China worries cast shadow over FTSE

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Figures showing that Britain’s economic recovery is gaining momentum failed to translate into a market gain yesterday amid concerns over the powerhouse Chinese economy.

Official figures revealed gross domestic product grew by 0.6 per cent in the three months to the end of June, following a 0.3 per cent increase in the previous three months – the first time the UK has seen back-to-back quarterly increases since 2011.

But this failed to offset worries over China after policymakers signalled their concern about the country’s prospects as they unveiled a number of moves designed to boost growth. The benchmark FTSE 100 Index closed down 32.48 points or 0.5 per cent at 6,587.96.

IG analyst David Madden said: “UK GDP was in line with expectation, which was not sufficient to ignite much excitement among investors; but some can be forgiven for hoping that this signals the start of a steady improvement in growth figures for the embattled British economy.”

Rolls-Royce continued to power ahead after first-half results topped City expectations and it saw improving demand. Shares rose 5 per cent or 60p to a multi-year high of 1,240p.

Miners were hit hard by the China growth concerns due to fears over a drop off in demand, with Fresnillo leading the sector’s falls, down 44p to 1,025p.

Drinks giant SAB Miller, the maker of Miller Genuine Draft and Peroni Nastro Azzuro, was also in the red as it said cold weather hit demand for its beers across developed markets, slowing the rate of revenue growth to 2 per cent in its first quarter. SAB shares fell 80p to 3,160p.

Consumer goods giant Unilever joined it on the fallers board with a fall of 42p to 2,676p after signalling slowing growth in its emerging markets.

NEW YORK: The Nasdaq climbed last night as Facebook’s stock scored its biggest daily percentage gain, but a mixed bag of earnings from other companies limited the Dow and the S&P 500 to modest gains.

The Dow Jones industrial average added 13.37 points, or 0.09 per cent, to end at 15,555.61 while the broader Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rose 4.31 points, or 0.26 per cent, to finish at 1,690.25. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 25.59 points, or 0.71 per cent, closing at 3,605.19.