1630: Close The FTSE closed in positive territory as the US began a last-ditch effort to thrash out a deal on raising the country's borrowing limit before the government hits its 16.7trn dollar
debt ceiling tomorrow. Back in the UK, in an announcement made this afternoon, Royal Mail workers have declared their plans to go on a national 24-hour strike on November 4th. In other company news, engineering group IMI rose on news of in-line third quarter results. On the macro front, water regulator Ofwat blocked a request from Thames Water to add an extra eight per cent on to customer bills, while UK jobless claims fell and the unemployment rate remained unchanged. The FTSE closed up 22.48 points at 6,571.59.
1553: A deal between Senate majority leader Harry Reid and his Republican counterpart, Mitch McConnell, is said to be very near.
1508: According to market reports US House majority John Boehner will allow the Senate debt-ceiling proposal to go to the floor to be voted on. This is propping up markets. FTSE 100 up 20.0 to 6,569.
1500: The NAHB's housing market index slipped to the 55.0 point mark for October, after a reading of 57.0 for the month before. The consensus expectation was for a print of 57.0.
1215: Shares of Hargreaves Lansdown are now leading gains on the Footsie and may be breaking above technical resistance at the 1,044p mark. Nevertheless, that must be confirmed on a closing session basis. FTSE 100 down 31 to 6,518.
1203: US lender Bank of America has just unveiled third quarter earnings per share (EPS) of 20 US cents, versus the 21 expected by the consensus of analysts.
1015: In the text of a published speech the Bank of England's (BoE) Chief Economist - Spencer Dale - said that the latest economic data is indicative of growth running at an annualised pace of around 3.0 to 4.0 per cent. He has also indicated that the central bank's inflation target remains at the centre of the BoE's policy framework.
0930: The UK's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.7 per cent in September as expected. However, the claimant count has fallen by 41,700, versus the smaller 25,000 person drop expected. On Tuesday Capital Economics explained to clients that "[...] the claimant count has fallen by much more than the ILO measure of unemployment over the last year or so. This seems partly to reflect the fact that Jobseeker's Allowance can only be claimed by those aged between 18 and pension age and so has failed to record the growth in unemployment among those under 18 and over 65." FTSE 100 down 28 points to 6,521.
0929: The Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group has raised the deposit for investors wishing to clear US interest rate swaps trades by 12 per cent due to worries over the potential fallout from a hypothetical US government debt default.
0830: UK stocks have begun the day moving slightly lower, following downbeat results out of US chip maker Intel overnight and with the most recent news-flow indicating that Fitch ratings has put the United States' long-term credit on "ratings watch negative," although there is still optimism in markets as regards the negotiations on Capitol Hill. At 09:30 labour market data are released by ONS. The focus will be the ILO unemployment rate for August, which the consensus expects to be unchanged at 7.7%, but there is a real risk of another further small drop, Barclays Research explains. US equity futures are now pointing to early gains on Wall Street opens of approximately half a percentage point on average. FTSE 100 down 15 to 6,534.