1630:Close The FTSE 100 suffered significant losses today, with civil unrest in Spain and Greece setting investors' nerves on edge, adding to woes over comments made by Charles Plosser, the head of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank. Also in the US, new home sales fell by 0.3% month-on-month in August, reaching an annualised rate of 373,000 (Consensus: 380,000). Meanwhile, in its monthly economic bulletin, the Bank of Spain warned that the country's GDP 'kept falling at a significant pace in an environment in which financial stress remained at very high levels', according to available data for the third quarter. With both miners and financials hit by the growing levels of concern, the FTSE 100 closed down 92 points at 5,768.
1501: US new home sales fell by 0.3% month-on-month in August, reaching an annualized rate of 373,000 (Consensus: 380,000). FTSE 100 down 95 to 5,766.
1412: Broker Charles Stanley has reiterated its 'reduce' recommendation on WS Atkins after the contract engineer released an unsurprising pre-closed period update. 'Outlook for the full year remains unchanged implying flat PBT [profit before tax] growth following the downgrades in its US operations,' Charles Stanley's Andy Smith said. 'We have recently downgraded our recommendation to Reduce as we believe the outlook for the US will get worse before it gets better as Atkins is heavily reliant upon public sector funding which is under pressure - hence our belief that the US has the potential to disappoint further,' he continued. FTSE 100 is down 76 at 5,784.
1306: Footsie hit an intra-day low of 5,781 over the lunch time session, as banks and minders come under strong selling pressure. The usual gaggle of stocks going ex-dividend on a Wednesday adds to the top share index's woes: Centrica, Morrison and RSA are all trading today without the right to receive recently declared dividends. Anglo American raised doubts about the global economy as it said it wouild cut back on coking coal production. The company also revealed that its Anglo American Platinum subsidiary continues to experience low attendance levels at its Rustenburg operations in South Africa, which are the subject of unofficial industrial action. Turnout rates are less than 20%, the company said. FTE 100 is down 73 at 5,786.
1105: The FTSE 100 is down 62 at 5,798. Gas and electricity provider SSE, cigarette maker BAT, testing firm Intertek and cruise company Carnival are the only risers. All the other blue chips are in the red. SSE is benefiting from Credit Suisse maintaining its 'outperform' rating on the stock, keeping its target price at 1,450p. The Swiss bank has been less sympathetic to mining giant Kazakhmys, which it expects to under-perform. The stock was down 2.8% just after 11:00. London Stock Exchange revealed the impact of the Eurozone crisis on trading volumes in the five months to the end of August - down 20% in the UK and 16% on the Borsa Italia. Its shares
were down 1.2% at 11:00. LSE's rival ICAP was down a worrying 4% after it too revealed weaker volumes.
0951: FTSE 100 is down 61 at 5,799. Utility company SSE and fags maker BATs are both unchanged; otherwise it is clean sweep on the Footsie for stocks in decline. Credit Suisse reiterated its 'outperform' rating on SSE this morning, keeping its target price at 1,450p. It has also stuck with its bearish rating on mining giant, Kazakhmys, which it expects to under-perform. London Stock Exchange has been downgraded to 'add' by Numis Securities after its trading update this morning which revealed the impact of economic uncertainty on trading levels.
0805: Only a handful of Footsie constituents are in the black as London follows Wall Street lower after comments made by Charles Plosser, the head of the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank, raised doubts about the efficacy of the Fed's third round of quantitative easing, commonly known as QE3. 'We are unlikely to see much benefit to growth or employment from further asset purchases,' were Plosser's comments, after which he also suggested that short-term interest rates will need to be hiked earlier than the currently envisaged time frame of the middle of 2015. Miners battle with financials for Footsie's wooden spoon, with silver miner Fresnillo winning the unwanted accolade of worst performing blue-chip. Among FTSE 250 players, miner Bumi is on the slide again after it clawed back some of Monday's losses yesterday, while trading updates from ICAP and Domino's Pizza have put dents in both their share prices. FTSE 100 is down 44 at 5,816.