FTSE 100 down on Italian uncertainty

Concerns over the health of the Eurozone weighed on the blue chip index this morning, following Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti’s announcement that he intends to resign after the 2013 budget is approved.

The FTSE 100 was trading 0.2 per cent down in early trading, led down by insurer Aviva and miner Eurasian Natural Resources, which dropped 1.78 per cent and 1.7 per cent respectively. This morning it announced that its subsidiary ENRC Congo had acquired the remaining 49.5 per cent of Camrose Resources in a deal worth $550m.

Fellow blue-chip miner Evraz was also down 1.24 per cent.

On the FTSE 250, digital rights sports group Perform sank more than five per cent in early deals.

Bakery chain Greggs fell almost three per cent as it announced this morning its chief executive Ken McMeikan is to stand down to join catering firm Brakes Group.

Miners Gem Diamonds and Hochschild fell 2.58 per cent and 2.46 per cent respectively.

Consumer groups and pharmaceutical blue chips helped to buoy the FTSE 100, with Tate & Lyle and GlaxoSmithKline rising 0.66 per cent and 0.63 per cent respectively.

Risers on the FTSE 250 included budget carrier Flybe, which was up 8.42 per cent in early deals.

Holiday company Thomas Cook added 5.56 per cent, while Aga Rangemaster increased more than five per cent.

In the US, the Dow Jones closed up 0.62 per cent while in Asia, the Nikkei closed up 0.07 per cent.