The FTSE 100 suffered a bruising day, finishing down 1 per cent, as poor numbers from China, an escalation of the Portuguese crisis and problems in Egypt sent investors running.
In China, the headline services Purchasing Managers Index figures dropped to a nine-month low of 53.9 in June, down from May’s number of 54.3 while the sub-index for construction fell to 59.3 from 62.2 in May further escalating concern over its slowdown.
The Footsie regained a modest number of points during the day but still finished 74 points down, or 1.17 per cent at 6,229.87. The index is now down almost 5 per cent over the past month.
In the eurozone, Portugal witnessed its 10-year government bond yields rise to 8.2 per cent, their highest since November last year. In addition its stock market, the PSI 20 endured a sell-off as worried investors sold-off riskier assets on the back of concern over the dire state of the nation’s economy and debts.
This week two of Portugal’s leading politicians including its Finance Minister Vitor Gaspar, the man behind the nation’s austerity programme, resigned adding further tension to the country’s coalition government.
Among the FTSE’s worst fallers were mining groups, with Anglo American down 6 per cent to 1,207p, Vedanta Resources down at 3 per cent to 1,009 p and Glencore Xstrata 3 per cent off at 269p. Contruction and materials group CRH lost 2 per cent to 1,292p. Tullow Oil was the highest riser on the leader-board, up 3 per cent to 1,061 after issuing a positive trading statement this morning which outlined significant progress in its African exploration projects.