Sterling came under pressure again as markets continued to wait for a possible breakthrough in negotiations between Westminister and the DUP on the Irish question - albeit amid some scepticism - ahead of a Sunday deadline to reach a deal with Brussels in order to move forward on trade negotiations.
These were the movements in some of the most closely-followed 10-year sovereign bond yields: US: 2. 34% (-1bp)UK: 1. 23% (-3bp)Germany: 0. 30% (-3bp)France: 0. 61% (-1bp)Spain: 1. 43% (+2bp)Italy: 1. 73% (+2bp)Portugal: 1. 88% (-1bp)Greece: 4. 81% (-3bp)Japan: 0. 06% (+1bp) .
A large build in US gasoline stockpiles weighed on the entire energy complex, helping to send a key gauge for the entire asset class to a two-month low.
Systems integrator and managed services provider Maintel Holdings updated the market on its trading for the year to 31 December on Wednesday, reporting that its ‘ICON’ cloud services have continued to grow strongly in the second half of 2017, boosted by ongoing investment in the platform.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley have upgraded their recommendation on cruise ship operator Carnival on the back of strong demand signals.
Easyjet's new boss picked up a sizeable number of shares in the company roughly a month after being put at the controls, even as they hit a fresh 52-week high.
Cigarettes and booze found a bid on Wednesday as investors sought refuge in those two defensive sectors on a risk-off day more generally for financial assets globally, amid gyrations in metals markets which some market commentary linked to wider uncertainty surrounding the outlook for China's economy but also US policy-making.
Stocks ended on a slightly down note amid talk of 'profit-taking' and 'sector rotation' as investors adjusted their portfolios in anticipation of tax cuts and tighter monetary policy on the other side of the Pond, alongside caution towards the outlook for growth in China and heavy selling on the Japanese and Hong Kong bourses.
Wall Street is little changed as traders continued to play it safe ahead of Friday's monthly non-farm payrolls numbers and the following week's US Federal Reserve policy meeting.
Shares reversed earlier losses to finish just a touch higher on Wednesday as the pound remained under pressure on account of the breakdown in Brexit talks, with M&A news providing a welcome distraction.
US gasoline stockpiles built sharply during the latest reference week, resulting in a sharp drop in crude oil inventories.
Shares in Whitbread were lifted on Wednesday after activist hedge fund Sachem Head bought a stake in the Premier Inn and Costa Coffee owner.
For the UK the financial diary is pretty quiet, with investors able to fully scrutinise new FTSE 100 entrant DS Smith as it publishes half-year results a week after it's promotion to the blue chip index was confirmed.
UK life sciences companies have inked a 'sector deal' as part of the government's new industrial strategy, including commitments from GlaxoSmithKline to invest £40m in UK genetic research and from Merck to invest in a major new research facility in London.
Wind sensor technology group Windar Photonics has received an order for five LiDAR systems from a Chinese original equipment manufacturer for immediate delivery, it announced on Wednesday.
London's FTSE 250 was down 0. 2% to 19,837. 84 in afternoon trade on Wednesday, with deal news in focus.
Natural resource exploration and development company Regency Mines has entered into a memorandum of understanding with privately-owned mining company Legacy Hill Resources, for co-operation in structuring, financing and owning coal investments in the US, it announced on Wednesday.
London's FTSE 100 was up 0. 5% to 7,360. 52 in afternoon trade on Wednesday, helped along by a weaker pound amid Brexit deadlock woes.
Steinhoff International shares plummeted on Wednesday as its chief executive officer Markus Jooste resigned with immediate effect amid "accounting irregularities", while the release of the company's 2017 numbers has been postponed.
US labor costs slipped unexpectedly during the third quarter, as wages grew more slowly than anticipated.