1630: Close The FTSE 100 ended 49 higher following the release of UK data and as the US Federal Reserve began its two-day policy meeting. The Fed is expected to maintain its stimulus programme and keep the interest rate unchanged. BP was the biggest riser after reporting impressive quarterly results. UK mortgage approvals totalled 66,735 in September - a level not seen since February 2008. The BoE also revealed that the effective interest rate on new mortgage lending dropped to a record low at 3.3 per cent - the lowest level since records began in 2004. The FTSE closed 48.91 points higher at 6,774.73.
1400: The US Conference Board's consumer confidence gauge for the month of October has printed at 71.2, well below last month's reading of 80.2 (Consensus: 75.0).
1232: The technical aspect of BP shares
has changed little despite today's large jump in the share price. The stock is now facing technical resistance levels at 478p and 483p.
1230: US retail sales volumes fell by 0.1 per cent month-on-month in September (Consensus: 0.2 per cent). For Capital Economics: "[...] the "news" is the 0.5% month-on-month rise in sales excluding automobiles, gasoline and building materials, which was a little stronger than we expected." Producer prices also fell by 0.1 per cent in that month, instead of rising by 0.2 per cent as was expected.
1148: On their estimated forward price-to-earnings multiple of 23.9 Coca Cola Hellenic's shares look expensive, given negative earnings and de-rating risks, analysts at Nomura say; hence their decision to downgrade the shares to reduce from neutral. Longer-term Coca Cola Hellenic holds a number of attractions, including strong market shares in key territories, a balanced portfolio mix (circa 70 per cent sparkling, circa 30 per cent still) and an opportunity for per capita consumption to rise as the macroeconomic environment improves, the broker adds.
1100: Finish handset maker Nokia has published a two euro cent loss for the three months ended last September, versus forecasts for a four and a half cent loss.
1052: The statement [Standard Chartered's] highlights low single digit income growth (impacted by adverse currency movements, margin compression and lower own account income), good cost control resulting in flat jaws and a slight rise in impairments year-on-year during the third quarter, resulting in low single digit growth in group operating profit during the first nine months of 2013. We view these trends as somewhat soft relative to guidance at the time of the interim results of broadly flat jaws for fiscal year 2013 and income growth below a double digit pace but still 'at a good rate'. Overall, we expect the shares to under-perform slightly on the back of today's release.
0930: UK lending to individuals increased by 1.0bn pounds in September, versus 1.1bn in the month before and forecasts calling for 1.0bn. The number of new mortgage approvals improved to 66,700 in September, up from 63,400 in the month before (Consensus: 66,000). FTSE 100 up 25 to 6,751.
0919: Goldman Sachs has reduced its target price from 1900p to 1700p leaving its neutral rating unaltered.
0846: The Footsie has begun the day on its front foot led, somewhat unusually, by gains in energy and utility outfits such as BP, BG Group and United Utilities. BP has surprised some investors by announcing a 5.6 per cent increase in its quarterly dividend payment. Lloyds, RBS and Standard Chartered, however, are all firmly lower in early trading. Both Lloyds and Standard Chartered have issued interim management statements, with the former at least having beat analysts' estimates for third quarter profits. To take into account, European peers UBS and Deutsche Bank are moving sharply lower after releasing their own latest figures. Data on lending to individuals is to be released by the Bank of England at 09:30. Net consumer credit for September is expected to come in at 0.7bn pounds. A raft of economic data is scheduled for release later today Stateside. FTSE 100 up 30 to 6,756.