1630:Close The FTSE 100 closed 31.62 points higher at 6,654.2 today, its highest level since August 1st. The index extended the recent rally into its eighth straight day, managing to offset some heavy falls from RBS. The UK lender dropped nearly five per cent after Chancellor George Osborne was quoted as saying that a decision over a 'good bank-bad bank' split will come within a few weeks. David Jones, Chief Market Strategist at IG, said: 'It feels like a few years since this phrase has been used so today's weakness could well just be a short-term, knee-jerk reaction until plans are clearer for the bank's future.' Leading the upside were the defence stocks with QinetiQ performing well on M&A rumours, Senior rising after a decent trading update, and BAE and Rolls-Royce benefiting from upbeat comments out of Citi.
1500: Existing home sales in the United States fell by 1.9 per cent month-on-month in September, to reach an annualised rate of 5.29m, just below the 5.30m forecast. The previous month's estimate was revised lower, to show a reading of 5.39m, instead of the 5.48m initially estimated.
1419: Speaking on CNBC the President of the Federal Reserve bank of Chicago, Charles Evans, has indicated that it will probably take "a few" months before the Fed can ascertain that the economy is strong enough to warrant the central bank starting to taper its purchases of fixed income securities. FTSE 100 up 13 to 6,636.
1418: AT and T has agreed to sell or lease 9,700 wireless towers to Crown Castle International for 4.85bn dollars, which may be used to finance a European expansion, some market commentary is suggesting.
1341: In a note put out this morning, on the subject of the reports surrounding a hypothetical break-up of Royal bank of Scotland, Shore Capital told clients: "it [is] understood that any break-up may need approval from minority investors, giving them the chance to block any proposal that damaged their interests. We continue to believe that any good bank/bad bank split will not prove onerous for minority shareholders". FTSE 100 up 10 to 6,633.
1252: London-based Charterhouse approached banks and its investors over financing a possible 1bn pound deal to buy G4S' cash-solutions business unit, according to three people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the talks are private, Bloomberg is reporting.
1212: The FTSE 100 is up 8.81 points at 6,631.39 - it has not closed above this level since August 2nd, when it finished the session at 6,647.87. QinetiQ, the defence technology and security firm, is leading gains on the FTSE 350 after weekend reports that it is putting its US division up for sale. BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce are rising after analysts at Citigroup said that they have a "positive outlook" on civil aerospace due to a ramp-up of new aircraft production and rising production of legacy aircraft.
1049: A little more colour on that Nomura note on RBS: The broker comments that: "due to the legal uncertainties and the large settlements discussed by the press (in relation with mortgage securities in Connecticut), we see this as a material tail risk to the group." FTSE 100 up 13 to 6,636.
1048: Nomura has maintained its 'reduce' rating for part-nationalised lender Royal Bank of Scotland, saying that talks over a split-up and large settlements highlight the risks the company faces ahead of its third-quarter results on November 1st.
1025: West Texas crude futures are now moving lower by 0.68 per cent to stand at 100.08 dollars/barrel on the NYMEX. Market commentary out over the weekend has described the on-going nuclear negotiations with Iran as moderately positive. Also worth noting, figures out overnight showed Chinese import shipments of copper rose by 18 per cent in September, to reach 347,305 metric tons. FTSE 100 up 12 to 6,634.06.
0841: The Footsie has begun the day trading slightly higher, led by gains in G4S and BAE Systems. Acting as a backdrop, UK home prices rose by 2.8 per cent month on month in October, property website Rightmove said last night. Also worth pointing out, in an interview with SkyNews, yesterday, Monetary Policy Committee member Ben Broadbent said that the primary objective remains low inflation, the Bank wants to ensure that the recovery does not get choked off by a premature rate hike. FTSE 100 up 2.31 to 6,624.89.