END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares ended the day with heavy losses, with news of slowing growth in China hitting global markets and Eurozone concerns persisting, and with Wall Street slumping in morning trade.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was down 58.67 points at 5,651.79 with the FTSE250 off 103.48 points at 11,311.05 and the FTSE Smallcaps 3.8 points higher at 3,112.5.
US stocks were firmly lower in late morning trade, as investors mulled the possible impact of slower growth data from China.
Approaching the London close, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 96 points at 12,891, the S&P500 fell 12 points at 1,375 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 35 points at 3,020.
News of a slowdown in China GDP growth pushed base metals prices lower today, impacting the mining sector. Meanwhile, financial stocks wavered as Eurozone concerns refused to subside and a poor start in New York added to pressure.
The miners lost their way during the session, with Vedanta Resources the worst hit, down 27p at 1,186p. Rio Tinto gave up 41p at 3,446p and BHP Billiton was 17.5p lower at 1,889p.
Glencore International lost 5.1p at 399.8p and Xstrata dipped 3p at 1,102.5p after the duo announced a delay in their merger plans today.
Oil giant Royal Dutch Shell eased 6p at 2,168p, despite investors being re-assured that there were no spill issues for the company in the Gulf of Mexico. Meanwhile, BP and BG Group slipped 3p at 441.85p and 20.5p at 1,386.5p, respectively, as crude prices eased.
Financial issues were awash with red ink, with Barclays the worst of the banks, down 8.55p at 214.9p, while Lloyds fell 1.16p at 30.75p, Royal Bank of Scotland lost 0.91p at 25.05p and HSBC dropped 4.8p at 543.2p.
Hedge fund manager Man Group slumped 5.4p at 110p, as it continued to address underperformance of its flagship AHL fund.
A recent Bank of America Merrill Lynch downgrade for BSkyB to underperform continued to plague the satellite broadcaster, the shares slipping 15p at 647p.
Supermarket operator Morrisons was the only blue chip retailer to make any progress, improving 1.2p at 292.6p. Sainsbury eased 0.3p at 302p, Marks & Spencer dropped 5.5p at 369.8p and Tesco edged down 3.8p at 322.05p. â€?
Sage Group sank 7.8p at 287.7p, after Jefferies International downgraded the business software provider from buy to hold and trimmed its target price from 345p to 320p.
An imminent decision on the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes sent BAT down 27p at 3,129.5p, while rival Imperial Tobacco lost 43p at 2,457p.
Russian steel producer Evraz was the best blue chip of the day, up 8.1p at 365.5p on hopes that a weak Chinese growth report will be the catalyst for more stimulus from Beijing.
Other rare gainers included global brewer SABMiller, up 2p at 2,540p, and pharmaceutical group Shire, 7p better at 1,959p.
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