1630: Close The Footsie settled firmly in the red on Tuesday, with uncertainty over the situation in Syria giving widespread cause for concern and adding to other recent multiple sources of market stress. In today's economic news, it was revealed that Britain's services sector grew at the fastest rate in terms of business volumes since 2007 in the last quarter, according to a survey by the CBI. Meanwhile, business leaders' group, the Institute of Directors, has withdrawn its backing of the High Speed 2 rail link, saying the government ought to scrap what it calls the 'grand folly'.
IAG fell as it announced plans to issue 48m new shares, a downgrade from Investec and due to the rise in energy quotes. Standard Chartered and Aberdeen Asset Management succumbed once again to overnight weakness in emerging markets. In late Tuesday trading Istanbul stocks were almost 5 per cent lower. The yield on 10-year UK Gilts dropped by 12 basis points to the 2.60 per cent mark. The FTSE 100 closed down 51 points at 6,441.
1611: Western powers could attack Syria within days, Reuters reports.
1500: The US Conference Board's consumer confidence gauge for the month of
August has come in at 81.5 points versus a reading of 81.0 points last month and a consensus forecast for a print of 79.0.
1444: West Texas crude futures are now rising by 2.81 per cent to the 108.95 dollar
per barrel mark on the New York Mercantile Exchange [NYMEX]. Time will tell, but analysts at Digital Look are highlighting the unusually approving nature of remarks this morning by some German authorities regarding the legitimacy of a possible military response should there be evidence that Damascus was indeed behind the use of chemical weapons. Gold is also higher on the back of the geopolitical news-flow while 10 year Gilt yields are down by 14 basis points to 2.58 per cent, their largest one day move in over six months as London traders play catch-up with their global rivals after yesterday's bank holiday.
1400: US house prices increased by 12.07 per cent year-on-year in June (Consensus: 12.10 per cent) down from 12.20 per cent in May, according to the S and P/Case-Shiller composite index. As an aside, the Chicago Board of Options Exchange [CBoE] says some users have reported delayed or a lack of market data. The retreat in European equities is now accelerating. Back in the UK, Petrofac continues to trade near the top of the leaderboard following positive comments out of analysts at Liberum. Marks&Spencer has received an upgrade from analysts at Citi; to buy from hold. FTSE 100 down 61 to 6,431.
1356: The President of the Federal Reserve bank of San Francisco, John Williams, told a roundtable discussion that: "any normalisation of monetary policy is not set according to a calendar plan, but in fact is completely data contingent," Reuters says.
1334: UK Parliament is to be recalled on Thursday to discuss response to alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, British Broadcasting Corporation [BBC] reports.
1140: Losses on the FTSE have eased back slightly, but are still firmly in the red, led by IAG after it suffered a downgrade by Investec from 'buy' to 'hold'. RBS also weighed heavily as MPs push for a break up of the bank amid speculation that the proposal to break-up the lender into a good and bad bank will be thrown out. Shares in Antofagasta also travelled lower after it revealed revenues in the first half dropped 12.1 per cent to 2.7bn dollars, reflecting a decline in copper prices and increased costs. Standard Chartered is down on the back of the still negative news-flow out of Asia. The FTSE is down 37 points at 6,450.
1135: International Airlines Group [IAG] will issue 48.124m new ordinary shares
to meet the demand from holders of its 5.8 per cent convertible bonds due in 2014, according to a regulatory filing with the Spanish market regulator [CNMV]. Of interest, reports cite Libya's oil minister as having said that the country's oil production has fallen to 665,000 barrels day from 800,000 in July.
1134: Shares of Fresnillo and Randgold Resources are two of today's outperformers thanks to the uncertainty in markets relating to the situation in Syria. Next has received an upgrade out of analysts at Bank of America Merrill Lynch to buy.
1021: Larry Summers - the former adviser to President Obama - will be named as the next Chairman of the US Federal Reserve, CNBC reported yesterday.
0931: Stocks are lower across the board in Europe with most market commentary attributing the move lower chiefly to US Secretary of State John Kerry's statement - last night - that the use of chemical weapons by Damascus is "undeniable". David Cameron is expected to decide today about whether to recall parliament to debate the British response to those allegations. Oil futures, however, are only slightly higher at the moment. Some observers are also calling attention to the possible contribution from the depleted equity trading volumes to the day's falls. Also worth pointing out are the steep falls seen overnight in the Indian, Indonesian and Philippine stock markets. FTSE 100 down 47.12 to 6,446.
0900: The German IFO Institute's business confidence gauge improved to 107.5 points in August, versus the 107.0 which had been forecast by economists.
0833: UK shares have begun the week tracking Wall Street slightly lower. Global equities dropped yesterday following the release of a much worse than expected reading on US durable goods orders. Of interest, over the weekend Barclays Research cited estimates from the NIESR showing that a 100 basis point rise in US bond yields can subtract a little over one and a half percentage points from American GDP growth by end 2014. JP Morgan on Monday became the latest broker to hike its US yield forecasts, to 3.15 per cent for the 10-year US Treasury by the end of this year. Investors will today be waiting on the release of the latest IFO business confidence survey in Germany. Petrofac is in the lead following what analysts described as a 'solid' set of interims. G4S is rising on speculation that Cevian Capital could be set to further hike its stake in the security services firm. Retailers are also doing well early on. Lastly, tensions in the Middle East continue to rise, while the political situation in Italy bears watching. There is also M&A chatter surrounding Kentz and BBA Aviation this morning. FTSE 100 down 13 to 6,479.