The FTSE 100 has ended the day slightly down with a drop of 1.4 points, or 0.02%, to 6,364.7, as stocks trading ex-dividend offset insurer gains.
Home Retail, the owner of Argos, posted the biggest gains with a rise of 2.51% to 460.25p, closely followed by insurer Prudential which added 1.71% to 744.5p, while Resolution advanced 1.44% to 634p, following a broker upgrade.
International Power climbed 1.4% to 417p, while Cable & Wireless added 1.34% to 174.5p, although the index was dragged lower by Cadbury Schweppes which slipped 1.64% to 660.5p, and Hanson dropped 1.87% to 814p.
However the biggest losers were the stock trading ex-dividend – without the right to the latest payout – with Alliance & Leicester leading the decline with a drop of 3.29% to £11.17, while Pearson fell 2.15% to 863p, and Kingfisher slipped 1.77% to 277.5p.
In the US the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 13.41 points, or 0.11%, to 12,523.71, despite some downbeat economic data as news of a resolution to the UK-Iran situation boosted stocks.
Microsoft posted the biggest gains with a rise of 1.61% to $28.33, closely followed by Altria Group which is up 0.94% to $70.31, while American Express has added 0.86% to $56.40.
Coca-Cola has climbed 0.65% to $49.31, while Home Depot has advanced 0.53% to $37.83, although gains are being limited by American International Group which is down 0.47% to $67.32.
However General Motors is the biggest loser with a fall of 1.02% to $31.15, while Disney has slipped 1% to $34.57, Verizon Communications has dropped 0.52% to $37.92, and AT&T has declined 0.3% to $39.62.
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