1630:The FTSE 100 fell 22.46 points to 6,509.97 after UK service activity declined unexpectedly in November to 60 from 62.5 the prior month. Economists had pencilled in a reading of 62. The data came a day ahead of tomorrow's Bank of England policy announcement when it is expected to keep its current policy on hold.
1540:US new home sales rose 25.4 per cent month-on-month to 444,000 units in October, beating expectations for 429,000. In September sales fell 6.6 per cent to 354,000, the lowest level observed since April 2012.
1530 US ISM non-manufacturing composite PMI fell unexpectedly to 53.9 in November, compared to 55.4 in October and the consensus forecast of 55. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
1415: US employers added 215,000 new jobs in November, above the previous month's 184,000 and the consensus forecast for 170,000. The better-than-expected figures sent US stocks falling as it fuelled speculation the Federal Reserve would start reducing monetary stimulus at its mid-December meeting.
1330: US mortgage applications fell 12.8 per cent in the week to November 29th, compared to drop of 0.3 per cent a week earlier.
1239:Retail sales in the euro-area unexpectedly declined 0.1 per cent in October, compared to a rise of 0.4 per cent in September. Economists had predicted an increase of 1 per cent.
1147: "On 9.1 times estimated 2014 earnings per share (EPS), [Standard Chartered] is the UK's cheapest bank which, in our view, remains an anomaly," Investec writes. The broker has also moved to a 'hold' on Micro Focus, from 'buy'.
1001: By the indications of today´s Eurozone service sector data France may be headed back into recession and Italy towards a "staggering" tenth quarter of recession, Markit´s Chris Williamson points out. FTSE 100 down 10 to 6,523.
1000: The Eurozone´s gross domestic product expanded at a 0.1 per cent rate of change in quarter three, Eurostat confirms, as expected.
0947: Commenting on today´s service sector data at home, Capital Economics had this to say to clients: "the services survey still points to a robust recovery. And with November's manufacturing PMI climbing and the construction survey in the same month indicating the fastest rate of expansion for six years, a weighted average of the three CIPS surveys still points to quarterly GDP growth in quarter four of around 1.5 per cent. Admittedly, the CIPS surveys have tended to present a rosier picture of the economy than the official data in recent quarters [...] But, for now, there is a good chance that quarterly GDP growth in the final three months of the year will beat the 0.8 per cent rate recorded in quarter three."
0928: The Markit/CIPS service sector purchasing managers´index fell to the 60 point mark, versus a reading of 62.5 in the month before. The consensus estmate had been for a slightly smaller drop to 62.
0858: The Eurozone services sector purchasing managers´ index for the month of November has come in at 51.2, versus a reading of 50.9 for the month before (consensus: 50.9). However, while the data for Germany have come in very strong, those for France and Italy have undershot economists´ estimates by a significant margin. UK PMI data out at 09:28, the reaction in FX markets may bear watching.
0856: Guidance from Standard Chartered is weighing on the stock of Asia-focused peer HSBC. Tate and Lyle, Aberdeen Asset Management and National Grid are all lower after going ex-dividend today.
0855: Shares in Standard Chartered have taken a hit after forecasting that revenues will be broadly flat this year.
0825: The FTSE has begun today's session flat, with Sage Group sitting in the top spot on the back of predicted revenue growth of six per cent for 2015, while a number of stocks weighed markets down after going ex-divi. Tesco rose despite posting a 1.5 per cent drop in third quarter sales, saying it was performing in line with expectations for the year. In macro news, the government is set to later today unveil its two-year infrastructure spending plan, which is expected to include 375bn pounds-worth of investment in energy, transport, communications, and water projects. The insurance sector is also widely predicted to be planning an investment of 25bn. Traders will also be watching OPEC´s oil summit and any news regarding an agreement on the definition of capital leverage ratios under Basel III. The FTSE is flat at 6,532.