1630: Close The FTSE 100 jumped 74.22 points to 6784.67 after better-than-expected reports on Chinese growth and UK unemployment. Chinese gross domestic product grew at an annual rate of 7.5% in the second quarter of 2014, meeting the government's target and beating forecasts for it to remain unchanged from 7.4% in the first quarter. The UK unemployment rate fell from 6.6% to 6.5% in the three months to May, its lowest rate since 2008 and two years before Bank of England Governor Mark Carney had targeted this level. Meggitt was the top riser on reports that the company could attract a US bidder such as United Technologies.
1600: US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee today is a repeat of the remarks she delivered before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, according to reports. She said the US economic recovery remains incomplete with many Americans still unemployed.
1527: Time Warner has rejected an $80bn bid from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox to buy the entertainment giant. Fox had offered $85-a-share cash and stock offer, a 25% premium on the company's share price. Time Warner said there was a "significant risk and uncertainty as to the valuation of Twenty-First Century Fox's non-voting stock and Twenty-First Century Fox's ability to govern and manage a combination of the size and scale of Twenty-First Century Fox and Time Warner".
1440: US stocks have opened with decent gains despite a poor reaction to results from a number of blue chips, including Bank of America and Yahoo. However, Time Warner is a high riser, up around 17% after 21st Century Fox confirmed that it had approached the firm about a takeover last month but was rejected. In US economic data, industrial production rose by 0.2% in June, less than the 0.3% expected and the previous month's 0.5% growth.
1405: Investors at bus and train operator FirstGroup have rebelled against the award of an 86% pay rise to Chief Executive Tim O'Toole last year. Holders of almost a quarter of First's shares
cast their votes against the company's remuneration report at its annual meeting.
1330: US stocks were pointing to a higher open following the release of better-than-expected Chinese growth data and ahead of the release of reports on US manufacturing and industrial production. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will today deliver a testimony to the House Committee later on after addressing the Senate Banking Committee yesterday when she signalled that interest rates will remain low for some time since the US economic recovery is "not yet complete" and too many Americans remain unemployed.
1300: Credit group Experian was dealt a bloody nose but still went ahead and appointed CEO Don Robert as Chairman. Over 11% of shareholders, mostly large City institutions, voted against the move. Yet the company blithely issued a statement saying: "We are pleased that all resolutions at today's AGM were passed including the resolution to re-elect Don Robert, Chairman, as a Director of Experian, with nearly 90% of votes cast in favour...We endeavour to listen carefully to our shareholders and are always happy to engage with any investors on this or any other resolution that was put to today's meeting."
1210: The Eurozone trade surplus grew year-on-year in May to €15.4bn from €14.6bn in the same period of 2013, The European Union's Statistics Office data revealed. Analysts had expected a €16.5bn surplus compared with the originally reported surplus of €15.7bn in April, which was revised down to €15.4bn.
1050: The UK unemployment rate fell to 6.5% in the three months to May from 6.6% the previous quarter, a near five-and-a-half low. Jobless claims dropped 36,300 in June, after a 32,800 a decline a month earlier. Economists had predicted a decrease of 27,000.
0930: The FTSE 100 was trading 0.76% higher at 6,761 early on Wednesday morning, as stronger-than-expected economic growth in China helped UK stocks out of bed and bid speculation saw the share price of blue chip Meggitt surge. Following a quiet start to the week, today's agenda will be jam-packed with UK jobs data, US manufacturing and industrial production figures and Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony to the House Committee after speaking to the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday, when she signalled that interest rates will remain low for some time since the US economic recovery is "not yet complete".
0845: Transport group National Express has signed a deal with the UK government to run the Essex Thameside rail franchise for another 15 years, the Department for Transport (DfT) said on Wednesday. Ministers said the deal would allow National Express to build on the "impressive" performance of the franchise and provide a range of improvements worth around £160m. The franchise runs commuter trains between London's Fenchurch Street station and Barking, Basildon and Southend.
0840: British Land reported a good start to the year as it continues to make the most of strong markets, with the occupational and investment markets in London and retail both strengthening. Investment lettings and renewals were 3.2% ahead of estimated rental value (ERV) in the first quarter of its new financial year, with retail occupancy up 10 basis points to 98.6% and retail footfall up 2.5% and continuing to way outperform benchmark.
0825: Mining giant Rio Tinto claimed a "very strong first half" with productivity gains across the business. The iron ore business, which accounted for around half of group revenues in 2013, registered record shipments, production and rail volumes in the six months to end-June.
0810: Ahead of an annual general meeting where new Severn Trent Chief Executive Liv Garfield is expected to face fierce opposition to her bonus pay, the group assured that trading across the group was in line with expectations and prior guidance. Investor group Pensions & Investment Research Consultants (Pirc) has warned shareholders that Garfield's remuneration policy is "excessive" and the company will be hoping not to receive a "bloody nose" as Burberry did last week.
0800: The London Stock Exchange reported a 16% rise in first-quarter income to £323.9m with revenue growth across the group. Revenue climbed 20% overall and 12% on an organic and constant currency basis in the three months to June 30th, according to a trading update on Wednesday.
0730: Royal Mail is facing a potentially "material" impact from a competition investigation in France, the UK postal group said on Wednesday. The FTSE 100 group said it had received a notice from the French competition authority alleging breaches of antitrust laws by one of its subsidiaries, GLS France. Royal Mail said this was in connection with a broader investigation into alleged activities within the postal industry in France.
0715: Mike Ashley, the billionaire founder and retail tycoon who founded Sports Direct, has told the board of the sportswear chain that he will withdraw his name from its controversial bonus scheme.