1630: Close UK indices ended today's session slightly higher following a raft of corporate announcements, mixed data from abroad as well as a number of stocks going ex-dividend. Gains were notably limited by nervousness ahead of this evening's policy decision by the US Federal Reserve, which has prompted many to scale back risk. In today's big company news, Barratt Developments rose after Deutsche Bank named it as a top pick, Heritage Oil climbed on a takeover offer, while Thorntons slumped after a poor quarterly update. The FTSE 100 closed 10.12 points higher at 6,780.03.
1445: The Chicago purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the month of April printed at 63, accelerating sharply from last month's reading of 55.9 Analysts had been expecting 57. FTSE 100 up 5 to 6,775.
1433: Sterling is moving higher following the latest US GDP data, now at 1.6865.
1337: US pharmacy group Express Scripts has received subpoenas from three different agencies regarding its contracts with Pfizer, Biogen and AstraZeneca.
1330: US gross domestic product expanded at a 0.1 per cent pace in the first three months of the year, undershooting forecasts for a gain of 1.1 per cent by a wide margin.
1315: US private sector payrolls grew by 220,000 in April, versus the 200,000 expected by consensus.
1254: Saga has announced its intention to float on the London Stock Exchange. It is looking to raise a net 550m pounds through the listing with the aim of reducing its indebtedness. The firm plans to pay its first dividend, in respect of the previous year, in June 2015.
1214: GlaxoSmithKline reported first quarter earnings per share (EPS) of 21p, in line with analysts' forecasts. The pharmaceuticals giant has also reiterated its full fiscal year guidance, at constant currencies. Net sales, however, have come in at 5.61bn pounds, missing the analyst consensus for 5.82bn pounds.
1057: The share price of Next has sunk into the red despite the company lifting its guidance for the full year and proposing a special dividend this morning. Analysts at Investec said that the first quarter was stronger than expected but kept a 'hold' rating on the stock, saying: 'We view NEXT as a core holding, but with the shares
trading on a sector average price-to-earnings ratio rating, we believe the valuation is up with events'.
1005: The annual rate of consumer price inflation in the Eurozone picked up to 0.7 per cent in April from 0.5 per cent the month before. However, this missed the 0.8 per cent rate expected by analysts. Nevertheless, some had said that the figure could miss forecasts after data yesterday showed that German inflation was lower than expected.
0827: Stocks have begun the day in a muted fashion despite overnight gains on Wall Street. In general all asset classes seem to be in a bit of a 'holding pattern' ahead of the results of this evening's FOMC meeting, at 19:00. Meanwhile, investors will be watching out for the latest Eurozone consumer price data which is scheduled for release at 10:00. Also to take into account, trading volumes in Europe may taper off ahead of tomorrow's bank holiday in many countries. Acting as a backdrop, reports indicate that the situation in the Ukrainian city of Donetsk has deteriorated substantially. FTSE 100 down 4 to 6,766.