The UK services purchasing managers' index - a closely-watched indicator of performance - hit its lowest level since February 2013 in April, heightening fears that the forthcoming UK referendum on EU membership is putting the economy under pressure.
Trinity Mirror shares rose after it closed the New Day, despite the publisher of the Mirror and dozens of regional newspapers suffering a tumble in print advertising of almost a fifth in first four months of the year.
LONDON A huge wildfire near Canada's oil sands region and escalating tensions in Libya stoked concern among investors over a near-term supply shortage, driving crude prices up for the first time in a week on Thursday.
Barclays has recouped just over R13bn (�600m) from selling a chunk of its stake in its African subsidiary at a 7 per cent discount to the market price.
LONDON European stocks and oil prices snapped a four-day losing streak on Thursday and a rally in bond markets fizzled out as investors began to position themselves for U.S.