Markets: financial stocks drive FTSE 100 higher

The FTSE 100 carried on rising yesterday, adding a further 0.5% to close at 6,728.

  • FTSE 100 up 0.5% to 6,728
  • Gold down 1.2% to $1,316.06/oz
  • £/$ 1.3208

Financial stocks were the best performers. Wealth manager St James's Place took the top spot with a 4.5% gain, while Legal & General added 3.1% and Admiral Group, Standard Chartered and Lloyds Banking Group rose between 2.6% and 2.4%.

In Europe, the Paris CAC 40 rose 1.1% to 4,379and the German Xetra Dax added 1.6% to 10,142.

In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.2% to 18,595 the S&P 500 gained 0.4% to 2,173, and the Nasdaq Composite was 1.1% higher at 5,089.

Overnight in Japan, the Nikkei 225 rose 0.8% to 16,810 and the broader Topix index added 0.7% to 1,339. And in China, the CSI 300 gained 0.5% to 3,252, and the Shanghai Composite was 0.4% higher at 3,039.

Brent spot was trading at $47.29 early today, and in New York, crude oil was at $44.94. Spot gold was trading at $1,318 an ounce, silver was at $19.37 and platinum was at $1,084.

In the forex markets this morning, sterling was trading against the US dollar at 1.3241 and against the euro at 1.2008. The dollar was trading at 0.9068 against the euro and 106.90 against the Japanese yen.

And today, EasyJet says it has lost £40m in four weeks, as a result of the weaker pound. The airline increased the number of passengers carried by 5.8% to 20.2 million in the last quarter, but revenue per seat fell by 8.3%. "Significant external events" also dented performance, the company said.

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