The FTSE 100 staged a mini rebound on Tuesday but trade tensions triggered by US President Donald Trump continued to grip investors.
London’s top flight ended the day up 28.08 points, or 0.37%, at 7,537.92.
It came after a day of heavy losses on the premier index, when trade war fears sparked a global equities rout, wiping nearly £45 billion off the FTSE 100 and pushing it to its worst one-day fall in over a year.
Connor Campbell, financial analyst at Spreadex, said: “Monday’s gory losses were followed on Tuesday morning by a wheezing attempt at a rebound.
“The markets became a tad more mixed as Tuesday continued, with the FTSE breaking out ahead of its peers in regards to its – admittedly meagre – rebound.
“Trade war tensions are suppressing trading even without any real updates.”
Global stocks have been rocked amid fears of an escalating trade war centred on the relationship between the US and China and the EU.
The index was also boosted by a weaker pound.
Sterling was trading 0.3% lower against the dollar at 1.323 and marginally lower versus the euro at 1.134.
In stocks, IAG ended the day at the foot of the FTSE 100 after MPs voted on Monday to approve a new third runway at Heathrow.
Analysts interpreted the development as meaning more competition for IAG at Heathrow. Shares ended the day 24.6p lower at 673.2p.
Sainsbury’s also took a knock after figures from Kantar showed sales at the supermarket fell 0.2% over the 12 weeks to June 17, in contrast to its peers, who managed to cash in on warmer weather. The stock closed down 6.9p at 306p.
Satellite firm Inmarsat tumbled after rival Eutelsat Communications said it does not intend to make an offer for the business.
Paris-based Eutelsat said only on Monday that it was considering a possible bid for Inmarsat, days after US satellite firm EchoStar snapped up a 3% stake in the company, leading to speculation that it would launch a bid.
However, Eutelsat has now ruled out a takeover of its British rival, sending Inmarsat’s shares down 79p to 553.2p at the close.
Carpetright shares also took a hammering after swinging to a loss as the retailer battles with rapidly declining sales.
The retailer booked an underlying loss before tax of £8.7 million for the year to 28 April, having made profit of £14.4 million the year before.
Carpetright’s statutory loss before tax was £70.5 million, compared to a profit of £900,000 in the prior year, which the firm said was driven by the cost of its store closure programme.
Group revenue at Carpetright fell by 3% year-on-year, down from £457.6 million to £443.8 million. Shares closed down 1.7p at 28.3p.
In Europe, Germany’s DAX was down 0.29% while in France, the CAC 40 edged 0.05% lower.
In oil, Brent crude was trading 1.83% higher at 76.2 US dollars per barrel.
The biggest risers on the FTSE 100 were Carnival up 132p at 4,347p, BHP Billiton up 40.2p at 1,643p, Next up 144p at 6,106p and DS Smith up 11.4p at 522.4p.
The biggest fallers on the FTSE 100 were IAG down 24.6p at 673.2p, Compass Group down 36.5p at 1,580p, Micro Focus down 29p at 1,264p and Sainsbury’s down 6.9p at 306p