London stocks post declines in early trade on Tuesday after Chinese manufacturing data came in weaker than anticipated, fuelling concerns about the world's second largest economy. China’s official manufacturing purchasing managers' index dropped to 50.1 in April from 50.2 in March, missing economists' estimates of 50.4, the National Bureau of Statistics revealed.
UK shares are spooked by the slowdown, the FTSE 100 index sliding around 45 points, or 0.7%, to 6,195, with midcaps and smaller companies also nursing losses.
Miners, financials and pharmas are among the chief blue-chip fallers, led by Anglo American's (AAL) 7.5% slump to 705.5p.
A 14% pre-tax profit fall to $6.1 billion in the three months to 31 March sees HSBC (HSBA) cheapen 1% to 448.1p. Market volatility is being blamed, although fears over a possible dividend cut did not materialise as the lender recommended a flat shareholder return of $0.10 a share.
Home and car insurer RSA (RSA) climbs 3.4% to 474.8p following an upgrade by Barclays’ analysts. The price target has been revised to 545p from the earlier 457p.
Takeaway ordering system Just Eat (JE.) fattens 7.7% to 413p after it increases its full year revenue forecast from £350 million to £358 million following a 1% increase in the UK commission rate in April.
Underlying EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) for the full year is expected to be between £102 million and £104 million, up from the previous guidance of £98 million to £100 million. Orders in the first quarter rose by 41% on a like-for-like basis.
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) sinks 6.7% to 279p as earnings per share at the half-year stage dip 41% to 9.6p. Chief executive and founder Martin Gilbert says there are signs in early 2016 that Aberdeen's products are beginning to perform better than peers but investors remain unimpressed. Assets under management (AuM), a key measure of an asset manager's earning power, gained 3% in the six months to 31 March to £293 billion, mainly because of acquisitions.
Pilot training software supplier SimiGon (SIM:AIM) shoots up 13% to 19p after signing an exclusive five-and-a-half-year, $7.9 million contract to deliver SIMbox based training solutions to a leading provider of training solutions for the civilian aviation industries in the Far East.
Deal-hungry car retailer Vertu Motors (VTU:AIM) adds 1p at 59p on the acquisition of Leeds Jaguar from Inchcape (INCH) for £650,000, an acquisition that will augment its Jaguar Land Rover business in the North of England.
Leading alcohol wholesaler Conviviality (CVR:AIM) cheapens 2.2% to 208.75p after announcing the £60 million acquisition of wine, spirit and beer distrbutor Bibendum. Transformed via last year's takeover of drinks wholesaler Matthew Clark, the Bargain Booze owner will fund the cash element of the deal, which expands its wholesaling expertise into new markets and channels, with the help of a £32 million placing priced at 205p.
Elsewhere, British premium lifestyle brand Joules announces its intention to float on AIM during the second quarter. The clothing and wellies brand featuring quirky British designs sees potential for continued growth in the UK and internationally.