Shares in British banks were down on the FTSE 100 in morning trading as investors fretted over weak economic data from the U.S.

U.S. factory activity slowed to its slowest rate in over 18 months, while private sector job creation in April was well below analyst hopes and expectations. The news led to yields on ten year government bonds to fall below three per cent.

By 09:10 shares in Lloyds Banking Group were down 1.05 per cent to 49.48 pence per share, RBS shares declined 1.10 per cent to 41.39 pence per share, Barclays shares fell 1.19 per cent to 266.45 pence per share and HSBC shares decreased 0.46 per cent to 628.90 pence per share.

Overall the FTSE 100 was down 1.03 per cent to 5,867.72.