1630:The FTSE 100 ended up 52.99 points to 6483.05 as US economic data came in strong. US gross domestic product grew at a 2.5 per cent annual rate in the April to June period, according to revised estimates from the Commerce Department, boosted by a surge in exports. The government had initially reported that GDP had expanded at a 1.7% rate while economists had forecast the revised estimate to come in at a 2.2%. Separately, the Labor Department said US jobless claims in the week ended August 24th fell 6,000 to 331,000 from a revised 337,000 a week earlier.
1556: Stocks have extended gains after a strong start on Wall Street on the back stronger-than-expected economic data which seems to have trumped fears about the Fed tapering QE. Benchmarks on Wall Street have opened 0.5-1 per cent higher in morning trade in New York. Falling oil prices
after their recent surge are also helping to support stocks today - WTI crude has pulled back from a two-year high and is currently trading 0.77 per cent lower at 109.25 dollars per barrel. The FTSE 100 is up 63.95 at 6,494.01.
1330: US second quarter gross domestic product expanded at a 2.5 per cent annualised clip, versus a consensus forecast for growth of 2.2 per cent. US weekly initial unemployment claims dropped by 6,000 to 331,000 (Consensus: 332,000).
1320: US oil prices fell to 109 dollars a barrel on Thursday after crude stockpiles rose more than expected. However rising tensions in the Middle East kept prices at a two-year high. Oil has surged this week on fears that the US may launch a military strike on Syria following allegations the country's government used chemical weapons on civilians last week.
1218: The FTSE 100 is up 36.98 at 6,467.04, holding on to gains ahead of the US opening bell in a couple of hours' time with stock futures pointing to a positive start on Wall Street. 'We were always likely to see a correction of some kind towards the end of the week, following such an aggressive sell-off in response to the Syria conflict,' said Market Analyst Craig Erlam from Alpari. He said that stocks were being supported today by reports that David Cameron has backed down from taking a vote on military action, as Labour leader Ed Miliband has demanded 'compelling evidence' from UN inspectors on the use of chemical weapons.
1000:Germany's unemployment unexpectedly rose in August for the first time in three months, the Nuremberg-based Federal Labor Agency said. The number of people out of work increased by a seasonally adjusted 7,000 to 2.95m. Economists had predicted a decline by 5,000. The adjusted jobless rate was unchanged at 6.8 per cent.
0900: The FTSE has kicked off the session firmly in positive territory, lifted by a decent finish in the US, and with Vodafone leading the way after confirming talks with Verizon Communications over the potential sale of its stake in Verizon Wireless. Meanwhile, Serco shares
plunged after the group admitted to misreporting of data on a contract with the Ministry of Justice, resulting it a significant loss of earnings. The FTSE is up 38 points at 6,467.