1630: Close UK stocks kicked off the week in a negative fashion, weighed by a poor performance in other markets across the globe and maintained by less than impressive data. The World Bank cut its 2013 forecast for Chinese growth to 7.6 per cent from a previously estimated 7.7 per cent. UK consumer spending slumped to a 14-month low in March as wages failed to keep pace with the cost of living, up just 1.1 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, German industrial production for February narrowly beat consensus forecasts, up for the fourth consecutive month by 0.4 per cent from the prior month's revised 0.7 per cent gain and slightly ahead of the consensus estimate for a 0.3 per cent increase. The FTSE 100 ended the session down 72.71 points at 6,622.84.
1620: The FTSE 100 is on course to lose over one per cent today, trading down 71 points at 6,624 just 10 minutes before the close. The index has not close lower since last Monday when it finished at 6,652.61. After a subdued start, US markets have dropped into the red with little respite from the selling pressure that hammered Wall Street stocks on Friday. The Nasdaq is now down 0.7 per cent, following a 2.6 per cent sell-off the previous session.
1344: The price of copper is 0.10 per cent lower at 301.95 dollars per pound on COMEX, but three-month futures are off by one per cent on the LME, at 6,615.50 dollars per metric tonne. For the highest cost producers the breakeven level of prices is 6,613 dollars per metric tonne, the FT says today, citing research from CRU. FTSE 100 is down 48 points to 6,647.
1212: Housebuilders Barratt Developments, Persimmon, Countrywide and Berkeley Group, however, were all trading in the red after a report by HomeOwners' Alliance raised concerns with the rapid rise in house prices across the UK. The group said that more people now think house prices are a "very serious issue". Rightmove was also trading with heavy losses today.
1114: Electricity providers Centrica and SSE are on the rise in a declining market, given their defensive characteristics. That is despite news of rising customer claims year-to-date according to figures from Ombudsman Services.
0923: The IMF is set to raise its growth forecasts this week. That, at least, is the market chatter. While positive in general terms, in the aftermath of last Friday's US non-farm payrolls report it might perhaps feed into worries about monetary policy in the US and UK, for example. In the opposite direction, overnight the World Bank shaves its forecasts for Chinese growth this year, although that should not come as a surprise to anyone. FTSE 100 down 32 to 6,663.
0922: A report from The Wall Street Journal says a Ukrainian officer was shot dead by a Russian solider. For its part, USA Today earlier reported gunmen had seized a government building in eastern Ukraine.
0833: UK stocks have begun the day with a sharp drop, tracking the losses seen last Friday on Wall Street, despite what some market commentary described as a "solid" US employment report. The trading action is now quite similar to what was seen over on the other side of the pond, with some of the up until recently most high-flying Internet related stocks seeing some pronounced falls in their share prices, such as with Ocado or Asos. Chip maker ARM Holdings is now the worst performer on the Footsie. Acting as a backdrop, there are reports of continuing tensions in eastern Ukraine. FTSE 100 down 48 to 6,647.