1630: Close UK markets ended today's session broadly flat as investors digested a raft of corporate update, poor retail data, a slight easing of the situation on Eastern Europe, along with a number of stocks going ex-dividend. Supermarket industry data from Kantar Worldpanel today showed growth is at the 'lowest level for at least 11 years', pushing supermarket stocks firmly into the red. Meanwhile, the SMMT reported that new car registration growth came in at 8.2 per cent for April, a slight deceleration but still marking the 26th month of growth. The FTSE 100 closed down 2.12 points at 6,796.44.
1616: "Although sterling is now around its strongest level against the euro since last January, based on the relative outlook for monetary policy, we think it has further to rise," analysts at Capital Economics wrote today to clients. FTSE 100 down 2 to 6,796.
1526: Following his meeting with the Chairman of the OSCE Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked representatives of Ukraine´s southeastern regions to reschedule a referendum which was meant to take place on May 11th, according to Interfax. Putin has also called on Ukraine to halt all punitive measures now in course.
1350: Shares of Experian have moved below their 200-day moving average again.
1342: Xcite Energy is seeing some follow-through buying after yesterday´s collaboration agreement reached with Statoil and Shell and nearing an area of technical resistance. This morning the Daily Telegraph´s Questor column commented favourably on the company´s outlook too.
1330: US unit labour costs fell by 1.7 per cent year-on-year during the first three months of 2014 (consensus: -0.5 per cent), while unit labour costs rose at a 4.2 per cent clip (consensus: 2.0 per cent). FTSE 100 down 9 to 6,790.
1327: Some market commentary is referencing this evening´s scheduled meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the OSCE´s Chairman as the reason for the recovery to be seen now in European equities.
1127: AstraZeneca shareholders should expect a further bid from Pfizer to materialise in the coming weeks, according to Panmure Gordon. The broker expects a 'bid upwards of 5,500p will be required to get AstraZeneca to the negotiating table'.
1031: According to reports the Chairman of the US Senate´s Foreign Relations committee has said the US should consider targeting Rosneft and Gazprom with sanction.
0915: HSBC has announced first quarter net profits of 6.8bn dollars, versus analysts´ forecasts for 6.77bn. Underlying revenues slipped 8 per cent to 15.71bn dollars.
0835: Shares have begun the day moving lower, with a lower reading on activity within China´s services sector weighing on stocks and ahead of a speech this afternoon from Fed Chair Janet Yellen. ITV is in the lead early on after unveiling the acquisition of an 80 per cent controlling interest in US outfit Leftfield Entertainment Group. Sainsbury is also on the up after its latest annual results. Acting as a backdrop, the top ranking official at the OSCE has called for a cease-fire in Ukraine so that "fair and inclusive" elections can be held on May 25th. Pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass said they will hold a referendum on secession on Sunday May 11th. The US Secretary of State has warned that any such attempt would be bogus and further sanctions would be applied on Russia if it went ahead, Reuters reported. FTSE 100 down 26 to 6,772.40.