1630: Close Continued concerns about the situation in Iraq, a worse the expected drop in US first quarter GDP and a broker downgrade for Meggitt all led to heavy losses on the FTSE 100 today, which at one point dropped to its lowest level since April. US GDP was revised sharply lower to a 2.9% contraction, marking its biggest decline since 2009, which has the potential to derail the Fed's tapering programme. In the latest from Iraq, Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has reportedly decided against the suggestion put forward by the US government to establish an emergency "national salvation" government. That came as the GfK consumer confidence indicator for Germany resumed its upward trend and beat consensus with a revised reading of 8.9. The FTSE ultimately closed down 53.45 points at 6,733.62.
1551: HSBC now sees the MPC hiking Bank Rate for the first time in this cycle in February 2015 instead of in quarter three of 2015.
1458: Iraq's Prime Minister is refusing to bend to appeals from the US and other nations to form a less sectarian government.
1330: The third estimate of US first-quarter GDP showed that the economy shrunk at a 2.9% annualised rate in the first quarter of 2014, well below the previous estimate of a 1% contraction. This was the biggest annual decline in GDP since early 2009 and well below analysts' expectations for a revision to -1.9%. It was also the biggest downward revision to the Commerce Department's second GDP estimate since records began in 1976, mainly due a bigger-than-expected slowdown in healthcare spending.
1145: The CBI Distributive Trades Survey has found a significant slowdown in retail sales momentum in June, after a strong showing in April and May. Economist Howard Archer of IHS said there could be wider implications from the retail data update. "With Mark Carney stressing that the Bank of England's decision on when to start raising interest rates will be data driven, the loss of momentum in retail sales reported by the CBI is likely to dampen expectations of any action before the end of 2014," he said.
1052: Stock in TSB Banking Group is retreating by 2.1% on its first day of unconditional trading.
1000: Etihad Airways has confirmed that it will purchase 49% of the shareholders' equity in rival Alitalia, although no further details of the transaction were provided.
0829: UK stocks have begun the session caught in the downdraft of losses overnight on Wall Street. Reports cite US intelligence as indicating that the Islamist radicals which just two weeks ago took over Mosul are now consolidating their hold over large swathes of the country. Furthermore, the US is said to be preparing sanctions against specific sectors of the Russian economy, such as energy and technology. Shire is doing best on the Footsie as analysts speculate on a revised take-over offer from Abbvie. Bunzl is at the bottom of the pile, despite having indicated that it is on track to meet its half-year targets. FTSE 100 down 28 to 6,759.