FTSE dips following Chinese growth data

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(Close): Shares in London edged lower amid renewed concerns over global growth after China's economy expanded at its slowest pace for seven years in the first three months of 2016.

The FTSE 100 Index closed down 21 points, or 0.3%, at 6,343.75.

Official figures showed China's economy grew at an annualised pace of 6.7% in the first quarter of 2016.

Investors were also wary of oil price fluctuations ahead this weekend's meeting of oil producing nations.

High on the agenda at the meeting of both Opec and non-Opec nations in Doha on Sunday will be a production freeze designed to put a floor under oil prices that have plummeted some 70% since July 2014.

Investors also cited concerns around a June referendum on whether Britain should stay in the European Union and worries about a slowdown in the luxury sector.

SABMiller shares were 1.6% higher at 4280p after AB InBev took further steps to reassure regulators as part of its efforts to seek approval for its £71bn takeover of its rival.

Last week AB InBev said it would sell some divisions including SABMiller's premium European beers, while on Thursday it said it would invest 11 billion rand to support small South African farmers as part of concessions agreed with the government.

Shares in the asset manager Man Group rose 7.2% to 162.4p after the group reported a strong first quarter.

Elsewhere the home improvement retailer Travis Perkin and the housebuilder Barratt Developments were among the biggest fallers on the FTSE 100, down 4.6% and 3.8% respectively, as concerns about a possible Brexit and stagnation at the top-end of the market put pressure on housebuilding companies.

"Ahead of Brexit, people have been selling the housebuilders and the pressure will remain until we get the vote out of the way - that's the main headwind for UK housebuilders," Zeg Choudhry, managing director at Lontrad said.

Sterling was 0.4% higher against the US dollar at $1.4217 while against the euro the pound was up 0.07% at €1.2574.