The FTSE has lost its early banking-fuelled gains as investors took stock of disappointing mortgage data.
Despite edging up 0.6% in early trading on the back of renewed confidence following Ireland's agreed bailout, the FTSE has dipped into negative territory as figures showed the number of mortgage approvals in October fell to its lowest level in eight months.
Shortly after 11.30, the FTSE was down 0.5%, or 31 points, to 5637 as investors mulled the poor housing data.
Nevertheless, banking stocks - which staged an early rally as investors were buoyed by news of the Irish bailout - are clinging on to gains.
HSBC, up 1.6%, leads the winner's table with Royal Bank of Scotland, which has the largest UK exposure to Irish banks up 1% and Barclays also rising.
Lloyds, however, has retreated into the red.
Other financials have also held on to gains, with investment company Alliance Trust up 1.2% and insurers Prudential and Aviva also going strong. Aviva was lifted by JPMorgan Chase's overweight recommendation on the stock.
Resolution, however, is one of the FTSE's biggest losers, down 2.5%, with JP Morgan recommending an underweight position in the stock.
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