1630: Close The FTSE closed down on Wednesday, dragged lower by both Barclays and BG Group, offsetting gains resulting from economic data in Asia. BG plunged after cutting back production guidance as a result of a number of delays to project start-ups, while Barclays revealed new "legal and regulatory matters" including two new probes in the US. In other news, consultancy GfK´s gauge of consumer confidence for October has fallen to -30 points, from -28, its lowest level since April. US markets have re-opened today following Hurricane Sandy's destructive land fall on the country's east coast. As an aside, the FT comments today on how the weather conditions in the US could conceivably affect the elections, favouring Romney, although a display of good leadership could benefit Obama. The FTSE closed 67 points at 5,783.
1445: German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble says Eurogroup unlikely to receive Troika report before November 11th or 12th. There are many difficult questions left to answer on Greece. FTSE 100 down 39 to 5,810.
1443: Greece´s two main unions have just called for a two day strike. The Eurogroup´s teleconference has ended. FTSE 100 down 35 to 5,815.
1430: This is what analysts at Investec are saying about Standard Life: "(...) However, we believe there are plenty of reasons for remaining positive about the stock: for example, it has one of the most RDR-ready business models in our universe because it stopped paying commission when it floated in 2006. Its relationship with IFAs and other sales channels has thus been differentiated from much of its UK competition." Analysts over at Panmure were of a similar mind and chimed in saying: "Standard Life represents an attractive defensive play within the sector, looks set to benefit from RDR and Auto enrolment and yet is trading at a very attractive valuation and a dividend yield of 5.1%. Buy."
1348: Glencore has reportedly offered to end zinc agreement with Nyrstar in a bid to obtain European Union approval for its merger with Xstrata.
1345: NAPM Chicago regional manufacturing index for the month of October has come in at 49.9, versus last month´s reading of 49.7 (Consensus: 51). The new orders subindex however actually moved up, to 50.6 from 47.4 in September. Shares of Apple, which are now at their so-called 200 day moving average, are weighing on ... everything (an exaggeration of course). Also worth mention, today is the lock-up expiry on Facebook.
1331: A UK government document setting out the mid-term aims of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's coalition with Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats has been delayed to January, a person familiar with the matter has told Bloomberg. FTSE 100 down 14 to 5,837.
Noon: Pharmaceuticals giant Glaxo's third quarter earnings per share totalled 26.5p, down 13 per cent year-on-year or 11 per cent on a constant exchange rates
basis. FTSE 100 is down 7 at 9,842.
1000: The Eurozone´s unemployment rate rose to 11.6 per cent in September, one tenth of a percentage point above the revised rate of 11.5% for the previous month, setting a new record. The consensus estimate had been for a reading of 11.5 per cent. The Eurozone´s consumer price index (CPI) has come down to 2.5 per cent year-on-year in October, versus 2.6 per cent before. FTSE 100 down 3 to 5,847.
0942: This is what analysts at Seymour Pierce have to say on the subject of BG: "The company currently has an asset divestment programme that remains ongoing to reduce their net debt exposure; this would suggest that the disposal of their Australian LNG interest was forced upon them rather than a strategic decision." FTSE 100 up 1 to 5,850.
0938: Bank of America has taken the knife to its target price for Severn Trent, lowering their price target on its shares
to 1540p from 1760p. Medusa Mining is a big mover in the mining space this morning. Amongst the smallest (and volatile) of the minnows, Caza Oil&Gas may raise some eye-brows as it approaches technical resistance levels.
0925: Third quarter figures from energy firm BG Group passed muster but the market took fright at production guidance. Earnings per share in the third quarter rose to 35 cents from 30.1 cents, with the one-sixth increase largely driven by a 13 per cent rise in Exploration & Production profit and a strong performance by the liquefied natural gas business, where operating profit was up by 24 per cent. Production growth was held back by the previously announced shut-down of the non-operated Elgin/Franklin field and the group's earlier decision to scale back drilling in the USA due to low natural gas prices. As a result of these factors, along with the deferral of the Jasmine start-up to 2013, production in 2012 is expected to be around three per cent higher than 2011, while 2013 output should be about on a par with 2012. Footsie is up 1 at 5,851.
0924: Shares of BG are plummeting after saying it sees no production growth in 2013.
0915: IAG is now leading gains on the top share index, on positive read-across from the latest operating profit figures out this morning from rivals Deutsche Lufthansa and Air France.
0856: The Footsie is barely changed, with traders sitting on their hands ahead of the resumption of trading on Wall Street this afternoon. US equity markets have been closed this week because of Hurricane Sandy. Copper miner Antofagasta is firmer after its third quarter production report while BP is bouyant on further study of yesterday's results. Fashion chain Next is left of the shelf, however, after it reported volatile trading in the third quarter. FTSE 100 is down 1 at 5,849.
0850: Interesting observation from analysts at Credit Suisse on Barclays: "Cautious outlook statement pointing to (...) The group reiterated commitment to a universal banking model. We note in the legal section the bank comments there could be a release by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today on energy trading investigations." FTSE 100 up 10 to 5,860.
0815: Barclays leads the Footsie lower after its third quarter trading statement revealed that it is to be the subject of two more investigations over possible breaches of regulations. The company said that it had been informed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that they are undertaking an investigation into whether Barclays' relationships with third parties who assist the bank to win or retain business are compliant with the United States Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Meanwhile, the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Office of Enforcement (FERC Staff) has been investigating Barclays power trading in the western US with respect to the period from late 2006 through 2008. Elsewhere in the financial sector, life assurance firm Standard Life is heading higher after it said assets under management are at record levels. Consultancy GfK´s gauge of consumer confidence for the month of October has fallen to -30 points, from -28, its lowest level since April. The consensus estimate had been for an unchanged reading. FTSE 100 is down 10 at 5,840.