1630: Close UK stocks closed modestly higher, as investors digested strong corporate reports from both RBS and IHG, developments in Eastern Europe, and data out from both the US and Europe. House prices again came into focus today, with the BoE Deputy warning it would prove 'dangerous to ignore the momentum that has built up in the UK housing market'. Meanwhile, the Eurozone's unemployment rate remained unchanged for March, standing at 11.8 per cent for a fourth month. Over in the States, non-farm payrolls increased by an impressive 288,000 in April, well ahead of the 220,000 rise expected by analysts. The FTSE 100 ended the session 13.55 points higher at 6,822.42, marking a gain of 136.73, or 2.05%, on the week.
1554: Many pro-Russian rebels have been killed, injured and arrested during the Ukraine's government's offensive in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk, the country's interim President Oleksandr Turchynov said in a statement, the BBC reports.
1330: US non-farm payrolls rose by 288,000 in April. The consensus estimate had been for a rise of 220,000.
1320: Stocks are holding on to gains with just 10 minutes to go before the US non-farm payrolls report; the FTSE 100 is up 15 points at 6,824. However, futures on Wall Street are pointing to a flat start ahead of the opening bell with traders sitting on their hands ahead of the data. Brenda Kelly, Chief Market Strategist at IG, said that after the surprisingly weak US GDP reading on Wednesday, 'today's number needs to be fairly strong to keep the upward momentum going in stock markets after four consecutive days of gains'.
1200: RBS has fallen back into second place on the leaderboard as traders prepare for the release of the latest US employment numbers and after having bounced from technical support towards 300p.
1000: The Eurozone's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 11.8 per cent in March, following downwards revisions to previous months' data (consensus: 11.9 per cent).
0944: Analysts at Credit Suisse have upped their recommendation on shares
of Resolution to 'neutral' from 'underperform' even while at the same time shaving their price target to 325p from 340p. That comes ahead of the firm's first quarter IMS due out on May 7th. The company's management is expected to soothe concerns on recent regulatory changes while increasing the focus on "strategic opportunities to unlock value".
0930: UK Construction PMI slipped to 60.8 in April from a reading of 62.5 in March (consensus: 62.2).
0900: The Eurozone's manufacturing sector purchasing managers' index edged higher to a reading of 53.4 in April, from the preliminary print of 53.3.
0833: UK stocks have started the session moving clearly higher, led by gains in RBS and InterContinental Hotels following their latest quarterly figures. All eyes are now on the US non-farm payrolls figures due out at 13:30, with traders likely to steer wide form taking risks ahead of the release. Making the front-pages today on many newspapers is a warning from Bank Deputy Governor Sir John Cunliffe, according to whom current danger signs in UK housing resemble "a movie that has been seen more than once in the UK". FTSE 100 down 1 to 6,808.