The FTSE 100 Index fell 27.8 points to 6,836.3 yesterday as global markets came under pressure amid concerns over economic growth in the eurozone and continuing nervousness about Chinese manufacturing.
New figures showed eurozone inflation sank to 0.5% in May, adding to fears that it could plunge into a spiral of falling prices and further fuelling expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) will take radical stimulus action later this week.
The latest manufacturing data from China offered hope that a slowdown in the world’s second largest economy is stabilising.
But there was still contraction in the sector, causing mining giant Fresnillo to fall 16.5p to 785.5p and rival Anglo American to shed 33.5p to £14.58.
Three of the UK’s “big four” supermarkets were also among the Footsie fallers as industry data showed their market shares continue to be squeezed under pressure from discounters Aldi and Lidl.
US-owned Asda was the only one of the four to increase its slice of the pie.
Tesco’s shares fell 3p to 297.5p ahead of its first quarter trading update today. Morrisons dropped 2%, or 4.2p, to 194.4p and Sainsbury’s was down 5.3p at 333.8p.
Elsewhere in the top-flight, building supplies firm Wolseley was 53p higher at £33.63 after strong trading in the US and Scandinavia helped it offset lower like-for-like revenue growth in the UK in the quarter to April 30.
In the FTSE 250 Index, shares in estate agency chain Foxtons were nearly 7% or 21.9p lower at 307.9p following news that chief executive Michael Brown was to step down after 12 years with the firm.
Waste and water group Pennon fell 23.5p to £7.60 as investors focused on a 19.5% drop in profits for its Viridor business. Overall, profits were 9.1% higher at £207.3million.