London has opened lower with miners taking a hammering after a report from China showed manufacturing activity in the People's Republic in September only edged up from disappointing August levels.
China´s manufacturing sector Purchasing Manufacturers' Index (PMI) for the month of September came in at 47.8 overnight, after 47.6 in August, for its longest streak below the 50 point threshold - which indicates economic contraction - in eight years.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's exports fell 5.8% year-on-year in August, for a third straight decline, on weakness in demand from the EU and China.
Nerves are also jangling ahead of today´s Spanish Treasury debt auction.
Back home, retail sales figures for August are published at 9.30. Consensus expects both total sales and core sales to have fallen by 0.3% month-on-month, as the Olympics distracted households from their normal shopping pursuits, economists at Barclays Research suggest.
The CBI Industrial Trends survey for September is released at 11.00 (Consensus: -15).
IMPs is smoking after trading update
In company news, Imperial Tobacco Group has said that the overall financial position and operational performance of the group in the year ended September 30th has been in line with its expectations. Tobacco net revenues are expected to be up by around four per cent with particularly good performances in its Eastern Europe, Africa & Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions. However, stick equivalent volumes are expected to decline by up to three per cent, the majority of which is due to ongoing market weakness in Ukraine and Poland and compliance with international trade sanctions against Syria.
BSkyB has said it welcomes an announcement by Ofcom that Sky "remains a fit and proper holder of its broadcasting licences".
Utility company United Utilities remains confident of delivering its 2010-15 regulatory out-performance targets after a solid start to the current financial year. Revenue in the year to the end of March 2013 should be higher than last year, but, as expected, the increase is slightly below the allowed regulated price rise, principally reflecting the ongoing impact of customers switching to meters and continued lower commercial volumes.
Online grocer Ocado is sharply lower after an underwhelming trading update. The firm said gross sales increased 9.9% in the 12 weeks to August 5th 2012 and that it expects an increase in the rate of sale growth in the fourth quarter.
Year to date gross sales growth to the end of the third quarter was 11.3%. Panmure Gordon, which is bearish on the stock, had been looking for third quarter sales growth of 13%.
FTSE 100 - Risers
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,379.00p +1.84%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 157.30p +1.35%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 733.00p +0.83%
British Sky Broadcasting Group (BSY) 731.50p +0.62%
Vodafone Group (VOD) 175.50p +0.60%
Severn Trent (SVT) 1,715.00p +0.18%
Capita (CPI) 762.00p 0.00%
Centrica (CNA) 335.20p -0.09%
Kingfisher (KGF) 273.50p -0.11%
Pennon Group (PNN) 744.00p -0.13%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Evraz (EVR) 264.50p -4.68%
Vedanta Resources (VED) 1,038.00p -3.89%
Kazakhmys (KAZ) 722.50p -3.67%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,959.50p -3.66%
Antofagasta (ANTO) 1,250.00p -2.95%
Rio Tinto (RIO) 3,070.50p -2.88%
BHP Billiton (BLT) 1,945.50p -2.73%
Fresnillo (FRES) 1,819.00p -2.62%
Eurasian Natural Resources Corp. (ENRC) 348.80p -2.41%
Xstrata (XTA) 1,039.50p -2.16%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Perform Group (PER) 381.30p +2.50%
BBA Aviation (BBA) 205.90p +2.23%
Rank Group (RNK) 142.14p +1.82%
Diploma (DPLM) 478.00p +1.57%
Ruspetro (RPO) 108.50p +1.40%
easyJet (EZJ) 578.50p +0.96%
BH Macro Ltd. GBP
Shares (BHMG) 1,999.00p +0.91%
IG Group Holdings (IGG) 452.70p +0.71%
Phoenix Group Holdings (DI) (PHNX) 514.50p +0.68%
Jardine Lloyd Thompson Group (JLT) 754.00p +0.67%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Ocado Group (OCDO) 63.65p -5.28%
Lonmin (LMI) 620.50p -4.76%
Ferrexpo (FXPO) 209.90p -3.85%
Heritage Oil (HOIL) 205.10p -3.44%
Aquarius Platinum Ltd. (AQP) 45.28p -3.14%
Afren (AFR) 137.60p -2.96%
Talvivaara Mining Company (TALV) 171.20p -2.56%
Bodycote (BOY) 395.00p -2.42%
Petropavlovsk (POG) 429.60p -2.30%
Victrex (VCT) 1,359.00p -2.23%