The London market surrendered some of this week’s gains today as investors turned their attention to US debt negotiations to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff.
The FTSE 100 Index fell 16.2 points to 5,929.6, despite the US Federal Reserve announcement that it will make additional asset purchases.
Sports Direct International shares were under pressure despite a 25% rise in half-year profits to £125.2million.
The stock has risen by around 90% in the last year, but was down 23.1p to 386.2p today.
Elsewhere on the high street, fears grew over the future of HMV after it said worse-than-expected trading meant the terms of its bank loans were not likely to be met in January and April. Shares were off 39%, or 1.6p to 2.5p.
National Express neared the top of the FTSE 250 Index risers board after it said it was on course to meet its 2012 targets as new routes helped it drive an improvement in coach passenger volumes. Shares lifted 4% or 7.7p to 187.9p.
The biggest FTSE 100 risers were Tullow Oil up 34p to £12.16, United Utilities ahead 11.5p to 701p, Aviva 5.9p higher at 372.8p and Shire up 21p to £19.56.
The biggest FTSE 100 fallers were Wood Group down 35p to 733.5p, Astra Zeneca off 84p to 2,958.5p, Burberry 34p lower at £12.62 and Experian down 23p to 999p.
Stuart Lamont, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Xcite Energy was up 4.4% to 93.375p, Stagecoach Group added 1.3% at 303.75p and FirstGroup took on 0.9% to finish at 189.75p.
The laggards included AMEC down 2.2% to £10.20, while Weir Group lost 1.6% to close at £18.36.