- Trade war fears re-emerged on reports China imposed tariffs on US soybeans, prompting concerns the country will retaliate.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones dropped 1.5% to 23,572 around 4:45pm UK time, followed by the S&P 500 and Nasdaq.

The FTSE 100 fell 0.5% to 7,502 amid a sea of red across Europe.

The Purchasing Managers' Index data for the UK services sector increased from 51.7 in March to 52.8 in April.

A reading over 50 means the sector is growing while one under 50 suggests contraction.

Brent crude oil was stable at $73.26 per barrel.


A weaker than anticipated first quarter at Smith & Nephew (SN.) is expected to hit sales growth, which is now forecast to hit 2% to 3%, down from between 3% to 4%. Shares in the woundcare company lost 6.7% to £13.06.

Insurer Lancashire (LRE) brought in more premiums, supporting a 48% jump in first quarter pre-tax profit to $42.4m. Investors were pleased with the results as the stock gained 0.9% to 604p.

Miner Glencore (GLEN) advanced 0.4% to 359.3p after meeting first quarter production targets and revealing 2018 earnings are expected to hit the top half of its $2.2bn to $3.2bn guidance.

Gold miner Centamin (CEY) doubled first quarter profits thanks to higher gold production, lower sales costs and better gold prices, but this failed to move the shares at 156.7p.

James Fisher & Sons (FSJ) enjoyed a good start to the year with several new contracts in its marine support division. Shares in the marine engineering services provider swam 3.3% higher to £17.63.

Engineering giant Rolls-Royce (RR.) warned of rising costs on back of more engine inspections, overshadowing in-line trading. The stock reversed 0.8% to 830p.

In the same sector, IMI (IMI) was cautious over continuing uncertainty in some of its major divisions and a headwind from a recent rise in sterling. Its shares retreated 6.1% to £10.60.

Hungarian airline Wizz Air (WIZZ) flew 1.8% higher to £32.83 after benefitting from strong passenger growth of 19% in April. The airline also commenced its first UK flight after getting an operating license.

Ophir Energy (OPHR) announced a $200m cash purchase of a package of oil producing assets. The stock was flat at 59.1p.


Shares in oil exploration firm Bahamas Petroleum (BPC) catapulted 200% to 3.1p on a confidentiality and exclusivity deal with a major international company.

A fifth of Midatech Pharma's (MTPH) share price was wiped off after being notified by the Nasdaq exchange its shares fell below the minimum share price to remain listed in the US. The company said it was working on the issue.

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