FTSE edges down as UK borrowing rises

Telecoms giant Vodafone pushed the FTSE 100 lower while UK government borrowing came in above estimates this morning.

The Office for National Statistics said that public sector net borrowing excluding financial sector interventions rose last month to £14.4bn from £13.9bn in June 2011.

On London's blue chip index Vodafone fell 1.3 per cent after the world's largest mobile operator by revenue posted a sharp decline in organic growth during the first quarter.

BT was also off by more than one per cent.

The banking sector was also a poor performer as fears over the Spanish economy and wider problems in the Eurozone sapped investor sentiment.

Lloyds lost 0.5 per cent and Barclays 0.3 per cent while RBS. HSBC also nudged down.

Insurer Resolution retreated by six per cent after the company said it had cancelled plans to return £250m to shareholders, blaming increasingly uncertain economic and financial market conditions.

Meanwhile Aberdeen Asset Management was off by more than one per cent.

Retailer Kingfisher, which owns B&Q, dipped by just over one per cent having yesterday reported falling sales.

Steelmaker Evraz nudged down by 1.7 per cent as commodities also struggled to gain a foothold as fears over global economic growth, particularly in China, continued to take their toll.

On the up side engineers performed strongly with Weir Group, up 1.8 per cent, the highest riser on the index.

Rolls-Royce advanced by 1.2 per cent and IMI one per cent.

Anglo American was the top miner with a rise of 1.4 per cent while rival BHP Billiton saw a modest gain.

Meanwhile John Lewis, a bellwether for the UK retail sector, posted another double-digit rise in weekly sales.

In Asia the Nikkei closed down 1.4 per cent while the Hang Seng was up 0.4 per cent.