1630: Close London-listed stocks moved higher in this afternoon's trading to end higher, lifted by strong consumer confidence data, a long-awaited merger between TUI Travel and its parent company, and positive broker comments on the housebuilding sector. Consumer confidence hit its highest level in nine years this month, according to GfK's consumer confidence survey, raising the hopes for solid economic growth in Q2. Meanwhile, the housing sector was driven higher following comments from UBS, which said that the positive fundamentals of the sector remain unchanged despite measures by the Bank of England announced yesterday to cool the housing market. The FTSE 100 closed up 22.65 points at 6,757.77, but fell 67.43 points on the week as a whole.
1617: European Union leaders have chosen Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the group's executive arm, the European Commission.
1455: The University of Michigan's consumer confidence index for June inched higher to 82.5 from a preliminary reading of 81.2 (consensus: 82).
1445: TUI Travel shares
jumped after it announced that it had agreed the terms of a merger between itself and parent company TUI AG, a move that will create the world's "number one integrated leisure tourism business". Under the terms of the agreement, TUI Travel investors would receive 0.399 new TUI AG shares for every TUI Travel share. The combination of the two business would result in potential cost savings of £36m a year, while revenue is expected to be enhanced by the broader portfolio that will be offered. The largest shareholder of TUI AG gave his support for the merger.
1332: Bank of America has reportedly cut its forecast for US GDP growth from 4% to just 3.2%. Barclays yesterday lowered its own growth estimate from 4% to 2.9%.
1308: The US Federal Reserve might move "a little bit sooner" than Capital Economics expected up until recently, the research house said in a note to clients. In and of itself that is interesting although the 'think tank' goes on to emphasise that global monetary conditions are set to remain exceptionally loose for at least two more years, not least because both the ECB and BoJ may yet loosen further. However, the Fed is likely to raise rates more rapidly than the Bank of England, leading to a significant divergence in rates during 2016, Capital Economics adds.
1222: Housebuilders Redrow, Persimmon and Barratt Developments are extending gains made yesterday in reaction to softer-than-expected measures by the Bank of England to cool the housing market. Analysts at UBS said today that while a "policy over-reaction" is undoubtedly the biggest risk to the sector, this risk has already been largely priced in and that future intervention will be "gradual and measured".
1012: Credit Suisse has issued a research note commenting on yesterday's Financial Stability Report (FSR) in which it states that it expects UK banks to underperform. Having said that, the broker adds that Lloyds remains its preferred name in the space, followed by Barclays. It remains at 'underperform' on RBS, HSBC and Standard Chartered.
0930: Gross domestic product in the UK expanded at a 0.8% quarter-on-quarter pace during the first three months of the year and by 3% versus the same period of a year ago. FTSE 100 up 14 to 6,749.
0911: Shares in chip group Imagination Technologies dropped dramatically on Friday morning after microprocessor giant Intel sold a 9.3% stake in the business.
0846: Trading in shares of Heritage Oil has been suspended pending an FCA announcement.
0845: Airbus may be very near to naming Rolls Royce as the sole supplier of engines for the upgraded version of its A330, Reuters reports.
0844: Large banks have begun to take funds out of Barclays' 'dark pool' after the British lender was sued by New York's top securities regulator, the Financial Times reports.
0830: Stocks have begun the morning slightly higher in London while Wall Street managed to finish off its lows of the session overnight. Leading gains on the top flight index in the early going are Randgold Resources and Barratt Developments. To take note of, BoE Governor Mark carney has reportedly told Bloomberg that Bank Rate may rise in either 2014 or 2015. In parallel, HSBC analysts have revised their 2014 and 2015 year-end forecasts for cable higher, to 1.68 and 1.58, respectively. Revised Q1 GDP data are due out at 09:30, courtesy of ONS. FTSE 100 up 6 to 6,741.