Wall Street falls with US debt in focus

Heading into the close the FTSE 100 is down 65 points, and looks set to end the week around the 6500 level.

FTSE falls with QE scheme capped

The FTSE 100 is on track to finish down on the week, with confirmation that the Bank of England's QE scheme is not likely to be increased. The Bank's stimulus package and ultra-low interest rates have helped the UK economy, but governor Mark Carney now feels it is time to put a cap on the QE programme. This has worried traders, as the next step will be to reduce the stimulus level.

Homebuilders have lost ground today as the government might curtail its help-to-buy scheme sooner that expected, as talk of a property bubble gathers pace.

US debt ceiling fears loom

The Dow Jones is down 78 points at 15,250 as we approach the debt ceiling debate for a third time in just over two years. The Democrats and Republicans are heading for another showdown over the issue, with investors afraid it could result in another downgrade for the US. The Federal Reserve is still in focus after keeping its stimulus package unchanged, but pressure is mounting on the Fed to trim the QE scheme because the more it is delayed, the larger the amount of tapering will be expected.

Gold price rises

Gold is be benefiting from the debt ceiling fear factor today; the precious metal hit it an all-time high two years ago in the wake of a US downgrade, after the country raised its debt ceiling. Oil is trading back at pre-Syria levels, and is remaining within a tight range.

Sterling gains against the dollar

Sterling is soaring versus the US dollar after Mr Carney said there is no need to increase the UK's QE scheme, pushing the pound above the $1.61 level.

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