1630:(Close) The FTSE 100 ended 20.41 lower to 6718.04 as investors awaited the release of the US Federal Reserve's meeting minutes and weighed UK data. After the close the Fed will unveil its notes from its June 17-18th meeting, when the central bank cut monthly bond purchases by $10bn to $35bn. Back in the UK, reports today showed the housing market cooled and retail prices fell. Insurers led stocks lower after after both Admiral and Aviva dropped, taking the rest of the sector with it.
1530: The Bank of England is likely to lower its estimate of the spare capacity in Britain's economy next month, said incoming BoE Deputy Governor Minouche Shafik.
1400: US mortgage applications for the week to July 4th rose by 1.9% compared to a 0.2% fall a week earlier.
1238: Stocks in the States were expected to open broadly flat on Wednesday as investors continue to scale back risk ahead of the Fed minutes this evening. Alcoa shares
are likely to be active after the aluminium company kicked off second-quarter earnings season strongly on Tuesday night with a return to profit on the back of lower restructuring and cost-cutting measures. In London, the FTSE 100 is heading for its worst finish in over two and a half months as it inches towards the 6,700 level. The last time the index closed below current levels was on April 28th when it settled at 6,700.16.
1100: Admiral is down 6% after the car insurer disappointed the market with a gloomy outlook as it reported a decline in revenues in the first half, saying that a return to growth in premiums still remains elusive. Aviva is nearly 4% lower as the company underwhelmed at a capital markets day with plans to double cashflow over the next two years and reduce its debt as part of an overhaul. Shore Capital said Aviva's plans were not "overly challenging".
1000: Bottling firm Coca-Cola HBC and high street retailer Next are in negative territory today after going ex-dividend, along with WS Atkins, Carphone Warehouse, Entertainment One and Vedanta Resources.
0850: UK stocks have started the session slightly lower, tracking the losses seen overnight on Wall Street and in the Asian session. The Footsie is underperforming its European peers. The immediate reason for the selling seems to be a small shift in expectations for the schedule of Fed rate hikes next year. Admiral is the worst performer on the top flight index after reporting weaker than forecast first half sales figures. Rising to the top are shares in the main airline groups and precious metals miners. House prices fell by 0.6% month-on-month in June, according to Halifax. FTSE 100 down 22 to 6,717.