London Report: Fears over Ukraine and earnings sends UK blue chips lower

THE UK’S top shares sank to their lowest close in three weeks yesterday, hit by mining companies on concern about demand, while the deteriorating situation in Ukraine and doubts about corporate earnings hurt broader sentiment.

Miners came under pressure alongside base metals after data showed Chinese money supply grew at the weakest pace in more than a decade in March, another sign of softening economic momentum in the world's top metals consumer.

Ukrainian armed forces yesterday launched a “special operation” against separatists in the town of Kramatorsk.

Global miner Rio Tinto was among the stocks declining the most, 3.1 per cent, after it said weather-related disruptions in Australia and Canada cut its iron ore shipments.

Underscoring the worries about earnings, brewer SABMiller fell 2.3 per cent, one of the biggest declines in the FTSE 100.

The FTSE 100 dropped 42.15 points, or 0.6 per cent, to close at 6,541.61 points yesterday.