FTSE 100 slides as SMEs report lower exports

<p>The FTSE 100 has lost ground as SMEs report lower export volumes.</p>

The FTSE 100 has lost ground this morning (February 4th) as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the UK report that their exports and domestic orders continued to fall in the three months to January.

According to the Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) latest quarterly SME Trends Survey, production was also found to have slipped, failing to meet the expectations of modest growth, but it is anticipated to increase in the coming three months.

With less activity over the last three months, numbers employed in the sector slipped marginally for the first time in three years, but SMEs predict an increase in headcount over the course of the coming quarter.

CBI head of economic analysis Anna Leach commented: "Better news on the domestic front is expected, with output and domestic orders set to rise modestly. But there is little sign of improvement in export prospects."

At 11:30 GMT, the FTSE 100 decreased by 0.5 per cent, shedding 35.1 points to 6312.1 points.

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