London Report: China data weighs on FTSE but Scottish No poll helps firms

BRITAIN’S top shares dropped yesterday as concerns over demand from China took their toll on miners, while clothing retailer Next fell after its results underwhelmed the market.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 30.49 points, or 0.5 per cent, at 6,799.62 points.

Weak Chinese inflation data, which showed more signs of cooling growth in the world’s top metals user, sent heavyweight mining stocks down 0.7 per cent.

Next fell three per cent to 6,950p as traders blamed profit-taking after the company failed to lift its full-year guidance despite reporting a 19.3 per cent rise in first-half profit.

Companies with strong business ties to Scotland gained after a poll late on Wednesday showed 53 per cent support for the No vote in next week’s independence referendum.

Utility SSE topped the blue-chip leader board, up 2.8 per cent to 1,485p, with Lloyds up 1.2 per cent to 74.08p and Royal Bank of Scotland rising 1.2 per cent to 346p, and insurer Standard Life 1.5 per cent higher at 413.40p.