1630: Close The FTSE closed marginally lower on Tuesday, led by Fresnillo after fourth quarter gold production came in 20.6 per cent lower than 2011. Heading the other way was BG Group after Bloomberg speculated that the company is vulnerable to takeover bids as a result of the 26 per cent decline in its share price last year. In economic news, UK public sector borrowing came in slightly higher than expected in December, and was also up on the year before. Meanwhile, the employment rate for men has continued to fall at a greater level than for women, new data has showed. The FTSE closed down two points at 6,179.
1500: US existing home sales fell by one per cent in December, hitting an annualised rate of 4.94m (Consensus: 5.1m). Shares of Carnival are moving towards the bottom of the leader board after yesterday making a first (and failed) run at taking out resistance at the 2,600 point level.
1430: BG Group's valuation falling by half in less than two years is making even a $60bn company look vulnerable to a takeover as oil giants hunt for growth in new frontiers, Bloomberg writes today in a piece.
1429: Shares of GKN are lower on slight profit-taking after having hit levels not seen since July 7th 2011.
1209: Schroders confirms the arrest of an employee in an FSA insider dealing probe.
1152: Verizon Communications publishes weaker than forecast fourth quarter results. FTSE 100 down 4 to 6,177.
1100: The Confederation of British Industry's total orders index for the month of January has fallen sharply, to the -20 point level, versus the previous month's reading of -12. The quarterly survey's - also released today - balance rose to zero from -12 previously. "Firms also reported that they expected new orders to improve over the next 3 months, driven mainly by export orders, suggesting a possible reversal of the current weakness in the coming months," Barclays Research points out.
1039: The Footsie has erased most of its losses and is now down by just two points at 6,179, well off its intra-day low of 6,149. The rebound was helped by a better-than-expected reading from the German ZEW survey. The economic sentiment index (which canvasses analysts) increased by 24.6 points in January to 31.5 points, thereby reaching its highest level since May 2010. This beat the consensus estimate, which had forecast only a 5.1 point increase to 12. Of interest is the possibility - by no means guaranteed - that it might foreshadow a similarly pleasant surprise to come on Friday, when the IFO institute's own business climate index is released.
0931: Public sector net borrowing, excluding interventions, fell to 15.4bn pounds in December from a downwardly revised 16.5bn in the previous month. The consensus expectation had been for a reading of 15.2bn pounds.
0930: The Bundesbank has dismissed talk that its President, Jens Weidmann, will step down, according to Bloomberg TV. On a separate note, the country's market regulator, BaFin, has asked lenders to assess the impact of a hypothetical break-up of their operations. FTSE 100 down 21 to 6,160.
0904: Stocks have turned lower as investors digest the result of the Bank of Japan's policy meeting, with some market commentary concentrating on the fact that increased monetary stimulus will not be forthcoming until January 2014. Simply put, experts are divided in their reactions. Somewhat ironically, just this morning strategists at Credit Suisse announced their decision to trim their overweight in UK equities to pay for their recent upgrade to Japan. The FTSE 100 is a defensive market (by sector composition) and thus tends to underperform when economic lead indicators and global equity markets rise (we remain positive on equities and the global economy on a 3- to 6-month view)," they added. Nevertheless, they continue to overweight the UK. FTSE 100 down 17 to 6,164.
0825: Anglo American is being watched by traders today after the Secretary General of the ANC stated that 'they have stolen our money', according to reports, and that the state must take a bigger interest and control. Shares of Anglo American are down now by 1 per cent.
0823: UK stocks have opened ever so slightly in the blue although basically unchanged. Shares of Schroders and Tate&Lyle are in the lead. On the negative side of the ledger, Pearson is seeing some follow through selling from yesterday. Interestingly, the Telegraph's Questor team is recommending this morning that investors sell the shares. BP is also weaker. Fresnillo is down despite having detailed that that 2012 silver output has met its guidance and gold output was ahead. Broker comment is highlighting the risk of a potential overhang of shares. Worth pointing out, analyst at Jefferies have reduced their price target on the shares
of Vodafone to 155p. Acting as a backdrop, as expected overnight the Bank of Japan has raised its inflation target and announced that it will undertake a program of asset purchases. However, the latter will not be kicked off until the start of the next fiscal year, in April. Public finance data for December are published at 9:30. Barclays Research's forecast for PSNBx - which is a little above consensus - is for 16.5bn pound (consensus £15.2bn). The CBI Industrial Trends Survey for January is released at 11.00. FTSE 100 flat at 6,181.