Equity markets have begun September on a bad note as the FTSE 100 fell by 2.5 per cent in early trading on Tuesday.
In its first day of trading since a volatile end to August, the index opened down 155 points at 6,092, with underwhelming Chinese data again blamed for the drop.
China’s official manufacturing PMI showed a reading of 49.7 for July, down from 50 the previous month, to move into contractionary territory for the first time since February.
The Shanghai Composite Index closed at 3,165.07, down 1.3 per cent, and the falls extended to European equities this morning.
Germany’s Xetra Dax and France’s CAC 40 both opened down 2.5 per cent, with the euro rising 0.9 per cent against the dollar to $1.13.
In the UK, miners were under the cosh despite the bounce seen at the end of last week. Glencore, BHP Billiton were among the largest fallers in the blue-chip index, and all constituents were in the red as of mid-morning.