1630:Close UK stocks ended the session modestly higher following what was interpreted as a 'dovish' speech from Fed Chair Janet Yellen overnight. Rolls Royce led gains on prospects for a £1bn share repurchase program. UK home-builders were also on the up, bouncing back from recent weakness. Speeches from at least two MPC members today - Miles and Haldane - seemed be on the moderately-aggressive side of things, which may have lent that sector some support. FTSE 100 up 30 to 6,808.
1500: The Federal Reserve bank of Philadelphia's regional manufacturing gauge for the month of June rose to 17.8 from 15.4 in the month before (consensus: 14).
1537: Vodafone shares
are being hit by reports its entire Australian network went down for several hours. Calls, SMS and data services were all affected, according to ITN. The FTSE 100 is 48.45 higher at 6,827.01.
1346: Cable is now 0.18% higher at 1.70288, after having earlier reached an intra-day high at 1.7037. The 1.7050 mark is seen as an important short-term area of technical resistance.
1335: This came as data showed that initial weekly jobless claims fell by a better-than-expected 6,000 to 312,000 in the week ended June 14th, down from a revised 318,000 (initial estimate: 317,000) the prior week and below the consensus estimate of 314,000. This was close to a seven-year low.
1315: US stock futures are broadly flat with indices set to pause for breath after the S&P 500
reached another all-time high on Wednesday, its 20th record close of the year so far. Investors are awaiting economic data due out in 15 minutes which is expected to show that jobless claims fell to 314,000 last week, from 317,000 the week before.
1100: The CBI's total orders trends index jumped to a reading of 11 for June from 0 in the month before (consensus: 2).
1032: UK gross mortgage lending held steady in May and was an estimated £16.5bn, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, dentical to April's gross lending total and 12% higher than the £14.8bn in May last year.
0945: Lloyds to sell 35% stake in TSB, up from the 25% which had been expected, Reuters reports. The pricing of the offer is expected either this evening or tomorrow. FT, citing its own sources, says the order book is well covered at the mid-point of indicative range.
0940: Conflicting reports regarding who has control of the Baiji refinery.
0930: UK May retail sales decline 0.5%, matching median estimate
0900: Stocks have started the day moving firmly higher following the latest FOMC policy decision overnight, which market commentary is generally typifying as 'dovish'. Shares in Rolls Royce are in the lead on the Footsie after the company pledged to buy back £1bn of shares if it succeeds in selling its energy gas turbine and compressor business to Germany's Siemens. A motley assortment of construction related stocks and financials are rising alongside it. Credit Suisse has downgraded BG Group to 'underperform'. As regards the latest news out of Iraq, some reports indicate that Baghdad has managed to retake full control of the Baiji refinery. Meanwhile, US President Obama has signaled the White House's discontent with Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki's role in fanning sectarian tensions. UK retail sales are figures are due out at 09:30. FTSE 100 up 49 to 6,828.