1630: Close The FTSE 100 ended up 13.45 points at 6816.37 following an upbeat report on UK construction. Output growth in the British construction sector picked up to a four-month high in June. The Markit/CIPS UK construction purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 62.6 last month, up from a seven-month low of 60 in May. Standard Chartered was the highest riser following reports the group is intending to dispose of $500m-worth of private equity investments.
1614: Standard Chartered was topping the FTSE 100 on reports the group is intending to dispose of $500m-worth of private equity investments.
1500: US factory orders declined 0.5% in May after rising 0.7% a month earlier. Economists had pencilled in a 0.3% drop.
1341: Official non-farm payrolls have come in higher than ADP figures for the past five months. This bodes well for the government data tomorrow to beat analysts' forecasts which currently point to a 215,000 increase in jobs. "While the frequent revisions and methodology of the ADP employment report limit its usefulness for forecasting the BLS private payrolls series on a month-to-month basis, this upside surprise is broadly consistent with our above-consensus expectation of a rise of 250k in nonfarm payrolls," said analysts at Barclays.
1315: Private payrolls increased by 281,000 in June, according to ADP, much higher than the 179,000 gain in May. This has smashed the consensus estimate of a smaller rise to 205,000.
1200: US mortgage applications fell 0.2% in the week to June 27th, following a 1% drop a week earlier, according to the Mortgage Bankers' Association.
1054: Ocado is the standout performer on the FTSE 350, rising over 6% as it rebounds strongly after a H1 results-related fall on Tuesday. Deutsche Bank upgraded its rating for the online grocer from 'sell' to 'hold', saying that the recent weakness in the share price better reflects the risk/reward balance. The bank said that risks still remain but the 42% sell-off of the stock since its peak of 617p in late-February means that there is now "limited downside to our reduced 330p price target [from 350p]".
0930: UK June construction PMI rises to 62.6 from 60 in May, highest since February. The consensus forecast was 59.8.
0900: A host of stocks are trading lower this morning after going ex-dividend, including Burberry, Royal Mail, TalkTalk, British Land, Dairy Crest, De La Rue, ICAP and Halfords. The FTSE 100 is 13.9 points higher at 6,816.82.
0830: UK stocks are edging higher early on after hitting a one-and-a-half week high on Tuesday. While the economic data schedule for today looks relatively quiet, markets will still be keeping a close eye on indicators from the States later on, including the ADP employment report and US factory orders. A speech from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will also be in focus this afternoon. In corporate news this morning, Mothercare shares
soared after it was revealed that the company has turned down two takeover bids from US-based Destination Maternity. The FTSE 100 is up 11.73 at 6,814.65.