LONDON’S top flight index closed 38.4 points lower at 5403.4 after a lower-than-expected trade surplus in China for September suggested the country’s economy may be starting to come off the boil.

Global sentiment was hit as JP Morgan Chase said the uncertainty in the eurozone and US triggered a four per cent fall in third-quarter profits to $4.3bn (£2.7bn).

Barclays was the biggest faller, dropping 13.8p to 173.2p, while RBS shed 1.7p to 24.2p and Lloyds fell 1.9p to 34.3p.

The fears over China’s trade data, and a downgrade by the IMF to economic forecasts for several Asian countries, raised fears of slackening demand in one of the world’s most resource-hungry regions.

Miners were subsequently lower with Kazakhmys off 53.5p to 878.5p and Antofagasta 73p lower at 1078p.

Rolls-Royce topped the risers’ board after it sold its stake in a manufacturing joint venture for $1.5bn (£950m).

The buyer is US firm Pratt and Whitney, which will continue to work with Rolls through a new venture to develop engines for future mid-size aircraft.

Rolls shares jumped ten per cent, or 62p to 688p, adding more than £900m to its market value.

Shares in bookmaker Ladbrokes were three per cent higher after it said strong revenues from gaming machines helped offset continued tough going at its overthe- counter betting business.

Full-year figures from retailer WH Smith got a positive reception from analysts, particularly after it raised its dividend by a bigger than expected 15 per cent and it announced an e-book partnership with Canada’s Kobo. Shares were up 2.5p to 530p.