FTSE 100 index opens lower as concerns over the Chinese economy persist

James Nickerson
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The FTSE followed Asian markets down (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 index opened lower today as fears over the state of the Chinese economy lingered on.

The UK's blue-chip index fell 0.34 per cent to 5,891 points, led lower by oil companies and miners (again).

The news followed another fall in Chinese markets, after weak inflation data was published over the weekend.

"It feels as though we are right in the epicentre of the fear, panic and confusion in global markets," said Chris Weston, market strategist at IG.

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Oil prices slid back below $33 a barrel on concerns over the Chinese economic slowdown, prompting the share price of oil companies to fall.

BG Group dropped 1.6 per cent to 925.2p per share, while Shell was 1.34 per cent down at 1,358p. BP fell less sharply by 0.12 per cent to 328.13p.

Shell and BG have also suffered after Standard Life, a large shareholder in both companies, has said it is opposed to the possible merger between the two oil companies.

Meanwhile, as Michael Hewson of CMC Markets pointed out, "commodity prices remains a concern".

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This was borne out in mining stocks, which continued to tumble this morning. Anglo American fell 2.38 per cent to 223.98p per share, while BHP and Glencore were down 1.83 per cent to 641.35p and 1.14 per cent to 76.59p respectively.

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey fell 0.88 per cent to 191.9p, despite posting another set of strong results. The housebuilder reported that completions rose seven per cent to 13,341 in the year to the end of December, up from 12,454 in 2014.

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