END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares ended modestly lower, with confrontation between China and Japan sending resources stocks lower and Eurozone squabbles impacting financial issues, with Aviva dullard of the day.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was down 25.36 points at 5,868.16 with the FTSE250 off 147.18 points at 11,933.7 and the FTSE Smallcaps 23.19 points lower at 3,208.13.
US stocks were mixed in late morning trade, after stalwart FedEx Corporation disappointed the market by reporting a fall in Q1 profits and trimming its guidance for the full-year.
Approaching the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 22 at 13,575, the S&P500 fell 1 point at 1,460 and the Nasdaq Composite was flat at 3,178.
The spat between China and Japan kept global markets nervous and pushed down commodity prices, while the Eurozone continued to fret over the stability of Spain.
Resources stocks and financial issues led the market lower, with Royal Bank of Scotland the worst of the banks, down 7.3p at 267.1p, hit by a downgrade from buy to hold at Liberum Capital. Barclays fell 2.6p at 225.4p and Lloyds lost 1p at 38.85p.
Insurers followed the trend, with Aviva slumping to the foot of the blue chip league table, off 14.3p at 344.9p following downgrades at both Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Deutsche Bank. Elsewhere, Prudential lost 19.5p at 821.5p and Legal & General retreated 2.6p at 135.4p.
Weakening metals prices impacted the miners, with Kazakhmys the runt of the litter, down 18.5p at 742p. Anglo American slipped 27.5p at 2,009p and Rio Tinto dropped 22.5p at 3,193.5p, while steelmaker Evraz weakened 4.5p at 279.5p.
Oil producers fell in line with lower crude prices, with Shell down 19p at 2,300.5p, BP off 12.55p at 438.95p and BG Group 26p lower at 1,265p.
On the upside, cigarette makers proved a popular safe haven, with BAT topping the leaderboard, gaining 89p at 3,243p, while Imperial Tobacco was 44p better at 2,362p and drinks giant Diageo rose 34.5p at 1,718p.
Pharmaceutical stocks were also in demand, with AstraZeneca adding 16p at 2,904.5p and GlaxoSmithKline up 10.5p at 1,443p.
Chip designer ARM Holdings ticked up 4p at 588.5p on hopes the success if the Apple iPhone 5 will rub off.
Household goods maker Unilever continued to enjoy the benefit of yesterday's buy rating at UBS with a gain of 12p at 2,280p. Peer Reckitt Benckiser rose 47p at 3,627p in sympathy.
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