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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. London now flat

    London Stock Exchange

    Shares in London are now flat, pulled down by disappointing eurozone manufacturing data and investors making profits before Easter.

    The FTSE 100 is 12 points or 0.2% lower to 7,459.16. Top of the losers is BAE Systems, falling 3.3% to 494.6p, due to the shares being ex-dividend today. This morning, the aerospace manufacturer introduced a new sensor for military vehicles.

    The FTSE 250 is now down 40.1 points or 0.2% to 19,815.24. The losers are led by Sirius Minerals, which dropped 5% to 20.3p. the mining firm has seen its value rise by 10% over the last week after investment firm Capital Group sold off a 2.12% stake in Sirius Minerals.

  2. Sterling fails to benefit

    Pound dollar intraday graph

    Retail sales came in much higher than expected.

    But the pound is still down against the dollar. Why?

    "UK retail sales absolutely obliterated expectations in March, suggesting that household spending will lift GDP growth substantially in Q1," says Ranko Berich, at Monex Europe.

    "The lack of market reaction to the news highlights the extent to which Brexit is still the only story in town for sterling, but if data like this keeps printing this won’t remain the case forever."

    As you can see from the chart, there was a positive reaction at 0930 to the retail sector news but it was shortlived.

  3. China stocks fall

    Markets in China have ended the day with losses.

    Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed down 0.5% at 29,963.26 while the Shanghai Composite lost 0.4% to end at 3,250.20.

  4. Euro falls on PMI data


    The euro has dropped following the latest eurozone manufacturing data.

    The euro is down 0.3% against the dollar at $1.1261.

    The euro has fallen against sterling at £0.8643.

  5. Oil prices fall

    Oil rig

    Oil prices have fallen, despite a surprise decline in US inventories and on-going OPEC-led supply cuts.

    According to latest data from the US Department of Energy, US crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to 12 April. Analysts had anticipated an increase of 1.7 million barrels.

    Brent crude oil is now down 0.5% to $71.24 a barrel.

    West Texas Intermediate oil meanwhile has fallen 0.4% to $63.52 a barrel.

  6. Unilever shares up

    Omo detergent on sale in Tawian

    Shares in Anglo-Dutch giant Unilever are up 1.6% after positive first quarter results this morning.

    The firm reported particularly strong sales in emerging markets.

    And we're spending more on home care it says, including a segment called "fabric solutions".

    The FTSE 100 is now 0.17% lower at 7,458.30.

    The FTSE 250 is down 0.22%, at 19,815.21.

  7. Pinterest 'on road to profitability'

    Today Programme

    BBC Radio 4

    Pinterest logo image

    Pinterest shares start trading later on the New York Stock Exchange.

    The online scrapbook company has been valued at $10bn after its shares were priced at the upper end of the expected range - another of these tech "unicorns" floating on the market but which haven't yet made a profit.

    Courtney Comstock of New York-based investment firm iBillionaire argues Pinterest has "one of the more clear paths to profitability".

    Pinterest at least knows its users or "pinners" are likely to be in the market to buy stuff, whether it's wedding paraphernalia or new bed linen.

    “We’re not encouraging investors to look at any of the new IPOs - specifically because they’re not profitable - as short term plays. You’re looking at five to 10 years," Ms Comstock added.

  8. Asia markets drop

    Man looks at stock boards in Asia

    Japanese stocks are leading declines in a downbeat session on Asia markets.

    In afternoon trading, Japan's Nikkei 225 index fell 0.8%, while the Shanghai Composite shed 0.3% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng gave up 0.5%.

  9. FTSE winners and losers

    A replica of Wall Street's Fearless Girl statue is now facing the London Stock Exchange
    Image caption: A replica of Wall Street's Fearless Girl statue is now facing the London Stock Exchange

    London shares are now flat, after a court in Brazil ruled that Vale could resume operations.

    This could mean a increase in iron ore supplies that could lower its price, which dragged down mining stocks on the index.

    The FTSE 100 is now down 5.4 points or 0.07% to 7,463.55. Top of the losers is consumer supplies firm Bunzl, which dropped 8.2% to £23.42 after reporting a slowdown in underlying revenue growth for the quarter.

    The FTSE 250 is just 25.7 points or 0.1% ahead to 19,923.38, led by Mediclinic International, which jumped 10% to 334.6p after its fall in profits was not as bad as analysts feared.

  10. Japan stocks rise

    Men look at stock boards in Japan

    Japan's Nikkei 225 index has closed up 0.3% at 22,277.97.

    Elsewhere in Asia, the Shanghai Composite added 0.2% and the Hong Kong Hang Seng was steady in afternoon trading.

  11. Market update


    Traders didn't like that Bunzl update. The shares are down 12% in London trading.

    Elsewhere, the FTSE 100 is down 0.2%

    The more domestically-focused FTSE 250 is about level.

  12. Asia markets mixed

    People look at stock boards in Hong Kong

    It's been a mixed session for markets across Asia.

    In afternoon trading, Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.3%, while the Shanghai Composite added 0.1% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.2%.

  13. Wall Street ends slightly higher

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street stocks have ended slightly higher, as medical stocks reversed earlier gains and investors treaded water while awaiting more earnings results after the bell.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 67.89 points, or 0.26%, to 26,452.66, the S&P 500 gained 1.48 points, or 0.05%, to 2,907.06 and the Nasdaq Composite added 24.21 points, or 0.3%, to 8,000.23.

  14. Boeing shares jump on FAA draft report

    Boeing 737 Max

    Shares in Boeing have jumped following the release of a draft report from the US Federal Aviation Administration, and are currently up 1.9% to $382.48 at a session high.

    The report states that the software for the Boeing 737 Max is now considered to be "operationally suitable". Boeing had said it was working to update the software to prevent problems with the Mcas automated flight system.

    According to CNBC, the report also recommends that pilots receive additional computer-based training on Mcas before being allowed to fly the aeroplane.

  15. London ends higher

    London Stock Exchange

    London shares have ended higher, boosted by home price rises in China and gains in fiancial and mining stocks.

    The FTSE 100 closed 33 points or 0.4% ahead to 7,436.87, led by wealth manager St James Place, which rose 2.8% to £11.17.

    The FTSE 250 ended 116.3 points or 0.6% higher to 19,923.38. Top of the winners was Card Factory, which jumped 10% to 194.8p after forecasting a special dividend, despite the fact like-for-like sales were flat and pre-tax profits dropped for the year ended January 2019.

  16. Wall Street opens higher

    Wall Street traders

    Wall Street shares have opened higher, boosted by better-than-expected earnings results from healthcare firms.

    The boost also saw the S&P open less than a percent away from an all-time high.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average is now 49.4 points or 0.2% ahead to 26,434.16, led by healthcare and consumer goods giant Johnson & Johnson, which rose 2.6% to $140.10 following a 4.1% rise in sales for the quarter, despite profits falling 14% due to mounting legal costs from thousands of lawsuits over baby talcum powder.

    The S&P 500 is 10 points or 0.3% higher to 2,915.47. Top of the winners is Ohio-based insurance firm Progressive, which rose 3.8% to $75.03 on better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

    And finally, the tech-heavy Nasdaq is 27.6 points or 0.4% ahead to 8,004.15, led by storage device technology firm Western Digital, up 3% to $53.42 after Deutsche Bank upgraded its stock to "buy".

  17. Market update

    coins and flag

    In the FTSE 250 index, Galliford Try is still the biggest faller, off 18%, after it announced a downsizing of its construction arm.

    Recruitment firm Hays is also lower, off 3%.

    The gainers are Card Factory (6%) and JD Sports (4.5%).

    In the FTSE 100, Evraz and Prudential are up 2% while Pearson is the biggest faller off 1.4%.

    The pound is flat against the dollar at $1.3089.

  18. What's sterling been doing?

    sterling v dollar graph

    So after the "robust" jobs data in the UK, what has the pound done?

    The reaction has been apathetic, according to Hamish Muress, currency analyst at OFX.

    "Sterling’s apathetic response to this morning’s figures reflects the shortened working week as well as the fact that Brexit continues to dictate the terms for the pound. This morning’s data release does, however, remind investors that there are parts of the UK economy that remain fundamentally sound.”

  19. China stocks climb

    Man looks at stock boards in China

    It's been an upbeat session on China's markets.

    The Shanghai Composite jumped 2.4% to close at 3,253.60 while Hong Kong's Hang Seng added 1.1% to end at 30,129.87.

  20. Galliford Try leads fallers, off 20%

    LSE logo

    Among the movers on the stock market in early trading is Galliford Try, the construction firm, which is off 20% after it said it was scaling back its construction business.

    Recruitment company Hays, which has issued a trading update, is down 3%.

    JD Sports is more than 3% higher after its pleasing profits announcement.