StockMarketWire.com - The FTSE 100 fell a further 34 points or 0.45% on Thursday lunchtime, adding to Wednesday's losses.

After disappointing industrial data from China and a fall in retail sales, the sectors weighing down the index were electrical equipment, general retail, metals, paper and travel and leisure.

The biggest loser on the FSTE 100 was private equity and infrastructure group 3i (III) despite posting a 10% increase in first half net asset value (NAV) and raising its dividend. Shares slid 5% to £10.66.

Other heavy losers were metals firms Antofagasta, Evraz and Fresnillo.

Bucking the downward trend was power company National Grid which climbed 1% to 903p after reporting a 1% rise in half year profits and announcing an interim dividend of 16.57p per share.

Biggest gainer in the FSTE 100 was luxury apparel-maker Burberry, up 4.8% to £21.60 as first half results revealed an 11% rise in first half profits on the success of new chief creative officer Richard Tisci's and despite the disruption to sales in Hong Kong.

Outside the FTSE, energy firm Premier Oil rose 2.8% to £15.44 boosted by the news that it had cut its net debt by $300m by the end of October.

The company also announced a significant commercial discovery at Tolmount East, with development planning already well advanced. The project sanction is targeted for the second half of 2020.

Biggest gainer in the FTSE 250 mid-cap index was cyber-security firm Qinetiq which gained 5.5% to 340p after revealing a 16% rise in core operating profits thanks to strong organic revenue growth.

Another gainer was Safestore Holdings which added 0.4% to 727p after it reported a 5.6% increase in revenue in the fourth quarter.

The UK division in particular performed well in the fourth quarter, growing total revenues by 5.9% and like-for-like revenues by 3.8%.

Regional UK stores were strong with like-for-like revenue up 5.0% while London and the South East grew by 2.9%.

Biggest loser on the FTSE 250 was bus and rail firm FirstGroup with shares down a thumping 20% to 104p after it wrote down the value of its US coach business Greyhound.

Although the sale process is 'well advanced', the £124m writedown helped push half-year pre-tax losses to £187m against £4.6m last year. Story provided by StockMarketWire.com