1630: Close The FTSE ended the day firmly on a high, up 58 points after the BoE kepts its policy settings unchanged and held off on further guidance, while the ECB defied some expectations and kept interest rates unchanged. In UK markets, strong gains were seen by M&S after HSBC upgraded the stock from 'neutral' to 'overweight', while Tate & Lyle weighed heavy after Credit Suisse highlighted concerns about sugar prices falling sooner and more steeply than expected. In economic news, new car sales were on the rise for the 18th consecutive month in August, while a survey showed consumers feel more secure in their job than at any other time over the past five years. The FTSE closed up 58 points at 6,532.
1537: UK 10-year Gilt yield up 13 basis points on the day, at 3.01 per cent.
1500: The ISM service sector purchasing managers' index rose to 58.6 points in August from 56.0 in the month before (Consensus: 55.0). That is the highest since January 2008. The new orders component moved up to 60.5 from 57.7.
1438: The UK Treasury's sale of a 5bn pound stake in Lloyds, which it was thought might come as soon as this month, may be deferred due to the situation in Syria and given the prospects for Fed tapering, Bloomberg reports, citing two persons. No final decision has been taken yet however, the newswire adds. Should market turbulence abate, the government could still proceed with a sale toward the end of the month and is ready to do so at short notice, two of the people said.
1416: "Shoots of recovery are still very, very green," Draghi says. FTSE 100 up 32 to 6,507.
1350: ECB's Draghi says a rate cut was discussed, will remain particularly attentive to money market developments.
1330: Initial US weekly unemployment claims dropped by 9,000 to 323,000 (Consensus: 330,000).
1315: The US private sector created 176,000 jobs in August (Consensus: 184,000), while the previous month's print has been revised to show the creation of 198,000 posts, versus the 200,000 initially estimated, according to consultants ADP.
1246: New car sales were on the rise for the 18th consecutive month in August, boosted by increased household spend, PPI payouts and new, improved technology. According to the SMMT, the new car market grew 10.9 per cent to 65,937 units.
1245: The European Central Bank [ECB] opted to keep its main policy rate unchanged at 0.50 per cent, as expected.
1201: UK 10-year Gilt yields rise seven basis points to 2.95 per cent. Commenting on the MPC's decision to only issue a mini-statement Kathleen Brooks,
Research Director at Forex.com, had this to say: "is saying nothing better than saying something? Not really, since this further push higher in market rates will make it harder for the Bank of England [BoE] to keep rates contained or push them lower down the line." FTSE 100 up 25 to 6,499.
1200: Bank of England rate setters chose not to comment on monetary policy as they kept interest rates at a record low and left the BoE's asset purchase programme unchanged.
1138: The Monetary Policy Committee's rate is decision is due out shortly, at noon. On everybody's mind is whether or not the MPC will decide to put out a statement alongside its decision, which would be a bit of a surprise, and perhaps also be indicative that something is amiss. FTSE 100 up 38 to 6,513.
1013: After a strong start, gains in London have been pared with the FTSE 100 now trading just 13.88 points higher at 6,488.62. Matt Basi, Head of UK Sales Trading at CMC Markets, said in an email that markets 'couldn't hold the early gains [...] as rumours of an explosion at the Russian embassy in Damascus saw stocks slipping back by mid-morning as nervousness again took hold'.
0915: Hotels group IHG (+3.59 per cent) is leading the risers on the FTSE 100 after UBS upgraded its rating on the stock from 'neutral' to 'buy' following a period of share-price weakness. The Swiss bank said that an increase in the pipeline system size and strong US growth now makes the stock among its 'most preferred'. Heading the other way is Tate & Lyle (-0.55 per cent) after Credit Suisse made some gloomy comments about sugar prices, which are falling 'sooner and rather more steeply than we had expected'. The FTSE 100 is up 61.54 at 6,536.28.
0830: The FTSE has risen in early trading, following a decent finish on Wall Street last night, as investors await two important policy decisions from the BoE and the ECB later on. Strong gains were coming from easyJet after it reported rising passenger numbers and an increased load factor for August, while GSK led the downside after revealing its potential new anti-cancer treatment for patients with melanoma has suffered a significant setback in clinical trials. The FTSE is up 51 points.