1630: Close The FTSE closed marginally higher on Thursday, led by BSkyB which surged after recording a strong rise in first-quarter revenues, followed closely by SABMiller, which gained after saying its first-half performance had been in line with expectations. In economic news, UK retail sales volumes grew by 0.6 per cent month-on-month in September, ahead of the 0.4 per cent rise which had been forecast. In the US stocks are looking mixed, with the Dow Jones down around 0.31 per cent, while the Nasdaq and S&P 500
are both modestly higher as investors reacted to an 11th-hour deal on Capitol Hill to increase the debt ceiling and reopen the US government. The FTSE 100 closed up 4.57 points at 6,576.16.
1543: Front month West Texas crude futures are lower by 1.34% to the 100.93 dollar
per barrel mark on the NYMEX.
1542: In certain circumstances - such as fast growth alongside unusually weak labour productivity - a first increase in the Bank Rate could materialise as soon as 2014.
1515: Blackrock Chairman Larry Fink told Bloomberg TV that they are now more worried about the situation in the US than before.
1500: The Philly Fed manufacturing sector index slipped to 19.8 in October, from 22.3 in the month before (Consensus: 15.0). The new orders sub-index, however, improved to 27.5 from 21.2. FTSE 100 down 12 points to 6,560.
1445: The President of the Federal Reserve bank of Dallas, Robert Fisher, says that it is best "to stay the course" on bond buying at the October FOMC meeting.
1424: Analysts at HSBC have raised their 2014 price forecast for copper to 7,750 dollars per metric ton from 7,250 dollars before. FTSE 100 down 19 to 6,553.
1330: Initial weekly unemployment claims fell by 15,000 in the seven days ended on October 12th, to reach 358,000 (Consensus: 335,000).
1315: Shares of Goldman Sachs are now off by 3 per cent after the Wall Street giant announced weaker than forecast quarterly revenues. FTSE 100 down 16 to 6,556.
1314: If the PRA adopts its proposals in full we believe the UK banks will need to have fully loaded equity tier 1 ratios of at least 13 per cent over time, analysts at Exane BNP have written this morning. "We estimate that a 13 per cent go-to equity tier 1 ratio would require the UK-listed banks to retain a further 100bn pounds of equity capital. This could delay dividend payments and depress return on tangible equity (RoTE) below investor expectations. Our relative conviction on Lloyds as the only UK bank that is likely to reach a 13 per cent fully loaded equity tier 1 ratio by 2015 on our estimates is strengthened," the broker goes on to explain.
1248: Chinese rating agency Dagong downgraded the United States's long-term credit rating to A- from A this morning and maintained a negative outlook on the country's sovereign debt rating. FTSE 100 down 8 to 6,564.
1015: British Gas owner Centrica has announced an average increase of 9.2 per cent in household energy prices. The move will add about two pounds a week to the average dual fuel bill. The group blamed increasing costs of buying energy in global markets, delivering gas and electricity to the home, and the government's social and environmental programmes, which are paid for through customers' bills. Shares in the FTSE 100 group climbed 0.51 per cent to 367.27p. The FTSE is down 18 points at 6,554.
0930: UK retail sales volumes grew by 0.6 per cent month-on-month in September, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) says. That came in ahead of the 0.4 per cent rise which had been forecast. The previous month's gain was revised lower to show a drop of 0.8 per cent, instead of the 0.9 per cent fall initially thought.
0920: The US dollar index is moving lower as market participants re-price the prospects for Fed tapering. FTSE 100 down 30 to 6,542.
0832: UK stocks began the session moving modestly lower but are now recovering, with Diageo and BskyB in the lead on the Footsie following their latest quarterly figures. Overnight the US Congress reached a temporary solution to the current debt impasse, although it remains to be seen how investors react to the apparently scant progress which has been made Stateside. Asian equity indices were generally higher this morning, with the only exception of the Shanghai benchmark. UK retail sales data is due out at 09:30, with the consensus looking for a 0.4 per cent month-on-month gain. At least four Fed speakers are scheduled to make appearances this afternoon. Google and IBM dropped in after-hours trading after the release of their latest quarterly results. FTSE 100 down 3 to 6,568.