1630: House prices in the UK rose by 1.3% month-on-month in August, according to the latest data from mortgage lender Nationwide, marking the largest rise since January 2010 and reversing the previous two months´ declines. Meanwhile, the British Chambers of Commerce said politicians "need to get some political backbone and show leadership". Looking abroad, there were few surprises from Ben Bernanke in his keynote speech at the symposium of central bankers at Jackson Hole in Wyoming, though his initial comments did spark some volatile swings on equity markets. The FTSE closed down 11 points at 5,708.
1516: The FTSE 100 has now fallen back near to where it had started in spite of Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke saying what most analysts had expected. He hinted that further policy would be necessary but did not commit to any immediate action. It is now up to the markets to decide when this action would actually occur. The Footsie is up just four points at 5,723.
1500: Gains on the Footsie have been trimmed after the speech from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. He said that he remains open to using more QE measures to promote growth, though he did not commit to any action. He labelled US growth as 'tepid' and said that the economy was 'far from satisfactory'. He said: 'Taking due account of the uncertainties and limits of its policy tools, the Federal Reserve will provide additional policy accommodation as needed to promote a stronger economic recovery and sustained improvement in labour market conditions in a context of price stability'. The FTSE 100 is up 11 points at 5,731.
1048: Potential merger partners Glencore and Xstrata are making gains this morning along with the wider mining sector in spite of Qatar Holdings' announcement yesterday that it would vote against the proposed tie-up at the shareholder meeting on September 7th. The Xstrata shareholder said that while it 'continues to support the principle of a combination of Glencore with Xstrata, it has determined that it will not support the proposed merger terms of 2.8 new Glencore shares
for every one existing Xstrata share.' The Qataris are wanting Glencore to raise the exchange ratio to 3.2. Meanwhile, resource peers Anglo American, BHP Billiton, ENRC and Rio Tinto appear to be shrugging off a research report from Nomura in which the broker reduced its target prices for all four stocks. The FTSE 100 is up 17 points at 5,736.
0939: Footsie has crawled into positive territory. It may not be by much - FTSE 100 is up 14 at 5,733 - but after declining every day this week it gives a glimmer of hope to the bulls. Not that trading volumes are very high; volumes dip in any case during the holiday month of August but with Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke set to speak at 15:00 today no one is rushing out to take a large punt on which way the market will move. Miners are doing their bit to bolster the top-share index, while oilfield services firms Amec and Petrofac are also wanted, as are engineering firms Weir and GKN.
0803: There is little sign of movement in the Footsie at the start of trading, as the market settles down to wait for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's keynote speech this afternoon at the central bankers' economic symposium. Car insurer Admiral claws back a fraction of the losses suffered following yesterday's interim results, while WPP is a little lower after its update yesterday. FTSE 100 is down 7 at 5,713.