1645:The FTSE was up 0.69 per cent to 6435.23 points following a slate of upbeat economic data Europe and the US. The preliminary Eurozone composite PMI, which measures activity in the manufacturing and services sectors, rose from 50.5 to 51.7 in August, the largest expansion in the last 26 months. Analysts were expecting a smaller riser to 50.9. In the US, manufacturing activity also grew to 53.9 in August from 53.7 in July. Jobless claims in the world's largest economy fell to a five-month low. The data comes as the Federal Reserve weighs when to start trimming bond purchases against indicators of economic improvement.
1615:Markit said US manufacturing activity hit a five-month high in August as hiring picked up and new orders increased at their fastest pace since January.
The manufacturing PMI grew to 53.9 from 53.7 in July. A reading above 50 signals expansion.
1530: The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index (LEI) for the US rose 0.6 per cent in July to 96.0 following no change in June, and a 0.3 per cent increase in May. It beat economists' forecasts for a 0.5 per cent jump.
1437: Shares of Tate and Lyle are now lower after having slipped below support at around 822p. Of interest, analysts at Sucden Financial have written today regarding how weakness in the dollar
and rupee have been pressuring sugar prices. Engineering services outfit Carillion continues to trade at the bottom of the FTSE 250 following its interim results. SolGold stock is now up by 94.51 per cent after announcing it received environmental approval from the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment to begin drilling at the Cascabel copper gold project in Ecuador. FTSE 100 up 64 to 6,455.
1342: Speaking to The Wall Street Journal the President of the Federal Reserve bank of Boston, Eric Rosengren, has said that any tapering by the central bank ought to be 'limited.' FTSE 100 up 62 to 6,453.
1330: US initial jobless claims rose by 13,000 to 336,000 in the week to to August 10th (Barclays: 330,000), compared to the previous week's revised 335,000. The Labour Department said the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 per cent for the week ending August 3rd from the prior week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment in the same week was 2.96m, down from the preceding week's revised 3.02m. The data may pressure stocks, as it gives the Federal Reserve an excuse to begin its planned tapering of quantitative easing, or so goes the thinking. Having said that, in parallel the four week moving average dropped to its lowest since November 2007.
1300: UK car manufacturing grew 7 per cent in July to 128, 873 units, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Year-to-date volumes were up 1.9 per cent to 893,263, signalling expansion in the sector as the economy improves.However, the production of commercial vehicles including vans plunged 11.5% year-on-year last month to 7,942 units.
1200: More on the Eurozone manufacturing and services industries data released by Markit this morning. The composite purchasing managers' index (PMI), which includes manufacturing and services, rose to 51.7 points, from 50.5 in July. Services jumped to 51 this month from 49.8 last month while manufacturing grew to 51.0 from 49.8. A reading above 50.0 signals expansion. Growth was led by German manufacturing which climbed to 52.0 from 50.7 in July. Services in Europe's largest economy jumped to 52.4, beating the 51.7 estimate. However, France contracted, falling to 47.9 from 49.1. The manufacturing sector's index held steady at 49.7 while services tumbled to 47.7 from 8.6.
1105: On the subject of recent volatility in emerging markets and US Treasuries this is what Stephen Jen, co-founder of hedge fund SLJ Macro Partners in London (and ex-Morgan Stanley FX strategist) is telling The Wall Street Jorunal: "How much further can these sell-offs run? Whatever you think is reasonable, double it. These things always overshoot [...] the timing of the taper doesn't matter. People are debating September, October or December [...] give me a break. The economy is turning. Developed-market economies are bottoming out. The monetary policy we have is no longer appropriate, and there will be a gradual shift over time." FTSE 100 up 54 to 6,445.
1100: A number of the UK's biggest banks are to pay compensation to some seven million customers after mis-selling credit card and ID theft insurance cover. Customers will receive up to 300 pounds each, with the total bill coming to 1.3bn. In other news, UK car manufacturing grew seven per cent in July to 128,873 units, according to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. The FTSE is up 51 points at 6,442.
0947: Worth noting with respect to today's Markit survey data, Chief Economist Chris Williamson points out that: "A big question mark still hangs over France‟s ability to return to sustained growth. Although the French PMI is well above the lows seen earlier in the year, August saw a slight steepening in the rate of contraction, notably in services - which points to lacklustre domestic demand."
0945: Stocks are continuing to move higher, compensating for yesterday's losses after the latest Eurozone purchasing managers' data came in ahead of expectations. The Composite Eurozone PMI printed at 51.7 for August, versus consensus estimates for a reading of 50.9. Much better than expected Chinese manufacturing survey data out after the close has also given stocks a leg up. US and German long-term bond yields are moving higher again this morning. Headlines seem to be emphasising that the US FOMC was broadly comfortable with a start to tapering before year-end. However, at first glance there was a fair bit of talk at that meeting regarding the existence of downside risks. FTSE 100 up 55 to 6,446.
0914: China Resources Enterprise, the state-backed retail and beer conglomerate, said it may partner with Tesco Plc to bid for billionaire Li Ka-shing's Hong Kong supermarket chain ParknShop, Bloomberg is reporting.
0825: The FTSE has gotten the day off to a good start, led by Wolseley after it yesterday received an upgrade from Deutsche Bank to 'buy'. Persimmon was also making strong gains, having earlier in the week posted a 40 per cent leap in underlying pre-tax profits, while engineer IMI impressed investors with its outlook for the remainder of 2013, which it predicted would see 'good progress'. However, it is by no means all good news, with gains set to be limited by an underwhelming set of policy-meeting minutes from the Federal Reserve released last night. The FTSE is up 26 points at 6,416.