StockMarketWire.com - Weaker than anticipated Chinese manufacturing data weighed on Asian markets overnight, leading to a dismal start to 2019 for the FTSE 100 as miners tumbled.

At around 8:45am, the FTSE 100 fell 1.7% to 6,613.

Miners Antofagasta and Evraz topped the list of biggest casualties in the sector with steep declines of at least 4.5% each, followed by peers BHP and Glencore.

Brent crude oil dropped 2% to $52.74 per barrel.

MID AND LARGE CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Gambling company Playtech agreed to pay €28m in additional tax to Israeli tax authorities for 2008 to 2017, causing the shares to dip 0.6% to 382.6p.

Hammerson revealed its annual results are set to meet expectations and its share buyback programme would be halted ahead of the announcement in February. Shares in the shopping centre owner reversed 3% to 319.4p.

British power generation company Drax, down 0.5% at 356.8p, completed the acquisition of Scottish Power's portfolio of pumped storage, hydro and gas-fired generation assets from Iberdrola.

SMALL CAP RISERS AND FALLERS

Oil and gas exploration firm Ophir Energy surged 36.3% to 48.6p on confirmation it is in discussions with Medco Energi Global over a potential takeover of Ophir.

Spectra Systems rallied 10.9% to 117p after receiving its first production order for the company's patented materials-based smartphone authentication product TruBrand.

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