1630: Close The Footsie closed marginally higher today, lifted by figures which revealed better-than-expected economic growth across the Eurozone and a decent performance from the mining sector. Fresnillo was the top performer as the precious metals miners edged closer to lifting an explosives ban currently in place in Mexico. On the macro front, UK construction output rose 0.2 per cent in Q4, driven by new house builds. Over in the Eurozone, GDP expanded by 0.3 per cent over Q4, beating consensus of 0.2 per cent. The FTSE 100 closed up 4.20 points at 6,663.62.
1543: Shares of Essar Energy are rocketing after the company announced that all main units have resumed operation at its UK refinery.
1455: The University of Michigan's preliminary reading on US consumer confidence for February showed sentiment held steady at 81.2 (consensus: 80.2)
1425: Manufacturing output slid by by 0.8 per cent over the month as motor vehicle output dropped by 5.0 per cent, as the severe weather prevented some workers from getting to the factories, Capital Economics pointed out.
1415: US industrial production contracted at a 0.3 per cent month-on-month clip in January, according to the latest numbers from the Federal Reserve. The consensus estimate had been for an increase of 0.2 per cent. The degree of capacity utilisation fell to 78.5 per cent after a reading of 78.9 per cent in the month before (consensus: 79.3 per cent).
1330: US import prices edged higher by 0.1 per cent month-on-month in January (consensus: -0.1 per cent). The previous month's data were revised higher by two tenths of a percentage point.
1250: Italy's Prime Minister has tendered his resignation.
1122: "After a better-than-expected end of 2013, we think that more good news is in the pipeline. Survey indicators accelerated further at the beginning of 2014, and are consistent with a pace of GDP expansion of about 1.5 per cent annualized. Our above-consensus forecast for 1.5 per cent GDP growth this year looks in good shape," writes Unicredit Research.
1059: Rolls-Royce is edging higher after a 14 per cent slump on Thursday after Societe Generale lifted its view on the stock from 'sell' to 'hold' this morning. Despite the aerospace and defence group's gloomy guidance for 2014, the bank said that the stock is now trading at a substantial discount to peers - which it views as 'excessive' - after its recent sell-off. The FTSE 100 is up 7.2 at 6,666.65.
1058: Gold futures are now higher by 0.84 per cent to the 1,311 dollar
per ounce mark on COMEX.
1000: The Eurozone's Gross Domestic Product expanded at a 0.3 per cent quarter-on-quarter clip at the end of last year, slightly ahead of the 0.2 per cent expected by analysts.
0930: UK construction sector output increased by 2 per cent over the month in December, as forecast.
0929: Today's FT Lex column rants at Thursday's excessive decline in shares
of Rolls Royce but warns that further short selling might lie ahead. SocGen has raised its view on the stock to 'hold' from 'sell'.
0912 Oilfield services group Petrofac is higher after Berenberg raised its rating on the stock to 'buy' and hiked its target price from 1,370p to 1,740p. Morrison is being weighed down by negative broker comment out from Exane.
0845: UK stocks have begun the day slightly lower despite the release of better than expected readings on German and French Gross Domestic Product this morning. Leading on the top flight index are shares of precious metals miner Fresnillo. Overnight gold futures pierced their 200-day moving average, an important level of technical resistance. The advance in the yellow metal is being attributed to greater physical demand out of China and haven demand, in general, from emerging markets. Antofagasta and Anglo American are following in its wake. FTSE 100 down 9 to 6,650.