Market overview: FTSE closes up 2 at 5,807
1630: Close UK stocks finished the final session of the week marginally higher after making small gains in the final minutes of trading, but 89 points down on the week as worries about the Eurozone continue to persist. Friday's session saw Anglo American shares soar after the firm announced that its CEO Cynthia Carroll called it quits after five years on the job, while mining giant Kazakhmys sunk after Exane BNP reiterated its "underperform" rating on the stock. Carroll's departure means that just two women are left in the top roles at FTSE 100 companies. Stocks in the US are off to a poor start despite US GDP data coming in above expectations. The FTSE 100 closed up two points at 5,807.
1605: Not to lose sight of, investors are closely tracking the course of Category 1 hurricane Sandy, which is expected to make land fall on the north-eastern seaboard towards the beginning of next week. Some commentators are describing it as a 100 year storm, which could conceivably have an effect on trading conditions at some venues, including the New York Stock Exchange.
1455: The University of Michigan's final reading on consumer confidence for the month of October has come in at a reading of 82.6, a five year high, versus a preliminary print of 83.1 (Consensus: 83) and last month's 78.3. The gauge of consumer expectations rose to 79 points following a reading of 73.5 for September. FTSE 100 up 6 to 5,811.
1405: This is what Barclays has to say on today's US GDP report: "Relative to Q2 the switch in the balance of growth towards consumption and residential investment and away from structures, equipment and software investment and net exports was notable, and timely indicators suggest that this may persist into Q4. However, the report provides nothing to suggest that US activity is breaking out of the modest growth environment in either a positive or negative direction."
1330: US gross domestic product (GDP) expanded at a 2 per cent annualized pace in the third quarter, ahead of forecasts for an increase of 1.8 per cent. The core deflator for personal consumption expenditures, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, printed at a 1.3 per cent rise, as forecast by the consensus, although the broader GDP price index rose a 2.8 per cent pace, versus the 2.1% that had been foreseen.
1327: Alex DeGroote, at Panmure Gordon, has told Digital Look that he sees little merit in worries over the potential litigation costs in which Trinity Mirror might incur as a result of the phone hacking scandal. FTSE 100 down 30 to 5,776.
1322: eKathimerini is reporting that another minority party in the current Greek coalition government, Pasok, is reticent about some of the Finance Ministry's plans regarding privatizations. That ahead of a Sunday deadline to find an agreement, and after Athens received a three day extension so as to allow the government to gain maximum backing within its coalition.
1307: Interesting comments from Moodys's Chief Economist. While he does not see any short-term resolution for the Eurozone debt crisis its central scenario continues to be for the single currency area to survive in its current form. For his part, the Fed's Lacker is out with comments today regarding his rationale for voting against further monetary stimulus. In his opinion it would do little for growth but it would raise inflation, and inflation expectations in particular.
1145: Trinity Mirror is down almost 15% today, as the hacking allegations become increasingly serious, rattling some investors.
1025: Until recently many could be heard saying that it would never happen, but as happens all too often, it just has. Spain's unemployment rate breached the 25 per cent mark -to reach 25.2 per cent to be more exact- in the third quarter, according to the country's statistics institute. That is the highest in the post-Franco era. Similarly, and in Greece, the FT comments this morning on how the small Democratic Left party continues to oppose the necessary changes to the country's labour laws despite the economy now still being in the midst of an economic tsunami. Nevertheless, and on a more positive note perhaps, it seems to be the only obstacle to such an agreement being reached. Eurozone officials also seem to be moving forward as regards further financial aid for the Aegean nation and possibly as well for Ireland. FTSE 100 down 33 to 5,772.
0930: London's benchmark index has extended losses and is now trading 33 points down at 5,772. Publisher Pearson is on the rise on reports that it is in talks about merging its Penguin publishing house with Bertelsmann's Random House. 'We view this as a possible net positive but not game changer', said analysts at Investec this morning. 'While we see some EPS upside via near-term merger/cost synergies in a pressured top line business, this does not imply cash returns to shareholders or re-investment in long-term growth Education assets,' they said, adding: "If a move precedes exit of FT Group too, this would be good news."
0830: The FTSE 100 has started firmly in the red ahead of today's US GDP figures due out at 13:30. Markets are cautious after corporate earnings from bellwethers Amazon and Apple disappointed last night. Markus Huber from ETX Capital said this morning that 'many of those global companies are expected to ‘suffer’ under the harsh business environment for at least a couple more quarters'. Banks are under pressure after the Wall Street Journal said that the LIBOR manipulation probe has spread to nine more banks, including Lloyds. Barclays and RBS are also lower. Anglo American is on the rise after announcing that its CEO Cynthis Carroll is to resign. The Footsie is down 26 points at 5,779.