London equities closed lower on Tuesday, wiping out gains from the day before, as fears that the eurozone debt crisis was resurfacing in Spain offset another round of solid data from the US.
The benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading companies ended down 0.62 percent at 5,838.34 points.
News that Spanish unemployment had hit a new high in March and that Spain's public debt will soar more than 10 percentage points this year to 79.8 percent of GDP fueled fears that the eurozone's troubles are far from over.
Meanwhile, data showed an increase in US factory orders in February but left Wall Street unmoved as investors opted for caution ahead of the publication of the Federal Reserve's latest policy-meeting minutes.
Fund manager Aberdeen Asset Management was the biggest blue-chip gainer, up 3.86% -- or 10 pence -- to 269.1, followed by luxury fashion house Burberry, which added 2.09 percent -- or 32 pence -- to close at 1,560.
RBS was the day's worst performer, its shares slipping 3.1 percent -- or 0.86 pence -- to 26.89, followed by publishing group Pearson, yesterday's top riser, which shed 3.03 percent -- or 37 pence -- at 1,184.
The pound was worth $1.5960 at 5:12 pm, down from $1.6022 at the same time on Monday, while sterling stood at 1.1978 euros, slipping from 1.2023 over the same period.
Source: AFP European Edition