1630:Close Stocks fell on Friday, weighed down by the latest mixed data releases Stateside. Basic resource-oriented stocks were the worst performers. Morrison also gave back more of its recent gains and slid towards technical support. Reckitt Banckiser did best, followed by shares
of ITV on the back of positive comments out of analysts at Nomura. FTSE 100 down 5 to 6,584.
1455: The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary reading on US consumer confidence has printed at 76.8, versus 82.1 for the month of August and the 82.0 which had been expected by economists. The forward-looking expectations guage retreated to 67.2 from 73.7.
1330: US retail sales grew by 0.2 per cent month over month in August, well below the 0.5 per cent rise expected. However, at first glance upwards revisions to the previous month´s figures largely make up for that undershoot.
1325: Some reports indicate that President Obama has not yet decided on a succesor to Ben Bernanke as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
1200:The US and Russia continued their talks on Syria for a second day in Geneva. US Secretary of State John Kerry described the discussions with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov as "constructive". The two are talking over Russia's proposal to have Syria hand over its chemical weapons in exchange for avoiding US military action. Max Cohen, a trader at Spreadex, said traders are holding fire as they await the outcome of the talks and next week's Federal Reserve policy meeting.
1145: The BoE´s Chief economist - Spencer Dale - has reportedly said that forward guidance is not an attempt to add stimulus by pre-comitting to lower for longer rates policy, which would push inflation above target. As an aside, the pound's trade-weighted index rose to 82.7 earlier on Friday, its highest since mid-January, with the UK currency staying near its best levels of the year. Analysts at Goldman Sachs have revised up their sterling forecasts. They now expect to see euro/sterling at 82p and sterling/US dollar
at 1.68 dollars in three months' time. FTSE 100 down 15 to 6,574.
1039: The US central bank will slow its monthly asset purchases to 75bn dollars from 85bn dollars now at its next meeting on Sept. 17th-18th, according to a Bloomberg News survey of economists carried out on September 6th. The previous estimate had been for a reduction of 10bn dollars in the pace of asset purchases.
0930: UK construction output rose at a 2.2 per cent month-on-month pace in July, just ahead of the 2.1 per cent rise seen by economists. The previous month´s variation was revised lower to show a fall of 1.1 per cent instead of the 0.7 per cent drop seen. FTSE 100 down 23 to 6,566.
0845: UK stocks have begun the day down by a small amount, with miners leading the way lower. Morrison has also been the target of some rather negative broker commentary, such as that to be heard out of analysts at Cantor Fitzgerald (Credit Suisse however has raised its target for the shares). Interestingly, asset managers like Schroders seem to be finding a bid. Some market commentary is attributing the selling pressure to reports that Larry Summers is to be named as the next Chairman of the Federal Reserve. Overnight, news that Syria might not be so quick to relinquish its chemical weapons stockpile weighed on Wall Street. Back in the UK, construction output figures for July are due to be published at 9:30. FTSE 100 down 11 to 6,578.