1630:Close It was a bad start to the week for UK stocks, which plunged on the back of concerns about the increasingly fraught situation in Ukraine. The impact on the City was clear, with every sector on the UK stock market either flat or registering losses as investors scaled back risk appetite. In macro news, UK PMI rose to 56.9 in February from 56.6 the month before, while the Eurozone PMI rose to 53.2 from 53 and the US Markit PMI climbed to 57.1 from 53.7. Elsewhere in the UK, retail sales dropped in February, down 0.9 per cent. The FTSE 100 ended the session 101.35 points lower at 6,708.35.
1500: US ISM manufacturing sector PMI prints at 53.2 in February after a reading of 51.3 in month before (consensus: 52.3).
1358: Markit's manufacturing sector Purchasing Managers' Index for the month of February rose to 57.1 from 53.7 in the month before, with the new orders gauge rising sharply, to 59.6 from 53.9 in January.
1330: US personal income and spending increased by 0.3% and 0.4% over the month, respectively, in January, more or less in line with expectations when revisions to the prior month's data are taken into account.
1246: The FTSE 100 is now trading 124.37 points lower at 6,685.33, reaching an intraday level not seen since February 17th, as investors continue to scale back risk appetite in the face of increasing geopolitical risk in Ukraine. Toby Morris, Senior Sales Trader at CMC Markets, said: 'This morning's 10 per cent slashing of the Russian Micex index goes to show just how concerned the financial world is, and on the current trajectory open conflict seems frighteningly close.' US stock futures are pointing to fall of around one per cent when Wall Street opens at 14:30.
1103: Shares of ITE Group are now leading falls on the FTSE 250 after Canaccord Genuity lowered its price target on the shares
to 263p from 315p. The company obtains eight per cent of group profit from Ukraine (not an issue for this fiscal year according to the broker) and 65 per cent from Russia. Bank of Georgia is also registering large losses. FTSE 100 down 113 to 6,697.
1010: Russia- and Ukraine-focused stocks are continuing to bear the brunt of the market sell-off today, with RusPetro, JKX Oil & Gas, Raven Russia all losing around 10 per cent each. Among the larger stocks, British American Tobacco and Bank of Georgia are also suffering losses due to their exposure. 'UK markets are littered with [...] casualties who either reside or have a presence in the region,' said Toby Morris, Senior Sales Trader at CMC Markets. The FTSE 100 is down 80.1 points at 6,729.60.
1008: "Combined with mixed economic activity data, an upward revision to the final January HICP and better than expected M3 growth, it provides plenty of ammunition to ECB hawks and the bank can justify staying on hold [...] a token step such as ending SMP sterilisation cannot be entirely excluded in the light of waning excess liquidity but the ECB might want to continue keeping that token step in its back pocket."
0928: Markit UK manufacturing sector PMI comes in at 56.9 versus 56.7 for the month before (consensus: 56.5). Mortgage approvals increased to 76,900, from 72,800.
0927: Reports citing Bloomberg say Ukrainian navy posts in Crimea have repelled troops.
0925: AstraZeneca has reportedly been downgraded to 'underperform' from
'neutral' at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
0858: The Eurozone's manufacturing sector PMI printed at 53.2 for February versus forecasts for a reading of 53 and after the 54 seen in January.
0850: Shares of companies with the greatest exposure to Russia, such as Ferrexpo, ITE Group and Evraz are now leading losers on the FTSE 250. On the Footsie ARM Holdings and miners such as Rio Tinto and Anglo American are doing worst. Precious metals miners are doing best. FTSE 100 down 89 to 6,721.
0832: International capital markets have begun the week notably lower, as traders finally begin to react to the worsening news-flow coming out of the Ukraine. Speaking on broadcast television US Secretary of State John Kerry used the word 'invasion' to refer to the situation on the Crimean peninsula. 'Safe-haven' is thus the watch-word this morning for traders. Gold futures are higher by almost 2 per cent at 1,347 dollars per ounce on Comex and Brent crude futures advancing by 1.8 per cent to 111.07 dollars per barrel on the ICE. The Russian equity benchmark MICEX has started the day lower by close to 10 per cent. Market reports seem to indicate that economic sanctions might be applied against the Russian Federation. FTSE 100 down by 84 points to 6,725.