China trade data weighs on FTSE

Britain's top share index dipped this morning, weighed down by weakness in mining stocks and demand concerns following poor trade data from China.

The FTSE 100 was down 0.1 per cent following weak trade figures and a nine-month low in crude oil imports which painted a picture of a slowing economy.

Meanwhile, disappointing economic data out of France and Germany kept pressure on the Eurozone.

<strong>Barclays</strong> shares rose, up 0.95 per cent following the news that veteran Sir David Walker will become the bank's non-executive chairman.

Elsewhere, UK banks fared less well. <strong>HSBC</strong> was flat, <strong>Lloyds</strong> was down 0.15 per cent, <strong>Royal Bank of Scotland</strong> lost 0.19 per cent.

A fall in metals prices affected mining companies this morning. <strong>Kazakhmys</strong> was the worst hit, losing 1.2 per cent. <strong>Vedanta Resources</strong> dropped 0.75 per cent. There were bright spots in the sector, with <strong>Xstrata</strong> edging up 0.18 per cent.

<strong>BHP Billiton</strong> edged down 0.1 percent, along with <strong>Anglo American</strong>, which lost 0.05 per cent.

China's demand concerns hit the oil producers. <strong>Shell</strong> was largely flat, edging down 0.04 per cent. <strong>BP</strong> dipped 0.17 per cent and <strong>Tullow Oil</strong> lost 0.15 per cent.

Airline <strong>Flybe</strong> was the morning's biggest faller, dropping 14.6 per cent following an interim statement. While total revenues rose, the number of passengers fell. The group also expects costs to rise.

On the upside, UK insurer <strong>Aviva</strong> performed well. The company gained 1.6 per cent, following HB Markets upgrading its shares to buy.

In the US last night, the <strong>Dow</strong> fell to 13,165, the <strong>Nasdaq</strong> rose at 3,019.

In Asia today, the <strong>Nikkei</strong> closed down at 8,891, while the <strong>Hang Seng</strong> finished down on 20,136.