FTSE 100 weighed down by engineering stocks

The leading blue chip index opened modestly down this morning, as enthusiasm over positive US jobs data was pared back by weak UK construction data.

Engineering companies felt the pressure on the FTSE All-Share this morning.

Materials group Morgan Crucible dropped 12.51 per cent this morning. It warned on profits across its businesses, with Europe and China feeling the heat, which sounded a warning across the sector.

Pub chain Punch Taverns fell 8.57 per cent, while heat treating firm Bodycote fell 4.54 per cent amid weakness in the industrial materials market.

Precision instrument company Spectris lost 4.4 per cent and Spirax Sarco, which makes boiler and control valves, fell 2.73 per cent.

Topping the leaderboard was miner Bumi, recovering some of its losses last month, adding 15.37 per cent in early trading. Yesterday, Bumi’s troubled Indonesian arm asked to cancel its shareholding in the London-listed miner.

Oil producer Exillon Energy added 3.57 per cent, while Premier Foods jumped 3.18 per cent.

Coal producer New World Resources increased almost three per cent in early deals, while support services and construction company Interserve added 2.78 per cent after selling interests in two subsidiaries worth £89.5m.

UK banking shares mostly had a good morning. HSBC fell 0.37 per cent this morning, RBS added 0.09 per cent, Barclays increased 1.98 per cent while Lloyds Banking Group was up 1.22 per cent. The biggest riser came from Standard Chartered, up 2.4 per cent.

In Asia, the Nikkei closed 0.15 per cent down, while in the US the Dow Jones closed 0.14 per cent down.