1630: Close London's blue chips ended today's session in the red, hit by housebuilders amid interest rate uncertainty, declines in the States early on and nerves about the situation in Iraq. Helping to drag the housing sector lower, the day's session saw the publication of a BoE survey, which has revealed that lenders expect the rate of household loan approvals to fall significantly in the Q3. In the US, PMI showed an increase to 57.5 this month from a seasonally adjusted 56.4 in May. The FTSE 100 closed down 24.64 points at 6,800.56, having come off its intra-day low of around 6,786.65 seen this morning.
1530: A National Association of Realtors report showed that previously owned home purchases increased to a 4.89m annualised rate in May after rising to a 4.66m rate the previous month. Economists had pencilled in a 4.74m annualised rate.
1445: US manufacturing activity unexpectedly rose in June to highest level since May 2010. Markit's flash reading of the purchasing managers' index (PMI) increased to 57.5 this month from a seasonally adjusted 56.4 in May. Analysts had predicted a fall to 56. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
1415: Shares in IHG are near record levels - and technical resistance - towards 2,380p, with brokers still citing takeover speculation in their reports to clients as the main catalyst behind the recent rise in the stock. With two consecutive 'bullish' gaps higher the share price graph does indeed seem to be reflecting conviction on the part of traders. FTSE 100 down 16 to 6,809.
1414: A curious thing has taken place in the equity space over the last few months. While the broader Footsie has been holding near its record highs some of the recent most high-flying stocks in the market, such as IAG or Ashtead, have gotten knocked back, while 'defensive' issues have held up quite well. Just a coincidence perhaps but in a research note released on Monday JP Morgan points out how over the last few years 'defensives' have been re-rating higher, as they are still attractively valued relative to fixed income. In parallel, the Financial Times writes today on how a recent survey of central bank reserve managers showed that many of those are looking to diversify away from the longest term US Treasuries towards equities. However, there are still some observers who believe in the medium-term share price potential of firms such as Ashtead and for now at least the stock continues to hold above its 200-day moving average.
1333: Shares of IAG are continuing to hug their 200-day moving average.
1244:The FTSE 100 is being dragged lower by housebuilding and airline shares. Housebuilders were hurt by comments over the weekend from Bank of England (BoE) policymaker David Miles who said it was increasingly likely he would vote to raise interest rates before leaving the BoE's monetary policy committee next May. Airline stocks were hit as oil prices
continued to rise on fears that the crisis in Iraq would disrupt supplies.
1209: Oil services engineer Kentz has jumped by a third after it was reported that Canada's SNC-Lavalin has agreed to buy the company for 935p per share, valuing the company at £1.16bn.
1143: Chipmaker ARM Holdings, up 3%, is the best performer on the FTSE 100 after positive comments from Morgan Stanley. While the bank kept an 'equal weight' rating on the stock, analysts said that the "momentum could be turning" after recent weakness in royalty payments.
1028: A Bank of England survey has revealed that lenders expect the rate of household loan approvals to fall significantly in the third quarter. Some banks believe a tightening of mortgage standards will cause an easing of mortgage lending next quarter, according to the central bank's quarterly Credit Conditions Survey.
0944: Eurozone economic growth slowed for a second consecutive month in June, marking its weakest reading since December, according to the purchasing managers' index (PMI) published on Monday by Markit. The Eurozone PMI composite output index dropped from 53.5 to 52.8, missing consensus that had expected no change. The services PMI activity index also fell to 52.8 from the prior 53.2. Economists had expected a slight upturn to 53.3. The manufacturing PMI declined to 51.9 from 53.4, missing expectations for a smaller drop to 52.2.
0842: Mining stocks are leading the upside after the HSBC China manufacturing PMI rose from 49.4 to 50.8 in June. This was ahead of the consensus forecast of 49.7 and showed that the manufacturing sector expanded for the first time in six months. Rio Tinto, Anglo American and Antofagasta are all on the rise.
0830: Despite expectations of a solid start on the FTSE 100, UK stocks have opened firmly in the red after an escalation of tensions in Iraq as ISIS militants expanded their control in key regions. Brent is up a further 0.7% at $115.62 a barrel this morning. Shire is among the worst performers in London as the stock pulls back after a jump on Friday following a rejected £27bn takeover proposal from AbbVie. Shire is to host a investor call later today and is expected launch a charm offensive to convince shareholders that it should continue as an independent company. ASOS shares
are also lower after the retailer was forced to suspend its website over the weekend after a fire at bone of its warehouses. The company said it lost 20% of its stock at the distribution facility. The FTSE 100 is down 34.07 at 6,791.13.