1630: Close The FTSE finished the session pretty much where it started, as investors digested news of the first partial government shutdown in Washington in 17 years. The declines were modest after the event had been largely priced in the prior day, which saw the FTSE close at a one-month low. Miners were taking a knock today, hit by unimpressive Chinese PMI. Back in the UK, manufacturing activity eased in September to miss consensus, while banks may be forced to boost their capital levels higher than international rivals under the BoE's proposal for an annual stress test of lenders, it was revealed. The FTSE closed down 2.21 points at 6,460.01.
1543: "The anticipated unwinding of US quantitative easing and expectations of improving but unspectacular economic growth leave little room for a rebound in gold prices
over the next few years, while a further decline remains a real possibility," Fitch Ratings says in a note published today. Gold futures are now falling by 2.94 per cent to 1,288 dollars per ounce.
1541: Shares of Rolls-Royce Holdings are gaining following positive comments out of Bank of America. The broker believes the aircraft-engine maker's share price is attractive. In parallel some market commentary is attributing the selling pressure in shares
of SABMiller to a South African workers' union threat to continue strike action indefinitely until wages are increased by 9 per cent.
1540: The Footsie continues to trade in the red, lagging the main European
indices and Wall Street as Unilever and precious metals mining stocks weigh.
1500: The US ISM manufacturing sector purchasing managers´ index
for the month of September has come in at 56.2, ahead of last month´s reading of 55.7 and the consensus estimate of 55.2. FTSE 100 down 21 to 6,441.
1452: Worth keeping tabs on perhaps, shares of British Petroleum are now near technical support at 431p. If lost then the 414p area could be next, say technical analysts at Sharecast. The latter of those two levels is where the stock price may meet its upwards sloping trendline. The weekly RSI has still to reach oversold levels however, robbing the shares of that element of support - although perhaps only for the time being.
1427: Commenting on today´s question and answer session with the Chief Executive of Nestle - a member of Unilever´s peer group - Andreas Von Arx, from Helvea Equity Research, says that the company may have missed an opportunity to manage expectations (although their IR department is selectively sending the message of challenging markets). Nevertheless, the slowdown in emergng markets began to be felt at the company a year ago, he points out. "Overall question marks will remain on the sector on Emerging market outlook. Given above historical average valuations, would see a sideways development of the sector and its market share leader," he adds.
1401: Data on US construction spending originally scheduled for today, at 15:00, will finally not be released because of the federal government shutdown. If matters are not resolved by October 4th then neither will the monthly non-farm payrolls report which is due out on that date. FTSE 100 down 24 to 6,438.
1129: Nestle outlook comments at its investor event today will now be a focus, Nomura adds. Exposure for the likes of Reckitt Benckiser (another one of today´s biggest fallers on the Footsie), Beiersdorf & L´Oreal is also likely to weigh. Danone´s guidance for circa 5% growth in the third quarter, on the other hand, looks more reassured, they go on to write.
1128: Analysts at Credit Suisse have reportedly added Prudential to their European focus list.
1126: Overnight consumer goods giant Unilever surprised markets by forecasting an organic growth rate in overall sales of between 3.0 per cent-3.5 per cent, for its third quarter, due to the slowdown in emerging markets. Analysts at Nomura had been expecting a rate of expansion of 6 per cent. As well, growth in developed markets was characterised as flattish. On the basis of the above the broker calculates that revenues from emerging markets clocked in at about 6.2 per cent, instead of the 10.3 per cent pace seen in the first six months of the year. This will weigh on expectations for fiscal year 2013 sales progression and corresponding margin development. For that reason they have cut their price target on the shares by 6 per cent to 32.25 euros. FTSE 100 down 14 to 6,448.
1057: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced plans to draw up a $51bn stimulus program which includes tax reductions. FTSE 100 down 13 to 6,450.
0930: The Markit/CIPS manufacturing sector purchasing managers´ index for the month of September fell back to 56.7 points from 57.1 in the month before (Consensus: 57.3).
0838: UK stocks have begun the session with slight falls, led by shares of Unilever following the unexpected trading statement put out by the company after the close of trading on Monday. Sentiment in Reckitt Benckiser, Diageo and SAB Miller also seems to have been hurt as a result. Nevertheless, the fact is that overall markets´ reaction to the start last night of the US federal government´s shutdown has been quite muted. It would seem that some traders are still "banking" on the possibility of only a short such episode taking place. Eurozone and UK manufacturing sector purchasing managers´ indices (PMIs) are due out later this morning. The US ISM manufacturing sector survey data is due out this afternoon. FTSE 100 down 3 to 6,459.07.