Afternoon trading saw the FTSE 100 index regain its nerve and push higher by 9.20 points to 4,390.60, helped by a strong earnings announcement from Cisco Systems ahead of the opening of US markets in New York.
Weightings also came to the rescue as actually more stocks made losses than gains, but the sheer size of companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland helped tip the overall index into the black.
Amvescap gained 11.25p to 415p on positive fourth quarter results despite the cloud thrown over its US operations by ongoing regulatory investigations into dodgy after-hours dealings in mutual funds.
Tobacco did well. Imps added 27p to 1,132p, BATS added 12.5p to 788.5p, and Gallaher added 9.5p to 620p.
BOC did not do well, shedding 23p to 871p as investors digested its results, which earlier in the day saw shares drive ahead to 912p before the rot set in.
Aviva shed 6p to 512.75p, while Legal & General fell 1p to 98.25p.
The FTSE 250 index dropped 13.1 points to 6,044.2.
Corus Group dropped 2.75p or nearly 7% to 39p after it warned rising raw materials prices would force it to raise its own prices by 10% this year.
Invensys dropped 1.25p to 24.25p after issuing a statement saying it was exploring a number of possibilities with regard to its future. Shares climbed in recent days on speculation it has been preparing a rights issue.
Investec dropped 49p to 1,030p after Moody’s Investors Service assigned a rating of ‘Baa3’ to an issue of guaranteed subordinated debt.
EasyJet jumped 13.5p to 333.5p on news of a fine levied on its main competitor Ryanair by the European Commission for illegal subsidies from a Belgian state-owned airport.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average index is currently up about 6 points to 10,505, while the broader S&P 500 index is unchanged at 1,135 points.IFAonline
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