FTSE 100 index remains under 6,000 mark as fears over the Chinese economy linger

James Nickerson
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The FTSE rebounded after a falling almost two per cent yesterday (Source: Getty)

After the FTSE 100 index faltered in late morning trading, it has rebounded back towards the gains it made at the open - but still remains below the 6,000 mark.

The rebound comes as concerns over weakness in the Chinese economy continue to weigh on European markets.

The UK's blue-chip index rose 0.44 per cent to 5,979 points in early afternoon trade, despite losses at Sports Direct, miners and oil companies.

After Chinese authorities scrapped the controversial circuit-breaker mechanism yesterday, "the bigger question now is whether Chinese authorities can restore some vestige of credibility over the coming days and weeks in the face of a currency that still remains broadly overvalued on a trade weighted basis, and is likely to continue to go lower, in the process placing further downward pressure on global inflation and commodity prices," said Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets.

Anglo American fell 3.76 per cent to 231.8p per share, while BHP Billiton increased 1.29 per cent to 665p, while Antofagasta fell 1.63 per cent to 404p.

Read more: Chinese shares rally - but end the week 10 pc down

As for oil companies, BP was down 1.79 per cent at 331.63p per share, while Shell fell 3.11 per cent to 1,416.5p per share.

Sports Direct led the FTSE lower, down 6.99 per cent to 475.95p per share after announcing it will probably miss its profit target.

However, it wasn't all doom and gloom. Tesco was the largest riser on the index, up 5.55 per cent to 146.95p after Barclays raised its stock to overweight from equal weight.

Read more: Wall Street sinks and FTSE 100 index closes below 6,000

​Hewson also suggested that attention will now shift towards this afternoon’s US December employment report - although he added: "to some extent [it] probably no longer carries the importance that was attached to it throughout 2015, now that we’ve got that first rate hike out of the way".

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