The FTSE 100 Index closed 16 points lower at 5,489.3 today after spending much of the session in the black.
Investor sentiment was subdued after Bank oif England governor Sir Mervyn King, in his role as chair of the interim Financial Policy Committee (FPC), warned of the severity of the eurozone crisis and urged banks to boost capital levels to protect against future financial crises.
An FPC report revealed UK banks’ exposure to government debts of the so-called vulnerable five – Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Ireland – totalled £14.8billion..
This hit the beleaguered banking sector, with Lloyds Banking Group off 0.8p at 24p, Barclays down 3.1p to 177.2p and Royal Bank of Scotland 0.4p lower at 20.6p.
B&Q owner Kingfisher was among the top risers – up 2%, or 5.7p to 261.3p – after it reported better-than-expected third quarter profits.
Pub chain Greene King shed 3%, or 17p to 465.7p despite it reporting a 5.6% rise in half-year profits and strong current trading.
Also in the red was support services firm Carillion – down 4%, or 13.1p at 297.4p – after it told 4,500 staff in its energy services division their jobs were at risk following UK Government plans to halve subsidies on solar power.
The biggest Footsie risers were Resolution up 9.1p at 244.7p, Burberry ahead 38p at £13.08, International Airlines Group up 4.1p at 151.6p and Kingfisher ahead 5.7p at 261.3p.
Among the biggest fallers were IMI down 39p at £7.59, ICAP off 11p at 344.3p and Lonmin 33p lower at £10.37.
David Barclay, of investment manager and financial planning specialist Brewin Dolphin in Aberdeen, noted Amec adding 1.55% to £8.82, AG Barr up 0.78% to £11.36 and Faroe Petroleum 0.65% higher at 155.625p.
Cairn Energy fell 1.95% to £2.67, BP slipped 1.39% to 454.35p and Petrofac was 1.17% lower at £14.32.