FTSE 100 opens lower as miners' share prices including Anglo American, Glencore and BHP Billiton fall after weak Chinese trade data

 
James Nickerson
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Miners weighed on the FTSE 100 this morning (Source: Getty)

The FTSE 100 index opened down this morning, following Asian markets lower after Chinese trade data declined by more than expected.

The UK's blue-chip index fell 0.71 per cent to 6,136 points in early morning trading.

"This morning’s latest Chinese trade numbers for February speak to that concern about the Chinese economy as imports declined 13.8 per cent and exports declined 25.4 per cent," said Michael Hewson, chief markets analyst at CMC Markets.

"Despite yesterday’s gains in commodity prices, European markets struggled to maintain their recent momentum as investors looked ahead to this week’s ECB rate decision," he added.

The FTSE was taken lower by miners. Glencore fell 4.83 per cent to 162.73p per share, while BHP Billiton dropped 5.77 per cent to 845.2p per share.

Anglo American and Rio Tinto fell 5.11 per cent to 594.85p per share and 4.47 per cent to 2,136p per share respectively.

The fall came after Chinese trade data.

"Overnight came the big bazooka from left-field – the Chinese monthly trade data – last month's was the worst since 2009. However, I think we have known for some time that any improvement on growth or economic activity in China is going to come and be entirely dependent on domestic demand," said David Buik, market commentator at Panmure Gordon.

"Manufacturing output and industrial production has fallen like a stone in recent months and it is rumoured that as many as eight million people will be laid off from the coal and steel operations," he added.

Burberry's share price rose, however, a day after it was reported it was seeking help to fight off a potential takeover bid. Its share price rose 4.38 per cent to 1,432.5p per share.

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