1630: Close UK markets finished today's session in the red, hit by a combination of weaker sentiment, ex-dividends, and concerns over the future of Tesco. In macro news, MPC member David Miles said that interest rates will not rise in the next few months, while Ofgem unveiled new rules that will mean the "big six" energy suppliers will face tougher scrutiny to ensure a "simpler, clearer, fairer" market. Meanwhile, sales of new single-family homes in the US rose by 9.6 per cent over the month to reach an annualised rate of 468,000 in January. The FTSE 100 finished 31.35 points lower at 6,799.15.
1525: Ukraine has dropped its peg to the US dollar.
1524: Credit Suisse has put out a note today saying that it has added to its overweight position on global pharmaceuticals to reflect, amongst other factors: better macro drivers and a clear up-trend in FDA drug approvals.
1500: US new home sales rocketed higher in January, to reach 468,000 (consensus: 405,000).
1246: Capital markets continue to enjoy robust health if AO World's stock market debut is anything to go by. The UK online appliances seller's shares
rocketed 45% on their first day of trading.
1140: In a research note out this morning Credit Suisse labels the European Central Bank's 2016 inflation projections, which are due out next week, as "the known unknown". In their opinion those "should leave the door open for further stimulus", although it is "a close call", they add.
1114: Analysts at Jefferies have revised their price target on Tesco to 375p from 440p, which, at 12 times the calendar year 2015 price-to-earnings multiple, represents a 20 per cent discount to the long-term average. The company's multi-channel thinking is "impressive" they say, but they prefer to await further evidence on on-line execution before becoming excited.
0943: Shares of WH Ireland are sharply higher despite the announcement that its Finance and Operations Director will be stepping down.
0930: Gross Domestic Product in the United Kingdom expanded at a 0.7 per cent quarter-on-quarter pace in the last three months of 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Over the last year growth came in at 2.7 per cent. The consensus estimate was for a rise of 0.7 per cent on the quarter (2.8 per cent year-on-year). Business investment was revised up markedly through 2013 to show four quarters of expansion, Dr.Howard Archer, Chief UK+European Economist at IHS Global Insight points out.
0830: Stocks have started the day slightly lower, tracking an overnight slip on Wall Street. The Chinese Yuan fell on Wednesday, for a seventh consecutive session, despite which shares rose in Shanghai. Weir Group is in the lead early on following the release of its finals. easyJet is at the bottom of the pile after going ex-dividend. ITV is down after its own finals. GDP data is due for release at 09:30. FTSE 100 down 21 to 6,809.