END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares were flat at the close today, with retailers a major millstone and Burberry taking the wooden spoon, offsetting firm gains among oil producers as crude prices rose.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was little changed at 5,664.48 with the FTSE250 off 97.71 points at 10,9967.78 and the FTSE Smallcaps 6.9 points lower at 2,981.72.
US stocks were lower in late morning trade, with investors cautious ahead of the release of the minutes of the last Fed policy meeting.
Heading into the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 35 points at 12,618, the S&P500 dropped 1 point at 1,340 and the Nasdaq Composite fell 17 points at 2,885.
In the UK, retailers helped hold back the main index today, with luxury brand Burberry taking the wooden spoon and tumbling 95p at 1,189p after announcing a slowdown in quarterly sales growth, with trading conditions having worsened.
Elsewhere, Marks & Spencer was 9.6p lower at 318.2p and frock shop chain Next dropped 22p to 3,169p.
The banking sector put in a mixed performance as the Libor cloud remained prominent. Royal Bank of Scotland was marked down 0.3p to 207.9p, Barclays was 2.35p light at 164.65p and Lloyds Banking Group fell 0.29p to 30.45p. The Asia-facing banks were the sector winners on the day, with Standard Chartered up 6.5p at 1,457p and HSBC ahead 2.4p at 568.7p.
Most of the major mining groups lost a little ground, with Polymetal the worst performer, down 43p at 834p, on reports it has lost its tax battle with the Russian authorities, a defeat which will cost the gold and silver producer $27m.
Meanwhile, Rio Tinto fell 6.5p to 3,033p, BHP Billiton was down 15p to 1811p and Vedanta Resources lost 9.5p at 907p.
On the upside, the sector bright spot was provided by reluctant suitors Glencore and Xstrata, up 5.75p at 316.3p and 12.5p at 839p, respectively.
The oil producers reacted positively to a rise in crude prices, with BP up 4.05p at 432.55p and Royal Dutch Shell 22p higher at 2286p.
Insurance giant Aviva advanced 4.4p at 290.8p on news it has completed the sale of a further tranche of Delta Lloyd, reducing its holding to 19.8%.
Interdealer broker ICAP improved 3.7p at 314.8p, after an upbeat trading statement included expectations of £50m in cost savings by the end of the year.
In the midcaps, soft drinks giant Britvic tumbled 40.1p (13.4%) at 260.1p after it warned that the cost of recalling Robinsons Fruit Shoot and Fruit Shoot Hydro and fixing the cap design will cost £15m to £25m.
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