1630:Close Stocks have ended the day firmly lower, as emerging market woes took their toll on the likes of Aberdeen Asset Management and HSBC. IHG led losers after going ex-dividend while Glencore shares
staged a bounce-back from losses yesterday. All of that came ahead of the release - tonight - of the minutes of the latest US FOMC meeting. To be had in account, the Treasury registered its first deficit for the month of July since 2010 figures from ONS revealed. No less relevant, according to industry body UK Oil&Gas the country's output of oil may fall by 22 per cent this year. In a more upbeat vein, manufacturing companies' order books improved to a 2 year high in August, the CBI revealed. FTSE 100 down 63 to 6,391.
1555: This is what Barclays Research is telling clients today regarding the just released existing home sales figures: "The bottom line is that the housing market remains in a recovery phase, albeit one that could be tempered by higher mortgage rates and worsening affordability. [...] We believe the recovery in housing will prove resilient to any broader slowing in the economy and the recent rise in mortgage interest rates to date, but we will be watching for any signs of weakness or fragility as a result of the significant rise in real interest rates over the past several months."
1547: Some 'market chatter' is referencing positive remarks out from analysts at ratings agency Moody's regarding the outlook for US states' finances. FTSE 100 down 39 to 6,414.
1500: US existing home sales rose to an annualised rate of 5.39m in July, versus 5.08m a month before - according to the National Association of Realtors [NAR] to and consensus forecasts for a reading of 5.15m. Interestingly the NAR's Chief Economist Lawrence Yun attributed part of the rise to increased mortgage rates, the highest in two years, which have pushed some buyers "off the sidelines." For their part, Capital Economics is pointing out that: "This stimulatory effect will only be temporary." Yun also highlights the still tight inventory situation. The FTSE 100 down 33 to 6,420.
1435: Marketwatch.com's Mark Hulbert is out today calling attention to the possibly worrying fact that the advance-decline ratio on the NYSE failed to confirm the new highs in the benchmarks indices in early August.
1205: Stock futures on Wall Street are pointing to a poor start when markets open in two and a half hours as investors adopt a cautious approach ahead of the FOMC minutes. Data from the US housing market is also on the calendar for today, with MBA mortgage applications and existing home sales to keep markets busy before the key risk event of the day this evening. The FTSE 100 in London is down 38.37 at 6,415.09.
1100: The Confederation of British Industry's [CBI] total orders index improved to a reading of 0 for the month of August, from -12 for the month before (Consensus: -8).
1044: The FTSE 100 has dropped to its lowest levels of the day, trading down 47.94 points at 6,405.52 as financials join the miners in the red - Aberdeen, HSBC and Prudential are among the worst performers. The UK public sector recorded net borrowing (excluding financial interventions) of 0.5bn pounds in July, well below the forecast for a budget surplus of around 3.0bn pounds. This was the first budget deficit in a July for three years.
1030: The UK public sector's net cash requirement dropped to -19.6bn pounds in July, from -1.0bn in the month before (Consensus: -8.7bn pounds).
0936: A number of mining stocks are lower this morning as risk appetite is scaled back ahead of the FOMC minutes. Fresnillo, BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and ENRC are all in the red. Glencore Xstrata however was bucking the trend, rebounding after some heavy losses the day before after the company disappointed with its first-half results. Standard Life is also higher after receiving an upgrade by Credit Suisse to 'neutral'. The broker also raised its target price from 325p to 362p. The FTSE 100 is down 24.2 at 6,429.26. The last time the London benchmark closed lower was on July 5th when it finished the day at 6,375.52.
0858: The FTSE 100 is down 30.28 at 6,423.18 as markets await the minutes of the FOMC meeting due out after the close this evening. 'Investors are very much anticipating the next round of QE news flow and probably won't do a great deal until any new information is becomes known. The risk for investors is indeed that the Fed delivers tapering at a pace faster than predicted,' said Financial Trader David White from Spreadex. A number of heavyweight stocks are providing a drag this morning after going ex-dividend, including British American Tobacco, Capita, Hammerson, InterContinental Hotels, Prudential and Carnival.