1630: Close UK stocks ended the week on a sour note, dragged lower by concerns surrounding Ukraine and Russia, together with falling copper prices and a dearth of company releases from the City's biggest players. In UK macro news, the median expectation for inflation over the coming year in the UK fell to 2.8 per cent in February from 3.6 per cent in November, according to a BoE attitudes survey. Meanwhile, the US non-farm payrolls report showed jobs increased by 175,000 in February, compared with a revised 129,000 a month earlier, surprising analysts who had predicted 150,000. The jobless rate increased to 6.7 per cent from 6.6 per cent although this largely reflected a rise in the labour force. The top tier index closed down 75.82 points on the day, and 97.03 on the week, at 6,712.67.
1605: G4S doing best following positive comments out of Charles Stanley.
1551: The main US equity market averages have turned mixed with market commentary referencing the now greater likelihood for Fed tapering to continue Stateside. There are also two reports regarding the movement of military units in the Black Sea. A US missile destroyer has crossed the Bosporus while Russian surveillance aircraft are said to be monitoring the Turkish coast.
1448: Shares of Pearson are in the lead on the Footsie after hitting technical support at 1,004 and going very deeply into so-called 'oversold'. However, they remain far below their 200-day moving average.
1331: Three month copper futures were lower by 1.5 per cent at 6,915.25 with some attributing the move to China´s first onshore bond default overnight.
1330: US non-farm payrolls increased by 175,000 in February. The consensus estimate had been for an increase of 150,000. The unemployment rate ticked higher by a tenth of a percentage point to hit 6.7 per cent (consensus: 6.6 per cent).
1252: Schroders may be going through a small 'throw back´to a technical resistance level at 2,716p.
1224: Cable moving towards Thursday´s highs at 1.6772.
1144: JP Morgan has raised its target on Royal Mail from 700p to 765p, which implies around 30 per cent upside to the current share price, after reassessing the group's pension liabilities.
1124: According to Bank of England/GFK Inflation Attitudes survey looking forward one year 43 per cent of respondents saw Bank rate above 1 per cent.
1101: Aviva is moving higher after JPMorgan hiked its target price on the insurer to 528p from 491p. Barclays also raised its target on the stock today, to 415p from 380p beforehand. However, the latter warns that the company´s shares
are now trading at 12 times´ their earnings estimates for 2014, versus 9 to 10 for its large European peers. Canaccord Genuity lifts Aviva price target to 570p from 460p.
1100: German Industrial production expanded at a 0.8 per cent pace in February, as expected. The previous month´s rise has been revised higher, to show a gain of 0.1 per cent versus the preliminary estimate of -0.6 per cent. FTSE 100 down 19 to 6,770.
0954: Ukrainian born Valentina Matviyenko, the Chair of the upper house of Russia´s parliament, the so-called Federation Council, says that chamber will support Crimean accession to Russia after referendum, Interfax reports.
0930: UK inflation expectations retreated to 2.8 per cent in February from 3.6 per cent in the previous month, according to the Bank of England´s latest Inflation Attitudes survey.
0929: Adding NATO factor to Ukrainian situation extremely dangerous, Russian Foreign Ministry says, Interfax reports.
0837: The Footsie has begun the day moving slightly lower, weighed down by a mixed close to trading on Wall Street ahead of this afternoon´s monthly US employment report. Overnight, Chinese stocks were also down a tad as investors pondered what appears to be the first onshore bond default in that country´s history. Market commentary is generally taking the view that it is actually a welcome event in so far as in the long run it imposes greater discipline on capital spending in the country. Yet there are those who have warned it might have a negative effect on economic growth rates in the short term. FX markets are also being kept an eye on as the euro/dollar was bumped up towards its 2013 highs, at 1.3890, after the ECB decided not to act at its policy meeting yesterday. FTSE 100 down 14 to 6,775.