FTSE 100 slides as weak Chinese data hits miners

Market trader (file picture) Image copyright PA

(Close): London's top shares fell on Tuesday, with shares in mining stocks dropping, after a survey indicated more weakness in the Chinese economy.

The FTSE 100 index closed down 56.3 points, or 0.9%, at 6,185.59.

A private survey suggested activity at China's factories contracted for the 14th month in a row in April.

Mining stocks fell sharply on the news. Shares in Anglo American dived 12.8%, Glencore fell 8% and BHP Billiton dropped 6.2%.

Shares in HSBC slipped 1.65% to 445.05p, reversing early gains, after the bank reported a 14% fall in first-quarter profits.

The bank cited "extreme levels of volatility" in financial markets at the start of the year, although the decline in profit was not as bad as analysts had feared.

In the FTSE 250, shares in Just Eat jumped 4.9% to 402.3p after it raised its profit forecast.

The company said full-year operating profit was set to be £102m-£104m, against a previous estimate of £98m-£100m, after it increased the rate it charges restaurants. Revenue is now expected to be £358m, up from £350m.

Shares in Aberdeen Asset Management dropped 7.4% to 276.7p after the fund group reported a sharp fall in half-year profits as it continued to be affected by the downturn in emerging markets.

Pre-tax profits sank to £98.8m, down from £185.4m a year earlier.

On the currency markets, the pound fell after a UK manufacturing survey suggested the sector contracted last month for the first time in more than three years.

Against the dollar, the pound surrendered early gains to stand down 0.81% at $1.4555 and fell 0.68% against the euro to €1.2634.