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FTSE 100 expected to start Thursday a little lower

International equities have had a mixed 24hrs, and London's blue-chips are expected to start lower.

London skyline
The FTSE 100 is seen just below 6,300

Wall Street ended Wednesday positively as the attentions focussed on the latest round of earnings reports, and the Federal Reserve statement was a sideshow.

The central bank kept interest rates unchanged and left its view on a possible rate raise in June open.

On Wall Street the Dow Jones ended Wednesday’s trading up 51 points, or 0.28%, at 18,041 while the S&P 500 edged 0.16% higher to 2,096 and the Nasdaq was pulled lower as earnings season remained tough for tech stocks.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei slumped 3.55% to 16,677 after the Bank of Japan disappointed markets which had hoped for stimulus - instead rates stayed as they were.

Asia’s other benchmarks were steadier. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng was up 0.26% at 21,416 while the Shanghai Composite dipped about 1% to 2,921.

Australia’s ASX 200 moved 0.65% higher to 5,221.

Crude oil prices remain better for natural resources investors, with Brent crude up 2.4% at around US$46.90, which is just below a new high for 2016, and WTI crude was changing hands just above US$45.

In London, CFD and spreadbetting group IG see the FTSE 100 some 30 points lower an hour before Thursday’s open at 6,288 to 6,290.

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