UK stocks advanced on Wednesday morning but only partly reversed the prior day's heavy sell-off as a raft of weak economic data from China added to concerns about a slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
London's FTSE 100 was up 0.4% at 6,731.82 in early trading.
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.
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
Shares in Domino Printing jumped 31% on reports that an unnamed Japanese firm it set to clinch a takeover deal worth nearly £1bn. According to sources cited by Sky News, the FTSE 250 group, which has held discussions with a number of US-based competitors recently, could officialise the deal as early as Wednesday.
Cairn Energy dropped over 16% 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 gained after hailing "excellent results" from its appraisal activity in the South Lokichar Basin in Kenya as it looks to prove reservoir quality and define resources estimates ahead of potential development, though one well had to be plugged and abandoned.
techMARK 3,133.16 +0.86%
FTSE 100 6,731.82 +0.43%
FTSE 250 16,981.34 +0.35%
FTSE 100 - Risers
Burberry Group (BRBY) 1,858.00p +2.31%
Associated British Foods (ABF) 3,018.00p +1.41%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,096.50p +1.39%
Prudential (PRU) 1,633.50p +1.33%
CRH (CRH) 1,721.00p +1.29%
Aggreko (AGK) 1,534.00p +1.25%
United Utilities Group (UU.) 900.00p +1.24%
Reckitt Benckiser Group (RB.) 5,770.00p +1.14%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 551.50p +1.10%
Taylor Wimpey (TW.) 147.40p +1.10%
FTSE 100 - Fallers
Coca-Cola HBC AG (CDI) (CCH) 1,096.00p -1.70%
Babcock International Group (BAB) 945.00p -1.10%
Sainsbury (J) (SBRY) 263.10p -1.05%
Fresnillo (FRES) 651.50p -0.84%
Standard Chartered (STAN) 1,010.00p -0.83%
Weir Group (WEIR) 1,812.00p -0.71%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,275.00p -0.70%
Sports Direct International (SPD) 666.00p -0.60%
Smith & Nephew (SN.) 1,108.00p -0.45%
Barclays (BARC) 253.20p -0.43%
FTSE 250 - Risers
Domino Printing Sciences (DNO) 946.00p +31.21%
Domino's Pizza Group (DOM) 771.50p +5.40%
Afren (AFR) 6.50p +3.83%
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 81.00p +3.32%
Booker Group (BOK) 159.70p +3.23%
Oxford Instruments (OXIG) 849.00p +3.22%
Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC) 58.80p +2.44%
FirstGroup (FGP) 100.80p +2.39%
UDG Healthcare Public Limited Company (UDG) 464.10p +2.20%
Dunelm Group (DNLM) 869.00p +2.18%
FTSE 250 - Fallers
Cairn Energy (CNE) 153.30p -16.41%
Brown (N.) Group (BWNG) 351.60p -13.95%
Hikma Pharmaceuticals (HIK) 2,239.00p -3.32%
Ophir Energy (OPHR) 126.60p -3.06%
Hunting (HTG) 473.50p -2.97%
Centamin (DI) (CEY) 52.90p -2.04%
NMC Health (NMC) 633.00p -1.94%
Nostrum Oil & Gas (NOG) 583.00p -1.77%
Premier Oil (PMO) 142.00p -1.66%
Card Factory (CARD) 269.00p -1.61%