Britain's FTSE 100 hit an eight-month low and was on track for its biggest drop in 2015, as weak data from China raises investors' concerns about global growth prospects. Kirsty Basset reports.
Manufacturing in China this month contracted at its fastest pace since the depth of the financial crisis in 2009, according to a closely watched survey. And that's worrying for world stock markets. Head of Equities at Hargreaves Lansdown, Richard Hunter. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) HEAD OF EQUITIES AT HARGREAVES LANSDOWN, RICHARD HUNTER, SAYING: "There is no question that markets are getting jittery on the back of that." Other data showing business growth unexpectedly accelerating in the eurozone this month gave the euro a brief boost, but most investors see external factors as more important drivers at the moment. The FTSEurofirst was down more than 1.5 per cent, Britain's FTSE was 1.2 per cent lower, Germany's DAX was having its worst month since 2011, and France's CAC was off 1.1 per cent. CCLA's James Bevan outlined his concerns. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER AT CCLA, JAMES BEVAN, SAYING: "I certainly worry that China is going to drive the global economy much closer to outright deflation than would otherwise have been the case. China afterall has three significant bubbles - in property, in credit and in investment. And the blowoff of those bubbles does represent a huge challenge to the global economy." Precious metals bucked the trend, and were bouyed as investors sought safe havens such as gold.