FTSE dragged lower by mining stocks
London's main benchmark edged lower despite strong manufacturing data in August Reuters

The London market struggled for direction despite data showing that the UK's manufacturing sector rebounded sharply in August.

The Markit/CIPS purchasing managers' index (PMI) for the sector jumped to 53.3 last month from 48.3 in July. A figure above 50 indicates growth.

The FTSE 100 Index slipped 6.4 points to 6775.2, even though the PMI survey was the largest month-on-month increase in its 25-year history. The FTSE 250 Index, a closer reflection of UK firms, lifted 190.4 points to 17923.2.

Spreadex financial analyst Connor Campbell said: "In one of those instances of contradictory market nonsense the surprise manufacturing PMI sent the pound sharply higher – to the tune of 1% – against both the dollar and the euro despite the fact that the survey underwent such an increase thanks to sterling's sustained weakness across August causing a swell in cheaper exports."

In afternoon trading the biggest risers on the FTSE 100 Index were Berkeley Group (+123p to 2795p), Taylor Wimpey (+6.4p to 167.7p), Lloyds Banking (+2.2p to 61.6p), Persimmon (+63p to 1887p) and 3i Group (+18.5p to 633p).

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 Index were Hikma Pharmaceuticals (-52p to 2088p), BHP Billiton (-21.2p to 968.7p), Royal Dutch Shell (-37p to 1905p), Fresnillo (-29p to 1577p) and GlaxoSmithKline (-29p to 1610p).

In afternoon trading the biggest risers on the FTSE 250 Index were Allied Minds (+33.7p to 358.5p), Sports Direct International (+22.5p to 319.8p), Thomas Cook (+3.4p to 73p), IP Group (+8.7p to 198.7p) and Bovis Homes (+40p to 936p).

The biggest fallers on the FTSE 250 Index were Ascential (-10.9p to 254.1p), Centamin (-4.7p to 143.8p), Stagecoach (-5.1p to 222.5p), Aggreko (-19p to 1000p) and Acacia Mining (-8.2p to 452.5p).