1630:Close Stocks ended the session lower as analysts and traders continued to debate the pros and cons of the US Federal Reserve raising interest rates or not this evening. Losses were also to be seen in China and the Stoxx 600, although some national European benchmarks managed to close in the green. Nonetheless, should the Fed stay its hand that was seen as positive for equity markets heading into the final stretch of the year. Compass and GKN led on the upside on the back of positive broker comments. Smiths Group and Babcock on the other hand fell afoul of analysts. Out on the second tier index oil sevrices stocks bore the brunt of selling. UK retail sales volumes for September surprised slightly on the downside. FTSE 100 down 42.22 points to 6,186.99.
1600: OPEC is assuming the price of oil will rise gradually to $80 a barrel in 2020 as the rate of growth in oil supplies from outside the group weakens, with international oil quotes rising by $5 a year per barrel, according to an internal report from the cartel seen by Bloomberg News.
1500: The Philly Fed manufacturing index dropped to a reading of -6.0 - its least since February 2013 - in September, down from a reading of 8.3 in the month before (Consensus: 5.9).
1331: The US current account deficit narrowed in the second quarter, the Commerce Department said on Thursday.Official figures showed the deficit declined to a preliminary $109.7bn, amounting to 2.5% of the country's gross domestic product (GDP), in the second three months of 2015 from an upwardly revised $118.3bn, which represented 2.7% of the GDP in the first quarter.
1330: According to the Commerce Department, housing starts fell 3% last month to 1.13m, against expectations for a decline to 1.16m. Meanwhile, housing starts in July suffered a drastic downturn revision to show a 4.1% drop to 1.16m from the prior estimate of a 0.2% gain to 1.21m.However, despite the declines in July and August, housing starts remained 16.6% higher year-on-year.
1330: The number of unemployment benefits claimants in the US fell last week, figures released on Thursday showed. According to the Labor Department, new claims declined by 11,000 to 264,000 in the week to 12 September, to reach their lowest level since mid-July. Analysts had expected jobless claims to hold steady at 275,000.
1217: Tobacco stocks are again in favour. Acting as a backdrop, industry CEOs, R&D heads and regulatory experts among others are attending the Tobacco industry GTNF conference in Bologna these days.
1210: Perrigo has rejected Monday's offer from fellow NYSE-listed drug company Mylan. The Ireland-based group cited a "substantial" undervaluation and "troubling" corporate governance values.
1207: Following on from earlier updates on engineers and others in the oil services sector, Smiths Group has now fallen to the bottom of the pile on negative read-through from Rotork, which was highlighted by Exane among others.
1204: Shares of Babcock are lower after analysts at Exane pointed out that: "Recent anecdotes suggest that Babcock is seeking to compensate for a relative dearth of activity in core markets through expansion in higher- risk work. Though unlikely to become evident in the short-term, this does not bode well for the future."
1130: Greek unemployment has fallen by hefty 2% in three months, according to official figures released a few days before the country's general election. With 1.16m people unemployed, the jobless rate stood at 24.6% at the end of the second quarter, down from 26.6% in the first three months of the year and from the early 2014 peak of 27.8%. About 71.4% of the total have been out of work for at least 12 months.
1043: Ocado is bouncing back strongly this morning, thanks to upgrades from Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. "We view Ocado as a disruptive long-term winner in online grocery and prefer it to other UK listed food retailers," MS said.
1030: Among notable analyst opinions affecting the market this morning, Hunting has been under pressure as JPMorgan downgraded its shares
to 'underweight', which also added to Weir's woes.
0930: UK retail sales volumes rose by 0.2% on the month in August, as expected, although the previous month's tally was revised one tenth of a percentage point lower
0910: Economists remain split over the chances of a first US rate hike since the financial crisis. Of the 80 US and European economists polled by Reuters, 45 predicted the Federal Reserve will hold fire, while 35 put their reputation on a rate 'lift-off'.
0900: The biggest faller in the FTSE 350 is Rotork, after it warned order delivery delays would hit full year profits. Shares in the actuator valve maker were down around 16%. Premier Farnell is another big loser after half-year profits fell and it too warned about the full year.
0845: Stocks have started the morning moderately lower, as traders adopt a cautious approach ahead of tonight's US FOMC meeting. That may also explain why the Shanghai Composite Index ended the session 2.1% lower at 3,086.06 points. Tobacco stocks are wanted again. Some miners also attracted buying interest after an earthquake that hit Chile overnight saw LME traded copper futures gain by just over 1%. Front month Brent crude futures slipped 0.6% to hit $49.46 on the ICE.