2105: US close US stocks fell on Thursday as a retaliatory Russian sanctions landed on top of creeping concerns about military posturing along the Ukrainian border. The Dow Jones closed down 0.46%, its lowest level since 25 April, 4.5% off its July 16 record high, according to the Dow Jones markets data group. The S&P 500
fell 0.53% to a two-month low, 3.9% off its July 24 record high.
2045: Pro-Russian separatist rebels shot down a Ukrainian fighter jet and a military helicopter, according to Kiev officials cited by Interfax.
1630: UK close The FTSE 100 ended down 38.79 points to 6597.37 after the Bank of England decided to keep policy on hold as after Russia introduced counter-sanctions. The BoE announced it would keep interest rates at a record 0.5% low and asset purchases at £375bn, as expected by analysts. The European Central Bank (ECB) also maintained policy. ECB president Mario Draghi also warned on risks of Russia's counter-sanctions after Moscow banned a range of food imports from the US and Europe.
1359: US jobless claims have dropped to 289,000 in the week to 2 August, down from a revised 303,000 the week before and better than the 304,000 expected by analysts. Meanwhile, the four-week moving average dropped to 293,500 - its lowest since February 2006.
1245: The European Central Bank has maintained its main refinancing rate unchanged at 0.15%.
1200: The Monetary Policy Committee has maintained Bank Rate and the size of its asset purchase facility unchanged, at 0.5% and £375bn, respectively.
1155: Drax is plummeting 12% after confirming that the Court of Appeal has allowed the DECC's appeal against the eligibility of the power supplier's second unit conversion for an investment contract.
1133: Russian President Vladimir Putin will reportedly make an announcement at 17:30.
0949: Not surprising that Rio Tinto shares
have reacted so favourably, what with earnings coming in ahead of expectations, capex guidance being reduced and debt falling quickly, Investec analyst Hunter Hillcoat muses.
0900: London equities are slipping lower in early trading following the announcement of a Russian ban on food imports from those countries which have imposed sanctions on it. Sentiment has also taken a small hit from the weaker than expected figures on German industrial production out just after the opening bell today. Carnival, Aviva and Rio Tinto are leading gains early on. Coca-Cola HBC, RSA Insurance, Old Mutual and Randgold Resources are all lower on the heels of their latest interim figures. Traders are expectant ahead of this afternoon's policy meetings at the Bank of England and European Central Bank. FTSE 100 down 19 to 6,617.