1630: Close Markets ended the final session of the week 21 points lower, with banks and miners both pulling the index lower. Banks were hit by last night's revelation about a further £700m in PPI provisions that Barclays has put aside, while miners felt the effects of continued concerns about metal demand in China. Barclays is also reported to have said that it will cut under 10% of its staff at its EMEA equities franchise in an effort to reduce costs. In UK economic news, public sector net borrowing requirement, excluding interventions, was £12.8bn in September, according to the ONS. The consensus estimate had been for a reading of £13.5bn. The FTSE 100 ended the week at 5,896.
1540: US markets have started the morning on a negative note, with the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500
currently down 0.7 per cent, 1.0 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively. Third-quarter earnings from some heavyweights have disappointed in the last 24 hours, including McDonald's, Microsoft and General Electric, all of which are trading firmly in the red. The FTSE 100 is down 16 points at 5,901.
1404: Barclays has said that it will cut under 10 per cent of its staff at its EMEA equities franchise in an effort to reduce costs. Bloomberg has cited people close to the matter as saying that the cuts will mainly affect equity salespeople and traders as well as support staff. The news comes after yesterday's revelation that the bank has set aside a further 700m pounds for PPI provisions. Shares are now down 1.64 per cent at 236.75.
1350:Spanish media are citing German Chancellor Angela Merkel as having said that she is opposed to the European Stability Mechanism being employed for so-called legacy debts. That is to say, it will not be available to recapitalise Spanish banks directly and rescue them from their current predicament.
1319: Goldman Sachs's Jim O'Neill is being cited as having said that next week's GDP data could show growth at as high as a one per cent rate. ONS data needs an overhaul as it is too pessimistic.
1304: Bank of America now sees the Bank of England adding 25bn pounds to its quantitative easing programme at its November meeting, versus 50bn pounds previously. FTSE 100 down 10 to 5,907.
1200: From the point of view of technical analysis two stocks to possibly keep track of according to Charles Stanley are Aberdeen Asset Management and IAG. The former has bearish divergences while the latter is bumping right up against its main downtrend-line, at 166p.
1116: While the blue-chip index remains in the red, the second-tier FTSE 250 is registering slight gains with a 10 per cent jump from Spectris doing its bit to help. The instrumentation and controls company saw a robust performance in the final quarter of its financial year and while like-for-like (LFL) sales growth had slowed from the first half, analysts said that this was as expected. Jefferies reiterated its 'buy' rating for the stock this morning saying: 'This is a resilient performance and better than many will have feared, with slower growth versus 1H12, reflecting the macro-economic environment - this has been anticipated by the market.' The FTSE 250 index is up 10 points (+0.08 per cent), while the FTSE 100 is down seven (-0.13 per cent).
1112: The Footsie is still struggling to find direction, trading within a narrow range - just 12 points separate the intraday low and high. Nevertheless, some heavy falls for Aggreko and Bunzl as well as weakness in the banking sector is making sure that the benchmark remains in negative territory. Aggreko is now down 8.9 per cent after saying reporting that extra bad debt provisions and adverse foreign exchange
rates will hit its bottom line this year. Despite the sell-off, the majority of brokers remain upbeat about the stock this morning, saying that trading in the third quarter has been 'in line' and investors should 'buy on weakness' today. Investec, Seymour Pierce and Jefferies all maintained their 'buy' ratings on the stock. The FTSE 100 is down nine points at 5,908.
1109: The top-share index is back in negative territory, albeit not by much, after a brief foray above last night's close. Barclays is off the pace following the revelation of more payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling provisions, saying that the bank is entering a period of potential negative catalysts. Japanese broker Nomura warned that the PPI issue is likely the first of many negative surprises. 'We expect potential clean-up costs with the arrival of a new CEO [Chief Executive Officer], potential to mark level 3/similar assets more conservatively, take more aggressive restructuring measure (provisions-wise) due to external pressure, challenges from forth coming regulation and a rethink around the capital position of the group.' FTSE 100 is down eight at 5,909.
1015: Analysts at JP Morgan Cazenove have downgraded their view on shares
of Lloyds to underperform from neutral.
0930: The public sector net borrowing requirement for September, excluding interventions, has come in at 12.8bn pounds (Consensus: 13.5bn). The previous month's print has been revised down to 12.8bn from 14.4bn before.
0858: TNK-BP's government relations manager has been arrested on suspicion of fraud, according to the Russian Federation's Interior Ministry, Reuters is reporting.
0851 Contrary to some initial reports European leaders do seem to have achieved significant progress at last night's summit; such that direct bank recapitalisation by the ESM may be possible in 2013 it appears.
0806: Aggreko and Bunzl are dragging the top-share index lower this morning after mixed trading updates. Agrreko, the temporary power provider, is the harder hit of the pair, as it warned that second half revenues from its international division will be lower than it expected at the time of its interim results. Exchange rates are also moving against the business, the group revealed, while it has also increased its bad debt provisions; together, these are expected to lop around 2.5 percentage points of full year adjusted profits. FTSE 100 is down four at 5,913.