1630 Close: The FTSE 100 ended down 5.14 points to 6,813.49 after the Bank of England (BoE) decided to keep its policy unchanged. The BoE kept interest rates at the record low of 0.5% and asset purchases at £375bn, as expected by economists. However, analysts said that the prospect of an early rate rise has increased in recent weeks amid a string of resilient economic data including rampant UK house prices. At the same time the European Central Bank (ECB) announced a lowering of the deposit rate into negative territory for the first time in the history of any major central bank. The ECB cut the deposit rate by 10 basis points to -0.10%, which was forecast by analysts, and slashed interest rates by 10 basis points to 0.15%, slightly less than the 15 basis point drop that was forecast. The move came amid weak inflation, which at 0.5% remains well below the ECB's target of just under 2%.
1527: Has the ECB done enough? There are doubters seems to be the verdict of foreign exchange
markets. Following an initial move lower towards 1.35 as of 15:29 the euro/dollar was 0.16% higher at 1.3621.
1411: When asked about large scale asset purchases President Mario Draghi says ECB not finished yet.
1330: US jobless claims rose by 8,000 to 312,000 in the week ended May 31st, according to the Labor Department, more or less in line with the consensus forecast of 310,000. The previous week's figure was revised slightly higher from 300,000 to 304,000.
1245: The European Central Bank (ECB) cut its interest rate and deposit rate on Thursday amid concerns over weak inflation and a stagnant recovery.
The central bank cut interest rates by 10 basis points to 0.15%, less than the 15 basis point cut that was expected by analysts. The deposit rate was lowered from 0% to -.10%.
1218: Stocks have erased losses and are trading in positive territory across Europe with the DAX hitting a fresh all-time high in Frankfurt. Analysts said that the upside moves have come on thin volumes as many traders sit on their hands ahead of the ECB. The FTSE 100 is up three points at 6,821, though very little still separates the index's intraday low and high.
1205: As expected, the Bank of England has decided to keep its Bank Rate at 0.5% and the size of the asset purchase programme unchanged at £375bn. However, the news had very little impact on markets given that no change is expected in UK monetary policy until at least the end of 2014. The focus is still on the ECB (decision due at 12:45). The FTSE 100 is down 12 at 6,807.
1100: Eurozone retail sales increased by 2.4% year-on-year in April following a 1% rise a month earlier. Economists had predicted a 1.2% gain.
1025: European stocks were mixed ahead of policy meetings by the European Central Bank (ECB) and Bank of England. "Uncertainty was the word of the day this morning as, traders steered clear of the Euro
until the ECB rate decision today at 1245 BST. With the BOE also meeting today at noon, stocks were no exception to the uncertainty and the FTSE opened lower," according to Farhan Ahmad, Trader at TradeNext.
0938: The FTSE 100 is down 14.77 at 6,803.86. Johnson Matthey, which makes catalytic converters for cars, is falling heavily after it warned that changes in a deal with a supplier and currency volatility would hit growth in 2014/15. Leading the upside is Smith & Nephew which has jumped around 5% as M&A speculation continues to surround the medical devices manufacturer. US group Medtronic has become the latest party rumoured to be interested in the UK firm and is reportedly in the early stages of preparing an offer. Credit Suisse said there is a "potential bidding war on the horizon".
0830: The FTSE 100 has opened in the red as investors show caution ahead of the ECB meeting later on with policymakers expected to announce a host of measures to fight deflationary pressures and boost growth. ASOS is a heavy faller this morning, with shares
down nearly 40% after a surprise trading update from the company contained a profit warning. Online retail peers N Brown and boohoo.com have fallen sharply as a result. The FTSE 100 is 15.4 points lower at 6,803.23.