1630:Close The UK's top flight index sprinted back into the green in the last hour of trading, boosted by a rally in crude oil futures
in the wake of the latest oil inventory numbers in the US and after the DoE forecast a large drop in America's oil output next year. Banks and homebuilders did well too, especially StanChart with its well-documented exposure to the mining sector. Nonetheless, and on a more ominous note, ex-BoE chief Sir Mervyn King chided governments for not doing enough with the time central banks had bought them. FTSE 100 up 4.91 points to 6,410.26.
1531: In another report published on Wednesday, the EIA forecast that onshore oil production from the Continental US would decline from an average level of 7.41m barrels per day in 2015 to 6.46m b/d in 2016 and 5.76m b/d in 2017. Rising output from the Gulf of Mexico would act as a partial offset, the EIA said, but even so total US oil output would shrink from 9.43m b/d in 2016 to 8.04m b/d in 2017.
1530: According to the Energy Information Administration, the US Department of Energy's statistical arm, commercial oil stockpiles increased by 2.1m barrels to hit 538.6m in the five days ending on 15 April. That was less than 2.75m build which analysts had pencilled-in and came alongside a 3.6m drop in distillate inventories.
1330: Three-month copper futures up now by 2.6% to $4,929.50 on the LME.
1328: "The imposition of recent policies suggests the Chinese government is prioritising achieving its target range of economic growth over the rebalancing of the economy towards consumption-led growth. Stimulus measures should lead to an improved outlook for industrial metal demand this year and possibly next, providing important support to base metal, iron ore and steel prices," Unicredit says.
1313: Analysts at Investec have moved to a "mild positive bias" on miners, raising multiple target prices for stocks in the sector, but cautions that fundamentals in China while mildly improved do not justify recent equity price moves. Instead, those are more a function of US dollar
weakness and improved sentiment on the outlook for growth in Asia's largest economy.
1056: Credit Suisse has started coverage of bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair at 'underperform'. Retreat in HL shares
is being put down by some market commentary to results out from Swiss rival GAM.
1055: Front month Brent crude futures are down by 1.89% to $43.21 per barrel on the ICE.
0930: Jobless claims ticked up by 6,700 in March, contrary to forecasts for a decrease of 12.500, with headline average earnings undershooting analysts' expectations by an enormous margin.
0849: Stocks are coming under pressure early on as oil futures buckle on news that Kuwaiti public sector workers are set to return to their posts following the walk-out they staged on Sunday. Nonetheless, miners' shares are still in robust health - at least for the moment - extending their recent rally yet again. Financials such as Hargreaves Lansdown and Provident Financial are leading fallers. FTSE 100 down 27.49 points to 6,377.