UK shares drifted lower on Tuesday morning as the latest jobs data showed wage growth eased last month despite steady unemployment.
The FTSE 100 index fell 0.2% in early trade, while the domestically-focused FTSE 250 index climbed 0.1%.
In the data, the unemployment rate held at 4.2% in September, unchanged from the previous three months, the Office for National Statistics said.
However, growth in average total pay including bonuses slowed to 7.9% from 8.2% in August. Excluding bonuses, pay growth was steady at 7.7%.
Analysts said the figures highlight growing weakness in the UK economy as high inflation continues to bite.
In company news, Glencore led the blue-chip risers after agreeing to pay $6.93 billion for a 77% stake in Teck Resources’ Elk Valley steelmaking coal unit.
Glencore said the “world-class assets and experienced people” at Elk Valley are expected to complement its existing coal production. Its shares climbed over 3% following the deal.
Among other FTSE 100 gainers, Informa added nearly 5% after the events firm lifted guidance and expanded its share buyback plan.
However, Vesuvius shares sank almost 6%, making it one of the biggest FTSE 250 fallers. The engineering company noted softer market conditions recently, especially in steel markets outside India.
Investors are now focused on upcoming US consumer price inflation figures for October, due later on Tuesday.
The annual inflation rate is expected to cool further to 3.3% from 3.7% in September, which could boost risk appetite if confirmed.