1630:Close The FTSE retreated 38 points into the red today, having climbed almost 1.5 per cent the previous day. Vodafone led the way lower, pulling back after a strong rise over the last few days. Late last night it reached an agreement to sell its 45 per cent stake in US outfit Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications in a transaction valued at 130bn dollars. In UK economic news, Britain's growth prospects for this year have been upgraded by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, while construction activity rose sharply in August. The FTSE closed at 6,468.
1624: Speaking this afternoon US President Barack Obama indicated that he is serious in seeking authorisation from Congress for missile strikes against targets in Syria.
1500: The US ISM manufacturing sector index for the month of August has risen to the 55.7 point mark from 55.4 in the month before (Consensus: 54.0). The new orders subindex rose to the 63.2 level from 58.3 in the month before.
1412: New Zealand-focused oil and gas firm Kea Petroleum is now of the biggest fallers on AIM after announcing that it has opted not to renew its permit for the Angus field. The company has also announced a strategic review, in part due to the difficulties which small-sized explorers are finding to access capital markets. Rival Edge Resources, on the other hand, is seeing sharp gains after unveiling its first quarter results and unveiling a debt restructuring. Other big movers today on the same market include SolGold and Scancell Holdings. FTSE 100 down 6 to 6,500.
1400: The Markit US purchasing managers' index for the month of August fell to 53.1 points from 53.7 in the month before. However, both the new orders and employment subindices edged slightly higher.
1139: Israel has carried out a joint missile test with the US, Reuters reported earlier. That has been confirmed by Israel's Defence Ministry, according to The Associated Press, although the US Navy has reportedly issued a statement denying that any missile has been fired from any of its vessels in the Mediterranean.
1057: Shares of Associated British Foods are now moving higher on the Footsie after analysts at BNP Paribas raised their price target on the shares
to 2,400p from 1,728p on the basis that the current European sugar market regulation that stifles competition will end in September 2017. Out on the FTSE 250 TalkTalk is doing well after JP Morgan upped its stance on the shares to overweight from neutral. FTSE 100 down 18 to 6,488.
1002: Russia's Defence Ministry says that it detected two ballistic objects fired towards the Eastern Mediteranean, Thomson Reuters reports. FTSE 100 down 31 to 6,475.
0930: The UK Markit construction sector purchasing managers' index rose to 59.1 in August, up from 57.0 in July (Consensus: 58.3).
0845: UK stocks have begun the day slightly higher, despite an initial fall in Vodafone's share price after the company confirmed that it will sell its US wireless unit. Sell-side analysts seem generally positive on the deal, although there is a bit of "market chatter" regarding possible negative aspects regarding tax issues, a possible "over-hang" in Verizon Wireless stock and longer-term strategic questions. In fact, some now believe Vodafone could turn into a take-over target, supporting the share price. UK REITs are off following negative research out of Deutsche Bank. Centrica, on the other hand, has been upgraded to buy from hold at that same broker. Nevertheless, and as an overarching theme, the merger and acquisitions related news-flow has definitely picked up. Nokia shares are rocketing 45 per cent higher after Microsoft offered 7bn dollars for the Finnish company's mobile business. In Spain, the country's economics minister has confirmed possible foreign interest in some regional partially state-owned lenders, such as Nova Caixa Galicia and Catalunya Banc. FTSE 100 up 9 to 6,516.