British stocks held steady on Tuesday as signs of a slowdown in China’s economy spurred hopes for more policy support.
Official data showed that China’s services industry contracted in August for the first time since the height of the pandemic early last year.
The benchmark FTSE 100 was little changed at 7,142 as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend. Banks as well as energy stocks were moving lower, while miner Anglo American rose half a per cent and Antofagasta climbed 1.4 per cent.
Bunzl Plc fell 2.6 per cent after the business supplies distributor flagged that it was facing supply chain disruptions, product shortages and a labour crunch in certain markets.
Travel-related stocks declined after European Union governments agreed to remove the United States from the EU’s safe travel list.
British Airways-owner IAG lost 2.7 per cent, Wizz Air Holdings shed 2.4 per cent, Ryanair Holdings fell 2.2 per cent and Easyjet gave up 1.5 per cent.
Ferguson rose about 2 per cent after JP Morgan raised its price target on the plumbing and heating parts distributor.
Construction and fabrication outfit Lamprell gained about 0.7 per cent after it issued an update on progress made towards the recapitalization of its balance sheet.