1630: Close The FTSE settled 36 points below the opening bell of today's session, hit by declines in equities Stateside on the back of speculation that the Fed will begin scaling back its monetary stimulus at its meeting next week. In today's UK macro news, it was revealed economic activity expanded at a 0.8 per cent in the three months ended November, while house prices rose by less than expected last month. In addition, Britain's trade deficit with the rest of the world remained at 2.6bn pounds in October. The FTSE closed down 36.17 to 6,523.31.
1550: Two reports cite congressional sources as having indicated that a budget agreement may possibly be reached today.
1541: Mark Hulbert from MarketWatch.com is pointing out that the Dow Jones Industrial Average could be hitting a "dangerous triple top", trading at similar levels (in inflation-adjusted terms) to its highs of 2000 and 2007. "It should give us pause to note that the market strong as it has been is only back to the level that turned the market back on two prior occasions," he said. FTSE 100 down 17 to 6,542.
1500: Economic activity in the UK expanded at an 0.8 per cent clip in the three months ended in November, according to the latest monthly estimate from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR).
1437: The FTSE 100 is trading firmly lower after a weak start on Wall Street with US benchmarks slipping into the red after the opening bell. Mark Hulbert from MarketWatch pointed out today that the Dow Jones could be hitting a 'dangerous triple top', trading at similar levels (in inflation-adjusted terms) to its highs of 2000 and 2007. 'It should give us pause to note that the market strong as it has been is only back to the level that turned the market back on two prior occasions,' he said. The FTSE 100 is down 22.07 points at 6,537.41.
1214: Shares in Weir Group continue to lead gains on the Footsie, with the Daily Mail having picked up on rumours (not new) that US outfit General Electric could be weighing up a possible 5.9bn pound or 28 pound a share bid for the Glasgow-based manufacturer of oilfield equipment. The stock has been bouncing off of technical support at 2,034p in the last few days after having previously moved below its 200-day moving average, although it remains to be seen if in a decisive manner or not.
0945: Disappointingly, in October 2013 UK exports of goods to countries within the European Union decreased by 0.5bn pounds to 12.1bn pounds, ONS data shows On the positive side of things, the overall trade deficit is now thought to have reached 7.2bn pounds in quarter three, instead of the previously reported -9.7bn pounds, IHS Global Insight points out.
0930: Industrial production in the UK grew at a 0.4 per cent month-on-month pace during the month of October (consensus: 0.4 per cent), while manufacturing expanded at exactly the same pace (consensus: 0.4 per cent).
0910: Data out overnight from China revealed November retail sales rose 13.7 per cent (pc) year-on-year and up from 13.3 per cent in the previous month. However, November industrial output slowed month-on-month to 10 per cent (October: 10.3 per cent). Fixed-asset investments - an indicator of the country's construction activity - climbed at an annualised 19.9 per cent between January and November, down from 20.1 per cent between January and October. The FTSE 100 is up four points at 6,563.
0840: The FTSE has edged higher in opening trade, although gains were limited by Fresnillo after it lowered its annual gold production forecast by 8.4 per cent to 425,900 ounces. Lloyds was moving in the opposite direction after it finally offloaded its remaining stake in St James's Place , as it continues its reduction of 'non-core' assets. On the macro front, BoE Governor Mark Carney last night rejected US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers's claim that wealthy countries have hit a barrier in technological innovation, saying "such worries have proven misplaced in the past and scepticism is warranted now".