Vodafone shares down on Liberty Global deal rumour

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FTSE 100 Index

Last Updated at 23 Mar 2018, 16:36 GMT *Chart shows local time FTSE 100 intraday chart
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(Close): Falling energy and oil stocks pulled the market lower, while Vodafone shares fell on rumours it is mulling a takeover bid.

Reuters reported on Friday that the UK mobile network was considering a move for Virgin Media owner Liberty Global. Vodafone shares fell 2.9% to 227.2p.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 66.25 points, or 0.99%, at 6,665.37.

Commodity-related stocks saw big falls as the oil price dropped and China's manufacturing growth slowed.

The price of Brent crude oil touched a five-year low to $67.82 a barrel in Asian trade, the lowest since October 2009, before recovering to $71.11. Shares in Tullow Oil fell 6% and BG Group dropped 0.5%.

Mining shares also fell after figures from China showed the manufacturing sector growing slower than expected. BHP Billiton fell 2.2% and Anglo American dropped 1.3%.

Shares in Aberdeen Asset Management rose 1.7% to 457.5p after it reported a 2% rise in underlying pre-tax profit to £490m.

In the FTSE 250, shares in Balfour Beatty rose 4.3% after the company said John Laing Infrastructure Fund had offered to buy its public-private partnership assets for £1bn.

Shares in Kier Group fell 1.3% after the construction group announced on Monday that it had held preliminary talks about buying Mouchel.

On the currency markets, the pound rose 0.68% against the dollar to $1.5754 and was 0.34% higher against the euro at €1.2606. Sterling was given some support by the latest survey of the UK manufacturing sector, which indicated a small pick-up in activity.