1630: (Close) Following a sharp dip this morning, the Footsie spent much of the day firmly in the red before making a minimal move higher late on, ultimately ending 45.67 points lower at 6,672.37. The index was weighed by events over in the Eurozone, with concern focused on Portugal, France, and recently, Germany. In focus today was the Bank of England as it decided to keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5% and keep asset purchases at £375bn, as expected.
1500: US initial claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly dropped by 11,000 last week to 304,000, falling close to their lowest levels in seven years. Analysts had widely expected no change from the prior week's reading of 315,000.
1346: US stock futures are down 0.9% as Wall Street braces for a sell-off after the opening bell on concerns the Portugal and as investors continued to digest last night's FOMC minutes.On a positive note, jobless claims unexpectedly fell by 11,000 to 304,000 last week, surprising analysts who had expected no change from the prior week's figure of 315,000.
1201: The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has maintained the Bank Rate at 0.5% and the size of its asset purchase programme at £375bn, as expected. Barry Naisbitt, Chief Economist at Santander UK, said recent positive economic data "provides scope for the MPC to hold rates at their current level for a while longer."
1100: The higher pound has led to the UK trade deficit widening to £9.2bn in May due to lower shipments from manufacturers into the European Union and rising overall imports. The deficit is at its widest for four months, according to the Office for National Statistics, and greater than consensus forecasts. The gap is up from £8.8bn pounds in April. Imports were up 1.7%, largely due to £1.2bn of aircraft purchases, the ONS said.
0906: A trading halt was put in place on shares
of Banco Espirito Santo after the stock plummeted 14.5%. Trading has now resumed.
0832: UK stocks have begun the day just slightly off despite a positive close to trading overnight on Wall Street, with the dollar/yen seeing a tad of selling pressure. Shares of Burberry are in the lead early on after reporting a greater than forecast £370m in retail revenues for the company's first quarter. Ashmore is another big gainer in the early going. The asset manager has reported a 7% increase in assets under management (AuM) for its fiscal fourth quarter. LSE is down after the Qatar Investment Authority announced its intention to divest a third of its stake. Europe-side markets are being weighed down by weak French industrial production figures and a sharp drop in shares of Banco Espirito Santo. FTSE 100 down 4 to 6,714.