Britain's top shares fell on Tuesday as traders returned to their desks after a long holiday weekend, tracking steep falls on Wall Street in the aftermath of Friday's disappointing U.S. jobs report.
The UK benchmark <.FTSE> was down 45.06 points, or 0.8 percent, at 5,678.61 by 0829 GMT, as UK investors had their first chance to react to the U.S. employment report following the Easter break.
That negative mood was also evident in the FTSE 100 Volatility index <.VFTSE>, which jumped 12 percent, and in technical analysis, with the FTSE 100 having recently breached its short-term uptrend.
Bill McNamara, a Charles Stanley analyst, highlighted that the retreat through this uptrend strongly suggests the index has lost its upside momentum, for now, with the next area of support likely to be found at 5,600, the low end of the last three months' range.
The negative mood that took hold of markets was compounded by gloomy Chinese economic data for March, including weaker copper import figures and higher inflation in the world's second-biggest economy.
Commodity-related stocks and banks, which tend to suffer when the trend in markets turns to risk-off mode, were the biggest casualties on Tuesday.
Miners <.FTNMX1770> which spearheaded Thursday's rally, went into reverse as demand jitters came to the fore, with India-focused Vedanta Resources
Randgold's shares slid by around 28 percent over the last month as investors worried about the potential impact on sales and perceptions of political risk.
Earnings will come to the fore this week, with bellwethers Google Inc
(Earnings) seem to be the obvious potential for a positive catalyst going forward because in general terms there are expectations we should have a fairly strong set of first-quarter results, said Richard Hunter, head of equities at Hargreaves Lansdown.
Whilst the global economy is showing signs of creaking, blue-chip companies are actually in quite rude health, having long since taken the knife to costs and now basically benefiting from having a fair amount of cash on their balance sheets.
(Editing by Mark Heinrich)