END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares ended the day firmly lower as poor US data dented sentiment. Upbeat banks, led by Royal Bank of Scotland, were unable to offset weakness in the wider market.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was down 33.15 points at 5,869.55 with the FTSE250 off 24.03 points at 11,710.7 and the FTSE Smallcaps 1.35 points lower at 3,144.97.
US stocks showed little movement in late morning trade following disappointing consumer confidence and house price data.
Approaching the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was flat at 13,242, the S&P500 was unchanged at 1,417 and the Nasdaq Composite added 6 points at 3,129.
In London, banking shares were the star performers, although unable to offset weakness in the wider market as weak US data dented sentiment.
Royal Bank of Scotland topped the leaderboard on reports the UK Government is mulling selling some of the taxpayer's holding to an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund. RBS shares jumped 0.92p at 28.67p.
Elsewhere, Barclays advanced 3.7p at 251.35p and Standard Chartered climbed 12.5p at 1,608.5p, but Lloyds lost 0.71p at 34.83p.
Fund managers continued to shine, with Aberdeen Asset Management ahead a further 2.5p at 263.3p as analysts applauded its strong results yesterday. Schroders rose 17p at 1,642p and Ashmore added 1.5p at 380p, while hedge fund manager Man Group gained 1.7p at 135.2p.
Kazakhmys was the stand-out winner amongst the miners, gaining 19.5p at 944.5p after raising its dividend 27% on the back of modest full-year earnings growth.
Others in the sector fared less well, with Randgold Resources slumping 155p at 5,625p and Anglo American retreating 21p at 2,442p.
On the downside, global catering company Compass Group fell 17p at 651p after a lacklustre trading update. Compass said expectations for the full year remain unchanged.
Oil producer BP slipped 10.55p at 471.35p on news it has agreed to sell off gas assets in the North Sea to Perenco for £250m in cash as part of its disposal strategy. Elsewhere, Shell fell 28.5p at 2,239.5p, BG Group slid 44p at 1,475p and Tullow Oil succumbed to profit-taking, down 8p at 1,562p.
There was little to cheer about in the retail sector, with the supermarket operators all on offer. Tesco slipped 0.65p at 338.4p, Morrisons eased 0.3p at 303.9p and Sainsbury sagged 3.7p at 315.6p.
Builders' merchant group Wolseley took the wooden spoon, tumbling 84p at 2,435p on signs that growth may be slowing. The group reported profit before tax up 28% at £250m in the year to end-January.
Insurance group Resolution ended down 6.7p at 268.2p on reporting its international business was impacted by weak markets in the year ended December, and with suggestions the group could be broken up.
International Power eased 2.3p at 380.1p when Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock from buy to hold.
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