1630:Close Blue chips recovered from a sharp dip earlier this afternoon to close in modestly positive territory, although concerns about Iraq continued to weigh, with investors also turning their attention to the latest FOMC meeting. In the US, CPI rose 0.4% month-on-month, beating expectations of 0.2%, but housing starts disappointed with an annualised rate of 1.001m. UK CPI fell sharply in May to a 1.5% year-on-year pace from 1.8% in the previous month. The FTSE 100 ended the day 12.13 points higher at 6,766.77.
1444: Following today´s CPI print tomorrow the Fed will have to acknowledge in its policy statement that price pressures are building. The chances that it will hike interest rates before the middle of next year are increasing, Capital Economics´ Paul Dales says.
1342: Supermarket Morrison is planning to cut 2,600 jobs amid changes to its management structure, the FTSE 100 group has confirmed.
1332: TSB has lifted the price range for its upcoming flotation to between 250p and 270p per share, valuing the challenger bank at 1.3bn pounds or more, according to sources familiar with the matter cited by Reuters. One source said the sale was "well-oversubscribed" within that range, the news agency reported.
1331: US housing starts grew at an annualised pace of 1.001m in May, down from the 1.072m seen in April (consensus: 1.03m).
1330: Consumer prices in the US edged higher in May, rising by 0.4% month-on-month (consensus: 0.2%). The core rate of inflation increased to a 2% pace, versus 1.8% in the month before (consensus: 1.9%).
1326: In the BoE´s anual report, published on the same day in which the Financial Policy Committee is due to meet Governor Carney states that: "We will not hesitate to take further proportionate and graduated action as warranted".
12:28 UK's Office for National Statistics says UK house prices increased by 9.9% in the year to April 2014, up from 8% in the year to March 2014.
1142: Goldman Sachs reportedly sees a chance of between 30% and 40% that CPI could end this year below 1%. FTSE 100 flat at 6,754.
1130: Morrisons is to axe 2,000 senior jobs at a managers meeting today at 11.45am, according to the Sun.
1051: Shares of Ashtead are now leading falls on the Footsie as the shares
come off as many high flyers have been doing recently, with the strength of sterling and the potential early rise in the interest rates perhaps dragging. Broker Investec thinks that "some may be disappointed there is no real consensus shift" following the company´s fiscal year results. Even so, analyst Andrew Gibb has reiterated his 'buy' rating on the stock and 1,100p EV/EBITDA-based target price. He adds that "key risks centre on the wider macroeconomic outlook". At present the 200-day moving average for Ashtead comes in towards 798p.
1027: For his part, Samuel Tombs, UK economist at Capital Economics, points out that: "Looking ahead, it continues to look likely that CPI inflation will ease further, perhaps to as low as 1% by the end of the year".
1015: Commenting on today´s CPI data Chris Williamson, Chief Economist at Markit is saying that: "The divergent data will further complicate the discussion about the appropriate timing of the first increase in interest rates from their current record low [...] Our expectation, however, is that wage growth is picking up, and that more MPC members will consequently join the call for a tightening of policy in coming months, with the first rise in interest rates most likely coming in November."
1000: The German ZEW institute´s gauge for economic confidence slipped to a reading of 29.8 from 33.1 in the month before (consensus: 35).
0930: The UK consumer price index (CPI) fell sharply in May, with the rate of advance in prices slowing to a 1.5% year-on-year pace from 1.8% in the previous month, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
0855: Berenberg has initiated coverage today of the Aerospace&Defence sector. "As we go to print, the evolving geopolitical situation in Iraq and other recent developments such as the Emirates order cancellation are disproportionately affecting sentiment. Clearly, sector valuations could be at risk if the macro situation deteriorates," the broker says.
0845: LSE is its prefered diversified financial, Morgan Stanley says. The broker has an overweight recommendation on the shares and 2,280p target price.
0837: UK stocks have started the day slightly higher, led by gains in Shire and Whitbread. The pharmaceuticals group has hired Citi as it prepares itself for possible takeover offers, Reuters reports. Whitbread was upgraded to 'hold' versus 'sell' at Investec following its latest first quarter update. AstraZeneca has taken on Centerview Partners to advise it on potential deals, acording to The Wall Street Journal Europe. Miners are clearly the weakest sector in the early going. Easyjet and IAG are bouncing back after recent weakness. CPI data is due for release at 09:30. The German ZEW institute will release its latest economic confidence survey results at 10:00. FTSE 100 up 9 to 6,763.09.