1630: Close UK stocks eased back from earlier losses to end today's session only just in the red, amid concerns over Ukraine, banking woes, and poor UK retail sales data. Geopolitical tensions were ongoing today after Ukraine boosted its defence forces ahead of a meeting between its Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and US President Barack Obama taking place tomorrow. In other macro news, British retail sales went into reverse last month, casting fresh doubt over consumers' ability to keep driving the economic recovery. Meanwhile, UK industrial production expanded by 0.1 per cent month-on-month during January. The FTSE 100 closed down 3.93 points at 6,685.52.
1610: There is apparently some speculation doing the rounds that WM Morrison might merge with Co-op's retail arm.
1543: Copper futures are down by 2.79 per cent to 294.7 dollars per pound on COMEX.
1356: British American Tobacco is trading more or less flat after a strong performance yesterday following suggestions by Citigroup yesterday that the company would benefit from acquiring the 58 per cent of smaller peer Reynolds American that it doesn't already own. 'Strategically, it would give BAT total freedom to deploy [Reynolds'] IP on e-cigs and heat-not-burn wherever it wanted to globally'.
1248: Shares of Barclays are the largest percentage faller now on the Footsie, after yesterday having lost a level of technical support at around 247p. Today they are also trading below the 50 per cent Fibonacci retracement line which is near the 243p mark, although they are now comfortably in 'oversold' territory. FTSE 100 down 8 to 6,681.
1131: Tesco, Asda and Morrisons all recorded declines in their markets share during the 12 weeks ended on March 2nd, with Tesco and Morrisons also seeing a drop in actual sales, according to the latest survey data from Kantar Worldpanel.
1022: Shares of Old Mutual are moving slightly lower despite the decision by analysts at Goldman Sachs to nudge their price target on the stock higher, to 224p from 220p. The broker believes that the decision to float a minority of its US asset management business later in 2014, subject to market conditions, could help to crystalize additional value. FTSE 100 down 27 to 6,663.
1021: In remarks before the Treasury Select Committee Carney says long-term equilibrium size of balance sheet, when normal conditions return, will be well above levels prior to crisis.
0930: UK industrial production expanded by 2.9 per cent year-on-year during the month of January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Manufacturing output grew by 3.3% over that same time frame. Both figures were in line with analysts' expectations.
0913: UK stocks are trading slightly lower ahead of this morning's industrial production figures and in the wake of yesterday's small dip on Wall Street. Aviva is again in the lead early on, following price target upgrades out of RBC Capital and Nomura. Market commentary on Rolls Royce is somewhat mixed as analysts weigh in on the implications of the purchase of the 50 per cent stake in its Power Systems unit which was controlled by Daimler. Johnson Matthey has been downgraded by analysts at Liberum to 'hold' from 'buy'. FTSE 100 down 10 to 6,679.