- A stronger dollar loomed over global equities as investors were concerned over the pace of interest rate hikes in the US.

In the UK, tobacco stocks, Imperial Brands and British American Tobacco, contributed to the weakness of the FTSE 100 on reports the US is preparing a ban on menthol cigarettes.

British American Tobacco plummeted 10.6% to £29.62 and Imperial Brands declined 2.2% to £26.90.

The FTSE 100 traded 0.7% lower at 7,053.

European equities were in the red with Germany's DAX falling 1.8% to 11,325.

On Wall Street, investor sentiment was also weak with the S&P 500 down 1.5% at 2,739 around 5pm UK time.

Brent crude oil jumped 1.3% to $71 per barrel after Saudi Arabia pledged to cut output according to reports.


Alcoholic drinks firm Diageo fell 0.2% to £27.39 after it announced it would sell 19 brands, including whisky Seagram's and liqueur Sambuca, to Sazerac. Proceeds of £340m would be returned to shareholders via a buyback.

Pharmaceuticals giant AstraZeneca gained 1.3% to £62.51 on news clinical trials indicated that its diabetes drug had significantly reduced the risk of hospitalisation for heart failure.

UK funeral group Dignity shed 6.6% to 974.5p as intense price competition sent its third-quarter operating profit down 39%.

Engineering services company Babcock International climbed 2.6% to 616.2p after it denied speculation concerning its financial health published by the 'so far untraceable Boatman Capital'.

Sirius Minerals fell 2.8% to 23.2p as it confirmed it was hunting for financing for its flagship fertilizer project in Yorkshire after it awarded a key construction contract to Strabag.

Online gambling software supplier Playtech added 1.5% to 468p as it stuck to its most recent full-year guidance, though trading in Asia remained subdued.

Restaurant Group fell 5.5% to 238p after it launched a discounted £315m share issue to help fund its acquisition of Wagamama.


Shares in Johnston Press rallied 12.7% to 3.7p following weekend reports it could be subject to a takeover bid by Daily Mail newspaper publisher Daily Mail & General Trust.

Building services provider Northern Bear gained 0.5% to 79.4p as it posted a 23% rise in first-half profit, supported by a strong performance at its roofing and specialist services division.

Story provided by