broader Topix index added 0.5% to 1,317. And in China, the CSI 300 fell 0.4% to 3,262 and the Shanghai Composite was 0.4% lower at 3,043.

Brent spot was trading at $47.74 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $45.99. Spot gold was trading at $1,328 an ounce, silver was at $19.88 and platinum was at $1,085.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.3251 and against the euro at 1.1992. The dollar was trading at 0.9049 against the euro and 105.52 against the Japanese yen.

And today, British tech firm ARM is to be bought by Japanese firm Softbank for £24bn, 43% over its market value. Cambridge-based ARM, which makes chips for smartphones, employs over 3,000 people in the UK.

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