1630: Close The FTSE 100 dropped 23.83 points to 6755.88 after the Bank of England's minutes from its 7 August meeting showed policymakers were divided on raising interest rates. Martin Weale and Ian McCafferty - external members of the BoE's nine-member Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) - voted to increase interest rates to 0.75% from 0.5%, the minutes revealed. One of Wednesday's biggest fallers was building materials group CRH, which has seen shares
fall since delivering its interim results on Tuesday morning. The company said the sector had had an "encouraging" start to the year, but that it had been trading against a backdrop of "modest, if mixed recovery" across its main markets. It also said that trading in America had been affected by severe weather conditions for the second successive year.
1505: Carillion has has officially pulled out of the running for a merger with rival Balfour Beatty after the latter didn't agree to an extension of the 'put up or shut up' deadline which expires at 17:00 on Thursday.
1200: US stock futures are pointing to a flat start on Wall Street as investors sit on their hands ahead of the FOMC minutes due out at 19:00. Jasper Lawler, a market analyst at CMC Markets said: "Expectations for low rates for 'a considerable period' in the US could be called into question if there are murmurings of a change in sentiment in the latest Fed minutes.".
1015: Following the surprise 7-2 vote at the MPC - the first split vote on rates since July 2011 - Capital Economics senior UK economist Samuel Tombs has said that "it would be foolish to rule out the possibility of a 2014 rate hike". Barclays Research said yesterday that they still expected a rate hike in the fourth quarter of this year despite yesterday's data showing a dip in inflation.
0930: The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee voted 7-2 in favour of keeping rates unchanged at its last meeting. Economists had been expecting a unanimous vote or perhaps one MPC member voting in favour of a a rate hike. In the event it was two, Weale and McCafferty.
0921: Steve Ballmer, the former chief executive of Microsoft, has announced he will step down from the board with immediate effect.
0900: Balfour Beatty shares have fallen sharply this morning after the company rejected an improved merger proposal from Carillion and decided not to extend the 'put up or shut up' deadline, which expires tomorrow. Liberum analysts have said: "There is little (if anything) Carillion can do ahead of tomorrow's deadline."
0845: Stocks have begun the session drifting slightly lower ahead of a spate of key risk events today which include the minutes from the most recent MPC and FOMC policy meetings. The release of those documents will be followed overnight by Chinese manufacturing data. Utilities are clearly in the lead early on in the top flight index, alongside Glencore. The commodities trader has released better than forecast results and announced that it may repurchase up to $1bn of its own shares. Worth keeping tabs on, Iceland has raised the risk level to aviation from possible volcanic eruptions to orange, the second highest level. FTSE 100 down -9 to 6,770.