FTSE losses limited by Aberdeen

The FTSE 100 was solid this morning as Aberdeen Asset Management reported a bounce back in client funds, making it the top riser.

Investors have been spooked by the Eurozone crisis, which has re-emerged with the debt woes of the likes of Italy and Spain again laid bare.

London’s blue chip index has also been buffeted by a string of negative economic data, including GDP figures last week showing that technically the UK had gone back into recession.

Figures out today showed Spain has also slipped into recession.

But today Aberdeen Asset Management helped to steady the ship with a 2.6 per cent rise. The jump came as the fund manager said its underlying pre-tax profits rose 14 per cent in its first half year after a recovery in client assets under management and higher fee margins.

Whitbread gained 1.7 per cent having last week reported strong sales at its Premier Inns and Costa businesses. Russian metals firms Polymetal and Evraz nudged up by more than one per cent.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca edged up by more than one per cent as both JPMorgan Cazenove and Jefferies International upgraded their ratings for the firm, which suffered big falls after accompanying first-quarter results with the shock departure of its chief executive David Brennan.

BSkyB was up by a similar level despite the controversy surrounding the company as the Murdoch empire was put under microscope over its attempts to buy a bigger shareholding in the broadcaster.

The heaviest loser on the index was hedge fund manager Man Group, which shed four per cent. The group, whose stock was badly hit amid market volatility, had been recovering on takeover speculation and it issues a trading update tomorrow.

Scottish and Southern Energy dipped by just over two per cent as JP Morgan downgraded it, while BAE Systems was off by 1.5 per cent.

iPhone chipmaker ARM Holdings lost 1.6 per cent, easing off after gains last week which were fuelled by increasing sales of Apple's smartphone.

Among miners Randgold Resources slipped the most, edging down by 1.7 per cent. In banking Lloyds edged down 0.6 per cent while Barclays lost 0.2 per cent and RBS 0.7 per cent.

Meanwhile on Asian markets the Nikkei closed down 0.4 per cent and the Hang Seng up 1.7 per cent. Across the Atlantic later investors will eye March US personal income and consumption data – the Federal Reserve's preferred measure of inflation.