1630: Close The FTSE ended Tuesday in positive territory, boosted by the news that Xstrata shareholders have given their seal of approval to the Glencore merger. In economic news, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said that while the economic backdrop for the housing and mortgage markets remains challenging, house purchase and remortgage activity both appear to have picked up recently. Internationally, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said at today's extraordinary Eurogroup meeting claimed not to be entirely sure that a deal would take place tonight. The FTSE 100 closed up 10 points to 5,748.
1455: Xstrata shareholders have now voted through the Glencore but without the controversial retention package for its managers. Some 78.88 per cent of shareholders voted in favour of the second resolution, surpassing the 75 per cent threshold.
1435: Shares in Xstrata sank briefly into the red but have now recovered, following the news that its shareholders failed to vote through the first resolution of the company's merger with Glencore. This particular resolution related to the controversial retention package for Xstrata shareholders. Just 67.85 per cent of shareholders voted in favour, missing the 75 per cent threshold needed for approval. Shareholders are now going to decide on the next resolution, to approve the deal, which is expected to be passed.
1330: US housing starts rose by 3.6 per cent month-on-month in October, hitting an annualized rate of 894,000 (Consensus: 840,000), after a small downwards revision to the previous month's figures. FTSE 100 down 5 to 5,733.
1320: Hewlett Packard has released weaker than expected quarterly results, citing accounting improprieties at its Autonomy unit as one of the causes. The US hardware manufacturer has taken an 8.8bn dollar
charge citing "a willful effort [by Autonomy] to mislead investors and potential buyers." HP agreed to purchase the British software company last year for 10.3bn dollars. Shares of Hewlett Packard are falling by more than 9 per cent in pre-market moves.
1312: Glencore and Xstrata are now moving up the leader board after shareholders of the former earlier in the morning voted in favour of the acquisition of the latter. However, reports now indicate that Xstrata shareholder Vinke has voted against all aspects of the Glencore take-over. FTSE 100 down 11 to 5,727.
1155: Bayer will not increase its offer for Schiff.
1140: Shares of platinum miner Lonmin are rising sharply a day after receiving its shareholders' backing for a rights issue. Following close behind on the FTSE 350 is LED manufacturer Dialight after the company received a major order from an unnamed US power plant operator for over 1,000 LED lighting fixtures. EasyJet is also a big gainer today after more than doubling its dividend pay-out on the back of its latest record yearly results. FTSE 100 down 8 to 5,728.
1106: Rebekah Brooks, former Chief Executive Officer of News Corp's British subsidiary, and Andy Coulson have been charged in the UK probe into tabloid journalists bribing public officials.
0957: Spain's Treasury has placed 4.9bn euros in 12 and 18 month bills, well ahead of the 4.5bn euros expected, even if the bid-to-cover ratio for the 1 year debt on offer fell to 2.1 from 2.71. Worth pointing out, a Moody's analyst has reportedly indicated that France's downgrade has implications for the ratings of the European rescue funds, the ESM and EFSF.
0930: Gross mortgage lending recovered to 12.9bn pounds in October, after 11.39bn pounds in the previous month, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
0913: 99.42 per cent of Glencore shareholders vote in favour of Xstrata takeover.
0837: Analysts at Barclays have raised their view on shares
of Intercontinental Hotels to overweight. FTSE 100 down 14 to 5,724.
0833: Interesting comments from technical analysts at Barclays Research on Bloomberg TV this morning. They see the FTSE 100 more or less holding where it is through year-end, followed by weakness as we enter into 2013. As an aside, the Bank of Japan has refrained from modifying its monetary policy settings this morning. The minutes of the Royal Bank of Australia's latest rate setting meeting on the other hand showed that, "members considered that further easing may be appropriate in the period ahead."
0831: UK stocks have started the session ever so slightly lower, despite Wall Street's close higher last night. That after ratings agency Moody's downgraded France's debt to AA1 from AAA after the close of trading in New York. On a more positive note, according to the Financial Times Eurozone finance ministers are getting closer to a political agreement to disburse the next loan tranche to Greece, although some divisions remain. On the corporate front, all eyes will be on today's shareholder vote at Xstrata (at 13:00 London time), which is expected to pave the way for its acquisition by Glencore. British Land Chairman Gibson-Smith will be stepping down from the board on December 31st after his second three-year term as Chairman. He will replaced by John Gildersleeve, who joined the board in 2008 and is currently serving as Senior Independent Director. As regards prominent broker recommendation changes this morning: RBC Capital has upgraded its view on IAG to 'outperform' from 'underperform' while Citi has upped its view on shares of Provident Financial to neutral from sell.