A hodge-podge of utility companies, investment firms and miners weighed on London’s top share index on Monday.
The FTSE 100 ended the day in the red, dropping 51.25 points. The 0.7% fall left the index at 7,618.31.
“The FTSE 100 has… had a poor start to the week with the decline in oil prices weighing on the energy sector as concerns grow about a sharp drop in demand in China, as a result of the draconian Covid restrictions being implemented in Shanghai,” said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
He added: “On the plus side, a pick-up in passenger numbers through Heathrow in March, to their best levels since the pandemic began, has given the likes of (British Airways owner) IAG a lift, despite the various Covid-related problems being experienced at UK airports.
“easyJet shares are also higher, as is Rolls Royce as optimism over the summer holiday season acts as a boost to wider sentiment.”
France was an outlier among global markets, managing to remain fairly flat while its rivals were in the red.
It came the day after voters went to the polls across the country and its territories to elect a new president.
In the first round of the presidential elections, incumbent Emmanuel Macron did better than expected with 27.8% of the vote.
He will face far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in the second round. She gained 23.1% of the vote.
“This better-than-expected outcome also had the positive effect of providing an uplift to broader French assets, as investors presumed that a Le Pen victory had become less likely, although that belief could well turn out to be premature, given how unpopular Macron is with certain sections of French society,” Mr Hewson said.
The Cac 40 in Paris closed up 0.1%, while Germany’s Dax dropped by 0.6%.
On Wall Street, markets were trading down, the S&P 500 had lost 1.1% while the Dow Jones was down 0.5% around the time that markets were closing in Europe.
On currency markets, sterling was down 0.05% to 1.3034 against the dollar, while it rose 0.09% to 1.1979 euros.
In company news, the Financial Conduct Authority confirmed that it would not oppose a compensation scheme for customers of lender Amigo.
Shares in Amigo, which have been struggling since 2019 and have lost nearly all their value in the last five years, closed up by 10.4%.
Meanwhile, shares in Marks Electrical rose by 2.3% after the business reported strong demand which listed revenue up 44% in the year to the end of March.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were BAE systems, up 21.4p at 765p; Mondi, up 40p at 1,453p; IAG, up 3.32p at 136.48p; Pearson, up 16p at 778.2p; and Smurfit Kappa, up 60p at 3,130p.
The biggest fallers of the session were Prudential, down 43.5p at 1,059p; Experian, down 109p at 2,798p; Halma, down 90p at 2,442p; Hargreaves Lansdown, down 35.9p at 994.6p; and Ashtead, down 129p at 4,550p.