1630: Close The FTSE 100 settled just slightly lower than its opening level as investors weighed corporate earnings and economic data with yesterday's strong gains. Data out today revealed that UK manufacturers are feeling their most optimistic since 1973. In other UK news, public sector net borrowing slipped to 6.7bn pounds in March, from 8.8bn pounds in the month before, according to the ONS. Markets are now awaiting earnings reports out from technology big players Facebook and Apple in the States. The FTSE ended the session down 7.02 points at 6,674.47.
16:15: Google has joined up with US solar-cells maker SunPower to create a 250m dollar
fund to buy residential rooftop solar systems. Google said the fund would also "make it easier for thousands of households across the U.S. to go solar". SunPower shares
were up 7.8% on the news, while Google's were down along with the rest of the tech sector. Over in London, the FTSE 100 looked poised to close slightly lower for the day.
1500: New US home sales fell in March by 14.5 per cent when compared with the previous month, to reach an annualised rate of 384,000, according to the Department of Commerce. The consensus estimate had been for a reading of 450,000.
1421: Some market commentary is referencing yesterday's close on the Dow Jones Transport Average at a new record high, although that has not been confirmed yet by a similar register on the part of the Dow Jones Industrials. According to the widely followed Dow Theory, simultaneous record closes in both indices are a fairly accurate signal that gains in the stock market have staying power. FTSE 100 down 6 to 6,675.
1330: Three-month copper futures are edging slightly higher, by 0.2 per cent, to the 6,635.50 dollar per metric tonne mark.
1302: Analysts at Barclays have upgraded their view on shares of Thomas Cook to 'overweight' from 'underweight'.
1159: Barclays may cut 7,500 posts at its investment banking unit, broker Bernstein says, Bloomberg is reporting.
1100: The CBI's total industrial orders trend index fell to a reading of -1 in April, after a reading of 6 for the month before (consensus: 7).
1038: Wolseley is making gains (up 1.6 per cent) after Credit Suisse upgraded the stock from 'neutral' to 'outperform', saying that it foresees substantial capital returns at the plumbing and building materials group. The bank said it sees the potential for 1,400p a share to be returned to shareholders over the next five years, equal to around 40 per cent of its market cap.
0930: UK public sector net borrowing slipped to 6.7bn pounds in March, from 8.8bn pounds in the month before (consensus: 11bn pounds). In parallel, the minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) last rate setting meeting showed that the decision to keep the current monetary policy settings unchanged was supported by the full majority of its members. FTSE 100 up 5 to 6,686.
0901: Ukraine's government says the Easter truce is over. It will act to eliminate pro-Russian militant groups in the east in the coming days, CNBC reports.
0837: UK stocks have begun the day moving slightly to the upside, led by gains in shares of Associated British Foods, with some market watchers referencing the company's plans to open new stores in the US as the main reason behind the move. Investors, clearly, are optimistic on the firm's expansion plans Stateside and over on the Continent. Time will tell if they are not too much so. Leading on the downside, albeit in an artificial manner, Antofagasta and several of the largest leading insurers have today gone ex-dividend. The latest MPC minutes will be released at 09:30, alongside the latest figures on government lending. At first glance, Chinese manufacturing data out overnight was in line with economists' forecasts. FTSE 100 up 10 to 6,691.