London's FTSE 100 Index struggled today after separate reports fuelled fears over the Chinese economy and the pace of recovery in the eurozone.

The continued tensions in Ukraine also played a part in the disappointing start to the week in Europe as the FTSE 100 slipped 23.6 points to 6533.6.

Tokyo's Nikkei index had earlier jumped 1.8% on hopes that the latest disappointing manufacturing report from China will prompt leaders to introduce growth measures focusing spending on infrastructure and reforms.

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But there was no such bounce for European stocks after a survey of factory purchasing managers showed the region struggled to make headway in March as the headline index fell slightly to 53.2, indicating very modest growth.