Market overview: FTSE closes down 32 at 6,591


LONDON (ShareCast) - 1630: Close UK stocks once again finished in the red, dragged by insurers and financials, while Sports Direct (Frankfurt: A0MK5S - news) also weighed particularly heavily. Rising tensions in Ukraine also weighed on sentiment. Back in the UK industrial production grew by 0.9 per cent in February and by another 2.7 per cent year-on-year. Meanwhile, Britain's biggest banks have so far paid around 600m pounds for mis-selling interest rate hedging products, the FCA revealed today. The FTSE 100 ended the session 32.15 points lower at 6,590.69.

1539: Shares of IAG are suffering a sharp setback today, although they have managed to edge higher from their lows of the session towards the 405p mark. A loss of technical support towards 401p might see the stock pressured lower towards its 200-day moving average, which now comes in near 371p. Interestingly, its price chart in euros (and logarithmic scale) seems to be carving out an inverted head-and-shoulders pattern. FTSE 100 down 65 to 6,558.

1359: US stock futures are pointing to gains of between 0.1 per cent and 0.3 per cent on Wall Street in just over half an hour's time, as markets attempt to recover following three straight days of losses. The Nasdaq is looking to rebound after its worst three-day skid since November 2011. Alcoa (NYSE: AA - news) will be in focus in the States today as the aluminium producer unofficially kicks off first-quarter earnings season after the closing bell this evening.

1212: Supermarket rivals Tesco (Frankfurt: TS3.F - news) (-1.2 per cent), Sainsbury (Berlin: SUY1.BE - news) (-1.9 per cent) and WM Morrison (-1.7 per cent) are all off shopping lists today after Kantar revealed that the companies, which account for three of the 'Big Four' grocers in the UK, suffered further reductions in their market share in the 12 weeks to March 30th. Kantar said that the so-called 'discounters' such as Aldi and Lidl continued to deliver strong growth. The FTSE 100 is down 69 at 6,554.

1044: The FTSE 100 is now down 38 points at 6,585 as heavyweight mining stocks begin to pare some of their earlier gains. The FTSE 350 mining index is now just 0.2 per cent higher, after a rise of 1.6 per cent earlier on. Financials are now providing a drag with Resolution, St James's Place, Henderson and Partnership Assurance falling sharply, while Sports Direct has extended losses after Mike Ashley's reported share sale.

0949: Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS-PB - news) has reportedly cut its 12-month forecast for the euro/dollar cross to 1.30 from 1.40 beforehand.

0930: UK industrial production grew by 0.9 per cent in February according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and by another 2.7 per cent year-on-year. The consensus estimate had been for a rise of 0.3 per cent month-on-month (2.2 per cent year-on-year).

0830: UK stocks have started the session slightly lower, weighed down by overnight losses on Wall Street. Shares of Sports Direct are the worst performer now, on reports that Goldman Sachs has placed 200m pounds of stock on behalf of the founder, Mike Ashley, at between 850 to 870p. Acting as a backdrop, The Wall Street Journal Europe reports that US, Russian, European and Ukrainian representatives will meet in the next ten days. However, that comes after a warning from US Secretary of State John Kerry to his Russian counterpart not to escalate the situation. FTSE 100 down 18 to 6,605.

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