Weakness in commodity stocks drove Britain's leading share index lower on Tuesday, with the demand picture for miners and oils clouded by last Friday's disappointing U.S. jobs data and by weak numbers from China.

At 1052 GMT, the FTSE 100 index <.FTSE> was down 51.07 points, or 0.9 percent, at 5,672.60, albeit in thin volumes of around 35 percent of the 90-day daily average.

The negative mood was also reflected in the FTSE 100 Volatility index <.VFTSE>, which jumped 11.5 percent, and was backed up by technical analysis.

If the current move turns out to be more than just a correction then the possibility of seeing a larger (drop) ...is more than likely, said Sandy Jadeja, chief technical analyst at City Index.

Falls by miners <.FTNMX1770> - which had led a rally on Thursday - knocked the most points off the blue chip index as copper prices fell back on demand jitters after the U.S. data, and following weaker copper import figures and higher inflation in China, the world's biggest consumer of metals.

India-focused Vedanta Resources was among the worst off, down 2.5 percent after posting a drop in full-year iron ore output.

Integrated oils <.FTNMX0530> were also lower as crude prices slipped back after the soft Chinese import data raised concerns about demand in that sector too.

Oil services firm Petrofac
fell 3.0 percent as Liberum Capital downgraded its rating to hold from buy on valuation grounds following recent gains, with the stock within 5 percent of its unchanged 1,822 pence target price.


Randgold Resources was easily the top FTSE 100 riser, jumping 9.6 percent on hopes of a political settlement in Mali after the resignation of the African country's president and as the gold miner confirmed its production target for the year.

Goldman Sachs raised its target price for Randgold to 5,700 pence from 5,500 pence but kept a sell rating on the stock.

Precious metal miners were also lifted by a firmer gold price which rose on expectations that a sluggish employment market in the United States could spark a fresh round of asset buying by the Federal Reserve and weaken the dollar, lowering the cost of holding gold which is priced in the currency.

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street after Monday's slide bought up a four-session losing streak.

U.S. wholesale inventories for February and April's IBD consumer confidence report are both due at 1400 GMT.

U.S. first-quarter corporate earnings will be uppermost in investors' minds, however, with bellwethers Google and JPMorgan Chase scheduled to unveil results this week.

Alcoa will be the first Dow component to report results due after Tuesday's closing bell.


Back in London, defensively perceived stocks were also among the most in demand as investor risk appetite soured, with utilities, drink and tobacco firms, and drugmakers all higher.

AstraZeneca stood out, up 0.8 percent. Some of the drugmaker's biggest investors are calling for a radical shake-up of its board and executive team, including the replacement of David Brennan as CEO, the Financial Times said.

Derivatives research was upbeat on prospects for the FTSE 100 index. BNP Paribas says Britain's blue chip index is likely to outperform the Standard & Poor's 500 <.SPX> over the next three to six months helped by macro, fundamental and technical factors.

BNP Paribas's equity and derivative strategy team said investors can tap into the move by buying an outperformance call or call-spread option on the FTSE 100 index.

(Editing by John Stonestreet)