1630: Close The FTSE has closed slightly lower after earlier in the day registering lows not seen for six weeks. Wood Group held onto its place as the worst performer of the day having this morning warned of problems with its Canadian business. In economic news it was revealed that UK gross lending hit a four-year high in July, while across the pond markets are awaiting the Federal Reserve's possible withdrawal of quantitative easing ahead of the minutes of the Federal Open Market Committee tomorrow. The FTSE closed down 12 points at 6,453.
1414: Markets are still trading firmly in the red despite futures in the States pointing to a decent start on Wall Street as investors temporarily shrug off concerns over an impending withdrawal of QE and instead focus on upbeat reports from a number of retailers. Shares of economic bellwethers Best Buy, Home Depot and JC Penney were all rising strongly in pre-market trade in New York as markets reacted positively to their second-quarter earnings. The FTSE 100 is down 32.73 points at 6,433.
1255: Capita, the top tier outsourcing giant, has announced its selection by the Ministry of Justice as the preferred bidder for the electronic monitoring and field support services contract.
1245: The FTSE has eased back slightly from earlier heavier losses, although is still down 30 points at 6,435, having hit levels not seen in more than six weeks. Wood Group continues to weigh heavily, but this afternoon may bring some brightness with the US markets set to open in positive territory.
1130: Gross lending hit a near five-year high in July, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Borrowing surpassed the 16.6bn pound mark, up 29 per cent on the same month the previous year and the highest level since October 2008. The FTSE is still firmly in the red, down 39 points at 6,427.
0957: Losses have trimmed slightly on the FTSE 100 as defensive stocks extend gains. Telecom peers BT and Vodafone are among the best performers, along with utilities firms National Grid and United Utilities. Housebuilder Persimmon is also high riser after H1 profits jumped 38 per cent. Broadcaster ITV meanwhile was benefiting from a target price upgrade from Morgan Stanley which said that the company is the 'key media beneficiary of a potential UK advertising upswing on the back of an improving economy'. The FTSE 100 is down 29.19 points at 6,436.54
0910: The FTSE has continued further into negative territory, dragged lower by Wood Group after it warned problems with its Canadian business would have an impact on earnings growth. CRH also weighed heavily after it swung to a half year loss, while Glencore Xstrata was hit with a 7.7bn dollar
writedown. Meanwhile, ongoing concerns over the Federal Reserve's impending withdrawal of quantitative easing have once again given rise to cautious trading. The FTSE is down 55 points at 6,411.