Thursday, March 22, 2012
3/22/2012 11:45:00 AM live news No comments
The benchmark FTSE 100 index slipped 0.79 percent to end at 5,845.65 points.
"Growth concerns across the globe are finally taking their toll on equities as investors are doubtful the US alone can lead a global recovery," said Spreadex trader Jordan Lambert.
"Outside the US the economic picture seems really bleak as we have austerity cutting away at growth in Europe and China's manufacturing activity and resource demands continue a contracting trend," he added.
Eurozone private sector activity fell more sharply than expected in March with the composite purchasing managers' index (PMI), a key leading-indicator, dropping to 48.7 points.
A reading above 50 means expansion, while below 50 suggests contraction.
On the London bourse, Lloyds Banking Group was the most traded stock, seeing 195 million units change hands, followed by Royal Bank of Scotland, in which 97.3 million units switched owners.
International Consolidated AIrlines was the biggest blue-chip gainer, up 3.46 percent -- or 6 pence -- to 179.3, followed by home improvement group Kingfisher, which gained 2.47 percent -- or 7.4 pence -- to 307.4 .
Randgold Resources was the day's worst performer, seeing shares slump 12.6 percent -- or 830 pence -- at 5,765 on news of a military coup in Mali.
The gold miner's shares had shot up just Wednesday after announcing it had signed a deal for a new mine in the west African nation.
It was followed on a downward trend by fellow miner Fresnillo, which lost 6.68 percent -- or 116 pence -- to 1,621.
The pound was worth $1.5813 at 5:20pm, down from $1.5863 at the same time the previous day, while it slipped to 1.1995 euros from 1.2007 euros over the same period.