The London market surrendered earlier gains today after worrying figures on the US economy overshadowed encouraging data from Asian powerhouse China.
The FTSE 100 Index closed just 4.4 points higher at 5,871.2 after the US manufacturing purchasing managers’ index unexpectedly fell to 49.5 in November from 51.7 in October – a sign of contraction in the sector.
London’s leading shares index had been higher earlier after manufacturing PMI figures from China indicated the first expansion in the sector in 13 months.
Among the mining stocks in London, hopes of improved Chinese demand ensured copper producer Kazakhmys lifted 2p to 715.5p and Rio Tinto added 26.5p to £31.20.
Retailers failed to benefit from the positive start to the week however, with Sainsbury’s among those on the fallers board after a drop of 4.7p to 336.7p.
Morrisons dropped 2.6p to 266.2p, while B&Q owner Kingfisher was off 2.7p at 275.3p and Marks & Spencer shed 0.9p to 389.7p. Next declined 22p to £36.39 and Dixons Retail eased 0.5p to 26.9p in the FTSE 250 Index.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Melrose Industries up 6.2p at 219.3p, BSkyB ahead 13p at 772p, Rolls-Royce up 15p at 905.5p and Schroders ahead 25p at £26.21.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Hargreaves Lansdown down 20.5p at 736.5p, Lloyds Banking Group off 0.8p at 45.7p and Evraz down 3.4p at 230.8p.
Elaine McLachlan, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Inverness, noted that risers included Plexus Holdings, up 6.3% to 250p, while Optos added 4.5% to 180.9p and Parkmead Group was 3.7% higher at 13.8p.
Fallers included John Menzies, off 1.8% at 588.3p, EnQuest down 1.7% at 112.1p and FirstGroup 1.5% off at 183.9p.