1630: Close The FTSE 100 closed in negative territory today, led by Lloyds after the bank revealed its PPI bill had soared to nearly 10bn pounds. The index was this afternoon also hit by the news US manufacturing growth had been significantly below both expectations and the prior month after new orders registered their biggest decline in 33 years. US stocks are lower across the board. In the UK, January new orders registered a modest rise, although the main PMI reading came in at 56.7 for the month of January (December: 57.3, Consensus: 57.3). The FTSE 100 closed 44.78 points lower at 6,465.66.
1619: Shares of precious metals and gold miners are sprinting higher running into the close of trading. Today´s bounce in gold on the back of higher risk aversion seems to be the chief reason - again - behind the latest move.
1539: Sterling is near the day´s lows, down by 0.64 per cent, to 1.6331.
1532: Banks down and utilities higher, that seems to be the best way to sum up the price action so far today on the top flight index. Reckitt Benckiser Group is rising strongly after Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated its 'outperform' rating on the shares.
1500: The Institute for Supply Management´s (ISM) manufacturing sector survey for the month of January has come in at 51.3, following a reading of 57 for the month before (consensus: 56). That´s about the last thing jittery traders needed. "A number of comments from the panel cite adverse weather conditions as a factor negatively impacting their businesses in January, while others reflect optimism and increasing volumes in the early stages of 2014," the ISM said. FTSE 100 down 32 to 6,478.
1455: European Banks are the worst performing group out on the DJ Stoxx 600 this afternoon. That is being reflected on the Footsie by shares
of Barclays and RBS slipping lower, alongside those of peer Lloyds. The ECB has today announced that lenders will be asked to show that their common capital would hold above at 5.5 per cent of assets in an economic crisis. As well, the ECB has provided further details regarding how it will value certain assets as part of its Asset Quality Review.
1454: Weir Group may be rising as investors ignore the target price reduction (2,500p to 2,335p) from broker Jefferies and instead focus on its comments that the oil and gas group could experience a favourable shift in sentiment if "the on-going concerns towards the Minerals division [were] to dissipate".
1400: Markit´s US manufacturing sector Purchasing Managers´ Index for the month of January slipped a tad, to reach 53.7 after a print of 53.8 for the month before (consensus: 53.8).
1237: The head of South Africa´s central bank has reportedly said that further rate rises would not be automatic. FTSE 100 up 10 to 6,520.
1231: BG Group has reportedly been added to Bank of America-Merrill Lynch´s 'prefered oils' list of stocks.
1230: Shares in Vodafone are amongst the day´s worst performers, with a fair bit of market commentary concentrating on the fact that Thursday´s trading update would show a company which is having to deal with a big fall in overseas revenues because of the problems afflicting emerging markets. Three of those makets happen to be where the telecoms operator has a heavy presence: India, South Africa, Turkey. Other firms with a large exposure to emerging markets - such as Aberdeen Asset Management or Burberry - are also in the firing line today.
1109: On the basis of past relationships Monday´s UK PMI outcome was consistent with a 2 per cent rise in output from the sector, Samuel Tombs at Capital Economics says in reaction to the data. Nonetheless, he points out how the 'predictive power' of the survey had lessened of late. The rise in sterling may begin to weigh on sales overseas, but the easing of both credit constraints and the squeeze on households´ real pay should contribute to a revival in domestic demand for consumer and investment goods, he added.
0941: Markit´s Chief Economist believes today´s Eurozone manufacturing sector PMI reading takes pressure off the ECB to act. Citi reportedly expects the ECB to hold its fire until March.
0928: The Markit manufacturing sector purchasing managers´ index for the UK has come in at 56.7 for the month of January, versus a print of 57.3 for the month before. The consensus estimate was for an unchanged reading of 57.3. FTSE 100 down 12 to 6,498.
0909: Shares of Lloyds continue to be the worst performer this morning on the benchmark index. The lender announced that it expects to apply to the PRA, in the second half of the year, to restart its dividend payments at a "modest level". That came as a disappointment to analysts at Jefferies, who had factored in a 40 per cent pay-out for 2015. That expectation has now been left looking optimistic. A pay-out greater than 50 per cent is now not seen until 2018 at best.
0900: The 'final' Markit Eurozone manufacturing sector Purchasing Managers´ Index (PMI) for January has come in at 54, versus forecasts for a reading of 53.9. The individual readings for France and Germany came in ahead of estimates.
0851: Stocks have begun the session slightly higher despite the weak close to trading seen on Wall Street last Friday and last night´s drop in the Nikkei-225. Some market commentary is highlighting the fact that the Japanese equity benchmark has now formally entered into a correction. Lloyds is at the bottom of the pile following the release of a pre-close update, with some observers speculating over whether or not the lender will finally be able to announce a return to dividend payments alongside its annual results on February 13th. Randgold Resources is among the top performers today on the Footsie, after revealing a 5 per reduction in its cash costs over the quarter. Focus today will presumably be on the latest manufacturing sector surveys which are due to be released this morning in the Eurozone and later on in the day Stateside. FTSE 100 up 8 to 6,518.