1630: Close The FTSE leapt 53 points in today's session, led by easyJet after it revealed it's geared up to take on other low-cost airlines across Europe, saying it expects others will have difficulty in embracing a no-frills style. The FTSE's rise is in large part thanks to receding fears about a potential US military strike on Syria and decent data from China, which showed the third-quarter outlook for the Asian powerhouse was continuing to brighten. In UK economic news, Rics revealed that house prices rose at their fastest pace in almost seven years in August, while sales volumes hit a multi-year high. The FTSE closed at 6,584.
1611: Markets are set for a strong finish today given the decent start on Wall Street. Markets are putting in a robust performance on the whole despite relative weakness in the mining sector with stocks tracking metals prices lower. Gold is currently trading at a two-week low. Among the risers this afternoon is High Street giant M&S after N+1 Singer upgraded its rating on the stock from 'hold' to 'buy'. The broker said the move was due to the 'growing evidence of the step-change in its approach to General Merchandise, and in anticipation of improving consumer expenditure'. The FTSE 100 is up 60.67 at 6,591.41.
1350:Treasuries fell for the first time in three days following reports Syria had agreed to an Russian proposal to surrender its chemical weapons to avoid a US military strike. Three-year were almost double their average over the past year. The 10-year rate approached 3 per cent amid speculation the Federal Reserve will start scaling back its monetary stimulus.
1300:France has said it will submit a Russian-backed proposal to confiscate Syria's chemical weapons to the United Nations. Interfax has reported that Bashar al-Assad's government accepted the proposal, which worked to soothe investors fears of a imminent strike by the US in Syria.
1107: Shares in pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline are falling sharply this morning after the US FDA set out requirements for generic versions of its lung drug Advair. According to Reuters, analysts at Citigroup have estimated in a worse-case scenario for an accelerated sales decline for US Advair, it could cut Glaxo's valuation by up to five per cent. The FTSE 100 is up 44.94 at 6,575.68.
1020:Airline stocks artopping the FTSE 100 as the price of Brent crude futures slipped after US President Barack Obama soothed fears over an imminent strike in Syria. Obama said said he will delay any action if the Assad regime agreed to place chemical weapons under international control. The news helped bolster the shares
of easyJet and International Consolidated Airlines which have been hit by concerns of rising fuel costs over recent weeks amid the Syria turmoil.
0915:Better than expected Chinese data has provided a boost to global stocks as it lifted hopes of a recovery in the world's second largest economy after its recent slump. China's industrial production climbed by 10.4 per cent in August compared to a year ago, beating the forecast for a 9.9 per cent rise. Separate data showed retail sales in China increased an annual 13.4% in the month, above market expectations for a 13.2% incline.
0833: UK stocks have begun the session with a large move higher, keying off of remarks from US President Obama which seem to imply that a strike on Syria may finally be averted. Much the same as on the other side of the Atlantic, where M&A activity is at its highest since mid-2007, there is quite a bit of "market chatter" on these shores as regards several upcoming IPO's, such as Foxtons. Acting as a backdrop, Chinese industrial production data out overnight came in moderately ahead of forecasts. That is benefiting airlines stocks, some say. Glencore has raised its target for cost savings arising from its merger with Xstrata to 2bn pounds, from 500m pounds before. Apple's iPhone launch later today will also be closely followed. Worth taking into account, the Frankfurt Auto show is also under way. British house prices climbed to their highest in seven years last August, according to RICS. Its home price index rose to 40 from 37 in July. FTSE 100 up 49 to 6,580.