1630: Close The FTSE 100 ended its final full session of the year down 20 points, as supermarkets and other retails offset gains seen in the industrial mining sector. Today's big news included reports the UK government could sell its 33 per cent stake in Lloyds Banking Group in 2014, while data from Hometrack revealed UK house prices have risen 4.4 per cent in the past year on the back of resurgent demand and a lack of supply of new homes. Elsewhere, the head of the CBI told UK firms they need to give employees more support to move up the career ladder as the economic recovery builds. Tomorrow is a half day of trading in the UK. The FTSE 100 closed 19.60 points lower at 6,731.27.
1545: The Dallas Federal Reserve's manufacturing index increased less than predicted by economists in December. The index rose to 3.1 from 1.9 in November. Economists had forecast a reading of 4. The FTSE edged down 32.59 points to 6,718.26 following the release.
1500: US pending home sales increased less than expected in November. They rose by 0.2 per cent, compared to a 1.2 per cent fall in October. Economists had predicted a one per cent rise.
1400: US stocks were little changed ahead of the release of reports on pending home sales and manufacturing. Pending home sales may have risen one per cent in November compared to the prior month which fell 0.6 per cent, according to forecasts. Another notable release will be the Dallas Fed manufacturing business index which is expected to rise to 2 in December from 1.9 last month.
Any signs of further economic recovery will support the Federal Reserve's decision this month to scale back monetary stimulus.
1310: Supermarkets are currently the big fallers, hit by concerns that the likes of Aldi and Lidl are continuing to take over the market share. Leading the risers were energy stocks, driven by stronger oil prices
which has seen crude oil futures
climb above the 100 dollars for the first time since October. Crude oil futures moved higher on Friday after a report revealed a bigger-than-expected decline in US inventories, showing they had declined by 4.7m barrels in the week ended December 20th, above expectations of 2.3m barrels. Over in the US stocks are set to open marginally lower, with the biggest drop currently expected on the Nasdaq, ahead of the release of data on November pending home sales. The FTSE 100 is down 27.98 points at 6,722.89.
1205: The FTSE has dropped into negative territory this lunchtime, weighed down by retailers on what is its final full day of trading in 2013. Although stocks got off to a positive start this morning, however concerns that heavy discounting in the sales may offset the increase shoppers has pushed the likes of Sainsbury, M&S, and Sports Direct firmly lower.
1100: John Cridland, the head of the CBI, has told UK firms they need to give employees more support to move up the career ladder as the economic recovery builds. In the lobby group's New Year address, Cridland called on business to offer "more opportunities" to employees as too many people are stuck on minimum wage. The FTSE is down 7.12 points at 6,743.75.
1009: A think tank has warned that as interest rates are increased millions of UK households will be hit with 'perilous' levels of debt. The Resolution Foundation said: 'Even if we take a somewhat rosy view of how the economy will develop over the next few years the number of households severely exposed to debt looks as though it will double.' It predicted that if rates are increased to three per cent, the number of those using over half their disposable incomes to repay debt could increase to 1.1m from 0.6m over the next four years. The FTSE 100 rose 12.32% to 6,738.55.
0930: Mining behemoth Vedanta Resources has announced that its subsidiary, Sesa Sterlite, has been granted final permission to resume the mining activities at its Karnataka mine.
0905: House prices climbed 4.4 per cent (pc) in 2013, compared to a 0.3pc decline in 2012. Demand over the past 12 months rocketed 25pc, while the number of homes for sale rising just six. Compiler Hometrack said that demand grew at the fastest rate for three years, while the supply of homes for sale grew at the lowest level recorded over the 12-year history of the survey. Meanwhile, the UK government could sell its 33pc stake in Lloyds next year, sources told The Telegraph. The FTSE 100 is up 1.46 points at 6,752.33.
0820: The FTSE 100 opened slightly higher ahead of a quiet day of trading and economic reports. Weir Group was among the top risers on the UK index as a report said manufacturers likely ended 2013 by posting a seventh month of growth, according to economists. In other company news, Al Noor Hospitals has acquired the Gulf International Cancer Centre, although investors seemed unimpressed by the news. Miners were driving the gains on the FTSE, as sentiment continued to be strong following last week's strong data out from the US, while trading continues to be light ahead of the New Year bank holiday.