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.
Barclays 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. HSBC was flat, Lloyds was down 0.15 per cent, Royal Bank of Scotland lost 0.19 per cent.
A fall in metals prices affected mining companies this morning. Kazakhmys was the worst hit, losing 1.2 per cent. Vedanta Resources dropped 0.75 per cent. There were bright spots in the sector, with Xstrata edging up 0.18 per cent.
BHP Billiton edged down 0.1 percent, along with Anglo American, which lost 0.05 per cent.
China’s demand concerns hit the oil producers. Shell was largely flat, edging down 0.04 per cent. BP dipped 0.17 per cent and Tullow Oil lost 0.15 per cent.
Airline Flybe 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 Aviva performed well. The company gained 1.6 per cent, following HB Markets upgrading its shares to buy.
In the US last night, the Dow fell to 13,165, the Nasdaq rose at 3,019.
In Asia today, the Nikkei closed down at 8,891, while the Hang Seng finished down on 20,136.