[LONDON] UK blue-chip shares slipped on Tuesday as a second set of disappointing data from China this week added to fears of a global recession, while JD Sports rose to an all-time high on upbeat results.
The FTSE 100 index dipped 0.2 per cent, having suffered its worst day this month in the last session, while the midcap index was down 0.1 per cent by 0800 GMT.
Investor sentiment took a hit from China data that showed factory prices shrank in August at the sharpest pace in three years due to the prolonged trade war with the United States.
Helping limit losses on the indexes were a 7 per cent rise in blue-chip JD Sports and a 22 per cent jump in mid-cap Galliford Try.
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Shares of the builder rose after it restarted preliminary talks to sell its residential housing businesses to housebuilder Bovis Homes. Bovis shares dropped 5.4 per cent.
Meanwhile, sterling hovered at a six-week high it hit on Monday and weighed on AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline as strength in the local currency meant the value of their US earnings would be lower.
Equipment rental giant Ashtead lost 3 per cent despite reporting a rise in earnings. Other industrials Rentokil and Spirax-Sarco also gave up 2%.
“The results appear to have ticked all the boxes and not raised any major concerns. Expectations were high heading into the event though, so we may just be seeing a little profit taking on the results,” Oanda analyst Craig Erlam said.
Oil heavyweights Shell and BP advanced as crude prices were on a five-day winning streak on hopes that the OPEC and other oil producing countries may agree to extend output cuts to prop up prices.
Barclays also rose 3.3 per cent. The lender said it would set aside between £1.2 billion and £1.6 billion more to settle Britain’s costliest consumer banking scandal, the mis-selling of payment protection insurance.
FTSE 250 constituent Cairn Energy rose 7 per cent as strong half-year results led to a production target upgrade.
Among small-caps, online gambling 888 Holdings slumped 10.6 per cent after results showed a hit to earnings from a rise in online gaming taxes and administrative expenses due to Brexit preparations.