1630: Close Stocks were ultimately little changed from their opening level, although came off the lows seen mid-morning, rising further after markets opened Stateside. There was a reasonable amount of macro news out in the UK today, including predictions from the ONS that gross domestic product will likely be revised up by 4.6% in September. In other news, industrial production expanded at a 0.4% month-on-month and 3% year-on-year pace in April, while Manufacturing output expanded by 0.4% during the month and 4.4% during the year. Meanwhile, in May UK food sales fell for the first time since 2008. The FTSE 100 closed down just 1.45 points at 6,873.55.
1452: SABMiller is almost 4% higher this afternoon after the Financial Times reported "rumours" regarding a potential takeover. The paper cited analysts at Santander who last week highlighted "growing market chatter" about the possibility of a merger between SABMiller and Belgian-Brazilian drinks giant Anheuser-Busch InBev. Santander believes that any offer would need to be at a premium of around 40%, which gives SABMiller an enterprise value of $140bn. The FTSE 100 has bounced off its lows and is now down just 15 points at 6,860.
1403: The markets are too complacent when it comes to Fed policy. Hence, as the US economy moves closer towards full employment and 2% inflation the discussion wil increasingly focus on the exact timing of the first increase in the Fed funds rate. "We believe that this is going to attract more attention in coming quarters and that there will be a further re-pricing of the US money market curve, as the market is too complacent currently when it comes to timing and pace of Fed rate hikes," write analysts at Danske Bank.
1346: The ECB´s Coeure remarks that no decision has been taken yet on ABS purchases but is preparing to do so.
1230: Three-month copper futures are down by 0.3% to the $6,667.5 per metric tonne mark.
0953: BT is now the worst performer on the blue-chip index in London on reports that BSkyB is launching a new channel focused on European football. The channel is said to be going live on August 12th.
0930: Industrial production expanded at a 0.4% month-on-month (3% year-on-year) pace in April according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The consensus estimate had been for an increase of 0.4% (2.8%). Manufacturing output expanded by 0.4% over the month (4.4% over the year), ahead of the 4.1% which the consensus had been expecting.
0915: Shares of BG Group have been downgraded to 'neutral' from 'outperform' at Exane.
0845: UK stocks have begun the day moving lower despite a slightly higher close on Wall Street overnight. The latest figure for China´s consumer price index (CPI) printed at a 2.5% pace for May, well above April´s reading of 1.8%, albeit just a tad above the 2.4% pace which had been expected. Defensives such as Reckitt Benckiser and Imperial Tobacco are in the lead on the Footsie, while BG Group and Old Mutual are doing worst. In like-for-like terms retail sales were 0.5% higher in May, the latest BRC survey results show. Industrial production data for that same month is due to be released at 09:30. FTSE 100 down 23 to 6,852.