1630: Close UK stocks delivered a modest rise on Wednesday as investors digested the latest minutes from the BoE, alongside the latest developments in Eastern Europe, together with lower UK unemployment figures. The BoE report indicated that although it believes that the economic recovery has continued well, there is some way to go until before the MPC is comfortable that sufficient wasteful slack has been removed. The unemployment rate slipped to 6.8 per cent in the three months to March from 6.9 per cent in the month before. Meanwhile, Ukraine has agreed to launch discussions to end the crisis and give more powers to the regions as a poll showed that more than half its citizens want to join the European Union - although almost a third favour joining a Moscow-led alliance. The FTSE 100 closed up 5.41 points at 6,878.49.
1613: AstraZeneca's Chief Executive Officer says the company would engage with Pfizer if an offer reflected the value of the company and the risks inherent to a transaction, Reuters reports. FTSE 100 up 5 to 6,878.
1336: Goldman Sachs has revised its 'call' on monetary policy from the Bank of Japan. It reportedly no longer expects an easing.
1255: Three month copper futures are rising by 1.2 per cent to the 6,926 dollar
per metric tonne mark.
1240: Russia's Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, has reportedly stated that
elections in Ukraine cannot be legitimate if fighting impedes a vote.
1142: On the heels of today's gap on Compass's price chart above 978p analysts at Panmure Gordon say they see 'significant upside', adding that: "With FX headwinds this year limiting profit growth, this could well turn into a tailwind in [the financial year ending] 2015." FTSE 100 down 11 to 6,862.
1141: Shares of ITV are now holding at technical support towards 180p, area through which its 200-day moving average passes.
1106: In reply to the question of whether it is "safe to say that there will not be a rise [in Bank Rate] before next year" BoE Deputy Governor Charlie Bean said that he would not provide an exact date.
1100: MPC will look through strength in sterling, Carney has said. However, he then adds that persistent strength in the pound would challenge the pace of expansion.
1052: Compass continues to lead on the Footsie following its solid first half numbers and after unveiling a special 1bn pound dividend. Mondi is number two now on the leaderboard in the wake of its first half figures. The stock continues to move further above its 200-day moving average.
0930: The UK unemployment rate slipped to 6.8 per cent for March, as expected.
0835: Stocks have begun the session lower, tracking a lacklustre end to trading on Wall Street overnight and ahead of this morning's key employment data and Inflation Report in the UK. The key question for traders is whether or not the MPC continues to be of the view that there is sufficient slack in the economy to ward off wage and inflationary pressures. There seems to be little new to speak of, which may be a good thing, as regards the crisis in Ukraine. To take note of as well, some market commentary is highlighting how investors remain cautious towards equities, which may also be a 'positive' with a view to the short-term outlook for equities. China's central bank has asked major lenders to speed up the approval of mortgages to offset a slowdown in property sales. FTSE 100 down 15 to 6,856.