1630 Close: The FTSE ended down 100.39 points to 6558.28 after the Bank of England (BoE) decided to keep interest rates at the record low of 0.5 per cent and asset purchases at 375bn pounds.The European Central Bank (ECB) also decided to maintain its current policy depsite falling inflation in the euro-area but said it stands "ready and willing to act" if necessary.
1544: Turkish lira now higher by 0.94 per cent to 0.4509. Risk is back on for today at least, with Fresnillo and Randgold taking a hit as a result. FTSE 100 up 107 to 6,574.
1414: "ECB ready and willing to act," Draghi has added. That has led to market commentary flagging the possibility of actions being taken in March.
1407: SMP sterilisation will not end the ECB´s Draghi has said. It is being looked at but it was not discussed at today´s meeting, he remarked. That is a polite way to say "not for now". Euro/dollar sprang higher as a result and is now at 1.3600.
1330: Despite the Eurozone, the world keeps turning. Initial weekly unemployment claims Stateside dropped by 20,000 last week to hit 331,000 (consensus: 335,000). The US trade deficit came in at -38.7bn dollars in December (consensus: -35.9bn)
1325: Amongst the topics likely to be discussed at this afternoon´s ECB press conference are: a possible end to the sterilisation of the central bank´s Securities Markets Programme (SMP) and the possible purchase of packages of banks´ loans to small and medium sized entreprises (SEMs) under exceptional circumstances.
1255: Trading in Dax futures was briefly halted but then resumed shortly afterwards.
1245: European Central Bank keeps main rates unchanged.
1201: Czech central bank keeps main policy on hold.
1200: The Bank of England opted on Thursday to maintain its main policy rate unchanged at 0.5 per cent. The stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves was steady at 375bn pounds. Both decisions were as expected. No further announcements were made.
1133: Shares of Supergroup are up against their recent highs at 1,94p. Shares in insurance outfit Beazley are also speeding higher, with the stock having popped at the start of trading after the company announced it was hiking its special dividend by 92 per cent. FTSE 100 up 50 to 6,508.
0930: The share price of Imagination Technologies is up over 16 per cent after US tech giant Apple extended a 'multi-year, multi-use licence agreement' with the chip designer. Analysts at Jefferies, who have a 'buy' rating for Imagination, said that the extension 'should dispel investor concerns surrounding Apple's possible design out of Imagination's graphics in favour of either ARM or an in-house play'. The FTSE 100 is up 19.27 at 6,477.16.
0926: Shares of Rockhopper Exploration are spiking higher after reportedly announcing that phase 1 of the Sea Lion development is likely to see 293m barrels of oil equivalent recovered over 25 years.
0921: RyanAir traffic grew by 5 per cent in Juanuary, to reach 4.6m clients.
0836: UK stocks have begun the day edging slightly higher. All eyes are on the ECB meeting this afternoon, with economists´ expectations fairly split between inaction at today´s meeting on the part of President Mario Draghi and another cut in the main policy rate. Reckitt Benckiser is at the top of the leaderboard in early trades following an upgrade in its recommendation on the stock - to 'outperform' - by analysts at Credit Suisse. Smith&Nephew and Vodafone are also moving higher after coming out with their latest numbers. EPS guidance out of AstraZeneca has undershot some analaysts´expectations. A barrage of second-tier economic indicators are due for release Stateside this afternoon. Analysts at Jefferies have downgraded Hargreaves Lansdown to 'hold' from 'buy' (while at the same time raising their target price by 100p to 1,250p). JP Morgan has reiterated its 'overweight' stance on Standard Life. To take into account, tomorrow will see the release of the US monthly non-farm payrolls report. FTSE 100 up 21 to 6,479.