- The UK manufacturing purchasing managers' index dropped to 49.4 in May, down from 53.1 in April, according to IHS Markit.

The market been expecting a more modest fall to 52.5.

'Manufacturers reported increased difficulties in convincing clients to commit to new contracts during May,' IHS Markit said.

'This mainly reflected the already high level of inventories following recent stockpiling activity in advance of the original Brexit date.'

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