Military hardware manufacturer BAE Systems slumped despite reporting a three per cent increase in operating profits to 1.9bn pounds for 2013, after it warned that profits could fall by up to 10 per cent on the back of pressures on US government spending.
Mining stocks Anglo American, Glencore Xstrata, Antofagasta and Fresnillo all fell into the red after Chinese data showed that activity in the manufacturing sector weakened to a seven-month low. The HSBC/Markit 'flash' China manufacturing purchasing managers' index (PMI) for February fell further into contraction, slipping to 48.3 from 49.5; analysts had expected no change.
Aberdeen Asset Management and SABMiller both declined as investors feared the impact the companies' exposure to the region could have.
Packaging group Rexam also dropped after missing analysts' estimates slightly with its 2013 results. The company underwhelmed after saying it expects to make "further progress" in 2014, but only on a constant currency basis.
Meanwhile, William Hill was at the top of the leaderboard after both Goldman Sachs and Exane BNP Paribas upgraded their ratings on the stock to 'buy' and 'outperform', respectively.
gained after Nomura increased its target price on the stock to 255p with a reiterated 'buy' rating saying it "pre-empt[s] the forthcoming return of value and adjust our forward share count to reflect the imminent share consolidation" following the Verizon deal.
Petrofac surged after the oilfield services firm won a £1.2bn contract from BP to build a gas processing facility in Oman.
Centrica shares were back in the black this afternoon, despite warning this morning that market conditions in 2014 are set to remain challenging amid political pressure to lower energy prices. It also reported a 2% decline in full-year operating margin.
FTSE 100 - Risers
William Hill (WMH) 354.30p +2.46%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 228.00p +2.08%
Petrofac Ltd. (PFC) 1,354.00p +1.80%
Centrica (CNA) 318.90p +1.56%
Travis Perkins (TPK) 1,955.00p +1.14%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 2,948.00p +1.13%
Land Securities Group (LAND) 1,088.00p +0.93%
Hammerson (HMSO) 574.00p +0.88%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 773.50p +0.85%
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,008.00p +0.80%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
BAE Systems (BA.) 397.00p -9.11%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 380.20p -3.75%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,532.00p -3.59%
Glencore Xstrata (GLEN) 336.90p -3.15%
Rexam (REX) 508.50p -3.05%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 933.00p -2.71%
Wolseley (WOS) 3,284.00p -2.55%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,323.00p -2.15%
SABMiller (SAB) 2,758.00p -2.08%
Fresnillo (FRES) 972.50p -1.97%