LONDON (ShareCast) - 1630: Close The FTSE ended the day in positive territory on what was a light day for economic data and trading volumes. Leading the way higher were a number of miners, although Randgold was a notable exception as it tracked the price of gold lower. In economic news, UK business confidence last month tumbled to its lowest point in 21 years, signalling economic contraction. Confidence (BSE: ZCONFIDE.BO - news) fell from 90.3 in December to 88.9 in January, the eighth month in a row that the reading has remained below 95.0 - the level which indicates economic growth. The FTSE closed up 13 points at 6,277.
1544: The Footsie has slipped into the red and is now trading down one point at 6,263 after a weak start on Wall Street (S&P 500: -0.03 per cent, Dow: -0.14 per cent, Nasdaq: -0.10 per cent). It seems that investors are pausing for breath with the S&P 500 already up six per cent so far in 2013. In London, Randgold is the worst performer on the blue-chip index as the price of gold takes a hit. Even ARM Holdings is under the weather despite the rumours that Apple - which uses some of ARM's chip designs in its gadgets - is currently developing the 'iWatch', a wristwatch-like smart device.
1434: US stocks have slipped into the red early on, with Wall Street benchmarks registering losses of 0.1-0.2 per cent. Providing a drag on markets is internet giant Google (NasdaqGS: GOOG - news) , which is under pressure after saying late Friday that its Chairman is planning to offload of nearly half of his shares.
1410: The FTSE 100 is up 15 points at 6,279 ahead of the opening bell in the US with stock futures pointing to a slightly higher start on Wall Street soon. Miners are performing well in London with ENRC, EVRAZ and Polymetal among the highest risers on the Footsie (FTSE: ^FTSE - news) . However, Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 - news) is in the red despite announcing this morning that the Australian Competition Tribunal ruling that its Hamersley and Robe rail network should not be opened up to other users.
1116: In a note issued last Friday strategists at Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) reiterate their overweight stance on equities on a 12 month view but downgrade their view to neutral (from overweight) on a three month view. In their own words "The still extremely large risk premia in equities suggest strong outperformance of equities over government bonds in the long run, and we believe that positioning for some of this outperformance to materialize as growth picks up provides the most interesting cross-asset opportunity over a 12-month horizon. While we have strong conviction in our longer-term view we are more uncertain about the near term. Asset prices have moved a long way and are now very close to our 3-months targets leaving unusually low cross-asset dispersion in our 3-month return expectations."
FTSE 100 up 18 to 6,281.
0930: Stock of video search engine Blinkx (Other OTC: BLNKF - news) is surging after the company said trading during the third quarter continued to be strong, fuelled by recent acquisitions and the effects of the US elections and London Olympics. This has led analysts at Numis to reiterate their buy rating. Its shares are now attempting to overcome technical resistance toward the 80p mark. Meanwhile, Ocado is leading gains on the FTSE 350, but will soon come up face-to-face with resistance at 134p. Shares of Morrison are higher after the company purchased 975,000 of its own shares for cancellation. Losses in ARM Holdings (LSE: ARM.L - news) may be attributable to news of insider selling.
0828: UK stocks have begun the session trading slightly in the red. That comes despite the positive end to trading seen on Wall Street last Friday, while many Asian bourses remained closed overnight as a result of the Chinese Lunar New Year holidays. Tesco (Other OTC: TSCDY - news) and Barclays (LSE: BARC.L - news) are ringing up the biggest gains now on the Footsie. Reports over the weekend indicated that it will reduce the size of its investment banking unit. However, the FT is also suggesting that the lender will refrain from raising its target for return on equity when it publishes the results of its strategic review, tomorrow. Acting as a backdrop, other reports suggest that one of the options on the table as regards Cyprus, when the Eurogroup meets tonight, is a so-called 'bail-in' of its lenders, something which could vex financial markets. FTSE 100 down 8 to 6,256.