1630: Close London-listed stocks ended the day higher following a relatively steady morning of gains and a slight dip mid afternoon. The lift was driven in part by retail sales data and positive comments from on the banking sector. UK retail sales rose less than expected in June as clothing volumes fell, according to the ONS, prompting investors to hope that the BoE may put off the much anticipated interest rate rise. The FTSE closed up 23.31 at 6,821.46.
1624: Morgan Stanley has been forced to pay $275m in a settlement for its involvement in selling assets involving subprime mortgages. The Securities and Exchange Commission has charged three Morgan Stanley companies with misleading investors in a pair of residential mortgage-backed securities securitizations that the firms underwrote, sponsored, and issued. The group has agreed to settle the charges by paying the settlement to those investors harmed.
1552: Barclays is trying to have fraud allegations surrounding its so-called 'dark pool' trading platform thrown out of court, according to The Telegrpah. The UK has filed a motion to have the lawsuit, from Eric Schneiderman, the New York Attorney General, dismissed. Schneiderman claims the bank had engaged in "a flagrant pattern of fraud, deception and dishonesty with Barclays clients and the investing public".
1517: The missing Air Algerie has crashed, an Algerian aviation official has confirmed. The plane, carrying 116 people, the majorty of which were French, is believed to have crashed around 50 minutes into the flight. The six member of crew onboard are reportedly Spanish. The flight path of AH5017 is believed to have changed course to avoid a storm about half an hour into the flight.
1455: Markit's US purchasing managers' index for manufacturing fell to 56.3 in July from 57.3 a month earlier, signalling the slowest improvement in overall manufacturing business conditions for three months. However, it remained above to 50 level that signals expansion.
1433: Ian Conn, the head of BP's downstream business, is to leave after a 29-year career at the oil major. He will hand over the role of CEO of the division to Tufan Erginbilgic in October. Erginbilgic is currently Chief Operating Officer for BP's fuels businesses. The announcement comes amid speculation that Conn could be named as the new CEO of Centrica. BP's shares
are flat, while Centrica is up 0.3%.
1356: US initial jobless claims fell by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 in the week ended July 19th, according to the Labor Department on Thursday. It followed 302,000 claims the previous week and beat analysts' expectations for 310,000 claims.
1322: Futures on Wall Street are pointing to another record for the S&P 500
when markets open in just over an hour, helped by upbeat earnings from Facebook and Ford. Stock futures are up 0.2% on the S&P 500 and Dow, and 0.4% higher on the Nasdaq. The FTSE 100, meanwhile, is up six points at 6,804.
1155: The former CEO of Portugal's Banco Espírito Santo has been arrested at home. The Espírito Santo family, the largest shareholder of the entity, was shocked on Thursday by the arrest of patriarch Ricardo Salgado at his home in Estoril. Apparently, the arrest is related to the Monte Branco operation, an investigation of the largest online money laundering Portugal.
1120: British Airways holding company IAG saw shares jump after saying that its Iberia airline has reached an agreement with trade unions on collective redundancies for pilots and ground staff as part of its transformation plan. "This could lead to a reduction of up to 1,427 jobs at the airline."
1115: According to reports, an Algerian passenger plane has disappeared whilst flying over Burkina Faso. The flight has 110 passengers and six cabin crew on board. It lost contact around 50 minutes into the flight.
1100: Reed Elsevier is a bright spark, leading the FTSE 100 higher, after reporting that underlying trends remain strong, enabling the business publishing and information company to drive a 5% improvement in profits in the first half.
1057: After a strong start to the year, DIY retailer Kingfisher's like-for-like sales reversed into the red in the second quarter with trading "slower than anticipated", leading the stock to sink by 7% this morning.
1057: Budget airline Easyjet is a heavy faller, dropping 4% despite confirming its full-year profit will rise at least 14%, in line with City forecasts. That came after it posted an 8.6% rise in third-quarter revenue, driven by higher passenger numbers, an improved load factor and the timing of Easter.
1045: Consumer goods company Unilever erased earlier losses even though it reported a lower-than-expected increase in second-quarter sales, blaming a deterioration in emerging markets and flat developed markets.
1015: UK retail sales rose less than expected in June as clothing volumes fell, according to the Office for National Statistics. Sales including auto fuel increased 0.1% from May, compared to a forecast of 0.3% percent and fall of 0.5% the previous month. Clothing dropped 2%, as hot weather prompted stores to postpone discounting.
0941: Losses have been mostly erased after strong PMIs across the Eurozone. Markit's Eurozone composite PMI rose to a three-month high of 54 in July, surprising analysts who had expected it to remain unchanged at 52.8. However, there has been some disappointing economic data closer to home as UK retail unexpectedly fell 0.1% in June. The forecast was for a 0.3% gain after May's 0.5% decline. The FTSE 100 is down just two points at 6,796.
0830: Markets have got off to a weak start today on the back of disappointing updates from the likes of Kingfisher, Easyjet and Unilever. Kingfisher in particular is down around 6% after saying that LFL sales dropped 1.8% in the second quarter after 6.1% growth in the first quarter. The FTSE 100 is down 21 at 6,777.