London's stocks rose on Wednesday after plunging to a seven-week low, though any hopes for a full reversal of the prior day's sell-off were shattered by gloomy data from China and weak production figures from the UK.
London's FTSE 100 was up just 0.08% at 6,708.24 by midday, having quickly erased gains after rising to a high of 6,738.95 early on.
The index sunk 2.5% on Tuesday to 6,702.84, its worst close since 20 January, as a stronger US dollar
dampened the price of commodities and concerns about Greece weighed on sentiment.
Upside was limited in morning trade on Wednesday after UK industrial production unexpectedly slipped by 0.1% in January, surprisingly analysts who had expected 0.2% growth after a 0.2% decline in December.
Analysts at Capital Economics said the figures "provided further disappointing signs that the sector's recovery is struggling to re-gain momentum, after almost grinding to a halt in the fourth quarter".
Chinese data disappoints
The annual rate of Chinese fixed asset investment growth slowed to 13.9% last month from 15.7% in January and retail sales grew 10.7% year-on-year in February, compared with 12% previously. Meanwhile, industrial production growth eased to just 6.8% from 8.3%, the lowest increase since March 2009.
The worse-than-expected data came just a week after China's government lowered its economic growth target to "around 7%" this year from 7.4% in 2014.
"It's become quite normal to be disappointed with Chinese data releases and the People's Bank of China offering monetary stimulus in an effort to offset this has helped cushion the blow quite well, but this morning's data is pretty dire," said analyst Craig Erlam from FX trading group Oanda.
Domino Printing soars, Cairn and N Brown sink
Japan-based office equipment supplier Brother Industries has agreed to acquire British printing technology company Domino Printing Sciences for £1.03bn, causing shares
in the FTSE 250 group to surge 32%. Domino, which has operations in the UK, China, Germany, India, Sweden and the US, will continue to operate as a standalone division in the business.
Cairn Energy dropped over 21% after being issued with a bill of at least $1.6bn by the Indian government due to unpaid tax by a subsidiary, which the oil group has contested.
Retailer N Brown fell 14% after delivering its second profit warning in six months due to lower-than-expected product gross margins in the fourth quarter. The company said pre-tax profit for the full year would be "slightly below the range previously guided".
Tullow Oil was flat as "excellent results" from its appraisal activity in the South Lokichar basin in Kenya were overshadowed by an exploration well on the North Turkana basin which had to be plugged and abandoned.
Shares in Burberry advanced after the British fashion house appointed Fabiola Arredondo as a non-executive director. Arredondo, once named by The Wall Street Journal as the most influential businesswoman in Europe, has previously held senior roles at Yahoo, the BBC and Bertelsmann.
Comments from Exane BNP Paribas were hitting the share price of Johnson Matthey as it lowered its stance on the chemicals outfit from 'outperform' to 'neutral', saying it sees lower medium-term structural growth and growing risks.
techMARK 3,126.91 +0.66%
FTSE 100 6,708.24 +0.08%
FTSE 250 16,869.27 -0.31%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,850.00p +1.87%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,541.00p +1.72%
GKN (GKN) 356.70p +1.34%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,014.00p +1.28%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,325.00p +1.22%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 552.00p +1.19%
Prudential (PRU) 1,631.00p +1.18%
CRH (CRH) 1,719.00p +1.18%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 218.05p +1.16%
Intu Properties (INTU) 338.40p +1.05%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Fresnillo (FRES) 641.00p -2.44%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 655.00p -2.24%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 260.50p -2.03%
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,093.00p -1.97%
Glencore (GLEN) 282.65p -1.65%
Hargreaves Lansdown (HL.) 1,099.00p -1.44%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,261.00p -1.12%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 704.00p -0.98%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,457.00p -0.95%
Barclays (BARC) 252.15p -0.85%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 950.00p +31.76%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 772.50p +5.53%
Greggs (GRG) 995.50p +2.95%
Booker Group (BOK) 158.60p +2.52%
Renishaw (RSW) 2,403.00p +2.26%
Bodycote (BOY) 759.50p +1.54%
Greencore Group (GNC) 330.10p +1.16%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 960.50p +1.16%
Murray International Trust (MYI) 1,015.00p +1.10%
Enterprise Inns (ETI) 104.30p +1.07%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Cairn Energy (CNE) 144.10p -21.43%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 351.60p -13.95%
IP Group (IPO) 220.80p -5.80%
Lonmin (LMI) 107.20p -5.55%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 123.70p -5.28%
Hunting (HTG) 466.90p -4.32%
COLT Group SA (COLT) 139.60p -4.25%
Premier Oil (PMO) 138.40p -4.16%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,221.00p -4.10%
Home Retail Group (HOME) 190.10p -3.75%