FTSE 100As of 11:00 16 December 2017 - Market closed
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Bitcoin blasted to another all-time high of just over $17,750 on Friday, up 8% on the day, as concerns grew over the risks of investing in the highly volatile and speculative instrument.
The cryptocurrency's staggering price rises - more than 1,700% since the start of the year - have driven worries that the market is a bubble that could burst in a spectacular fashion.
Markets: FTSE 100 edges lower
The FTSE 100 is a little lower in early trading.
You might not have heard of the biggest winner - Segro. It owns and develops warehouses and industrial property across Europe.
Shares are up 1.6% in the early going. Analysts at Barclays this morning have started rating the stock and are recommending it.
The pound is little changed against the dollar at $1.3431. It's down a fraction against the euro at €1.1391.
London ends on a low
The FTSE 100 has closed down 0.65% or 48.4 points to 7,448.12, weighed down by losses among financial stocks.
The index's biggest loser was Standard Life Aberdeen, down 3.27% to 413.5p, followed by Convatec Group down 3.1% to 202.9p, and Standard Chartered down 1.9% to 759.4p
The FTSE 250 also ended down 0.27% to 20,006.27, pulled down by Capita, which saw a fall of 12.5% to 407.9p, PZ Cussons, down 5.1% to 311.1p, and Provident Financial, down 3.5% to 811p.
London now lower
The FTSE 100 index is now trading 24.28 points lower at 7,472.23, weighed down by an income fund.
Standard Life Aberdeen is leading the fallers, with its share price down 2.88% at 415.20p.
Convatec, Sky and Whitbread are also among the biggest losing stocks.
On the FTSE 250, shares are now down 0.14% to 20,034.29. The losers are led by outsourcing firm Capita, down 11.3% to 413.10p on a gloomy trading update that showed a recovery in 2018 is unlikely.
UK broadcasters see shares rise
Disney's commitment to pursue 21st Century Fox's bid for the remaining shares in Sky that it does not own saw shares in the UK company perk up.
Sky shares had been languishing about 0.5% down until the midday news, when they jumped to stand 1% higher.
Shares in BT, a Sky rival in sports broadcasting, were up 2.4% - about where they started the day. ITV shares spiked 0.5% after the news.
Sales rise leaves shares underwhelmed
Share prices in the major retailers have barely flinched in reaction to news of a rise in retail sales. That's probably because November's rise included Black Friday, with most sales done online.
Tesco shares were down 0.4%, while Sainsbury was flat - but off its earlier low. M&S was 0.13% off, Next remained about 0.5% lower.
Capita shares tumble
Investors have run for cover after outsourcing firm Capita warned that trading conditions remain "challenging".
The shares were down 12%, adding to a slow slide since the summer.
Capita, which operates the London congestion charge, said the market for major management contacts remains "subdued", particularly in the public sector.
It also flagged potential problems in its private sector partnerships division.
The firm still expects underlying profits to rise "modestly" in the second half of 2017, but it cautioned over a raft of one-off charges, as well as restructuring costs under an overhaul.
Sports Direct shares sink
Sports Direct shares slide more than 7% at the start of trading after investors reacted negatively to the retailer's latest profit figures. Profits fell after the company was hit by acquisition and foreign exchange costs.
London's main share index drifted lower at the start of trading. Shortly after the open the FTSE 100 was down 0.18% at 7,482 points, with Standard Chartered, down 2%, the main failer.
Ahead of news expected later that media mogul Rupert Murdoch is selling some assets, broadcaster Sky was up 0.1%.
Sky's sports broadcasting rival BT led the blue chip risers, up 2%.
Outside the top flight, Ocado was 0.38% lower after the online grocer posted a rise in sales.
The FTSE 250 opened 0.39% down at 19,983 points.
FTSE 100 ends barely changed
The FTSE 100 ended barely changed, despite news that average earnings are rising at 2.5% a year were still lagging behind inflation.
Shares in Tui the travel company, rose marginally, as investors were encouraged by a 12% rise in annual profits but worried by the news that its customers in the UK were looking to spend less on cheaper holidays.
Dixons Carphone was the biggest winner on the FTSE 250, with a 6.5% gain. Investors have looked at the company's latest results and clearly seen things they liked - even though they showed a 60% fall in pre-tax profits.
The prospect of higher interest rates in the US helped UK financial shares which were among the best performers. HSBC Holdings was up 1.6%.
Oil, as measured by the price of Brent crude fell 1.5%, as news emerged that the US oil stocks, not to mention production, were on the rise.
FTSE 100 drifts before interest rate decisions
The FTSE 100 has been drifting around break-even so far today.
Investors seem unwilling to take any big bets before the outcome of an interest rate meeting in the US later today and one at the Bank of England on Thursday.
Financial shares were among the best performers, HSBC Holdings was up 1.6%.
Analysts say the prospect of higher interest rates in the US has helped support bank shares.
Rising rates are good for banks as they tend to boost profit margins.
Dixons Carphone was the biggest winner on the FTSE 250, with a 6.5% gain. Investors have looked at the company's latest results and clearly seen things they liked.