(Reuters) – London’s FTSE 100 weakened on Wednesday as an escalation in the China-U.S. trade conflict coupled with tensions over budgetary rules between Italy and the European Union hurt investors’ appetite for risk across the board.
Both the main index and the more domestically-focussed midcap index were down 0.7% by 0710 GMT.
China’s Communist Party newspaper warned on Wednesday that Beijing was ready to use its influence over the supply of rare earths to strike back against the United States in an increasingly bitter trade dispute.
London’s listed mining companies, focused on more traditional industrial metals and a large part of the blue chip index, fell from one-month highs as worries about the trade war’s impact on global growth hit home.
Oil majors BP and Shell were also among the top drags on the main index as oil prices sank globally.
British American Tobacco fell 2.4%, a day after data from Nielsen showed cigarette industry volumes deteriorated in the four weeks to May 18.
Among a handful of gainers were support services group Stobart and industrial software company AVEVA that gained 5% and 1.3%, respectively, on the midcap index after reporting full-year results.
(Reporting by Muvija M in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)