1630:Close UK stocks ended today's session having suffered steep losses as technology stocks dragged on the back of a significant sell-off in the US last night which continued in today's trading. It was revealed today that UK construction output declined in February as poor weather held back work, marking the biggest drop since November last year. Meanwhile, MPs were reported to have taken a step forward with proposals to gain legal clarification on all-female short-lists for business positions in a bid to boost the number of women in Britain's boardrooms. Company wise, Fresnillo rose into the top spot after JPMorgan lifted its price target. The FTSE 100 ended the day 80.27 points lower at 6,561.70, down 133.85 points on the week.
1357: Today's top fallers on the Footsie reads like a list of the markets biggest high-flyers of late: Hargreaves Lansdown, Ashtead, IAG, easyJet. That is likely not a coincidence given that the fall-of in risk aversion and worries about equity valuations might have been expected to take its largest toll on such stocks.
1330: US producer prices increased by 0.5 per cent month-on-month in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That was more than the 0.1 per cent rise which analysts had projected. At the core level, however, they missed forecasts by a tenth of a percentage point, having risen by 0.1 per cent. FTSE 100 down 85 to 6,557.
1215: JPMorgan Chase & Co shares
are falling in pre-market trade in the States after the company reported a steep drop in EPS to 128 cents in the first quarter, from 159 cents the previous year and well under the consensus forecast of 139 cents. Revenues fell eight per cent to 23.9bn dollars. Stock futures on Wall Street are pointing to losses of around 0.2-0.4 per cent across the three major indices.
1012:UK construction output declined in February, as poor weather held back work, according to the Office for National Statistics.Construction output fell 2.8 per cent on the month in February following a 2.1 per cent rise in January, revealed. It marked the biggest drop since November last year.
Year-on-year, output increased 2.8 per cent in February, compared with 5.7 per cent gain in January.
0948: Sales at Waitrose jumped by 20.6 per cent year-on-year in the week to April 5th, "although this performance was boosted by the fact that Easter is occurring later this year," Dr Howard Archer at IHS Global Insight writes. "The robust John Lewis figures suggests that consumers have started off the second quarter on an upbeat note," he adds.
0927: Tech stocks ARM Holdings and Imagination Technologies, software firm Sage Group and online fashion retailer N Brown are falling sharply as the tech rout continues. Global technology investment trust Polar Capital Technology Trust is also a heavy faller today, along with biotech-focused Worldwide Healthcare Trust and tech-focused Herald Investment Trust.
0912: The latest quarterly results from JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, due out this afternoon, are also keenly awaited by investors. There are worries that the US corporate results season will be rather poor. In that same vein, UBS writes today that there is a 'dark side' to the anticipated 'boom' in capital expenditures in the US. "It impacts the cost structure of companies, hence margins, as well as cash flow." FTSE 100 down 67 to 6,574.
0833: UK stocks have started the day lower, weighed down by overnight losses on Wall Street. Most market commentary is concentrating on the fact that the earnings season Stateside is expected to be poor. Hence, valuations are overstretched, the thinking goes - particularly in the technology arena. Even if only in a mechanistic way, that would seem to account for the fact that ARM Holdings and Sage are amongst this morning's worst performers. Fresnillo is higher. JP Morgan has raised its price target on the stock to 1,030p from 965p beforehand. Credit Suisse has done the same with recruitment outfit Hays. Acting as a backdrop, traders are watching the rise in the euro in the aftermath of Wednesday's dovish Fed minutes. FTSE 100 down 42 to 6,600.