END-OF-DAY REPORT: Headline shares ended the day firmly lower as banking shares softened early gains on disappointment over the Eurozone, and with continued weakness amongst resources stocks.
At the close of business, the FTSE100 was down 28.05 points at 5,824.37 with the FTSE250 off 54.83 points at 11,563.27 and the FTSE Smallcaps 22.54 points lower at 3,110.92.
US stocks were modestly lower in late morning trade, investors concerned at the lack of progress on solving the Eurozone debt crisis.
Approaching the close in London, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 27 points at 13,248, the S&P500 fell 4 points at 1,414 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 12 points at 3,064.
Today marked the lull before the storm with little in the way of corporate or economic news to provide direction for traders. In the economic week ahead, tomorrow‚€?s release of UK public finance data, followed by the revision of Q2 GDP figures on Friday will likely create more activity, although volumes will remain soft ahead of the long bank holiday weekend.
Resources stocks were under pressure throughout, with ENRC the worst blue chip of the session, down 12.7p at 357p after a downgrade from Credit Suisse.
Elsewhere amongst the miners, Xstrata lost 31.8p at 907.5p on fears the increasing interest from Qatar will endanger the proposed deal with Glencore International. Glencore, which is due to publish interim results tomorrow, edged up 1.6p at 353.75p.
Midcap platinum producer Lonmin slumped 29.5p at 610p as its South African strike problems continued to make uncomfortable headlines.
The oil producers waned as crude turned lower in New York, with BP down 2.35p at 452p and Shell off 7.5p at 2,339.5p.
Broker downgrades took their toll.....
Shares in IMI slipped 15p at 914p as Jefferies International downgraded the engineering group from buy to hold and slashed its target for the stock from 1,150p to 995p.
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca lost 14p at 2,986.5p, hit by a downgrade from neutral to underweight at JP Morgan Cazenove.
A downgrade from overweight to neutral from JP Morgan Cazenove pushed construction group Balfour Beatty down 4.8p at 287.3p.
Marks & Spencer dropped 1.3p at 363.1p when Espirito Santo downgraded the iconic retailer from buy to neutral and trimmed its target price from 440p to 360p.
On the upside, selected commercial property firms were in demand as sector sentiment improved, with British Land topping the leaderboard, ahead 3.5p at 543.5p on news it has sold its interest in a 293,700 sq ft retail warehouse portfolio. Elsewhere, Land Securities was up 3p at 810.5p.
After a positive start, banking stocks turned mixed, hit by Germany's continued opposition to the ECB buying sovereign bonds. Lloyds rose 0.21p at 34.43p and Royal Bank of Scotland edged up 0.1p at 231.7p, while Barclays slipped 1.95p at 190.9p.
Security outfit G4S edged up 0.6p at 268.7p on reports it is pulling out of Pakistan due to the fragile situation there.
Other notable gainers included global caterer Compass Group, up 4.5p at 719.5p, commercial software supplier Sage Group, ahead 1.2p at 302.6p and product tester Intertek, ahead 5p at 2,800p.
SharePrice.com will do their best to ensure the quality of the information displayed on this site, but all information is provided as-is. We cannot be held responsible for any loss, material or otherwise, due to incorrect information found here. All share prices are provided by the London Stock Exchange, and are at least 15 minutes delayed.