- Trade war fears re-emerged after tech giant Apple's profit warning overnight blamed weak Chinese trading for its worse than anticipated performance.

Investors fretted over a potential slowdown in growth as a result of the ongoing US-China trade war, throwing global equities into the red.

Wall Street was heavily hit with the Dow Jones dropping 1.5% to 23,000 at around 4:45pm UK time.

Germany's DAX fell 1.4% to 10,426 while the FTSE 100 dipped 0.6% to 6,692.

UK construction output slowed in December as the Purchasing Managers' Index fell from 53.4 in November to 52.8 amid subdued demand. A figure over 50 signals growth and one under 50 implies contraction.

Brent crude oil was up 0.2% at $55 per barrel and copper cheapened 2.6% to $2.56 per pound.


Fashion retailer Next added 4.1% to £43.50 after it reported strong sales in the pre-Christmas trading period in line with its September guidance, but lowered its full-year profit guidance slightly.

Foreign exchange service Alpha FX Group jumped 8% to 610p after it said Thursday it expected earnings for the year through December 2018 to be ahead of market expectations amid ongoing 'strong' performance.

UK drug manufacturer Vectura leapt 13% to 80p after it said on Thursday it predicted its adjusted earnings in 2018 would "materially" exceed market expectations due to productivity initiatives and margin improvements.

Irish budget carrier Ryanair drifted 1.6% lower to 10.3p as it said on Thursday it grew its December traffic by 12% to 10.3m customers.

Fellow low-cost airline Wizz Air moved up 0.9% to £27.77 after said it grew its passenger numbers and load factor in December as it announced 14 new routes.


Cyber security company Corero Network Security slumped 16.7% to 10.6p despite saying it expected to halve full-year earnings losses from a year earlier even as revenue growth was predicted to fall short of expectations.

Mobile commerce company Bango rose 0.5% to 89.5p as it confirmed Thursday that Carolyn Rand had been appointed as permanent chief financial officer from 1 January.

Story provided by