1630: Close The FTSE fell 50 points on Monday, as investor sentiment was walloped by concerns over a potential government shutdown in the US, political chaos in Italy and disappointing economic figures from China. Cautious investors withdrew from typically riskier stocks such as miners and financials, while even gains from the likes of 'safe haven' utilities were minimal. To prevent a partial government shutdown in the US, a new spending bill must be approved by midnight tonight. Back on this side of the Atlantic, the expected rate of inflation over the next twelve months fell to 2.5 per cent in September from 2.6 per cent in the month before, while mortgage approvals for house purchases rose to the highest level in more than five years in August, data showed. The FTSE closed down 50.44 at 6,462.22.
1445: The Chicago NAPM regional manufacturing sector purchasing managers´ index has improved to 55.7 points from 53.0 in the month before (Consensus: 54.0).
1435: Analysts at JP Morgan have this morning upgraded their recommendations on Barratt Developments and Persimmon to overweight. Driving the call is the fact that their earnings per share estimates for 2014 and 2015 for those two companies are running 25 per cent ahead of the Bloomberg consensus of analysts´. Nevertheless, and in a related move, they have downgraded Bovis Homes to underweight "as a relative call (with -2 per cent downside to its target price). Taylor Wimpey remains their top pick in the sector. FTSE 100 down 50 to 6,463.
1304 "Our baseline case assumes an eventual resolution (to the threat of a US government shutdown) without permanent shocks to the economy. But in the past, this has been used as leverage to enact further deficit reduction, and there is a non-negligible risk that negotiations could go down to the wire due to political brinksmanship, causing short-term disruptions in financial markets," write analysts at Barclays Research.
1157: With less than seventeen hours to go before the US federal government is forced into a partial shutdown some analysts are still hopeful that it can be averted or at least limited to only a short episode. Over the weekend House Republicans approved a bill to renew funding until December 15th, but it would also delay implementation of the Affordable Care Act - President Obama´s landmark healthcare legislation. The US Senate - controlled by the Democrats - will convene on Monday evening, at 14:00PM, and is likely to reject the bill. FTSE 100 down 55 to 6,458.
1021: The FTSE 100 is down 44.79 at 6,467.87. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has said that the top-line recovery across the European banking sector should be the 'most striking' in the UK, helped by the ongoing improvement in the macro-economic picture. Analysts picked out Lloyds (rated 'buy') as one of the banks that should benefit from the economic recovery. Lloyds however is trading lower this morning, in line with the wider banking sector.
0930: UK net consumer credit rose by 600m pounds in August, in-line with market forecasts. The number of mortgages approved increased by 62,200 in that same month (Consensus: 61,500).
0821: UK stocks have begun the session comfortably lower, dragged down by the political uncertainty in Italy and the United States as well as the release of weaker than expected economic indicators overnight out of China (PMI) and Japan (industrial production figures). US Congressmen must avoid a partial government shutdown by midnight tonight. Meantime, ex-Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has threatened to pull his party from the current governing coalition. The latter will face a no-confidence vote this next Wednesday which may see the government collapse, although reports indicate that Berlusconi´s own party could be ripped apart as a result as well. The latest credit and mortgage landing data are due out at 09:30 today in the UK. Meantime, UK house prices rose by 0.5 per cent month-on-month in September, Hometrack has reported. The US Chicago NAPM survey is scheduled for release later in the day. FTSE 100 down 55 to 6,458.