Political uncertainty in the eurozone resurfaced today as the FTSE 100 index struggled to build on last week’s near three-month high.
Fears over Mario Monti’s announcement that he planned to resign as Italy’s premier were tempered after it emerged US president Barack Obama and house speaker John Boehner met on Sunday to resolve their differences.
The FTSE 100 Index closed up a modest 7.23 points to 5,921.63.
Insurer Aviva, which generates business in both Italy and Spain, was near the top of the FTSE 100 Index faller list with a decline of 1.8%, off 6.6p to 359.7p.
Other financial stocks were under pressure as Royal Bank of Scotland dipped 1.2p to 297.8p and Barclays eased 2p to 249.55p.
Rolls-Royce shares were also lower as investors weighed up further developments on the bribery claims relating to contracts in Indonesia. Shares fell 5p to 891.5p.
Outside the top flight, shares in bakery chain Greggs were down 14p to 472.5p, after well-respected chief executive Ken McMeikan announced he was leaving the group to join catering company Brakes.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Associated British Foods up 21p to £15.06, Smith & Nephew ahead 12.5p to 678.5p, Kazakhmys 8.5p higher at 754p and Tate & Lyle up 10p to 769p.
Among the biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Hargreaves Lansdown down 19p to 716p, Eurasian Natural Resources off 6.8p to 276.2p and WPP down 9.5p to 860p.
Stuart Lamont, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Petrofac was up 1.2% to £17.06, Cairn Energy added 0.8% to 268.4p and BG Group rose 0.7% to 1,075.5p.
Among the laggards Stagecoach Group finished down 1.4% at 305.6p, Faroe Petroleum lost 1.4% to 127p and Premier Oil fell 1.2% to end the day at 325.4p.